Nov 302011

Can Diabetes Lead to Heart problems?

One of the fatal complications that can be caused by Type 2 Diabetes is heart disease. Oftentimes, Metformin will be the drug of choice for the pre-treatment and the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes. The Journal Circulation and Heart Failure recently published an article about how Metformin is able to also prevent death from heart disease caused by diabetes.

A study made at Baylor College of Medicine done by researchers and Michael E. DeBakey of VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas involved 6,185 Type 2 Diabetes patients who have heart failure. Twenty five percent of these patients were treated with Metformin. The research concluded with the following results:

  • After a two-year period, 15.8% or 246 patients who were treated with Metformin died.
  • After a two-year period, 25.5% or 1177 patients who were not treated with Metformin died.

Both of the groups that were part of the research had the same total rate of hospitalization due to heart failure as well as the rate of hospitalization. However, diabetic patients with heart failures that have undergone Metformin treatment had a higher chance of survival. The study concluded with the need for more related studies in order to discover effective therapies for patients that are diagnosed with both Type 2 Diabetes and heart failure.

Metformin is also known as Glucophage, Glumetza, or Fortamet in the market. These are brand names of Metformin that provide less side effects. Metformin belongs to a family of drugs known as biguanides, these are drugs that are effective in the regulation and he control of the insulin levels that are released by the liver. Other important facts about the drug include the following:

  • Also known as insulin-sensitizing drugs, they help prevent the fluctuation of glucose between meals allowing effective weight loss.
  • They also limit the total amount of insulin that comes from the pancreas instead of increasing it.
  • The amount of glucose coming from the small intestines and liver that enters the blood is also effectively minimized.

Type 2 Diabetes is known to promote insulin resistance. Biguances like Metformin attack the origin of the disease. In general, Metformin is a safe medication. However, there are rare instances where patients who take the drug develop lactic acidosis, which is a serious condition.

Ten to Thirty percent of Metformin users report that they experience gastrointestinal side effects, which subside overtime. If you experience a similar side effect that does stays long, you can consult your doctor for the administration of a lower dose. Other versions of Metformin such as Fortamet and Glumetza are known to have fewer side effects.

Individuals who are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and have kidney, liver, or heart problems, including those who drink too much alcohol, are not advised to use Metformin.

Metformin should be taken regularly to be able to achieve its positive effects. However, there are some instances where its use should be discontinued temporarily. If you are suffering from severe diarrhoea, fever, vomiting, in need of less than normal fluid intake, you should alert doctors as they might advise to discontinue Metformin use temporarily. If you are undergoing X-ray procedures, you should also let your doctor know or ask beforehand if using Metformin when undergoing an X-ray scan is advisable.

Metformin is a popular choice as it is generically available and is cheaper than most drugs available for the successful treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.

 November 30, 2011  Add comments

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