Metformin is an oral medication used to treat type 2 diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes is what most adults with diabetes have – they make insulin, but it’s effects are weak, and blood sugar rises.  10-20% of Americans probably have pre-diabetes and 8% might merit treatment with metformin.

Metformin helps lower blood sugar, and in some studies, helps people to lose weight.  But, like most therapies, there are side-effects.  It seems to lower vitamin B12 levels, which can result in neuropathy (nerve damage) and chronic pain as a result.

So, the best thing to do is to eat a healthy diet, exercise, and lose weight! I was prescribed  metformin and took it for some months because my hemoglogin A1C (Hgb A1C) was borderline-high (prediabetes).  As I lost weight, my HgbA1C fell after weight loss, and I stopped the metformin on my physician’s advice.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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