endocrinologist pushing drugs on me, but not diabetic

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closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/13/2008 9:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all. I've been posting all over the forum lately so some of you might know me from diffferent areas...I'm a medical mess lol. Anyway, I am overweight and I have PCOS...polycystic ovarian syndrom for those of you who didn't know what that was. My ob/gyn thinks most of my weight gain is from that. Anyway I see an endocrinologist for that and for my hashimoto's thyroiditis. I've been to 3 endos now. One kept pushing metformin at me and that made me sick...I've been told that they use metformin in PCOS patients to increase ovulation. Well I'm on birth control so I obviously don't need ovulation! So I left that endo and found a highly recommended endo 2 and a half hours away. He was great! He looked at all my numbers and the fact that I didn't lose weight on the metformin and all it was doing was making me sick so he took me off of it. I was on 2000mgs. Unfortunately due to other health problems, gas money, and lack of transportation I had to leave him and find another local doc. UGH! So I go to this new doc and at the beginning of the appt he agrees with the other doc that I don't need the metformin. YAY! Then at the end of the appt he starts telling me what he wants to do for me. Yet again, I am not diabetic...I don't test myself or know my numbers because I'm not diabetic...I'm going by my glucose tolerance testing. What he decided he wanted to do for me was put me back on the metformin!! a low dose this time and add byetta to help me lose weight! I know I'm overweight and I know that puts me at risk for diabetes and I accept that...the doc said he was giving me these drugs as a precautionary thing and to help me lose weight. I'm sorry, but I take plenty of meds now for diseases I actually have, and don't want to add things I don't need that will most likely make me sicker than I already am...especially if I'm being put on these meds to lose weight. So I'm assuming some of you at least see endocrinologists. What should I do...I obviously don't know how to talk with them or something. Should I go on them as a precautionary thing even though any time I've had a glucose tolerance test I've been fine? I never started taking the metformin again or byetta and am considering giving up on endos all together. I posted this here because many of you are on these drugs and many of you are type 2s which I would be if I was diabetic obviously. Just looking for any input. Thanks!
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, and in the process of being diagnosed with crohns. Too many meds to list!


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5408
   Posted 7/14/2008 5:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi closure, you're right.  Who wants to take more meds than we have to?  I don't know about metformin but byetta is used as a short-term weight-loss drug in some European countries, and maybe that's why the doctor prescribed it.  If you are truly not diabetic, I think you should try your best to lose the weight without the drugs - my opinion only.  I'm not a doctor.  A very good way to do that is 1) cut way down on the carbs, like on the Atkins diet, and 2) get into a daily exercise routine.  Sorry I can't help more than that.

Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/14/2008 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Lanie...just replying is a help! I'm just so frustrated with it all...in case you couldn't tell. I also feel I should lose the weight without drugs. I wasn't even sent to an endocrinologist for my PCOS...I was sent for my thyroid and they've just taken over with the PCOS stuff. I was doing fine with my ob/gyn! Thanks again. I appreciate your support.
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Too many meds to list!


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 7/14/2008 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Closure,
You are really in a pickle if you are doing Crohns and PCOS. You may want to try the "baby food diet". That's what my daughter did when her crohns went bonkers. She ate strained dinners for about three months. Because she got very tired of them very fast she lost a lot of weight very easily. She also used instant breakfast for a while but could only take it with organic milk. (Something about the antibiotics in some milk... This was years ago.) Wish I could be more helpful.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/14/2008 2:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the info Jeannie. I've been having a horrible time the past two days with crohns symptoms so that baby food idea might be an option here soon because I am running out of ideas and the docs don't have any either except for me to wait for my colonoscopy which is July 31, and now I have to do a stool sample tomorrow. It's basically a sit and wait type of thing.

As for the endocrinologist, I'm going to try to suck it up and keep going since my current family doc won't do anything for my thyroid since she "doesn't fully understand the readings". ***!? Oh well. I'm searching for a new family doc and hopefully when I find one they'll say I don't need to see the endo. I don't know if the endo's going to want anything to do with me though once I tell them I'm not taking those meds without being diagnosed diabetic first.
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Too many meds to list!


Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 7/15/2008 4:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Your thyroid issues, PCOS, and Diabetes (call it: insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, type 1 or 2, juvenile, etc.)... are all endocrine system disorders. The best person to address the endocrine system is an Endocrinologist. I'm sorry to hear that you seem so reluctant to see one.

