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August 4, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Pills for Diabetes

Question from St. Paul, Minnesota, USA:

My 13 year old niece, who has been obese most of her life and has been treated for hypothyroidism for 10 years, was recently diagnosed with high blood sugar. The doctor has prescribed Glucophage along with fish oil/Omega 3 and folic acid supplements, and her diet consists of only meat and vegetables. I am questioning the reason the doctor has her on Glucophage and the supplements. He told my sister that the medication will help my niece lose weight. How high does her blood sugar need to be to justify her taking the Glucophage? Is the doctor putting her on the medication to lower her weight? I always thought her weight could be caused by her thyroid.


From: DTeam Staff

The Glucophage [metformin] is to improve insulin resistance. The doctor apparently hopes this will make it easier to lose weight. Traditional exercise and diet rarely work for anyone; your niece’s physician is using an approach that isn’t universal, but has its advocates.