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‣ मधुमेह रोग
‣ शुगर की बीमारी
‣ बहुमूत्ररोग
‣ मधुमेह

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A glimpse of Indian Ayurveda – The forgotten history and principles of our traditional medicine

Lose-Weight-herbal-cure-Gluteno

Ayurveda is considered as one of the oldest of the traditional systems of medicine (TSMs) accepted worldwide. The ancient wisdom in this traditional system of medicine is still not exhaustively explored. The junction of the rich knowledge from different traditional systems of medicine can lead to new avenues in herbal drug discovery process. The lack of the understanding of the differences and similarities between the theoretical doctrines of these systems is the major hurdle towards their convergence apart from the other impediments in the discovery of plant based medicines. This review aims to bring into limelight the age old history and the basic principles of Ayurveda. This would help the budding scholars, researchers and practitioners gain deeper perspicuity of traditional systems of medicine, facilitate strengthening of the commonalities and overcome the challenges towards their global acceptance and harmonization of such medicinal systems. Herbal cure & Gluteno brands are symbolic flagship for Ayurvedic herbs which bring positivity in humans and cure lots of decease without side effects।

1. Introduction

Ayurveda is one of the most renowned traditional systems of medicine that has survived and flourished from ages till date. Herbal cure and gluteno brands are an stepping stone to grow awareness and help human benefit and cure from lots of decease, people need to support and grow this initiative.

With the enormous knowledge of nature based medicine, the relationship of human body constitution and function to nature and the elements of the universe that act in coordination and affect the living beings, this system will continue to flourish in ages still to come. There are many avenues still to be explored by the researchers, practitioners and experts in the field who carry the responsibility of keeping the traditional systems of medicine (TSMs) alive and contributing to their growth in the future. However, due to many barriers such as lack of literature sources in different languages and insufficiency of awareness about the basic principles and histories of the systems from different ethnic origins, there is a lacuna of exchange of information from systems around the globe. Knowledge of systems from different ethnic origins would bring about interchange of knowledge and increase the understanding of different systems, and this can ultimately contribute to integration and advancement of herbal drug research when accompanied by collaborative work of researchers from different countries. These futuristic goals can be accomplished when one gains insights about the systems, the principles and histories and works upon the strengthening aspects common between the various TSMs. In this review, we have made an attempt to put forth the basic principles of doctrine and history of Ayurveda to contribute to the above said perspectives.

To date, there have been several reviews detailing Ayurveda. However, very few reviews detail the modalities of the basic principles and history of Ayurveda.1 Through this review the authors wish to provide the readers an understanding of the age old history and the basic principles of Ayurveda.

2. History of Ayurveda

Ayurveda has an age old history since the 2nd Century BC. Ayurveda has its foundations laid by the ancient schools of Hindu Philosophical teachings named Vaisheshika and the school of logic named as Nyaya. It is also related to the manifestation framework, well-known as Samkhya, and it was established in the same period when schools of Nyaya and Vaisheshika flourished.

The Vaisheshika School preached about inferences and perceptions that should be obtained about a patient’s pathological condition for treatment. Whereas, Nyaya school propagated its teachings on the basis that one should have an extensive knowledge of the patient’s condition, and the disease condition before proceeding for treatment. The school of Vaisheshika, classifies the attributes of any object into six types: substance, particularity, activity, generality, inherence and quality called as Dravya, Vishesha, Karma, Samanya, Samavaya and Guna respectively, in Sanskrit language.2, 3 Later, Vaisheshika and Nyaya schools worked together and jointly founded the nyāya–vaiśeṣika school. The nyāya–vaiśeṣika school, in the later years brought glory to the ancient knowledge and helped in disseminating the knowledge about Ayurveda. Even before these schools were established and also today, the origin of Ayurveda is considered to be divine, from the Hindu God, Brahma who is called as the creator of the universe.4, 5 It is believed that the creator of the universe passed on this holistic knowledge of healing onto the sages for the well-being of mankind. From the sages the knowledge of traditional medicines was passed on to the disciples and then to the common man by various writings and oral narrations. The information about the healing properties of the herbs was composed in the form of poems, called “Shlokas”. These were used by sages to describe the use of medicinal plants. The Hindu system of healing is believed to be based on four eminent compilations of knowledge (Vedas) called as Yajur VedaRig VedaSam Veda, and Atharva Veda. The Rig Veda is the most well-known of all the four Vedas and describes 67 plants and 1028 Shlokas. The Atharva Veda and Yajur Veda describe 293 and 81 medicinally useful plants. The practice of Ayurveda is based upon the knowledge gained from these Vedas. The writings in Rig Veda and Atharva Veda are attributed to “Atreya” who is believed to have been conferred with this knowledge from Lord Indra, who initially received it from Lord Brahma.6, 7 Agnivesha compiled the knowledge from the Vedas, and it was edited by Charaka and some other scholars and is presently called as “Charaka Samhita”. Charaka Samhita describes all aspects of Ayurvedic medicine and Sushruta Samhita describes the Science of Surgery. Both these legendary compilations are still used by practitioners of traditional medicine. These ancient texts are available in various translations and languages like Tibetan, Greek, Chinese, Arabic and Persian.There are several other allied minor compilations like Nighantu Granthas, Madhava Nidana and Bhava Prakasha from the contributions of various scholars, however Charaka Samhita is the most respected of all the records

