Beat it

Beat it

Tart Cherry Extract

I used to drink a glass of tart cherry in the morning but it made my blood spike so I stopped. I take the capsule form now. Tart cherry works to sooth aching muscles and inflamation and with all of the exercing I'm doing now, I need this that.   

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many--not
on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.-- Charles Dickens


7-Keto is a supplement to boost metabolism. We also got this from watching the Dr. Oz program. We record the program and watch it in the evening, and if he mentions something that we would like to try, we go to the health or vitamin store for it the next day. But it isn’t a good idea to wait, as we have found out. Usually, by the time we get to the store, almost everything mentioned on the Oz show is gone and on back order.

The vitamin industry really should build a Dr. Oz statue, or cover him in gold or send in an army to take back the disputed parts of Cyprus in his name or something, they owe that guy at least that much.

We’ve discovered that Amazon almost always has the products in stock, at about 40% off the store price and the products have expiration dates.

 Anyway, if you have large belly….like me… might the result of a slowing metabolism, and 7-Keto might help. It is a natural byproduct of the DHEA hormone we already carry.

Dr. Oz has an entire page on the benefits of Keto. (

Let us move on, and step out boldly, though it be into the night, and we can scarcely see the way.-- Charles B. Newcomb


I take cinnamon by capsule form because, unlike my wife, I just don’t care for the taste.  

Taking it in powder form is, however, probably better for you. Regardless, studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol and several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.  In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections. In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood, and in Copenhagen, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month. Smelling cinnamon might boosts cognitive function and memory and fight E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices. It’s  a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

He who finds diamonds must grapple in mud and mire because diamonds are not found in polished stones.  They are made.-- Henry B. Wilson

Meyer Lemons


If you read this blog regularly, you know that I take a small glass of lemon juice in the morning.  Its good for me and my gall bladder and several other parts of me, but the bitter taste was killing mw….okay I exaggerate….but it is an awful way to start the morning. So, I’ve started using Meyer lemons in place of common lemons. Meyer lemons are expensive, true, but they are sweeter than regular lemons and not as acidic.  They also have a beautiful floral aroma.  Meyer lemon is a citrus fruit native to China (The lemon is commonly grown in China in garden pots as an ornamental tree) thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orange.  It was introduced to the United States in 1908 by the agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer, an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture who collected a sample of the plant on a trip to China.

Laughter is the language of the Gods.- Buddhist saying

Lamb Kebabs

As you know, we stopped eating beef and now use turkey and chicken as one of our two main sources of protein. We are also trying to keep a Mediterranean diet, so the other day I went out to a local Turkish restaurant and ordered the Lamb Kebabs (Turns out it is actually a Greek dish).  The Kebabs were fantastic but the price was insane, so I tried making them at home.  The results were very good.  It’s an easy dish to make.   

Lamb, by the way, is only slightly healthier to eat than beef, so for us, this will be an occasional treat.

1 lb. ground lamb

1 medium onion, minced

¾ teaspoon ground cumin


Ground pepper.

1 cup of organic bread crumbs

1 clove of garlic

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon of mint

1 teaspoon of oregano

Lemon zest

1 egg

Mix and shape into sausage, chill in the refrigerator.    

Attitude determines altitude.

Moroccan lemon chicken kebabs.

We are following Dr. Oz’s advice to stick with a Mediterranean diet so we went out and got a wonderful book called Modern Mediterranean Cooking by Elana Balashova. One of the many very good recipes we tried was the Moroccan lemon chicken kebabs.

We use chicken for this, I also think that as good as this is, it scream, begs in fact, for some tzatzik sauce and rice (We're on a weight loss thing around here so we passed on the rice and we have given up dairy)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

1 1/2 lbs. chicken or turkey breast, cut into 3/4" cubes
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 chopped teaspoons thyme
1 chopped teaspoon rsoemary 
1 or 2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lemon or orange zest
1 teaspoon of red chile paste (or some other spice that might heat up the recipe, we didn’t add  this to ours)

Combine all ingredients except the chicken. Add the chicken, and mix well to fully coat the meat. Cover with plastic, and leave the chicken to marinate for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Transfer the chicken to skewers and grill or broil about 4 or 5 minutes on each side, or until the meat is done. Serve immediately.

