Going Back on Metformin: Diabetes Questions & Answers


Q: I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes[1] four years ago. I used metformin[2] for about two years, and when my A1C[3] came down to normal, my doctor said I didn’t need it anymore. Everything was fine for a while, but now my glucose readings are starting to go up. Is it possible to not need medication and then suddenly need it again?

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A: It seems like the one constant in life is change. Diabetes is no different. What used to work fine may not work so well anymore. Type 2 diabetes is a “progressive” condition, meaning that it becomes more challenging to manage as time goes on. This is because our bodies naturally become less sensitive to insulin[5], and the pancreas may lose the ability to produce sufficient amounts of insulin as we age.

There is nothing wrong with resuming use of a medication or (with your doctor’s advice) changing the dose or adding additional medications. The important thing is that your blood sugars stay as close to normal[6] as possible. That’s necessary for preventing long-term health problems and helping you to feel and perform your best every day. And don’t forget that you can make a tremendous difference on your own by eating right[7], exercising[8], keeping stress levels in-check[9] and getting enough sleep[10]. These all contribute to better blood sugar control and a happier, healthier you!

Want to learn more about metformin? Read “What to Know About Metformin,”[11] “Diabetes Medicine: Metformin,”[12] and “Metformin: The Unauthorized Biography.”[13]

  1. type 2 diabetes: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/diabetes-resources/definitions/type-2-diabetes/
  2. metformin: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/what-to-know-about-metformin/
  3. A1C: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/blood-glucose-management/h-b-a-1-c/
  4. sign up for our free newsletter: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/newsletter/
  5. insulin: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/what-does-insulin-do/
  6. blood sugars stay as close to normal: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/blood-glucose-management/blood-sugar-chart/
  7. eating right: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/nutrition-exercise/meal-planning/
  8. exercising: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/nutrition-exercise/exercise/
  9. eeping stress levels in-check: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/emotional-health/reducing-diabetes-stress-alternative-treatments/
  10. getting enough sleep: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/general-health-issues/getting-the-sleep-you-need/
  11. “What to Know About Metformin,”: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/what-to-know-about-metformin/
  12. “Diabetes Medicine: Metformin,”: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/diabetes-medicine-metformin/
  13. “Metformin: The Unauthorized Biography.”: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/treatment-approaches/metformin-2/

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