Signs Metformin Treatment Is Working Effectively, Side Effects, and Precautions

signs metformin is working

Signs metformin is working will clarify if the medicine is working for you or if you need a replacement. Metformin is used to treat type-2 diabetes and balance your blood glucose levels.

Studies show that metformin is the best medication to treat type-2 diabetes. There are studies that prove that this medicine is effective and tolerable for patients suffering from the disease.

If you have been recently detected and you are on metformin, you need to know about the Signs Metformin Treatment Is Working. It will help you identify if your body is responding to the medication or if you need something else.

Signs metformin is working can also bring side effects alongside. So, you need to weigh what is working and what isn’t to take care of your overall well being.

Signs metformin is working

You may be curious about the mechanism of action of metformin as well as its potential beneficial effects on your everyday life. The six symptoms listed below show the signs metformin is working and effectively lowering hyperglycemia.

Here are the top signs that metformin is working:

1. Better glycemic control

Improved glycemic control is possible with more mastery over rises in blood sugar. Metformin helps the body make better use of its insulin and glucose levels again, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.

2. Enhances Vitality

When your blood sugar levels stabilise over the long term, metformin will supply you with energy. Your brain and other organs get more sugar-based energy because your body can take in glucose with greater efficiency. Increased cellular energy to combat cancer-causing free radicals that are in the bloodstream is another way that increased energy can lower cancer risk.

3. Reduced Appetite

A lack of digested energy from glucose for your body’s organs will cause your brain to indicate that you need to eat more. Feeling less hungry is a natural sign that metformin is having its desired effect, however this can last a few days. You won’t feel the urge to eat as frequently since your body will convert glucose into power more efficiently.

4. Fewer Trips to the Lavatory

Glucose levels in the blood rise when the body is unable to absorb glucose normally, as happens in people with diabetes. You feel the need to drink more fluids because your kidneys are working harder to eliminate the sugar from your system.

Metformin may cause you to urinate less frequently than usual. Feeling less thirsty is a direct result of the decreased glucose in your blood, which in turn reduces pee production.

5. Weight Loss

If you have been taking metformin for quite some time, it should also start reflecting in your weight. Along with taking the diabetic diet, you must lose the extra pounds with the help of metformin. Weight loss helps manage diabetes better and keeps your diet in check. It is a healthy sign if you are eating the right kinds of food. One indicator that metformin is having the desired effect is a slight moderate to significant reduction in body weight. You won’t put as much sugar in the fat cells when your body gets better at processing sugar. This adverse impact is good news for those who are overweight or who have gained weight while taking other drugs.

6. Lower levels of HbA1c

If you have diabetes, you must check your blood sugar levels regularly. Many blood sugar testing kits are available in the market that will let you check the levels at home. However, if you aren’t comfortable doing it at home, you can always check it at any lab.

A quarterly check-up is mandatory if you are a diabetic person. The doctor will ask you for an HbA1c report. It will reflect your blood levels for the last quarter.

Ideally, your glucose levels should come down after a month on metformin, along with the lifestyle changes prescribed by your doctor. Hence it is important to follow up with a test every three months.

If reports suggest no significant decrease after taking medications and restricting diet, you should consult a doctor. There are chances of medicine replacement or an increase in dosage.

7. Lower sugar levels

Being a diabetic, metformin is prescribed to you to maintain your sugar levels. But if it is not helping you in lowering your glucose levels, then you have to inform your doctor immediately. High sugar levels may lead to other chronic diseases.

If you have diabetes, it’s recommended that you test your blood sugar levels once a day. Within a few days of starting metformin, follow-up blood tests will indicate improved balance.

Metformin trains your body to react differently to glucose, which leads to steadily decreasing blood glucose levels over time. The frequency of severe spikes will decrease as time goes on.

You already know the signs metformin is working, but what are the signs metformin is not working? It usually should take a couple of months for things to show up after taking any medication except steroids.

Signs metformin is not working

The possibility of adverse effects is inherent with metformin, yet this does not mean the medicine is not having the desired effect. So, can metformin stop working? Yes it can. Get medical help if any of these side effects worsen or persist after a couple of weeks of using it.

