The MMH Medical Group specializes in Family Medicine; they offer same day sick call appointments. Pictured from left to right are: Dr. Rohit Barreto, Cassandra LaShomb, Physician Assistant, Dr. Ammar Kafa and Dr. Matthew Prionas. For a same day sick call appointment, or to schedule an appointment in advance, please call 315-769-4704. MMH Medical Group is welcoming new patients and families to their practice.
However, sometimes a high reading can occur temporarily and then your numbers will return to normal. If your blood pressure measures at this level, your doctor will likely take a second reading after a few minutes have passed. A second high reading indicates that you’ll need treatment either as soon as possible or immediately depending on whether or not you have any of the symptoms described above.
According to guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), a reading below 120/80 mm Hg is classified as normal blood pressure. Those with a blood pressure reading anywhere from 120/80 up to 129/80 are classified within a category called elevated blood pressure. Hypertension is defined as a reading of 130/80 or higher.

The guidelines also say that a patient's blood pressure levels should be based on an average of two to three readings on at least two different occasions. It's also reasonable for doctors to screen for "white-coat hypertension," which occurs when blood pressure is elevated in a medical setting but not in everyday life, the authors said. This can be done by having patients measure their blood pressure at home. 
If your blood pressure remains high for a long period of time, you run the risk of damaging your blood vessels. Your stroke risk rises significantly, too. And because your heart is working harder to push blood through your system, that very valuable muscle can become overworked and grow thicker. An enlarged heart causes further complications, including heart failure. Medications and special implantable pumps can help boost heart function. But if you can manage your blood pressure before it gets too high and puts your heart at risk, you may be able to avoid a lot of complications down the road.
It is usually only when a person is in the midst of what is known as a hypertensive crisis — a period of extremely high blood pressure with a reading of 180/120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher — that she or he will experience symptoms, such as a headache. This is considered a medical crisis, and if it occurs, you should call 911 and get emergency help.
This side effect only occurs when using the extended-release version. In this version, metformin diffuses through the capsule that contains the drug, and in many people the empty shell is not digested, passing apparently intact through the digestive tract. However, even though the pill appears intact, it’s just an empty husk; the medicine has been absorbed.
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Unfortunately, metformin also has one of the lowest “patient adherence” rates, because of its side effects which can appear within hours of taking your first dose. While there are actually many positive qualities about this drug compared to other diabetes medications, metformin side effects can be remarkably uncomfortable, disrupting your daily life.

Nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea, weakness, or a metallic taste in the mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. If stomach symptoms return later (after taking the same dose for several days or weeks), tell your doctor right away. Stomach symptoms that occur after the first days of your treatment may be signs of lactic acidosis.


5. Be aware of the "Circadian Rhythm" cycle. Your Blood Pressure is highly influenced by the time of day. For normal people, the highest BP occurs about midday, and the lowest at about 3-4 AM in the morning. For some people, described as "non-dippers", this early morning BP dip does not occur. For these people, highest blood pressure usually occurs around 6 AM to 9 AM in the morning. Some doctors are not aware of this, and make erroneous assumptions. A non-dipper may see 150/95 in the morning, and 130/85 in the evening. Non-dipping is usually associated with abnormal sleep conditions, such as sleep apnea, heavy snoring, drug and alcohol abuse, etc.
Resistant hypertension is defined as high blood pressure that remains above a target level, in spite of being prescribed three or more antihypertensive drugs simultaneously with different mechanisms of action.[131] Failing to take the prescribed drugs, is an important cause of resistant hypertension.[132] Resistant hypertension may also result from chronically high activity of the autonomic nervous system, an effect known as "neurogenic hypertension".[133] Electrical therapies that stimulate the baroreflex are being studied as an option for lowering blood pressure in people in this situation.[134]
If you’re managing type 2 diabetes with metformin (Glucophage), you might be well acquainted with unwanted side effects of this drug — namely, upset stomach, diarrhea, muscle aches, and sleepiness. These can be a figurative and literal pain, but you might welcome one side effect of metformin with open arms, particularly if you’ve struggled to lose weight.
When starting metformin, around a third of people suffer some degree of stomach irritation, which usually resolves quickly. Only 3 percent to 10 percent of people in clinical trials experience symptoms severe enough that they stop taking the drug. Higher doses tend to cause more irritation, at least when comparing 500 milligrams (mg) to higher doses. Little difference is seen between doses of 1,000 mg and 2,500 mg.
Activation of AMPK was required for metformin's inhibitory effect on liver glucose production.[97] AMPK is an enzyme that plays an important role in insulin signaling, whole body energy balance and the metabolism of glucose and fats.[98] AMPK Activation was required for an increase in the expression of small heterodimer partner, which in turn inhibited the expression of the hepatic gluconeogenic genes phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and glucose 6-phosphatase.[99] Metformin is frequently used in research along with AICA ribonucleotide as an AMPK agonist. Mouse models in which the genes for AMPKα1 and α2 catalytic subunits (Prkaa1/2) or LKB1, an upstream kinase of AMPK, had been knocked out in hepatocytes, have raised doubts over the role of AMPK, since the effect of metformin was not abolished by loss of AMPK function.[92] The mechanism by which biguanides increase the activity of AMPK remains uncertain; however, metformin increases the concentration of cytosolic adenosine monophosphate (AMP) (as opposed to a change in total AMP or total AMP/adenosine triphosphate).[100] Increased cellular AMP has been proposed to explain the inhibition of glucagon-induced increase in cAMP and activation of PKA.[92] Metformin and other biguanides may antagonize the action of glucagon, thus reducing fasting glucose levels.[101] Metformin also induces a profound shift in the faecal microbial community profile in diabetic mice and this may contribute to its mode of action possibly through an effect on glucagon-like peptide-1 secretion.[93]
A nurse takes your blood pressure at your annual physical. The numbers are recorded and the checkup continues. But do you know where on the blood pressure chart your levels are? Are they healthy? Too low? Too high, meaning you have hypertension? If you have high blood pressure or are heading in that direction, you should know that hypertension is among the primary enlarged heart causes, and a major risk factor for heart failure.