Dr. Oz fresh hummus recipe

I'll tell you, this is a good recipe and since Dr. Oz is a Turkish-American, I'm sure he knows a lot more about hummus than a New England breed Irish-American raised on stuffies (clams and stuffing, its great but of course its awful for you...of course...) but with that said, my recipe for hummus might be slightly better....but anyway, Dr. Oz's recipe is still delicious and here it is.  

2 (15 oz) cans chick peas (1 drained, 1 not)
4 tbsp sesame tahini (stir well before measuring)
½ cup plus 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 med to large cloves fresh garlic, chopped
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Before making hummus, it is necessary to stir the tahini very thoroughly. To make this easier, it is helpful to turn the jar upside down, several hours before and then continue to turn back upright and upside down every now and then to help mix the tahini.

Drain 1 can chick peas and use the other can with the liquid. Add chick peas, chopped garlic, lemon juice and salt to food processor and process till smooth. Add tahini and process a little more. Add olive oil and process just to mix in.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell if you have the proportions just right when you taste it immediately after making. You should refrigerate for a while to let the flavors blend and then taste before continuing to add salt or lemon juice, etc.

According to taste, add small amount ground cayenne pepper, black pepper, and if desired a very small dash of cumin. (If you add the cumin, be sure it is just a dash.)

If hummus seems too thick, you can add a little water. You can choose to not add olive oil to recipe and instead just drizzle a little on top when serving. Garnish with finely chopped fresh Italian parsley.

Apple cider vinegar and water to lower blood sugar levels

Sometimes you learn through trial and error.  As you know, I bought a juicer, which is my new best friend.  If it looks juicable, I juice it.  What I learned is that diabetics need to stay far, far away from carrot juice and melon juice.  Yes, they are both filled with many great things for the mind and body (really good for your sex life) but they have a high sugar content and after three days and a lot of exercise my blood count is still high (I had a lot of carrot juice because sometimes I have the discipline of a five-year-old)

So to lower the blood count I’ve started taking tow teaspoons of  apple cider vinegar just before I go to bed (I want to remind you to try taking two spoonful’s of pecan butter before bed time as well, it curbs the appetite and keeps bloody sugars steady through the night)   

You mix the vinegar with a tall glass of water and let me tell you, it taste as God awful  as you think it tastes.

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made by the fermentation of apple cider. During the fermentation process, sugar in the apple cider is broken down by bacteria and yeast into alcohol and then into vinegar. Like many types of vinegar, apple cider vinegar contains a substance called acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar also contains some lactic, citric and malic acids.

From what I have read, apple cider vinegar MIGHT help Acne, allergies, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, flu, gout, heartburn, high cholesterol and sore throat.  Many people use it as a weight loss aid. (It makes you go to the bathroom)

As far as diabetes is concerned research suggests that vinegar (both apple cider vinegar and other types) may benefit people with diabetes.  Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at bedtime showed favorable changes in blood sugar levels the following morning. Another test showed that diabetic rats (Stop and think about that for a minute) fed an apple-cider-vinegar-enhanced diet for four weeks experienced an increase in HDL ("good") cholesterol (as well as a reduction in their levels of triglycerides, a type of harmful blood fat).

Lost one pound !

I know, I know, it doesn't sound like much to me either but the photo above shows what one pound of fat looks like, and it seems like a lot. I exercised yesterday (calisthenics, just like we did in school, along with three sessions of 30 minutes running in place at a slow to medium pace to get my blood flowing) even though I was sore and took a sauna. I know, diabetics shouldn't take saunas because the heat is damaging.....but from where I sit, I figured, what the hell, I gave up steak, McDonalds, and Hostess Cakes, I'm keep'n the occasional sauna. )

Shiitake Hot and Sour Soup

We got this recipe from the Dr. Oz show, its wonderful stuff and about 50 to 70 calories for a large bowl. It taste good and its simple to make.


Serves 4

1 tbsp grapeseed oil

1 jalapeño, minced with seeds

1 tbsp minced ginger

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 bunches scallions, green and white parts sliced, 2 tbsp greens reserved

1 lb shiitakes, stems removed and tops 1/4-in sliced

2 1/2 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth

2 tbsp naturally brewed soy sauce

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

1 block silken tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 cups shredded carrots

Freshly cracked black pepper


In a stockpot over medium-high heat, add oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add jalapeño, ginger, garlic and scallions. Sauté until aromatic, about a minute. Add shiitakes and sauté 2 minutes, until softened.