Of course, to take or not take a drug recommended by any doctor is your choice. I would hope that you would be able to discuss your reluctance with taking Metformin with a doctor (hopefully, an Endo), rather than outright refuse on the grounds of not being diagnosed as diabetic. Although not actually clinically prescribed for PCOS yet (undergoing trials still), Metformin is currently often prescribed to PCOS patients for the number of benefits it provides. PCOS often comes with "insulin resistance", which may or may not show in the glucose tolerance test. Elevated levels of insulin in the blood (blood test) may show that you're producing excessive amounts of insulin in order to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance is also attributed with the weight issues. Again, your choice, though hopefully an informed one. (I've been on the highest dose of Metformin, along with the max dose of Actos/Avandia and max of gliburide....I do understand your issues with the side effects :-)

At the very least, maybe you could get a referral to a Dietician or Nutritionist? Understanding what foods to eat, how much and when along with a healthy dose of exercise, will go a long way in helping to keep the drugs at bay. Either of these folks could really be of help in setting up a plan tailored just for you.
Cheers,
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus


closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/15/2008 5:29 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks for the post Phishbowl. I'm not reluctant to see an endo...I just can't find a good one that listens to me. I had one, but he was over 2 and a half hours away and I don't have any way anymore to get down to see him so I had to find a local doc. The one I was seeing 2 and a half hours away agreed with me that I didn't need the metformin. I was on 2000mgs and was miserable the whole time I was on it. He looked over my numbers from before and during my time on metformin and didn't see any change nor weight loss so he said all it was doing basically was making me sick. I'm just so sick as it is right now and on so many meds as it is...I just can't see being on meds that make me even more sick when according to some I don't really even need them.
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Too many meds to list!


Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 7/16/2008 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I hear your frustration with the doctors and the meds - I went through almost 2 years of a similar situation where drugs kept being added and increased and issues were not being addressed. They thought I was a Type2 and "couldn't figure me out" till one Endo said he thought I was a "wolf in sheep's clothing" and actually a Type1.

I've had 4 surgeries to remove ovarian cysts, though not diagnosed with PCOS or something similar. Been on hypothyroid meds for the past 23 years. Type1 Diabetic for the past 3.5 years (get to stab by fingers 7-10 times/day and inject 2 different insulins 5-7 times/day). Actually been Diabetic for 5.5 years, counting the 2 years of Type2 before the Type1 diagnosis. I take a daily low-dose aspirin and a cholesterol drug once/day, too. I don't think I've felt 'well' for any length of time for quite a while :-)

I hope you can find a good Endo. As Jeannie used to say... remember that half the doctors out there graduated in the bottom half of their class. It may take a few tries to find one the you jive with (and it is important to find one you click with), but stick with it. Hey, maybe the one you liked could refer you to one in your area? Where I live they all seem to know or know of each other.

Do try to get the Dietician/Nutritionist referral if you can. I can't tell you how important understanding food is. I thought I knew what healthy eating was until I literally had to count the nutritional value of everything I put in my mouth (food, drink, drugs, smoking, alcohol). When you have to inject 1 unit of insulin for every 8 grams/carbs... you really think twice about eating that cookie :-) That and truly understanding that grains were the the world's first 'fast food' - but that's another story :-)
Cheers,
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus


closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/16/2008 9:57 AM (GMT -7)   
we don't have many endos here...I think there are 2. I saw the other one years ago and well technically I never even met her....just her nurse practitioners for like years. they were the ones that started me on the metformin. don't get me wrong or anything, I think nurse practitioners and physician's assistants are fine...I just didn't like that I never even met the doc that signed off on all my meds. It just didn't feel right. So I ended up with the guy 2 and a half hours away, who is very well known throughout the state and he even took the time to see me himself! I wish there was some way I could get down there, but there really isn't at the moment. So I'm stuck with the new guy. I have to do another glucose tolerance test and I'm kind of nervous. like I've said, if I definitely need the meds I'll take them...I'm usually very good about following doctor's orders, but now I'm getting scared that I might not have a choice. since my last glucose test I've put on some weight thanks to zyprexa for my bipolar. once they saw that I had gained almost 30lbs they took me off of it right away, even though it was a miracle drug for me, but I haven't lost the extra weight yet. like I've said I just take so many meds now, I'm not very stable emotionally to be honest, and I'm having a ton of physical health problems. I don't know how much more I can take. on top of everything else I found a rather large lump behind my left ear yesterday and now I've got even more testing to do. it's like a never ending story with me. thanks for listening guys.
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Too many meds to list!


Marburg
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 7/18/2008 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi closure,

Phishbowl is absolutely correct.  Metformin is often prescribed for folks with PCOS (I was treated with Met for years before I developed diabetes because I also have PCOS).  According to the specialist I saw up to 60% of people with PCOS go on to develope type 2 diabetes.  Both are dieases affecting metabolism and are endocrine system disorders.  When I first started I was on the lowest dose of Met and also put on Aldactone (which is often prescribed for hypertension, PCOS and hormone balancing such as obtained with birth control pills).  They eventually dropped the Aldactone (high liver enzymes and development of fatty liver) but not the Met.