3. Basic doctrine principles of Ayurveda

Ayurveda believes that the entire universe is composed of five elements: Vayu (Air), Jala (Water), Aakash (Space or ether), Prithvi (Earth) and Teja (Fire). These five elements (referred to as Pancha Mahabhoota in Ayurveda) are believed to form the three basic humors of human body in varying combinations. The three humors; Vata doshaPitta dosha and Kapha dosha are collectively called as “Tridoshas” and they control the basic physiological functions of the body along with five sub-doshas for each of the principal doshas. Ayurveda believes that the human body consists of Saptadhatus (seven tissues) Rasa (tissue fluids), Meda (fat and connective tissue), Rakta (blood), Asthi (bones), Majja (marrow), Mamsa (muscle), and Shukra (semen) and three Malas (waste products) of the body, viz. Purisha (faeces), Mutra (urine) and Sweda (sweat). Vata dosha maintains the cellular transport, electrolyte balance, elimination of waste products and its effect is increased by dryness. Pitta dosha regulates the body temperature, optic nerve coordination and hunger and thirst management. Heat conditions of the body aggravate PittaKapha dosha is increased due to sweet and fatty food and it provides lubrication to the joints for proper functioning. The catabolism of the body is believed to be governed by Vata, metabolism by Pitta and anabolism by Kapha. For a healthy state of health, a balance between the three doshas and other factors should be maintained. Any imbalance between the three causes a state of illness or disease. In Ayurveda it is believed, that a perfect balance between the nature elements and the Tridoshas of the human body should be maintained for a healthy state of living by following the principles of divine wisdom. The body is believed to be composed of seven types of tissues called as “Sapta Dhatus”. These seven tissues work in coordination with each for proper physiological functioning of the human body. The Rakta Dhatu resembles the blood and regulates the circulation of blood cells and provision of blood components to the body. The Mamsa Dhatu (Muscle tissue) provides supports in the form of skeletal muscles for the Meda Dhatu (adipose fat). The Asthi Dhatu comprises the bones of the body and the Majja Dhatu is made up of the bone marrow and fluids required for the oleation of the bones and their functioning. The Shukra Dhatu is responsible for functions of the reproductive organs of the body.

Apart from the Doshas and the Dhatus, the other important factors considered in the doctrine of Ayurveda are the Tri Malas and Trayo Dosa AgniTri Malas are the three types of waste products formed in the body due to metabolic and digestive functions of the body. They comprise of the Mutra (urine), Purisa (faeces), and Sveda (sweat). Ayurveda explains that if the balance between Tridosha is not maintained the waste products of the body are not effectively eliminated and these lead to further complications like diarrhea, constipation, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and such other complications. If the Mutra Mala (urine) is not removed from the body, it can lead to urinary tract infections, cystitis and gastric pain. If the Sveda Mala is not cleared from the body, it can lead to skin irritation problems, and improper fluid balance. As per the principles of Ayurveda the biological fire of the body for all the metabolic function is called as “Agni”. There are thirteen categories of Agni in a human body and the most important is the one responsible for digestive fire, called as JatharagniJatharagni has a close relation with Pitta and ultimately Vatta of the body. If the digestive fire of the body is increased in the body by increase in acidity conditions, the elevation in Pitta levels and its relative symptoms are observed. Digestive fire is important in controlling the normal microflora, proper digestive functions and provision of energy to the entire body. Any disturbances in its balance, creates discomfort to the gastro-intestinal tract and results in pathological complications like ulcers, diarrhea and constipation.