Add stock and soy sauce, bring to a simmer and reduce by 20%, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, tofu and carrots and cook gently for 2 more minutes to heat tofu through. Season with black pepper.

Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with reserved scallion greens and lemon zest.

Still hang'n in there

I'm back down to 267. Still 47 pounds overweight, but three pounds is three pounds. I guess my wife was right, it was temporary weight from exercising.

Weight gain

   On Thursday, February 16, I started using the Wie (Or wee or whatever the hell its called) machine to do 30 minute free runs. I weighed 267 pounds.

    I ran again on Friday, this time upping it to two runs (one in the morning and one at night) and then three on Sunday. Now I weight 270 pounds.

     I'm told not to worry about it, that its swelling due to exercise and so on. I don't know, but you know, I changed my entire friggin life, I diet and I exercise and I give up all the stuff I love and what happens? I gain...okay, I know its only three pounds and the world will go on, but its just so freakin frustrating.....

Bald feet!

I’m bald, or, as we in the bald community call it, folicly challenged and I’m okay with that, but what I wasn’t okay with the fact that after I got diabetes, my feet when bald too. All the hair…well, I say “All the hairy” like there was a lot to begin with and there wasn’t, but still, all the hair on my feet is gone.
Well, it’s from poor circulation, usually caused by vascular disease, can make hair disappear from the feet. When the heart loses the ability to pump enough blood to the extremities because of arteriosclerosis (commonly known as hardening of the arteries), the body has to prioritize its use. Hair on toes is low priority to the heart, so off it goes and it more than probably will never come back.
Reduced blood supply also makes it hard to feel a pulse in the feet and when you stand up, your feet might suddenly go bright red and then go pale when you put them up. It is especially dramatic to watch in my case because I’ve got such a ruddy complexion.
There is a lot more information at the US Government’s page on diabetes. Copy this address below and place it in the top bar on your home.

There are many ways to measure success; not the least of which is the way your child describes you when talking to a friend. Unknown

carrot juice

   My blood sugar has spike to the mid-200 range over the past two days so I had to back track on what I’ve been eating and I’ve narrowed the villain down to carrot juice.  I bought a top of the line juicer and I’ve been using it regularly and decide to prepared carrot juice sweetened with an apple. Big mistake.

   I’ve since learned that raw homemade carrot juice contains a lot of natural vegetable based sugar. Compared to even some very sweet fruit juices, carrot juice isn't far below them in sugar content. As far as the exact number is concerned, raw homemade carrot juice contains roughly thirteen grams of sugar in every eight ounce glass, a lot, in fact, too much for me and probably anyone else diabetes.   

However, you can cut the juice with water or add it to green drinks. But again, as I forget to remember, its all about portion control.


My own tartar sauce

   I gotta have tartar sauce with my baked fish.  I’m not a Spartan, I’m a New Englander, and there is a limit to the things I’m willing to give up when it comes to fish.  Unfortunately, I don’t eat dairy anymore and almost everything else in store bought tartar is just plain bad for you, so I’ve come up with a substitute.  There are two ways to do this.  One is to mix, in your blender, an avocado with pickles, and a couple of leaves of cabbage, red bell pepper, turmeric, and salt and there you go.  Or for a simple solution, mix half an avocado with a chopped pickle to eat with a midsized (90 calories) piece of fish.          

Diabetes and Stress – How Are They Linked?

I have to keep my figure perfect

Suffering from stress has already been known to provide unwanted effects on the body. But Type 2 Diabetes patients who are under stress actually have an increased risk in becoming unhealthy and acquiring the harms of it. Stress is now considered as one of the leading causes of death as it manifests itself into a wide array of medical conditions.

Stress is defined as a reaction to pressure, both physical and emotional, that is perceived as a form of threat, both real or imagined. This response to threat is also recognized as the “fight or flight” response that is intrinsic in humans.

Stress also affects the body’s blood sugar levels both directly and indirectly. The change in blood sugar level immediately occurs during the “fight or flight” response as the body immediately releases the stress hormones when threat is perceived. This increases your body’s blood sugar levels even if you have not consumed any food.

