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What Not To Eat With Metformin? Learn Here

Metformin, marketed under the trade names Glucophage and others, is the most common first choice medicine for type 2 diabetes, particularly in overweight adults. It’s also used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It is taken by mouth and is not linked to weight gain.

What not to eat with metformin? You should avoid large volumes and amounts of alcohol, control your carb intake, avoid large quantities of fiber, limit sugar consumption, types of grain that may raise blood sugar levels, are all reccomended to keep your diabetes in check.

All diabetes drugs are generally designed to monitor and control blood sugar levels. However, metformin is especially designed to help increase insulin sensitivity, making your body’s response to insulin more acute and effective. These insulin levels are also known for helping you lose weight.

Insulin sensitivity is important for most diabetes medications, which involve insulin as a core component. Weight loss is not the only side effect however, and you should be striving to achieve a healthy diet if you suffer from diabetes. 

What is Metformin?

Metformin is an insulin based oral drug designed to treat PCOS and type two diabetes. However, metformin levels can fluctuate depending on your eating. As such, as metformin diet is reccomended, although a set dietary list doesn’t exactly exist.

Instead, you are given a list of suggestions for things to look out for and monitor, much like blood glucose levels are already carefully monitored in diabetics. Also similar to blood glucose levels, the solutions usually revolve around cutting certain foods out rather than fitting new foods in. 

While patients with type one diabetes control their glucose with insulin injections, type two diabetics can take metformin. Type two can take injections for blood sugar control, but it is less necessary. Optimum blood sugar levels are easier to handle as a type two.

Keeping suitable levels of blood sugar by avoiding sugary drinks might sound easy, but it’s not just sugary drinks (like energy drinks) causing problems here. Rises in blood sugar can occur from avariety of foods, and diet choice you may believe are otherwise healthy. 

The liberation of sugar, for instance, done by the liver releases is an important step in the blood sugar process. Foods which prevent storing or liberating sugar can lead to health complications and liver issues, associated with a lack of liberation of sugar into the blood. Too low or too high, and blood glucose can cause serious issues and prevent a healthy liver.

Side Effects of Metformin

Metformin may pose a risk factor if taken in conjunction with other prescription medications. If you are taking other medications, then make sure your healthcare provider is aware. Your healthcare provider should know if it is safe to mix metformin with your current prescriptions. 

Some of these conflicting medications can include oral contraceptives. Sexual health is as important as any other part of your body or lifestyle, so make sure you’re aware of potential issues with your contraception if you’re committing to metformin for long term use.

Like any insulin treatment, you may find your body develops a severe insulin resistance. This will make metformin less effective, and you may need to revert to taking insulin via injection. Different levels of insulin and varying strength doses may restore some sensitivity to insulin however. 

As well as the release of insulin, metformin is known to cause nausea. Nausea is a stomach ache that causes you to desire to vomit. It’s a dull or acute sensation that makes you feel like you need to vomit. It can be extremely unpleasant but one of many gastric side effects. 

Other common side effects include vomiting. It may cause a variety of negative effects, including vomiting, in those who take it. However, the good news is that most of these adverse effects are minor. Metformin-induced vomiting is typically not dangerous and only lasts a few days.

Constipation side effects are common, but you may experience potential side effects on the complete other end. Diarrhea is one of the bowel side effects you may be familiar with, but familiarity doesn’t make it any more comfortable than the others. 

Stomach aches and pains from stomach side effects are easier to treat, but still not very rare. These uncomfortable side effects usually appear after a few days of taking the medicine and can be treated with lifestyle adjustments and over-the-counter treatments.

Putting gastrointestinal side effects aside, head aches may be a common experience under metformin. These signs and uncomfortable side effects are generally modest and go away over time. You should consult your doctor if they become severe or persist for an extended period of time.

Foods to Avoid While on Metformin

Having maybe a drink per day of alcohol or a sugary drink (such as coffee drinks) can be fine for diabetics, but excessive amounts will cause serious issues. Especially in those with existing conditions such as poor kidney function or congestive heart failure. 