Considering the bodily constitution, pathological history, the Dosha characteristics, life style and environmental conditions in an individual’s routine life style, Ayurveda has many treatment strategies for promoting well-being to individuals.

Ayurveda employs the “Pancha karma” method in its therapies. Pancha karma therapy applies various processes for the rejuvenation of the body, cleansing and enhancing longevity. The Pancha karma is composed of five karmas (actions) that are used for removal of toxins from the body tissues. They are the Virechan (purgation though use powders, pastes or decoction), Vaman (forced therapeutic emesis by use of some medicines), Basti (use of enemas prepared from medicated oils), Rakta moksha (detoxification of blood) and Nasya (administration of medicines like decoctions, oils and fumes through nasal route).

Primarily, Pancha karma consists of 3 steps viz. Poorva karma (preparatory process of the body for the therapy), Pradhan karma (the main process of therapy) and the Paschat karma (consisting of regimens to be followed to restore digestive and other absorptive procedures of the body, back to the normal state). Clarified butter and medicated oils are used in the oleation process. Swedan (sweating) is brought about by exposure to steam for particular areas of treatment of the body. Forced emesis or vamana is brought about by administration of decoction of liquorice, honey with a few hours of prior administration of curd and rice. These substances are believed to cause elevation in the emesis effect. The Virechana, or laxative therapy is carried out by administration of herbs and liquids like senna, cow milk, psyllium seed, and castor oil. The enemas used in Pancha karma can be prepared from medicated oils or decoction of herbs like sesame or anise.

In practice, Ayurveda has eight disciplines called as “Äshtanga Ayurveda”. They are Kayachikitsa (internal medicine treatment), Bhootavidya (treatment of psychological disorders), Kaumar Bhritya (pediatric treatment), Rasayana (study of geriatrics), Vajikarana (treatment through aphrodisiacs and eugenics), Shalya (surgical treatment), Shalakya (otorhinolaryngological and ophthalmological treatment), Agada Tantra (toxicological studies).

With a rich knowledge of plants, minerals and animal based products, and the above based principles of doctrine, Ayurveda has achieved its widespread acceptance globally.

4. Allied systems of medicine in Ayurveda – a brief overview

India has a rich history of traditional system of medicine based upon six systems, out of which Ayurveda stands to be the most ancient, most widely accepted, practiced and flourished indigenous system of medicine. The other allied systems of medicine in India are Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy, Yoga and Naturopathy. Ayurveda is the most dominant system amongst the other Indian systems of medicine and finds its prevalence globally since centuries. In this paper, we have restricted the detailed discussion of various aspects of Indian systems of Medicine (ISM) to Ayurveda alone, and only a comprehensive overview of the other systems is provided in the text. After Ayurveda, the Siddha, Homeopathy and Unani system of medicine are widely used. Naturopathy is still developing and in future it may emerge as a flourished system of medicine. Yoga, is a system of allied medicine that deals with physical, mental and spiritual state of an individual.

The Siddha system of medicine is based upon the principle similar to Ayurveda considering that the human body is constituted from the five elements of the Universe like the pancha mahabhootas. Along with these elements Siddha system considers that the physical, moral and physiological well-being of an individual is governed by 96 factors. These 96 factors include perception, speech, diagnosis of pulse etc. Perception is commonly used determinant for treatment of psychosomatic system with the help of minerals, metals and to a lesser extent some plant products. Siddha system uses many preparations of plant and mineral origin in powder form, prepared through various procedures including calcinations.