If you closely monitor your sugar levels, you will notice that it goes up when your stress level increases and it also lowers when your stress levels decreases. This proves that your stress levels and your blood sugar levels are indeed connected.

Knowing how to deal with stress, or stress management, is considered as the best possible way for yo to be able to beat it and lessen how it impacts your health. Know how to control your emotions and reactions and also know how to relax so that you can prevent the occurrence of complications caused by stress especially when diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

One of the best relaxing and physically beneficial methods available is regular exercise. Although it might seem counter-productive as it increases heartbeat, its long-term effects with the body as well as the release of serotonin caused by physical activity can help you reduce stress levels.

Exercise also helps cut down the excess fat in your body, which is dangerous as it affects your blood pressure. Fat can also easily get stored in your mid-section as it affects your health dramatically. As excess fat gets stored in your body’s abdominal area, it has a tendency to crowd your internal organs. The fat you notice externally is just the tip of the iceberg as the fat inside the body disrupts healthy bodily functions.

Carbohydrates are also burnt through exercise. This is very beneficial for diabetics, as this will reduce their risks of acquiring hyperglycemia. In general, exercise is a sure-fire solution to lower your body’s blood sugar levels. It will also help improve your body’s blood circulation, which is another known problem connected to diabetes.

Exercising will also help you reduce the emotional tension and your overall stress levels; this is another benefit you can acquire along with the physical and health improvements. One well-known exercise that involves the combination of breathing and mild exercise is Tai Chi. It is an ancient form of martial arts that is overlooked when it comes to its overall health potential as its graceful and easy-going movements deceive the eye. What most people do not know that meditation is an extremely powerful tool that effectively controls stress. It significantly brings down stress levels and relaxes the body.

A secret in reducing stress levels is to find a form of exercise and meditation that you will take pleasure in doing like reading a book or doing aerobic activities. These exercises will help eliminate the stress, which will be extremely beneficial for those diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes because it will help reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Not to mention, it will also help you manage your health condition.

Diabetes and Insomnia – Are They Linked?

This is one question that has caused countless debates among medical experts. Although plenty of evidence has proven that those who suffer from diabetes also experience insomnia, the possibility of insomnia causing healthy individuals to acquire diabetes remains a question.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology published a study, which shows findings that may surprise you. Although the study conducted was relatively small compared to most of the available medical studies, it was still able to provide relevant understanding on whether insomnia indeed causes diabetes.

Most people understand that being overweight increases the risks of acquiring diabetes. They are also aware that those who have a family history of suffering from diabetes will increase one’s own chance of developing the disease at a certain point in their life.

Individuals suffering from diabetes can acquire insomnia, but how can those individuals suffering from insomnia acquire diabetes? It has been found that healthy individuals who are not able to get adequate amounts of sleep diminishes the body’s ability to proves insulin, thus increasing the chances of acquiring diabetes.

A particularly alarming finding was that even a single night of lack of sleep could significantly increase the chances of a healthy individual to acquire diabetes. The study concludes that a link is present between the ability of an individual’s body to process insulin as well as the quality of rest acquired.

But the study conducted was relatively small. This calls for further clinical researches to reach a definite conclusion. Nevertheless, the findings remain very interesting.

Studies have also been done that links obesity, another related factor to diabetes, and insomnia. This opens up another realm of discussion that explores the possibility of insomnia to indirectly cause diabetes to those who are having weight issues.

Regardless of the final conclusions that are to be made with how insomnia causes diabetes, it has been definite that individuals who generally have poor health have high chance in acquiring insomnia.

These findings encourage individuals suffering from diabetes to look for effective and natural relief such as a change in diet or regular physical activity as both of these can help decrease the chances of acquiring insomnia.

Others might need to search for more comprehensive cures such as over the counter or prescription sleep aid. Some might also consider homeopathic treatment like acupuncture.

Suffering from insomnia disrupts a healthy lifestyle. If not treated as soon as possible, it will also cause more serious problems in the long run.

Does insomnia really cause diabetes? A final conclusion must still be made. Nevertheless, those who are suffering from insomnia should still find the best ways available to cure it. It is always a better idea to be extra sure when it comes to your overall health.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Among Diabetics

Most people, whether they are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or not, have a mistaken understanding with nutritional supplements. Though you might think that you are already eating a healthy and balanced diet, a harsh truth is that only a few come close to eating a true healthy balanced diet. The type of lifestyle people live in contributes to the decreasing quality of the food we eat. Nowadays, most people eat out everyday in fast foods and in most restaurants that also serve processed foods. These type of foods lack in nutrients needed by the body.

