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Glyburide and Weight Loss

By Angela Lang ; Updated July 18, 2017

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body cannot produce enough insulin to properly control the glucose levels in your blood. When this condition occurs you may begin to experience symptoms such as weight loss. Your doctor may recommend a regime of diet and exercise as well as medications, such as Glyburide, which can lower your blood sugar levels. Weight loss in addition to medication use is the best method of controlling long-term diabetes symptoms.

Significance

Ideally, patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes will be referred to a registered dietitian and educated on diet and exercise management of their condition. With proper diet and exercise management, your disease will be controlled, weight properly managed, and there would not be the need for further intervention. Unfortunately, this plan does not always work. Non-compliance or inability to follow the regime is two reasons why oral medication may become necessary to control diabetes.

Function

Glyburide is one oral medication used to treat diabetes. According to the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, "Glyburide lowers blood sugar by stimulating the pancreas to secrete insulin and helping the body use insulin efficiently." This medication is only effective for people with Type 2 diabetes whose pancreases are still producing insulin.

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Features

One side effect of Glyburide is weight gain. This weight gain is considered to be particularly concerning for patients who have been obese prior to beginning the medication, according to the American Diabetes Association. Patients prescribed Glyburide should be encouraged to maintain their diabetic diet and exercise level to promote weight loss. Weight loss will help the medication work more effectively and may allow doctors to lower the dosage you have been prescribed.

Considerations

Failing to follow the directions provided by your physician and not taking the medication as prescribed could lead to a condition called hyperglycemia. Occasionally, in efforts to save money, some patients opt to take half of the amount prescribed or skip a pill occasionally. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, may result. Hyperglycemia can lead to weight loss as well as increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor and drowsiness. If you notice these symptoms and are taking the proper amount of medication, you should consult your doctor who may modify your dose.

Expert Insight

While medications, such as Glyburide, can help Type 2 diabetics cope manage their conditions, relying on these drugs without changing your overall lifestyle will lead to eventual worsening of the condition. Weight loss can also help prevent Type 2 diabetes. According to the Harvard Medical School, losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can improve diabetes control.

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