Let’s see the below signs metformin not working, which will help you to decide to switch on your doctor or medicines:

1. Stubborn high sugar levels

Being a diabetic, your sugar levels will always be high after meals. Your doctor prescribed you metformin for the sole purpose of controlling the spike. But even after taking metformin, if your sugar levels are not controlled, you need new medication. Get yourself a home testing kit to track your sugar levels.

Metformin helps patients better control their blood sugar levels and prevent dangerous surges. Get in touch with your doctor if you are worried about experiencing blood sugar rises in the days or weeks after starting your medication, even though you are on a low-to-no-sugar diet and exercising every day.

2. Increased hunger

Your hunger pangs should ideally not increase when you start consuming metformin. If you lose energy, you will likely feel hungry. But if your activity levels remain the same you should not feel hungrier. It might be a sign of high sugar levels in your body.

If you’re constantly hungry, it’s because your body isn’t using glucose for energy. Get in touch with your physician if you have any concerns about this adverse effect. Overeating could be a sign that your body isn’t responding well to metformin or that your dosage is too high.

3. HbA1c is still the same

Metformin takes couple of months to show results in HbA1c reports. Hence, if your reports aren’t improving even after taking metformin for three months, you need to a routine checkup.

4. Frequent urination

This is a very common sign of being diabetic. But it should ideally control after taking metformin. If it continues, it means the medication isn’t working.

5. Sweet breath

Fruity smell could be a really funny thing to experience, but it is an indication that shows you have a high glucose level in your body.

6. Fatigue

With high sugar levels, you may feel very tired all the time. Feeling lazy and disinterested to work are other common signs of high glucose levels in the body. When it educates the human body to convert glucose, metformin offers you energy. It may be a sign that your medication isn’t having the desired effect if you feel exhausted after taking it.

7. Gaining weight

Metformin frequently causes people to lose weight. The glucose sensitivity may have persisted if you continue to put on weight even after making significant changes to your food and activity habits.

8. Increases thirst

Metformin works by enhancing glucose absorption, which should lead to less thirstiness once you begin taking it. An indication that the medicine isn’t having the desired effect is consuming more fluids than normal.

9. Migraines

Blood artery dilatation tightens and blood flow to the cerebral cortex increases in response to low blood sugar. Metformin is supposed to reduce headache frequency; nevertheless, if you continue to get migraines after a few weeks or days after starting your dosage, you should contact your doctor.

 If you take too little metformin initially, it could not have any effect. For optimal results, your doctor may decide to raise your dosage once or twice. Additional treatment choices may be discussed by your doctor after reviewing your medical history. Not seeing results from metformin is not necessarily a bad sign. There are better alternatives available through other sources.

Signs metformin is working for PCOS

Are you concerned about PCOS and whether metformin has something to do with it?

Well, now we know that metformin balances the glucose levels in your body and is prescribed to people with diabetes. But there is more to it; this drug also helps aid PCOS.

PCOS is a condition that impacts hormones and menstrual cycle in women. It mostly occurs between the childbearing or reproductive age in females. Sometimes it may cause infrequent or long periods with high levels of male hormones known as androgens.

There are also possibilities that you may have developed cysts or small follicles in your ovaries that disturb the reproductive system.

Here are some positive signs that metformin is working for PCOS:

1. Lower insulin levels

The main cause of PCOS is high insulin levels in your body. Metformin helps regularize insulin levels, resulting in treating PCOS. Metformin also has a great effect on the fatty tissue of the body.

2. Regular periods

The main problem you face with PCOS is irregular periods. With regular medication and diet, you will have regular periods. So, even after having metformin, you must check with your doctor if your periods aren’t normal.

3. Low BMI

You might need to take metformin if you have high BMI leading to obesity and diabetes. So, metformin may help bring the BMI under normal levels, along with proper diet and workout.