Another misconception is the idea that supplements are really not that beneficial and are only a waste of money. Although it is actually true that both vitamins B and C are not meant to be stored by the body and are water soluble, they need to be replaced everyday as they help saturate the metabolic system. Even if excess vitamins from supplements end up in your urine, these vitamins still benefit your body just like prescription medicines.

One of the water soluble vitamins available is vitamin B12 which provides the following benefits:

           Effective metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fat

           Improve the function of iron in the body

           Proper maintenance of a healthy central nervous system

           Healthy folate activity and calcium absorption

           Increase in energy

           Healthy formation and regeneration of red blood cells.

Vitamin B12 can be obtained through the following:

           Through the consumption of tuna, salmon, chicken, milk, and eggs

           Vegan burger patties fortified with Vitamin B12

A certain study, which involved 46 individuals diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and taking either Metformin or Phenformin or both, showed that thirty percent of the said 46 people had vitamin B12 malabsorption. This meant that their bodies had difficulties in absorbing the vitamin, which resulted to the deficiency that continued even when the intake of medications already halted.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include the following:

           arms and legs are weak and sore

           sensory perception and reflexes become slow

           stammering and nervousness

           difficulty in jerking limbs and walking

           inflammation of the nerves

           memory loss and mental slowness

           mood disorders

           unpleasant body odor

Your health care provider can easily monitor your vitamin B12 levels through a blood test. Once found deficient, they can administer vitamin B12 injections under the tongue or through using a patch that can deliver the vitamin to the body. Vitamin B12 is also available in most multivitamin supplements.

Vitamin B2 also helps through decreasing the risk of acquiring cardiovascular disease along with vitamin B6. It is also beneficial for the prevention of diabetic neuropathy, which affects healthy nerve function. Vitamin B12 also aids Type 2 Diabetics that are regularly taking Metformin.


Metformin is an orally-administered medicine intended to treat diabetes by controlling sugar levels in blood.
It is a treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes which is non-insulin dependent. It is occasionally administered in conjunction with insulin or other medicines. Metformin is not intended to treat type 1 diabetes.

Metformin may serve other purposes not found in this medication guide.

The tablet is now regarded as the most recommended antidiabetic prescription medicine in the world.

In 2010, almost 50 million Metfromin prescriptions were issued in the United States only because of its curative formulations.

Important information about metformin

People with allergic reactions to Metformin are not allowed to this kind of treatment. The same is true if your diabetes is in ketoacidosis state, in which case insulin treatment is necessary.

It’s important to notify your doctor about your liver condition or if in case you have a heart disease history, before you take Metformin.

Lactic acidosis may be occur while taking Metformin. The condition can be life threatening if initial symptoms are not remedied in due time. Hospital attention must be sought if a few of these mild symptoms appear like numbness, dizziness and vomiting, unstable blood pressure, stress, stomach and muscle pains and difficulty in breathing.

A few tests were conducted to document how Metformin affects or treats type 2 diabetes. The medicine was proven to lower hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and fasting blood sugar. As a test, HbA1c is conducted to gauge continuing control of blood sugar in diabetes patients. People with no diabetes have about at least 6 percent HbA1c levels which are just normal; diabetes patients have greater levels in this regard.

Reminder prior to taking Metformin

As previously mentioned, a fatal condition known as lactic acidosis may be induced on few people while medicating with Metformin. You are more prone to this condition if you have major organ diseases, or when you get dehydrated, or when you drink too much alcohol. Consult a doctor about your personal risk.

You won’t be allowed to undergo Metformin medication if you have allergies to the said medicine. Similarly, you would rather see a doctor for insulin treatment rather than take the drug if you have ketoacidosis.

In order to ascertain if taking Metformin is safe for you, disclose your medical history to your doctor.

Methods of Storing Metformin

The medicine should be kept at dry and room temperature. Keep the tablets in an airtight bottle.

Keep the drug and other medicines beyond children’s reach.

If I Missed A Dose of Metformin, What Should I Do?