Carb consumption can cause issues in raising blood sugar. Complex carbs and simple carbs should have a limited intake, to keep your glucose down. Refined grains and other refined carbs are a great way of slowing down carb metabolization, easing your body into a sustainable carbohydrate intake. 

Healthy, low glycemic carbs are available, but complex carbohydrates are ever present in all kinds of food. Depending on the speed of your carb metabolism, your carb consumption can be problematic even with refined carbs. You can even get carbs from vegetables and white bread!

Lots of fiber can decrease the effectiveness of metformin. Moderate fiber consumption may be fine, but it should rarely exceed more than thirty grams per day. This thirty grams per day threshold is ideal for fiber in moderation, and gets in necessary dietary fiber. 

Thirty grams of fiber per day is considered a moderate intake of fiber. Refined grains, much like carbs, can act as a lower fiber, lower nutrient grain. Keeping your moderate fiber intake while still enjoying fiber foods. 

Alcohol and Metformin

Alcohol consumption can negatively affect your body at the best of times, but the intake of alcohol in combination with metformin can be extremely dangerous. Alcohol in moderation is fine, but more excessive consumption can be fatal!

Chronic alcohol abuse or excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to lactic acidosis, an increase in lactic acid production. While the accumulation of lactate is a core compound of lactic acid and blood, excessive lactic acid can essentially give you blood poisoning. An excess of lactic acid and buildup of lactate is therefore very dangerous. 

Personal alcohol consumption should be monitored as closely as blood sugar levels for those with diabetes, and large amounts of alcohol should be avoided entirely. An excess of alcohol, much like over production of lactic acid, can end up being toxic to your body through lactic acidosis and a high quantity of lactate.

The factor of alcohol intake in giving rise to lactic acidosis can’t be understated. The production of lactic acid can be great for other conditions, but on metformin it can easily get out of hand and lead to metformin related lactic acidosis. 

Metformin associated lactic acidosis can be difficult to treat without stalling your prescription drug treatment, potentially making your existing conditions worse. Your lactic acid production with diabetes medication should not be wasted with the factor of alcohol consumption.

Generally speaking, the safe level for the intake of alcohol is two drinks per day for men, and one drink per day for women. Using this general guideline to monitor your own body, much like a diabetic might already monitor blood sugar levels, is an important step for your own safety. 

Supplements to Reduce Side Effects

Insulin doses may not always work for those with type two diabetes, and it is suggested that they take vitamin B12 supplements with metformin. A B12 defficieny can cause serious problems such as nerve damage, but can be difficult to ingest on a low sugar diet. 

Metformin itself however is a great supplement. In fact, taking the drug can seriously boost your health and lower risk factors for eye damage, kidney failure, and heart disease. Long term weight loss will leave you feeling healthier as well. Providing you follow the diet guidelines. 

Foods to Try With Metformin

If you’re tired of weghing your grams per day for fiber in moderation, or milligrams per day for sodium, then there are foods with positive effects. For this type of diabetes medication, it can be easy to fit in a healthy lifestyle with healthy unsaturated fats like olive oil. 

Oral diabetes medication should be taken with a meal, rather than before or after, according to most diabetes specialists. Diabetes prevention is unfortunately not possible if you’ve already developed type two, but a diabetes management plan with natural diabetes treatments can keep you healthy and happy. 

While the consumption of fiber in excess is not suggested by any diabetes expert, at least for metformin where high amounts of fiber can restrict the absorption of the drug, diabetes care can still be done with food. And we’re not talking about a moderate fiber consumption anymore.

People with type two diabetes with natural insulin production thanks to metformin can see the effects of grapefruit. Grapefruit effects typically encourage the body to absorb metformin better, increasing the drug’s effectiveness. 

Nonstarchy vegetables and leafy greens are excellent replacements for the complex grains and carbohydrates you should be avoiding. Whole grain bread, brown rice, and white rice can all be substituted with beans and a salad. 

Natural alternatives are generally the healthier way to live according to any healthcare professional. So while looking for whole grain alternatives, why not devise meal plans. An optimal diet will require planning around your antidiabetic medicine, especially a low-glycemic diet where your medicine cabinet is as important as your fridge. 

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