High blood pressure (for example, 180/110 or higher) may indicate an emergency situation. If this high blood pressure is associated with chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, or back or abdominal pain, seek medical care immediately. If you are experiencing no associated symptoms with a high blood pressure reading such as this, re-check it again within a few minutes and contact your doctor or go to an emergency room if it is still high.
There have been a significant number of studies on metformin’s risk of inducing lactic acidosis — a state in which lactic acid builds up in the body, which can be fatal. But the greater majority of studies concluded without any cases of lactic acidosis according to “The Phantom of Lactic Acidosis due to Metformin in Patients With Diabetes” in the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Diabetes Care journal.
^ Saiz, Luis Carlos; Gorricho, Javier; Garjón, Javier; Celaya, Mª Concepción; Muruzábal, Lourdes; Malón, Mª del Mar; Montoya, Rodolfo; López, Antonio (2017-10-11). "Blood pressure targets for the treatment of people with hypertension and cardiovascular disease". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 10: CD010315. doi:10.1002/14651858.cd010315.pub2. PMID 29020435.
A blood pressure reading contains two numbers: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the top or first number in your blood pressure reading; it indicates the pressure within your arteries when your heart pumps out blood. Diastolic pressure is the bottom number, and shows the pressure in your arteries while your heart is filling with blood.
In addition to an electrocardiogram (ECG) to evaluate possible heart damage, an echocardiogram may be used to see if your heart has become enlarged or if you have other cardiac problems related to hypertension, like blood clots or heart valve damage. Doppler ultrasound examination can be used to check the blood flow through the arteries to determine if they have narrowed, thus contributing to high blood pressure.
Some side effects of metformin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Metformin can also cause impaired kidney and liver functions. This can happen if a patient takes an overly large dose of the drug, which can make it hard for the liver to process it. Kidneys will also be affected. In extreme cases, it is possible for the kidney and liver to fail completely, leading to a lot of complications in the patient. Be very careful about dosage when it comes to metformin.
Metformin has an oral bioavailability of 50–60% under fasting conditions, and is absorbed slowly.[89][112] Peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) are reached within one to three hours of taking immediate-release metformin and four to eight hours with extended-release formulations.[89][112] The plasma protein binding of metformin is negligible, as reflected by its very high apparent volume of distribution (300–1000 l after a single dose). Steady state is usually reached in one or two days.[89]

Cut down on salt. As you get older, the body and blood pressure become more sensitive to salt (sodium), so you may need to watch how much salt is in your diet. Most of the salt comes from processed foods (for example, soup and baked goods). A low-salt diet, such as the DASH diet, might help lower your blood pressure. Talk with your doctor about eating less salt.


Plaque can rupture under high pressure. This causes platelets to adhere and form a clot that can break off and travel throughout blood circulation, blocking oxygenated blood from reaching critical tissues. Additionally, these clots may break off and travel to other parts of the body, blocking blood flow and causing heart attacks or stroke. Clot formation also narrows the artery, making the heart work harder to pump blood with oxygen throughout the body.

^ Ostchega Y, Dillon CF, Hughes JP, Carroll M, Yoon S (July 2007). "Trends in hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control in older U.S. adults: data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1988 to 2004". Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 55 (7): 1056–65. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2007.01215.x. PMID 17608879.