If you missed a dose in medication’s schedule, take your next dosage as soon as possible. If the time for your dose is so close to the next, don’t take the missed dose and go on with the standard schedule. Never take two doses at the same time.

 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Metformin

1. Metformin can stop the progression of pre-diabetes to Type 2 diabetes. Through its use, along with proper diet and exercise, this one of a kind drug can do wonders.

2. Metformin can possibly help solve weight loss problems. The substance allows the cells in the body become more sensitive towards insulin, allowing the body to use less insulin for the transport of sugar as well as fat. Similar drugs like Avandia (rosiglitazone) and Actos (pioglitazone) also provide the same effects, but they possess a side effect that promotes fat cell development.

3. The smell of Metformin might be a problem to you as most Type 2 diabetic patients complain that its odour is similar to mothballs or raw fish. What you can do is to remove the dose of the Metformin you will be taking and leave it out of the bottle for about five minutes to remove the unwanted odour.

4. A side effect of Metformin is vitamin B12 deficiency, which occurs due to long-term use of the substance. To avoid this side effect while continuously using Metformin for an extended period, you can take vitamin B supplements regularly to ensure you won’t become vitamin B12 deficient.

5. Magnesium deficiency is also another possible side effect of prolonged Metformin intake. Regular intake of minimal doses of magnesium supplement is advised, which is equivalent to less than 100 milligrams of magnesium thrice per day. You can also choose to increase the amount of green leafy vegetables in your diet as they contain adequate amounts of magnesium. Avoid over dosage of magnesium as well as Metformin as this causes diarrhoea.

6. Teenagers suffering from Type 2 diabetes can be effectively treated with Metformin. Together with regular exercise, teenagers can expect significant loss of excess body fat without worrying about stunted growth and hormonal development.

7. The body’s insulin resistance, which can be caused by MSG or monosodium glutamate, can be moderately equalized by Metformin. MSG is commonly added as flavouring in prepared foods, bouillon cubes, canned soups, frozen dinners, and broths. To save on money and to ensure you are eating healthy, you should choose to just cook your own meals.

8. Not all people suffering diabetes are allowed to use Metformin. Your doctor will not advise you to take this drug if you are suffering from PAD or peripheral arterial disease or any kind of disorder related to blood clotting to avoid increased clot risks.

9. Both Metformin and Glucophage contain the same chemicals. However, there are diabetics who respond more positively with Glucophage. The Glucophage-XR is a time-release version of metformin. This costs about US$100 to $200 per month more than Metformin. This particular version is greatly beneficial for diabetics that are able to successfully control their meals. If you are the type that tends to overeat, this version won’t be able to provide you with any blood sugar control benefits.

10. Go ask your doctor for an increased dosage of Metformin if you are advised to take other medications than insulin and are taking less than 850 milligrams of Metformin thrice per day. You can save thousands of dollars per year when you choose to use Metformin instead of other more expensive medications as they can both provide you with the same blood sugar controlling effects.

Metformin Side Effects and Warning Signs

Metformin is the only prescription drug which is classified as a Biguanide. It is used in managing Type II diabetes when the body’s high blood sugar levels are not properly controlled through exercise and diet, and in some cases, some patients use Metformin along with other anti-diabetic drugs like glyburide and insulin. Metformin helps in reducing the amount of sugar or glucose that is produced by the liver so as for the body to have normal levels. The drug also helps to increase sensitivity to insulin, making the body to use it in an effective way which is especially helpful in cases of insulin resistance.

Metformin has produced good results in diabetic patients as it helps in reducing the blood insulin levels from the reduction in the absorption of carbohydrates through the intestines. It reduces the rate at which the liver produces glucose and increases the sensitivity of the muscle cells to insulin. All is not about good news. There are different Metformin side effects that people have experienced from time to time, and they vary from individual to another because of different body factors.

Some of the most common Metformin side effects are:

           Abnormal stools

           Changes in taste

           Muscle pain

           Difficulty breathing

           Lightheadedness or dizziness

           Nail problems

           Flu-like symptoms such as muscle pain, fever, chills, and weakness

           Feelings of a rapidly or forcefully beating heart (heart palpitations).

           Flushing (a skin reddening, commonly on the face)

           Increased sweating

           Increased thirst

Other important Metformin side effects are:

1. Signs of allergic reaction, including unexplained skin itching, rash, wheezing, or difficulty in breathing, hives, or unexplained swelling.