Unani system of medicine originated in Greece and was introduced by Hippocrates; a famous philosopher and physician during the 460–366 BC period. Hippocrates laid down the “humoral theory” for treatment of diseases and describes the wet and dry characteristic of each humor that constitutes the human body. This system of medicine was introduced in India by the Arabs and it grew stronger when some scholars and physicians of Unani system fled to India after invasion of Persia by the Mongols. Since then, this system of medicine has made a firm footing in India and is recognized by the Indian government for clinical practice and research funding. The plants based formulations like oils, tinctures, powders and ointments are used in treatment.

Homeopathy was brought into practice by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, who was a German physician in the mid-17th and 18th century. Homeopathy is based upon the laws of “immunological memory” and “memory of water” and the similarities in the pharmacological aspects of the drug and the disease. It utilizes medicines which produce symptoms similar to that of the disease for treatment of the pathological condition initially by producing or aggravating the pathological conditions and then treating it. For more than a century this system is been practiced in India and has formed an integral part of the Indian traditional system of medicine. It is recognized by the government of India and there are various institutions, research centers and regulatory bodies that help propagation of this system. In homeopathy the mother tinctures or aqueous extracts of the drugs (plants, animal origin substances, venoms and minerals) are diluted and succussed (specific method of mixing or shaking) as per Pharmacopoeia methods to prepare the formulations of very low potencies.

Yoga originated in India in ancient times. Through its therapies and diagnosis based on pulse and analysis of Tridosha state of an individual, it suggests meditative exercises and life style management to obtain tranquility and improve health. The Asanas (postures) of Yoga are applied in various clinical and nonclinical conditions for curing various physical and emotional conditions.

Naturopathy, also termed as naturopathic medicine originated in Germany in the 19th century and today it is practiced in several countries. It is not an ancient system of medicine but some practitioners who practice traditional medicine sometimes use Naturopathy in combination to the major system. The Naturopathic system is based upon using the curative power of nature in combination with the traditional and modern techniques to help restore good health. Homeopathy, herbal formulations, hydrotherapy are some of the treatment methods used by this system.

5. Current status of Ayurveda and perspectives for its future applications

In the recent decades, Ayurveda has experienced a considerable shift in its paradigm and a significant change in the outlook of researchers, towards its applications has occurred. The therapeutic principles of Ayurveda focus on prakriti and tridoshas, and these principles explain that every individual has his unique constitution called as prakritiPrakriti determines the characteristic response of each individual to medications, environmental conditions and dietary factors. ‘Ayurgenomics’ a recently introduced research field, bridges this gap between genomics and Ayurveda and serves as an aid in understanding of inter-individual differences in responses to therapies in various diseases. It especially emphasizes on studying inter-individual variances in patients from identical ethnic backgrounds. TSMs are now been looked upon for recourse to some limitations faced by western medicine, such as the need for

individualized therapies, potential side effects and lack of desired therapeutic efficacy.

Rotti et al, have published several studies correlating the concept of prakriti in Ayurveda to present-day science. A report indicating the correlation of dominant prakriti with the Body Mass Index (BMI) and place of birth in individuals was published. Studies involving subjects of various prakriti types viz. Vata, Pitta and Kapha, were carried out to identify molecular differences that affect susceptibility and responses of individuals to various environmental or disease conditions. A classification method for human population, with respect to DNA methylation signatures is reported based upon traditional Ayurveda concept of prakriti. In a study involving genome-wide SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) in 262 male individuals from three different prakritis, it was found that PGM1 gene is associated with energy production. PGM1 was found to be more homogeneous in Pitta prakriti, than the Kapha and Vata prakriti.

An integration of the knowledge of modern analytical techniques with a broader perspective for applications of Ayurveda principles can help in its wider acceptance globally. There is an increasing need of proving and fostering the scientific basis of the principles of Ayurveda, to keep this age old valuable system of medicine, as a living tradition in future.

6. Summary

Ayurveda has a rich history; however there were certain drawbacks in approaches towards it, which inhibited its growth like the western system of medicine. The active components of the herbal drugs prescribed were not known, and even today many drugs still need further exploration for their active constituent characterization and elucidation of the mechanism of action. Even after decades of applying advanced analytical techniques for drug analysis, herbal drugs still face some drawbacks. The administration of combinations of several drugs adds to the complexity of study of the activity of these medications. A merit of traditional medicine systems as discussed earlier is that, they consider every individual as the prime focus of treatment rather than the disease. But this factor also possesses a hurdle to the applicability of medications on a general population basis. Several issues like, the variation in the potency due to difference in species, absence of an integrated coding for every species used commonly in TSMs, varying geographical location of growth, and incorrect identification and adulteration of drugs, non-uniform quality control standards, differences in processing methods, direct an alarming need towards comparative study of drugs used in both these system of medicine.