Metformin is capable of affecting the level of certain hormones in the body, especially in large doses. For instance, an overdose may lead to a reduction in the blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormones, especially if the individual has a history of suffering from hypothyroidism. It can also cause a reduction of the blood level in testosterone and luteinizing hormones found in men.
For example, a person who is new to Metformin and has been prescribed 2000mg twice a day may start by taking 500mg once daily with dinner for one week. At week two, she will take 500mg with breakfast and 500mg with dinner. At week three, she will take 1000mg with dinner and 500mg with breakfast. And at week four, she will be her therapeutic goal—taking 1000mg with breakfast and 1000mg with dinner.

John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Blood pressure guidelines show the lower the blood pressure numbers the better. As long as no symptoms of trouble are present there is no one number that doctors consider being too low. The guidelines call for an individualized, risk-based approach to managing hypertension, as well as a personal consultation with a health care provider. While the new guidelines mean we are more aggressive about blood pressure control, lifestyle changes are always a part of the treatment plan. A treatment plan is agreed to by patient and provider, and includes ongoing communication to see how the patient is feeling and how their medications are working.
When blood pressure is measured, there are two numbers for each reading: for example, "120 over 80" is written as 120/80. This is because each heartbeat sends a pressure wave through the bloodstream. The higher number (systolic blood pressure) is the peak of the wave, when your heart contracts (the loud "thump" when you listen to your heartbeat). The lower number (diastolic blood pressure) is the lower "dip" or trough of the wave, when your heart relaxes.

Metformin causes depletion of Vitamin B12, Folic Acid and CoQ10, leading to feelings of tiredness, weakness and in some cases, even anemia. If you have been feeling tired all the time and are lacking the energy to do anything, you may be missing Vitamin B12, or Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), or Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). These nutrients are needed to ensure that red blood cells of the right size are created in the body and cells are able to produce energy.
^ Knowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, Fowler SE, Hamman RF, Lachin JM, Walker EA, Nathan DM, et al. (Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group) (February 2002). "Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin". The New England Journal of Medicine. 346 (6): 393–403. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa012512. PMC 1370926. PMID 11832527.
Because of the need for emergency care, it is important to recognize the early signs of malignant hypertension. The first giveaway is blood pressure of 180/120. You might have bleeding in the eyes due to rupture of the small blood vessels. Other malignant hypertension symptoms can include chest pain, dizziness, a headache, numbness in your extremities, and confusion.
What medication is available for diabetes? Diabetes causes blood sugar levels to rise. The body may stop producing insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar, and this results in type 1 diabetes. In people with type 2 diabetes, insulin is not working effectively. Learn about the range of treatments for each type and recent medical developments here. Read now
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.Information last revised July 2018. Copyright(c) 2018 First Databank, Inc.
The Metformin-PCOS connection has been studied extensively since a majority of health complications associated with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) are due to hyperinsulinemia (high amounts of insulin in the blood stream). Metformin is known to reduce circulating insulin levels. The use of this drug in women with PCOS has shown highly encouraging results.
Blood pressure monitors for use at home can be bought at drug stores, department stores, and other places. Again, these monitors may not always give you a correct reading. You should always compare your machine’s reading with a reading from your doctor’s machine to make sure they are the same. Remember that any measurement above normal should prompt a visit to the doctor, who can then talk with you about the best course of action.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, before effective pharmacological treatment for hypertension became possible, three treatment modalities were used, all with numerous side-effects: strict sodium restriction (for example the rice diet[152]), sympathectomy (surgical ablation of parts of the sympathetic nervous system), and pyrogen therapy (injection of substances that caused a fever, indirectly reducing blood pressure).[152][158]
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Metformin treatment of people at a prediabetes stage of risk for type 2 diabetes may decrease their chances of developing the disease, although intensive physical exercise and dieting work significantly better for this purpose. In a large U.S. study known as the Diabetes Prevention Program, participants were divided into groups and given either placebo, metformin, or lifestyle intervention and followed for an average of three years.
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Hypertensive Crisis This is an occurrence of high blood pressure that requires medical attention. If you have a blood pressure reading of 180/120 mm Hg, wait five minutes and test again. If it is consistently this high, contact your doctor immediately. If blood pressure is higher than 180/120 mm Hg and you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness and weakness, change in vision, and difficulty speaking, you may have organ damage and should call 911. (4) 