Phishbowl said...
Your thyroid issues, PCOS, and Diabetes (call it: insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, type 1 or 2, juvenile, etc.)... are all endocrine system disorders. The best person to address the endocrine system is an Endocrinologist. I'm sorry to hear that you seem so reluctant to see one.

Of course, to take or not take a drug recommended by any doctor is your choice. I would hope that you would be able to discuss your reluctance with taking Metformin with a doctor (hopefully, an Endo), rather than outright refuse on the grounds of not being diagnosed as diabetic. Although not actually clinically prescribed for PCOS yet (undergoing trials still), Metformin is currently often prescribed to PCOS patients for the number of benefits it provides. PCOS often comes with "insulin resistance", which may or may not show in the glucose tolerance test. Elevated levels of insulin in the blood (blood test) may show that you're producing excessive amounts of insulin in order to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance is also attributed with the weight issues. Again, your choice, though hopefully an informed one. (I've been on the highest dose of Metformin, along with the max dose of Actos/Avandia and max of gliburide....I do understand your issues with the side effects :-)

At the very least, maybe you could get a referral to a Dietician or Nutritionist? Understanding what foods to eat, how much and when along with a healthy dose of exercise, will go a long way in helping to keep the drugs at bay. Either of these folks could really be of help in setting up a plan tailored just for you.


closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/19/2008 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   
this may seem like an ignorant question, but what does the metformin really do for people with PCOS? I've been told I'm being put on it for "precautionary" reasons, but you were on it and still developed diabetes. I'm just trying to understand.
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Too many meds to list!


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5408
   Posted 7/19/2008 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   

I didn't know why it's prescribed either so I googled "PCOS metformin".  Your question is NOT  (yikes, I can't type fast.  sorry) ignorant in the least!  Anyway, here is one of the websites to look at.  There are others.  Sorry I can't help more.

http://pcos.insulitelabs.com/Metformin-and-PCOS.php



Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds

Post Edited (LanieG) : 7/19/2008 2:42:51 PM (GMT-6)


closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/19/2008 1:41 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks hon...I'll take a look at it.
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Too many meds to list!


closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/19/2008 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
well I took a look at that site and it basically said what I already feel/knew about metformin. I'll give metformin the benefit of the doubt though since it seems to be a website selling another PCOS treatment, but I still don't like it and still feel it's side effects outweigh the positives...positives I've never seen keep in mind.
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Too many meds to list!


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5408
   Posted 7/19/2008 1:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I wish I knew what to tell you.  Other sites I looked at also said the metformin was normally used, too.  It's over my head, I'm afraid, because I really don't know more about it. Sorry.
Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/19/2008 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
that's ok Lanie...I really appreciate the effort. thanks again hon. *hugs*
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Too many meds to list!


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5408
   Posted 7/19/2008 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Have a good weekend anyway.  :)

Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


Dagger
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 7/19/2008 5:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Most women with PCOS also have insulin resistance, especially if they are overweight. The purpose of the metformin is to help with the insulin resistance. When women with PCOS take metformin, they usually tolerate it better if they reduce their carbs. I'm not sure if it's the same if you don't have PCOS. Cutting the carbs helps with the nausea and sick feeling. It also seems to be the best way to lose weight when you have PCOS. If you take the metformin and don't change your eating habits, you probably won't see much of a change.

Having PCOS with insulin resistance puts you at a much higher risk of diabetes and heart disease. It is very hard, and almost impossible for some women, to lose weight on their own. Our bodies aren't working the way they should and sometimes need extra help in the form of medication to lose weight. For me, carbs = weight gain, it's not just calories.

Talk to your endo about why he is recommending the metformin. When you took it last time, did you start slowly and build up to 2000? I've heard this helps a lot with the side effects. You should really research PCOS so you can understand what is happening in your body. This way, you can make informed decisions about your need to take any medications or make lifestyle changes.

closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/19/2008 7:06 PM (GMT -7)   
are you following me around the forum dagger? lol. ;-) I did start slowly on the metformin and the stomach problems never went away. I would go up get really sick, decrease, try to go slower, increase again, and I was sick no matter what I did. I did notice that extra carbs while on metformin did make me sicker, but even when I cut back I was still just as sick. I'm sure metformin has helped a lot of people, but I just had a really bad experience with it. thanks for the reply though. *hugs*
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Too many meds to list!

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