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Generic Name: metformin

Drug Class: Anti-diabetics (medications to treat or manage diabetes), Biguanides

 

WHAT IS METFORMIN AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Metformin is a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a prescription medication to treat diabetes. This medication is used to decrease hepatic (liverglucose production, to decrease GI glucose absorption and to increase target cell insulin sensitivity. This medication is a treatment indicated as an adjunct to diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes such as weight loss to improve glycemic (blood sugarcontrol in adults with type 2 diabetes. Many patients with type 2 diabetes will eventually need to take insulin by injection. Metformin does not cause weight gain. You may take gluteno herbal cure mix for Immunity and no side effect diabetic sugar management।

About Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (also known as adult-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes) is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body does not process insulin properly, resulting in elevated blood sugar (blood glucose). Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed more often in people who are overweight or obese, and who are not physically active. Patients with diabetes should also note that a healthy weight improves cholesterol levels and overall healthInsulin resistance is a condition that is commonly seen in type 2 diabetes, where it becomes difficult for the body to use the insulin that is produced. Certain genes that affect insulin production rather than insulin resistance are a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Family history of diabetes is a risk factor, and people of certain races or ethnicities are at higher risk. Abnormal glucose production by the liver can also lead to elevated blood sugar (glucose) levels.

Metformin is available under the following different brand names: Glucophage, Glucophage XR, FortametGlumetza, and Riomet.

DOSAGES OF METFORMIN SHOULD BE GIVEN AS FOLLOWS:

Adult Dosage Forms & Strengths for Diabetes

Tablet, immediate-release

  • 500 mg
  • 850 mg
  • 1000 mg

Extended-release tablet

  • 500 mg
  • 750 mg
  • 1000 mg

Oral solution

  • 500 mg
  • 750 mg
  • 1000 mg

Pediatric Dosage Forms & Strengths for Diabetes

Tablet, immediate-release

  • 500 mg
  • 850 mg
  • 1000 mg

Extended-release Tablet

  • 500 mg
  • 750 mg
  • 1000 mg

Oral solution

  • 500 mg
  • 750 mg
  • 100 mg

Dosage Considerations

FOR ADULTS WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS

Monotherapy or with sulfonylurea

Immediate-release tablet or solution

  • Initial dose: 500 mg orally every 12 hours or 850 mg orally once/day with meals; increase every two weeks
  • Maintenance doses: 1500-2550 mg/day taken orally divided once every 8-12hr with meal
  • Not to exceed 2550 mg/day

Extended-release

  • Glucophage XR: 500 mg orally once/day with dinner; titrate by 500 mg/day each week; not to exceed 2000 mg/day
  • Fortamet: 500-1000 mg orally once/day; titrate by 500 mg/day each week; not to exceed 2500 mg/day
  • Glumetza: 1000 mg orally once/day; titrate by 500 mg/day each week; not to exceed 2000 mg/day

FOR PREVENTION OF TYPE 2 DIABETES

  • 850 mg by mouth every day
  • Target dosing: 850 mg orally every 12 hours

DOSAGE MODIFICATIONS

Hepatic (liver) impairment: Avoid use; risk of lactic acidosis.

