Why would my doctor put me on a sugar pill? I was told my pancreas produces too much insulin which means that I'm pre-diabetic. My medical facilitator tells me to reduce my carbs/sugars to 100gms a day. I asked her but she either didn't hear me or had no answer when I asked her to explain why she put me on a sugar pill.

Amy Campbell


Some healthcare providers prescribe diabetes pills (usually metformin) as a treatment for pre-diabetes. Metformin is a safe and effective medicine that helps reduce insulin resistance. What’s likely happening is that your body is unable to properly use its own insulin and as a result, your pancreas is making more and more insulin in an effort to keep your blood glucose levels in a safe range. Eventually, though, your pancreas will get tired out and will no longer be able to make enough insulin. At this point, your pre-diabetes can become type 2 diabetes. Your doctor is likely trying to prevent this from happening by giving you medication now. Also, limiting your carbohydrate intake can also make it easier to control your blood glucose levels. Limiting your carb intake to 100 grams per day may be somewhat challenging, however, as many foods contain carbohydrate. I’d suggest that you meet with a dietitian who can give you specific guidance and help you with a meal plan that’s realistic for you to follow. Meanwhile, have a discussion with your doctor about the pill that she’s put you on. It’s important that you understand why you are taking it, how the pill works, how you’ll know it’s working and other information about your pre-diabetes.

June 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm