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I have just been told today by my doctor that I have to go on metformin for my blood sugar control.  What is this medication and why does he think it is right for me?  How long do I have to be on it?  I would ask my doc but he always makes me feel little, like I am dumb or something.  I don't feel comfortable asking him any questions for fear he will look at me like I am a child. 

So how does metformin work in my body.  Is it like an insulin in pilll form?  How do I know if it is working or not?  How many days does a person usually take it for before it starts working on the blood sugar lowering?  I hope there is someone that can answer my questions for me so I don't have to ask him.


Metformin seems to be the drug on choice for many doctors who have diabetic patients that cannot control their blood sugars by diet and exercise alone.  It works by stimulating the beta cells on the pancreas to secrete more insulin in response to the glucose rises in the bloodstream.  Metformin is not insulin itself, but it acts on the pancreas to help it work better.  It is much better for the body to produce its own insulin for its metabolic needs rather than using exogenous insulin. You will be continuing to monitor your blood sugars and should note a difference in blood sugars within a day to a few days.  You will stay on this medication until it no longer works for you.  It is not something that cures your diabetes; it only helps you to manage it and hopefully, for a long time before you ever need insulin.  The need for insulin is warranted when your pancreas no longer can produce its own.