Metformin and Surgery or Screening Test Dangers
Knowing the right information about Metformin and Surgery is key because you have to address your doctor the right question(s)…
Metformin is a powerful oral medication for controlling blood sugar. One of the problems with taking Metformin is handling surgery and tests. Even minor outpatient procedures can be a problem if you aren’t aware of the complications.
Healthy blood sugar is balanced: having too little is just as dangerous a having too much. Unfortunately, when you have stop taking in food and liquid by mouth, the source for any blood sugar has been cut off. A number of medical procedures come with an order of NPO. This stands for the Latin phrases Nil Per Os and simply means nothing to be taken by mouth for the specified period.
The order NPO is common for checking things such as cholesterol levels and even blood sugar level. However, when you stop your intake, extra case is needed to handle your diabetes and Metformin. Perhaps the most important is communication.
Assuming every doctor you work with knows about your diagnosis for diabetes isn’t unreasonable. However, it’s not safe to assume this. If a doctor or other health care professional orders a procedure for you, always ask if you must be NPO and if so, for how long. If the answer is yes and you don’t get any more direction, always follow-up with a question like, “What do you recommend for managing my blood sugar during this time?”
Metformin and Surgery
You see, if you continue taking regular doses of Metformin in combination with an NPO order, hypoglycemia is highly likely to occur. Even if you’re more used to worrying about elevated blood sugar levels, a level that is too low can be equally dangerous. Another plan is necessary to manage levels and keep them as even as possible during this time.
Sometimes you’ll have to do a fasting test that is specifically for blood sugar levels. Often a person being tested for blood sugar responses will go at least eight hours without any food or water. At the docto’rs office, a large glucose drink will be administered as part of the test. Then perhaps as often as every 20 minutes your blood sugar levels will be tested.
When other tests and procedures require fasting, medical personnel need to coordinate with you to both help you balance your blood sugar and keep you safe from any negative side effects. One of the things that may be recommended is a snack before bedtime and beginning the fast. Most people need more support than this to handle a procedure with fasting. Still, that balanced glycemic snack may be the first step to being okay at the end of the process. When you’re having procedures or tests that require 4-24 hours without intake, Metformin can be a problem. You can end up with dangerously low blood sugar.
Whether you speak with the provider who gives you the NPO instructions or your other doctor, you need to discuss the situation. You may need to adjust the amount of Metformin you take, avoid taking it, or make other plans to balance blood sugar during this time.
Now that you know the right information on Metformin and Surgery you’re armed with powerful questions to extract the gold nuggets from your doctor!