2. Metformin can cause electrolyte disturbances which make the body to function in an acidic environment. This is regarded as Lactic Acidosis, which can be sudden and severe. Lactic acidosis takes place when there is increased level of lactic acid in the body of the diabetes patient when the drug is used in inhibiting the process of hepatic gluconeogenesis (the process that produces glucose). It also reduces the intake of lactate by the liver. The problem can easily be experienced when an individual who is having kidney problems or impaired renal functions takes the drug. The drug and lactate will then build up to cause lactic acidosis, but the incidence is just 10 in every 100,000 people, a significantly lower number, which may cause people to be worried.

3.Metformin may also cause the reduction in the absorption of Vitamin B12. Around 7 out of 100 patients are likely to experience a reduced level of Vitamin B12, but the good thing is that the doctor can easily monitor the levels to know whether or not Vitamin B12 injections would be necessary.

4. Metformin can also cause impaired kidney and liver functions. This always happens when the patient takes an overdose of the drug, causing the weakness of the liver for excess dealing with the drug. The same thing will also happen to the kidney. In extreme cases, it is possible for the kidney and liver to stop working completely, leading to a lot of complications in the patient.

5. The drug is also capable of affecting the level of certain hormones in the body. For instance, and overdose may lead to a reduction in the blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormones, especially if the individual has a history of suffering from hypothyroidism. It can also cause a reduction of the blood level in testosterone and luteinizing hormones found in men.

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.

How Does Heart Attack Survivors Respond to Taking Metformin?

A study was made in the Cardiology Unit of the Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which involved a group of researchers that aimed to discover how heart attack survivors that were diagnosed with diabetes respond to different types of treatments. On February 2011, the results of their findings were published in a journal named Diabetologia.

Included in the study were 1,145 patients that were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and had also suffered and survived a heart attack. These patients where divided into three different groups.

1.         The first group where administered with insulin

2.         The second group where administered with insulin along with conventional treatment

3.         The third group were only provided with conventional treatment for 2.1 years

All of the patients were monitored at an average of 4.1 years. The study showed that the number of fatal heart attacks during the monitoring period was the same in the three groups. However, non-fatal heart attack rates differed. The highest rate of heart attacks that were non-fatal was in the group treated with insulin. The group who received conventional treatment had the lowest risk in death from cancer while the group that were administered with Metformin both had low risks in death from heart attack and from cancer compared to the other patients from the other groups.

Metformin, which is available in tablet form and is commonly known as Fortamet, Glucophage, or Glucophage CR is used to lower blood sugar levels. Individuals diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes commonly use it and it can also be used to prevent the acquisition of Type 2 Diabetes for those who have high risk in acquiring it. A study done in Canada shows that the use of both Avandia and Metformin helped decrease the risk of diabetes in volunteers who were pre-diabetic.

This medicine is commonly taken once, twice, or three times per day depending on your doctor’s prescription. A dosage of 500 milligrams twice per day or 850 milligrams once per day is the usual dose. Moreover, the dosage can be increased gradually mainly depending on how the blood sugar levels in the body react to the dosage.

The following effects are caused by the regular intake of Metformin:

           The intestinal absorption of sugar is lessened

           Insulin released by the pancreas is increased

           Sugar production in the liver is decreased

           Muscles and fat cells respond to insulin and efficiently take in the needed sugar.

In general, Metformin is considered safe to use, but it can also provide some side effects to someof its users. The most serious side effect that can be caused is lactic acidosis, which will have the following symptoms:


           cool or bluish skin

           fatigue and muscle pains

           dizziness , sleepiness, or nausea

           difficulty in breathing / fast shallow breathing

           irregular or slow heartbeats

           pain in the abdominal area

           diarrhoea or vomiting

Although it is a rare case, Metformin might also cause hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar. This condition often occurs when Metformin is used along other anti-diabetic drugs. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia include unexplainable hunger, tingling sensations in the hands and feet, sweating, involuntary shaking, and heartbeat.

Patients that have kidney problems should use Metformin cautiously as the body excretes it through urine. It is advised that patients, especially the elderly should first take some tests to determine their kidney functions and whether the medication is safe for use. Patients who will also undergo X-ray procedures are advised to temporarily stop taking Metformin for a few days before they undergo the X-ray scan.