Renal (kidney) impairment

  • Obtain eGFR before starting metformin
  • eGFR less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m²: Contraindicated
  • eGFR 30-45 mL/min/1.73 m²: Not recommended to initiate treatment
  • Monitor eGFR at least annually or more often for those at risk for renal impairment (e.g., elderly)
  • If eGFR falls below 45mL/min/1.73 m² while taking metformin, health risks and benefits of continuing therapy should be evaluated
  • If eGFR falls below 30 mL/min/1.73 m²: while taking metformin, discontinue the drug

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (Orphan)

Orphan designation for treatment of pediatric polycystic ovary syndrome

Pediatric Dosage Considerations

TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS

Immediate-release (10-16 years)Initial: 500 mg orally every 12 hours

Maintenance: Titrate once/week by 500 mg; no more than 2000 mg/day in divided doses

Immediate-release (17 years of age and older)

  • Initial dose: 500 mg orally every 12 hours or 850 mg orally once/daily with meals; increase every two weeks
  • Maintenance doses: 1500-2550 mg/day orally divided once every 8-12hr with meal
  • No more than 2550 mg/day

Extended-release (under 17 years of age)

  • Safety and efficacy not established

Extended-release (17 years of age and older)

  • Glucophage XR: 500 mg orally once/daily with dinner; titrate by 500 mg/day once each week; not to exceed 2000 mg/day
  • Fortamet: 500-1000 mg orally once/daily; titrate by 500 mg/day once each week; not to exceed 2500 mg/day

DOSAGE MODIFICATIONS OF MEDICATION

Renal impairment (Poor kidney function)

  • Obtain eGFR before initiating metformin
  • eGFR less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m²: Contraindicated
  • eGFR 30-45 mL/min/1.73 m²: Initiating not recommended
  • Obtain GFR at least annually in all patients taking metformin; assess eGFR more frequently in patients at increased risk for renal impairment (e.g., elderly)
  • If eGFR falls to less than 45 mL/min/1.73 m² during treatment: Assess the benefits and risks of continuing treatment
  • If eGFR falls to less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m² during treatment: Discontinue

GERIATRIC DOSAGE

Elderly patients with diabetes are more likely to have decreased renal function with the use of this drug; contraindicated in patients with renal impairment, carefully monitor renal function in the elderly and use with caution as age increases.

Not for use in patients over 80 years unless normal renal function established initial and maintenance dosing of metformin should be conservative in patients with advanced age due to the potential for decreased renal function in this population.

Controlled clinical studies of this drug did not include sufficient numbers of elderly patients with diabetes to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients with diabetes.

QUESTION

______________ is another term for type 2 diabetes.See Answer

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High blood pressure cause & remedy, herbs which cures it

Overview

Many adults around the world deal with hypertension, also called high blood pressure. Due to the recent changes in guidelines, nearly half of American adults will now be characterized as having high blood pressure. Experts recommend treating the condition with lifestyle changes and medications.

If you’re thinking of trying herbs for medical reasons, whether it’s the whole herb or a supplement, speak to your doctor first. Currently, there are no herbs regularly recommended by high blood pressure specialists. Some herbs, especially in large quantities, may produce undesirable side effects or interfere with other medications.

Read on to learn more about herbs and the research surrounding them.

1. Basil

Basil is a delicious herb that goes well in a variety of foods. It also might help lower your blood pressure. In rodents, basil extract has been shown to lower blood pressure, although only briefly. The chemical eugenol, which is found in basil, may block certain substances that tighten blood vessels. This may lead to a drop in blood pressure. More studies are needed.

Adding fresh basil to your diet is easy and certainly can’t hurt. Keep a small pot of the herb in your kitchen garden and add the fresh leaves to pastas, soups, salads, and casseroles.

2. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another tasty seasoning that requires little effort to include in your daily diet, and it may bring your blood pressure numbers down. One study done in rodents suggested that cinnamon extract lowered both sudden-onset and prolonged high blood pressure. However, the extract was given intravenously. It’s unclear if cinnamon consumed orally is also effective.

You can include more cinnamon in your diet by sprinkling it on your breakfast cereal, oatmeal, and even in your coffee. At dinner, cinnamon enhances the flavor of stir-fries, curries, and stews.

 

3. Cardamom

Cardamom is a seasoning that comes from India and is often used in South Asian cuisine. A small studyTrusted Source of 20 people investigating the health effects of cardamom found that participants with high blood pressure saw significant reductions in their blood pressure readings after taking 1.5 grams of cardamom powder twice a day for 12 weeks. You can include cardamom seeds or powder in spice rubs, soups and stews, and even baked goods for a special flavor and a possible positive health benefit.