4. No more acne

Acne is one of the signs of PCOS. Metformin helps in regularizing your hormones and balancing a healthy reproductive system. So, once you start taking metformin, you may also see a decrease in acne on your face because of the reduction of male hormones in your body.

Side effects of metformin

Every medication has a side effect at the start, and the same with metformin. As you start the medicine, you may likely get the below side effects. Let’s see what those are:

1. Drastic weight loss

Drastic weight loss could be alarming since it is a clear sign of chronic drop in sugar level, which needs to be attended urgently. Also, if you are on a diabetic diet, working out religiously, and taking medications, your weight should come down slowly. But metformin may sometimes act strange causing drastic changes.

2. Diarrhea

If you are new to metformin, there are even chances of having a stomach upset. This should usually go in two days, but if it’s still continuing, you should check with your doctor for alternatives.

3. Headache

Having a mild headache is a very common effect of metformin. This is mainly because of the insulin levels that are getting low. This is something you should not be worried about.

4. Vomiting and nausea

When the sugar levels go down in your body because of metformin in your body it is normal to feel pukish and nauseous. Do not panic; it is ok.

5. Gas

You may have to take another medicine along with metformin for gas and bloating. Sometimes your body may not be able to digest metformin.

6. Bitter taste

Your tastebud may not like metformin, which is why you may have a bitter taste in your mouth. To be honest, any medicine that you take will have a bitter taste and not just metformin.

7. Anemia or B12 deficiency

In very rare cases, anemia or B12 deficiency is also seen. But in this case, you must speak to your doctor for any alternative if required.

Food habits that show signs metformin is working

With a healthy lifestyle change along with metformin, you may lose about 8-10 pounds. But there are some great food habits that could help metformin work easier and even more efficiently:

1. Healthy fats

Having a moderate-fat diet is apt when you have diabetes. Now like you have healthier options in carbs, there is good fat as well. Start including nuts, fish, and avocado in your diet. You may also switch to olive oil instead of regular vegetable oils, which have unsaturated fats. This healthy fat will keep your sugar and cholesterol in control.

2. Complex carbohydrates

With diabetes, you must make smart and healthy choices. For example, instead of normal rice, you can always choose brown rice. This will help your body work a little longer to convert the carbs. Likewise, many options are available that are complex carbohydrates, for example, oats, multigrain bread, quinoa, and much more. These options will regularize your glucose levels and keep your gut healthy.

3. Lean proteins

You must already know how important protein is for your body. But with diabetes having lean protein is best for you. Instead of red meat, try having chicken, turkey, and fish. These will help in controlling your glucose levels and work efficiently with metformin. If you are a vegetarian, you can have tofu for protein.

4. Fiber

Having enough fiber is very important for your body. You must include leafy vegetables like kale and spinach into your diet to have a healthy digestive system. If you do not have enough fiber in your body, metformin will take a much to work in your body, along with high doses. Do not go for supplements; try adding food that is high in fiber, as supplements and metformin might act funny together.

Severity from metformin

Did you know if your body starts excessive production of metformin, it is a serious issue that needs to be handled? Lactic acidosis is a life-threatening condition that should be treated immediately. When too much metformin is developed in the body, it starts lowering the blood pressure and oxygen levels in the body.

The most common symptoms of lactic acidosis are:

  • Palpitation
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble in breathing
  • Feeling hot
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate

Do not ever forget to take your medicines and never overdose on them. If you have a kidney condition, inform your doctor before taking metformin.

Things to avoid with metformin

Being a diabetic or not, avoidance of the below food habits will help you lead a healthier life. However, if you are on metformin, the below list makes the work slower for the medicine to start working in your body:

1. Alcohol

Regular drinking harms your health, and metformin worsens it. And if you have any kind of liver or kidney issues, you must avoid drinking altogether.

2. Saturated fat

Did you know that if you do not have control over your diabetes, there are chances you will develop cardiovascular disease? Nobody wants a heart condition.

No matter how many medicines you have, changing your lifestyle is the most important step with any medication. Too much red meat, cheese, butter, etc., can make the work for metformin tougher. Hence to live a healthy life, avoid saturated fat in your diet.

