If you don’t have diabetes and don’t wish to have it, there are some things you can do to prevent it. Here is what I would recommend.
- If anyone in your family has diabetes find out what they have been doing wrong and make sure you do not follow their habits. Chances are you will get diabetes through your genes if one of your parents has it. But you can cut down the chances if you can develop good habits.
- Eat only healthy foods—mainly fruits and vegetables. Stay away from sugary foods and processed foods (I will talk more on this later).
- Don’t eat too much—only what your body needs.
- Exercise regularly and keep your weight down. Most diabetics are overweight.
- Even though you may not be classified as a diabetic yet, check your blood sugar (see your druggist about how to do it) at least once a month; and if it is a little high, cut down on what you eat (especially your carbohydrates) and increase you exercise.
If you find that your blood sugar count is high (normal is 70 to 100 if fasting), and you can’t seem to lower it, then it is time to start a drug treatment. Check with your doctor to help you decide which drug to use. My doctor has put me on Metformin—a very common diabetes drug. In this next segment we will talk about what it is, how it works, its side effects, who should not use it, the food to avoid while taking Metformin, and foods to include white taking this drug.
The following information on Metformin was acquired from two sources sited below.
Why Metformin is a good drug (5 reasons)
- According to the articles sited below, Metformin is the most commonly used drug to treat diabetes.
- Metformin has a long record of being safe and effective.
- It does not cause weight gain as many other diabetes drugs do. In fact, it may even help you lose weight.
- Research shows that it may have heart health benefits.
- Some studies show that Metformin will lower your risk of cancer.
How Metformin works
Most scientists admit that they don’t know exactly how Metformin works; they only know that it does work. Here is what it does: it helps your cells to absorb and use sugar more effectively. In short, Metformin supposedly helps the body to do what it should do. Maybe someday we will discover what is in this drug to make it work as it does.
What are the side effects of Metformin?
There are only a few mild side effects that will involve stomach discomfort: gas, upset stomach, possible nausea, possible vomiting, diarrhea, and cramping. Personally, I don’t experience half of these; I mainly just have some cramping and slight diarrhea. And the good news is that you can avoid most of this by taking Metformin with food and plenty of water.
Who should not take Metformin
People who have kidney disease, liver problems, or a buildup of acid in your blood should not take Metformin. Also, a condition known as lactic acidosis is rare, but can be life threatening. If you discover that you have this—which you will experience as muscle pain, trouble breathing, and feel very weak—you should discontinue Metformin and call your doctor; you will need to be treated in a hospital.
Foods to avoid while taking Metformin
Here are six categories of foods to avoid while taking metformin (or even if you are not taking Metformin):
- Alcohol. Alcohol use may lead to lactic acid and kidney failure.
- Foods with simple and refined carbs like white bread, white rice and pasta, candy, soda pop, desserts, chips and crackers. These things will spike your blood sugar and make Metformin not work as effectively.
- Saturated fats like red meat and dairy products (but you may eat low fat dairy).
- Trans fat like baked goods or fast foods. Skip those McDonalds hamburgers and French fries!
- Foods with a lot of sodium. Check the labels of all can goods. Most canned soups are loaded with sodium (salt).
- Grapefruit. Recent studies have shown that chemicals in this fruit interacts with the enzymes in our liver and will cause Metformin not to work effectively.
Foods to include while taking Metformin
- Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole grain oats, whole-grain bread. The fiber in these foods slows the rate at which your body converts carbs into glucose, leading to more stable blood glucose levels.
- Healthy fats such as fish, nuts, avocados and olive oil. They will help fight inflammation and protect heart health.
- Fiber. Eat foods with fiber such as grain bread, fruit, and fresh vegetables. However, do not take fiber supplements or fiber powder (such as psyllium husk) when taking Metformin, since that may change the way your body absorbs the drug.
- Lean proteins. These are turkey, chicken without fat, and fish.
- Non-starchy vegetable like broccoli, cabbage, leafy greens, and cauliflower. You should eat these both raw and cooked.
- Low carb fruits. All fresh and raw fruits.
How a Widely Used Diabetes Medication Actually Works