Metformin is a generic diabetes medication, which is marketed under the brand names of Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Riomet, Glumetza and Fortamet. It is prescribed for people with diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes, more commonly known as type 2 diabetes, which causes high blood sugar (glucose) levels. When blood glucose is elevated beyond the normal range, it is called hyperglycemia. While not a cure, metformin is designed to reduce glucose in the bloodstream to safe levels.
Even though diabetes cannot be cured, it is important to seek medical attention in the early stages. With professional healthcare, medical practitioner guidance and self-care practice, many people with this metabolic disorder have been successful in reducing the risk of serious long-term complications.
Annual checkups play an important role in detecting pre-diabetes or, in medical terms, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Warning signs include thirst, increased urination and increased feelings of hunger. Even if these symptoms are precursory, doctors may suggest following the same treatment as someone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes cause and treatment
The body’s primary source of energy is glucose, which results from carbohydrate consumption. When a carbohydrate, bread for example, is digested and breaks down in the gastrointestinal tract, the body absorbs it in the form of glucose, which then flows through the bloodstream to be used by the cells for energy. However, in order for this to occur, certain events need to be performed. The pancreas needs to produce a hormone named insulin in the right amount. Then the cells must receive the glucose and use it.
When these prerequisites do not happen as they should, glucose sits in the bloodstream and does not make its way into the cells. Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune response that destroys the pancreas cells responsible for producing insulin, so exogenous insulin is required. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the body is either not making a sufficient amount of insulin, or the cells resist using it. This is when doctors may prescribe medication, such as metformin, as well as diet and exercise.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. Enrollment does not happen automatically even if you are subject to automatic enrollment in Parts A and B. If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, you can enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan. Or, alternatively, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes your Part A, Part B, and Part D benefits.
Medicare benefits for diabetes
Medicare benefits in Part B include diabetes screenings, self-management training, equipment, supplies and therapeutic shoes. If your physician issues a pre-diabetes diagnosis or concludes you are at risk for diabetes, you may be eligible for up to two annual diabetes screenings. With a diagnosis of diabetes and a written order from the healthcare practitioner treating you, Medicare offers instruction on an outpatient basis to promote a healthy lifestyle, learn how to monitor blood sugar and understand the proper administration of the medication prescribed.