Patients with Type-1 diabetes need to monitor their blood glucose levels constantly. Type 1 diabetes occurs due to the destruction of cells that produce insulin in the patient’s body. Insulin, in turn, is is the hormone responsible for glucose regulation. Patients need to receive regular insulin injections to compensate for the reduced amount of insulin that is produced in their body.
Insulin injections have been reported to cause a number of complications in Type 1 diabetes patients. Two worrisome complications include weight gain and hypoglycemia (lower than normal glucose levels). Insulin resistance may also develop, which prevents the body from accepting and utilizing the injected insulin. Hence, further improvements to the patient’s treatment protocol are required.
Metformin is an oral agent that works to reduce hyperglycemia (the increase in blood glucose levels). It is typically prescribed for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes as it increases the insulin sensitivity in the body and improves insulin activity. Although metformin has been proven to reduce the complications of Type-2 diabetes, its effect on Type 1 diabetes patients is still under scientific investigation.
Advantages of Metformin in Insulin Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes
Researchers are currently investigating the effect of adding metformin to the insulin dose given to Type 1 diabetes patients. The studies have revealed that, over the course of 1 year, including metformin in the treatment of type 1 diabetes may help reduce the average blood glucose levels. This reduces the insulin dosage required. It has also contributed to weight reduction, which is a desirable outcome for Type 1 diabetes patients, along with limiting the progression of atherosclerosis and controlling LDL-cholesterol levels. This means that introducing metformin contributes to reducing long-term risks of cardiovascular diseases. Studies also concluded that this approach might help to improve the life expectancy of Type-1 diabetes patients.