Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Metformin May Cause Low B12, Nerve damage

Metformin Linked To Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Nerve Injury

© James Cooper

Aug 10, 2009
Metformin May Cause B12 Deficiency

This prevalent but easily treatable cause of neuropathy (nerve damage) may be overlooked because diabetes itself can cause nerve damage.

Metformin is probably the most common by-mouth medication prescribed for people with diabetes. Sold as Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet, Glumetza, Obimet, Dianben, Diabex, Diaformin and as a generic, it’s also prescribed sometimes even for people at increased risk to develop diabetes. Metformin worldwide sales exceed 1.7 billion USD each year.

The adverse event (side effect) most feared with metformin is lactic acidosis, but vitamin B12 deficiency seems to be much more common.

B12 Deficiency From Decreased Absorption

The mechanism that causes B12 deficiency is thought to be decreased absorption of the vitamin by the small intestines. Normally, B12 is released from ingested food and joins with intrinsic factor secreted by the stomach. B12-intrinsic factor complex is absorbed further down the gastrointestinal tract, in the ileum. Its absorption is calcium-dependent, and that’s where metformin may have some effect, slowing down or reducing (but not stopping) absorption.

Some studies have shown that low B12 occurs in up to a third of people taking metformin long term.

B12 is necessary for protection and repair of nerves. Low B12 can lead to poor repair of nerves, interfering with their function. This can cause symptoms such as numbness, funny feelings (paresthesias), decreased sensation to touch and vibration, and weakness in the area served by the damaged nerve.

B12 also participates in making new red blood cells, which are necessary to replace worn out cells—red cells get old and are removed after around 120 days, usually by the spleen. B12 deficiency causes new cells to be imperfect, fewer, and larger. When B12 deficiency is caused by lack of intrinsic factor, the condition is pernicious anemia.
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My comments:

As we noted in an earlier posting diabetes drugs are expensive, do not cure the disease or even stop its progression and they are dangerous!

What more proof do you need? Or are you so dazzeled by the claims of Big Pharma, the ADA and the AMA that you cannot read or think for yourself?

Or maybe you are part of a "Support Group" like TuDiabetes or the Diabetes Forum. Did you ever think that without you remaining ignorant of the real causes and treatments of diabetes they would have no one to Support them?

The underlying pathologies behind Type 2 diabetes are acidosis, too much acid in the blood and damage from free radicals. Together, they derail glucose metabolism. These conditions can be eradicated, allowing your body to heal itself! Note the video showing how Japanese hospitals routinely save diabetic's gangrenous limbs from amputation!

Why don't American Diabetes Docs, the ADA, the diabetic "Support" Groups publicize this information? It is available on the Internet! Can you guess the answer?

Open your mind, open your eyes, the Truth is out there, you just have to discover it!

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