Metformin for Overweight Teens with Type 1?

A study finds it helps lower insulin resistance and A1C scores.

When discussing Type 1 diabetes, weight is largely considered an off-limits topic, as it is a feature associated more often with Type 2. However, there is strong evidence that intensive insulin therapy can lead to weight gain, and that overweight individuals with Type 1 face unique challenges in blood sugar management. Researchers are trying to develop treatments to help, and they may have found one in a common diabetes drug.

A recent study found that metformin might help overweight teens with Type 1 diabetes lower their A1C scores. Metformin, an oral medication that’s prescribed to treat Type 2 diabetes, helped the teens lower their insulin resistance.

Researchers in the study tracked 28 overweight individuals with Type 1 who were between the ages of 10 and 20 years old. The study participants were asked to take either a daily placebo or metformin alongside insulin therapy for a period of nine months. Those who were given metformin found they had to take less insulin daily. By the end of the study, they also experienced a small 0.4 drop in their A1C scores, with no increased rate of hypoglycemia. The researchers did note that the results were not necessarily conclusive because the sample group of the study was so small.

Such treatment options may be more needed in the future. Lead investigator and pediatrics associate professor Dr. Benjamin Nwosu from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester pointed out that the rate of insulin resistance in adolescents with Type 1 has increased with the rate of obesity, according to a MedPage Today report.

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Travis served as a staff writer for Insulin Nation and Type 2 Nation in 2015. Previously, he was a staff writer for Insight, a high school newspaper, as well as a copywriter for The Emersonian, Emerson's yearbook.