^ Knowler WC, Fowler SE, Hamman RF, Christophi CA, Hoffman HJ, Brenneman AT, Brown-Friday JO, Goldberg R, Venditti E, Nathan DM, et al. (Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group) (November 2009). "10-year follow-up of diabetes incidence and weight loss in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study". Lancet. 374 (9702): 1677–86. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61457-4. PMC 3135022. PMID 19878986.
When blood pressure is measured, there are two numbers for each reading: for example, "120 over 80" is written as 120/80. This is because each heartbeat sends a pressure wave through the bloodstream. The higher number (systolic blood pressure) is the peak of the wave, when your heart contracts (the loud "thump" when you listen to your heartbeat). The lower number (diastolic blood pressure) is the lower "dip" or trough of the wave, when your heart relaxes.
Certain medications contain ingredients that can elevate blood pressure. Cold and flu medications that contain decongestants are one example of drugs that raise blood pressure. Other kinds of medicines that can raise blood pressure are steroids, diet pills, birth control pills, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), pain relief medications, and some antidepressants. Talk to your doctor about the medications or supplements you are taking that might affect your blood pressure.
According to Watnick, the risk factors for the elderly are very similar to those for the population at large. “Those at highest risk of high blood pressure are those who suffer from obesity, those suffering from diabetes, and those with chronic kidney disease,” she explains. In fact, the risk factors for hypertension are very similar to the risks associated with high cholesterol. Any restrictions or blockages in the circulatory system negatively impact overall heart health. But the kidneys, the primary organ that regulates blood pressure, also become at risk when blood pressure rises. Severe hypertension can cause chronic kidney disease, which in turn limits the kidneys’ ability to continue regulating blood pressure. As Watnick says, “It’s a chicken or the egg thing. You can have high blood pressure which causes kidney disease. Or you can have kidney disease, and that will cause high blood pressure.” But regardless of whether hypertension is simply the result of genetic predisposition or the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, it doesn’t have to mean the end of good health.
Resistant hypertension is defined as high blood pressure that remains above a target level, in spite of being prescribed three or more antihypertensive drugs simultaneously with different mechanisms of action.[131] Failing to take the prescribed drugs, is an important cause of resistant hypertension.[132] Resistant hypertension may also result from chronically high activity of the autonomic nervous system, an effect known as "neurogenic hypertension".[133] Electrical therapies that stimulate the baroreflex are being studied as an option for lowering blood pressure in people in this situation.[134]

Lactic acidosis is a rare but serious side effect of this drug. With this condition, lactic acid builds up in your blood. This is a medical emergency that requires treatment in the hospital. Lactic acidosis is fatal in about half of people who develop it. You should stop taking this drug and call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room if you have symptoms of lactic acidosis.


Metformin may rarely cause a serious, life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take metformin. Also, tell your doctor if you are over 65 years old and if you have ever had a heart attack; stroke; diabetic ketoacidosis (blood sugar that is high enough to cause severe symptoms and requires emergency medical treatment); a coma; or heart or liver disease. Taking certain other medications with metformin may increase the risk of lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you are taking acetazolamide (Diamox), dichlorphenamide (Keveyis), methazolamide, topiramate (Topamax, in Qsymia), or zonisamide (Zonegran).

For example, a person who is new to Metformin and has been prescribed 2000mg twice a day may start by taking 500mg once daily with dinner for one week. At week two, she will take 500mg with breakfast and 500mg with dinner. At week three, she will take 1000mg with dinner and 500mg with breakfast. And at week four, she will be her therapeutic goal—taking 1000mg with breakfast and 1000mg with dinner.
3. Implement strategies to lower inflammation. Several cross-sectional and longitudinal studies connect high blood pressure with chronic inflammation, a driving force for nearly every disease on the planet. Lowering inflammation starts with what you put on your fork. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods like wild-caught seafood (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), freshly ground flax and chia seeds, spices like turmeric, and plenty of colorful plant foods. Good sleep, stress management, exercise, and the right nutrients can also help lower inflammation.

Metformin might help to lower your blood sugar levels, but your quality of life matters, too. The side effects of metformin can be brutal, and for many, worth avoiding. There are many, many, many other diabetes drugs out there, and most of them are not like metformin at all. Don’t give up and don’t just quit the drug without talking immediately with your healthcare team to find a better alternative for you.
Metformin is prescribed for people with type 2 diabetes. Like any medication, it carries the risk of side effects. The most common side effects from metformin include nausea, diarrhea, gas and upset stomach. These are most likely when you first start taking it and usually go away on their own. Until they do, you should try to take your metformin with a meal. You can also try reducing the amount you take for a few days and gradually increasing it until you’ve reached the amount your doctor has prescribed for you.
^ Ostchega Y, Dillon CF, Hughes JP, Carroll M, Yoon S (July 2007). "Trends in hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control in older U.S. adults: data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1988 to 2004". Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 55 (7): 1056–65. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2007.01215.x. PMID 17608879.
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