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Q.

Glipizide vs Metformin as a medication for type 2 diabetes?

I understand that Glipizide stimulates the production of more insulin by the pancreas in order to control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes; that metformin helps to decrease insulin resistance helping the body to absorb the sugar taking it out of the blood faster.  Which is better?  Will the pancreas eventually stop production of insulin from constant over stimulation by taking Glipizide daily?  Is there a down side to Metformin also?

 

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Internal Medicine
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A.

There's no simple answer to your question, however, the absolute best option for anyone with type 2 diabetes is exercise and weight management.

 

Here's a short synopsis: by the time you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes around 50% of your beta cells are lost [ and your body's resistance to the action of insulin has been longstanding].

 

The decline in beta cell function is predictable. It's an absolute fact that treatment of type 2 diabetes with one drug alone won't work to control blood sugars. The decline continues regardless of therapy with metformin or sulfonylureas drugs like XYZ. However, lifestyle changes like diet and exercise seem to slow the loss of beta cell function by improving insulin sensitivity. Other drugs may also stabilize beta cells.

 

After we eat, insulin works primarily on muscles. Muscles are also the primary site of insulin resistant.  By engaging in routine physical activity we use muscles which uses sugar as a source of energy.  We also burn excess fat. Together these actions result in less insulin resistant, improved insulin function, and fitness.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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