3. Refined carbs

The main job of metformin is to lower glucose levels. But if you add too much-refined carbs to your diet, metformin works slower, and it doesn’t help how it should.

You must avoid candy, chocolates, white rice, soda, white bread, chips, desserts, etc. Anything that spikes your glucose levels should be avoided.

Starchy vegetables should be substituted with non-starchy options like cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and leafy greens. Starch does no good when you have diabetes.

4. Sodium

Salt is important, but anything in excess is the problem. Excessive consumption of sodium increases the chances of getting high blood pressure. If you have diabetes, you are just increasing the chances. Having a controlled amount will help to keep everything on track.

5. Trans fat

Like saturated fat, trans fat is also bad for your body. Anything that comes in a packet contains trans-fat.

What to Do if Metformin does not work?

After recommending lifestyle changes or treatments such as a healthier diet, more frequent exercise, and reduced body fat, metformin is frequently prescribed. The inability of metformin to regulate blood sugar levels raises the risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, peripheral artery disease, ischemic stroke, ongoing kidney failure, diabetic retinal degeneration, diabetic neuropathy, cataracts, and glaucoma among other complications.

A rise in dosage may be recommended by your doctor if metformin’s effectiveness has been diminished. So, how long does it take metformin to work? We must say, Before increasing the dosage of your prescription, it might be helpful to start with a lesser dose and wait a few weeks for it to take effect.

Your primary healthcare physician may suggest a new medicine if increasing the dosage has no effect or even makes your symptoms worse. Here are some common options:

  • DPP-41 Inhibitors: Nesina (alogliptin), Tradjenta (linagliptin), Januvia (sitagliptin), Onglyza (saxagliptin)
  • Actos (Pioglitazone)
  • GLP1- Agonsits: Byetta (exenatide), Bydureon (exenatide), Saxenda (liraglutide), Adlyxin (lixisenatide) and Mounjaro (tirzepatide)
  • Injectable Insulin 
  • SGLT2 Inhibitors: Farxiga (dapagliflozin), Invokana (canagliflozin), Steglatro (ertugliflozin) and Jardiance (empagliflozin)
  • Sulfonylureas: Glynase (glyburide), Amaryl (glimepiride), and Glucotrol (glipizide)

If metformin or other prescriptions aren’t what’s best for you, your doctor might possibly suggest other courses of action. If you have a doubt, if Has Stopped Working or not. Incretin-based therapies can be helpful after meals, insulin therapy can provide relief in as little as 30 minutes.

Final Thoughts

As you come to the end of this article, now you know how metformin works and when it doesn’t. Are you thinking how long does it take metformin to work? Checkout the FAQs below. If you are on metformin, you need not worry; it is just a drug to stabilize certain conditions in your body. Make small changes in your lifestyle and see the difference. You may not have to be on meds anymore.

Frequently Asked Question

Q1.How long does it take for metformin to work?

Ans. Blood sugar levels do not immediately drop while using metformin. After taking the medicine, the effects normally become apparent 48 hours later, with the most notable effects appearing 4-5 days later. And this is how you will understand how long does metformin take to work.

Q2. Can I take an extra metformin if my sugar is high?

Ans. There are signs metformin is not working. If you overindulge Excessive metformin dosage might have detrimental effects. Among them is stomach discomfort. diarrhoea.

Q3. How long does it take for metformin to work?

Ans. During the first week of medication, metformin normally begins to lower blood sugar (glucose) levels; however, it can take up to three months to see its full effects.

Q4. What are the Signs metformin is working?

Ans. If you check at home, 

  • Decrease blood sugar levels after eating.
  • Reduced levels of HbA1c, a marker of long-term control
  • minimal weight loss, or usually no weight gain (metformin ought to be used in conjunction with regular exercise as well as a nutritious diet).Q5. How fast does metformin work?

Several patients ask how fast does metformin work? However, millions of people who have type 2 diabetes – when metformin doesn’t instantly lower their blood sugar. It might take 4 or 5 days experiencing the full advantage, based on the dosage.