4. Flax seed

Flax seed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and has been shown in some studies to lower blood pressure. A recent review suggested taking 30–50 grams of whole or ground seeds per day for more than 12 weeks to get the best benefits. Flax seed may protect against atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease by reducing serum cholesterol, improving glucose tolerance, and acting as an antioxidant.

You can buy many products that contain flax seed, but a better bet is to buy whole or ground flax seed and add it to your home-cooked meals. The best part about flax seed is that it can be stirred into virtually any dish, from soups to smoothies to baked goods. Storing flax seed in your freezer may help it retain optimum potency.

5. Garlic

This pungent seasoning can do more than just flavor your food and ruin your breath. Garlic may have the ability to lower your blood pressure by helping to increase a substance in the body known as nitric oxide, which can cause your blood vessels to relax and dilate. This lets blood flow more freely and reduces blood pressure.

You can add fresh garlic to a number of your favorite recipes. If the flavor is just too strong for you, roast the garlic first. And if you simply can’t eat the stuff, you can get garlic in supplement form.

6. Ginger

Ginger may help control blood pressure. In animal studies it has been shown to improve blood circulation and relax the muscles surrounding blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. Human studies so far have been inconclusive. Commonly used in Asian foods, ginger is a versatile ingredient that can also be added to sweets or beverages. Chop, mince, or grate fresh ginger into stir-fries, soups, and noodle or vegetable dishes, or add it to desserts or tea for a refreshing taste.

7. Hawthorn

Hawthorn is an herbal remedy for high blood pressure that has been used in traditional Chinese medicines for thousands of years. In rodents, extracts of hawthorn seem to have a whole host of benefits on cardiovascular health, including helping reduce blood pressure, preventing hardening of the arteries, and lowering cholesterol. You can take hawthorn as a pill, liquid extract, or tea.

8. Celery seed

Celery seed is an herb used to flavor soups, stews, casseroles, and other savory dishes. Celery has long been used to treat hypertension in China, and studiesTrusted Source in rodents have shown that it may be effective. You can use the seeds, or you can juice the whole plant. Celery may also be a diuretic, which may help explain its effect on blood pressure. ResearchersTrusted Source believe that a variety of substances in celery may play a role in lowering blood pressure. However, human studies are needed.

9. French lavender

The beautiful, perfume-like scent of lavender is not the only useful aspect of the plant. Lavender extracts have been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure in rodents. Although not many people think to use lavender as a culinary herb, you can use the flowers in baked goods. The leaves can be used in the same way you would use rosemary.

10. Cat’s claw

Cat’s claw is an herbal medicine used in traditional Chinese practice to treat hypertension as well as neurological health problems. StudiesTrusted Source of cat’s claw as a treatment for hypertension in rodents indicate that it may be helpful in reducing blood pressure by acting on calcium channels in your cells. You can get cat’s claw in supplement form from many health food stores.

Shop for cat’s claw.

Understanding high blood pressure

According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of American adults now have blood pressure levels that would be described as high.

A number of factors contribute to elevated blood pressure, such as:

Because it’s largely symptomless, hypertension is known as the “silent killer.” This is why it’s so important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Having high blood pressure increases your risk of several health problems, such as:

Takeaway

Due to its lack of symptoms, high blood pressure can inflict damage before you’re even aware you have it, so don’t neglect regular blood pressure screenings. Sometimes treating this condition involves medication. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment options for you, which may include medication, lifestyle changes, or alternative treatments. It’s important to discuss any herbs or supplements with your doctor before taking them. Additionally, don’t stop taking any prescribed medications without speaking with your healthcare provider.

It’s important to remember that there’s not enough evidence to recommend taking herbal supplements instead of prescription medications to treat high blood pressure. Very few studies with plants and herbs have been done in humans. Research has not been able to establish side effects, doses, or long-term effects of these supplements.

Q&A: Drug interactions

Q:

Can any herbs that potentially lower blood pressure negatively react with blood pressure medications?

A:

Since there’s such a large variety of herbal remedies and so many different medications for blood pressure that are commonly prescribed today, this isn’t a simple question. However, there certainly exists the potential for negative herb-drug interactions and complications. My best advice is to discuss your specific herbal medications with your prescribing doctor, so that they will be aware of, and monitor closely for, any potential interactions.