TO METFORMIN OR NOT!

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netman
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/30/2012 11:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,
 
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in January of this year. My AIC at the time was 7.0. My doctor advised me to start taking Metformin as well as a cholesterol lowering medication since my blood cholesterol was too high as well. I started taking the Metformin on half does of 500mg per day for about 3 days and felt terrible!! I felt very tired and like my head was in a constant fog. I decided to stop taking them 3 days later because i wasn't able to bear the side effects. I saw my GP shortly after to explain to her the symptoms that I was experiencing with Metformin. She told me my symptoms were not common and told me there's wasn't much else she could give me aside from Insulin. So I decided to change my lifestyle. I was about 70 pounds overweight at the time ( based on the BMI index ) and have since lost 37 pounds by reducing carbs and exercising almost every day. My fasting blood sugar ( tested at home ) has gone from 7.5 to 6.0 to 6.5  on most days.  My last 2 A1C tests have come down to 5.8. My blood cholesterol as well as blood pressure are now in the optimal range. I have recently read a book by Rob Thompson called " The glycemic load , diabetes solution ". He's a doctor and diabetic and he recommends that anyone that is has an A1C greater than 5.6 ( considered pre-diabetic ) should take Metformin, no matter how well one is able to manage their diabetes. The reason for this he says is because in the long run diabetics will reduce the strain on the beta cells we have left. Those are the cells responsible for using our insulin properly which by the time we are diagnosed as diabetics we have killed half of them. So my question is...do I give Metformin another try? and if again i am not able to cope with the side effects is there anything else out there for me aside from insulin? I want to see my A1C lower than  5.8...but I cannot do any better than I have been doing to this point with diet and excercise alone. Any feedback would be great!

greatunclebill
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 142
   Posted 11/30/2012 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   
my wife and i both have sleep apnea and sleep with a cpap. my wife also has diabetes type 2 and takes metformin. untreated sleep apnea generally causes low o2 problems at night and cpap usually resolves it by stopping the stop breathing episodes. i say this because at some point after starting metformin which can cause o2 to drop, her o2 started dropping at night. she had to go on an o2 concentrator at night because of it. to me your symptoms seem low o2 related and could be caused by the metformin. you could also have sleep apnea, but that is not my main thought. discuss this with your doctor. have him order an overnight pulse oximeter study and see where it all goes, rule it definitely in or out. the test is cheap. if it is low o2 at night, whatever the source, it is a serious thing.
gout, sleep apnea, asthma, copd, high BP & cholesterol, Gerd, light headedness, muscle weakness.

USAF MSgt (E-7) Retired
1968-1990

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5924
   Posted 11/30/2012 2:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi netman, welcome back! Well, you have discovered a truth about type 2, that diabetes responds quickly to diet and exercise. The diet and exercise will cause weight loss and lower blood sugar. The weight loss and lower blood sugar will help your body reduce possible side effects of diabetes.

Typical side effects of metformin are typically gastro-related, acid stomach, upset stomach, that kind of thing. I don't know if your first experience was related to the medication or not. To avoid these kinds of side effects, the usual advice is not to eat a lot of carbs or greasy food. This may vary from person to person.

There has been some recent 'good' news about metformin not only in relation to diabetes but for other health protection. Metformin is usually the first choice for a new type 2 along with a low carb diet and a more active lifestyle. This medication helps your body use the insulin you still make more efficiently. And, yes, I've also read that any help for the pancreas will help stop the beta cells from burning out. If they burn out, this means they won't produce insulin which means you have to have insulin.

Metformin will not cause hypoglycemia as some other medication will. However, there are many other oral drugs that a doctor can prescribe before insulin. So, I'm perplexed why your doctor would tell you there's not much else for her to prescribe before putting you on insulin (which you may not need!). What your body can use is help with a better and more effective use of the insulin you're still producing, and that's what metformin does.

If I were you, I would give it another try. Take it with food so it lessens the chance of gastric upset.

Congratulations on all the improvement. There have been several new books on diet's effect on diabetes. I bought Richard Bernstein's Diabetes Solution which is really thorough and informative. Keep us updated, ok? By the way, did you ever find the name of the dark chocolate you were eating? wink
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

IamCurious
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3039
   Posted 11/30/2012 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   
If you are going to take meds for diabetes then Metformin is probably one of the better meds to take, if you can tolerate it. But if Metformin gives you problems then I would say avoid it and continue on with what you are doing.

It is fantastic that lifestyle changes resulted in losing 37 pounds and your A1C has dropped from 7.0 to 5.8. I bet if you continued your new lifestyle that you would lose the remaining 33 pounds you wish to lose, and your A1C might drop below 5.6. In that case then why would you need Metformin?

All things considered it is probably healthier to lose 70 pounds without using Metformin, than remaining overweight and relying on Metformin to control your blood sugar and rest your beta cells. Another side benefit of losing weight is lowering cholesterol. Your intolerance to Metformin may have been a blessing in disguise if it encouraged you to change your lifestyle.
Male/61 DX IBD in Feb08. No meds, allergic to Mesalamine. Remission since Mar10. Powdered psyllium seed mixed with VSL3 is very helpful. Food journal instead of SCD or Paleo.

Lots of fruit & vegetables (but no plums or cruciferous), No Gluten, no soda, no HFCS, no xylitol or sorbitol, no trans fat, no shellfish, few processed foods, no carrageenan.
Probiotics, fish oil, multivitamin, extra D3, K2, E complex, phos choline, magnesium, boswellia, curcumin, glutamine.
Nature created all of the locks, therefore Nature has all of the keys

Post Edited (BabeintheWoods) : 11/30/2012 1:46:50 PM (GMT-7)


netman
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 12/3/2012 6:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the advice everyone.

Lanie, sorry for the very late reply on the type of chocolate. The type of chocolate that i am referring to is cote d'ivoire dark chocolate 86%. I have one square every day. Although it is high in saturated fat, it is high in fiber and low in sugar. It takes some getting use to at first but it's really good.

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5924
   Posted 12/3/2012 7:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I've read that dark chocolate is good for us!
yeah  
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

hammer44
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 12/3/2012 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
have you tried i tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mix with 8 oz of water
at bed time. it really does work , I use bragg organic apple cider vinegar.
some peoples who take metformin , will be on insulin later on .
diagnosed age 54
psa 7.31 prostate 30cc volume acid posphatue 0.41
negtive bone scan RRP march 1992 cath remove 20th day
pathologic final report cleason 2/3 tumor within one cell layer of margin
involvement of the margin cannot be ruled out
post op ( HCT 29.7)( HGB 10.3)PSA 0.15
penile inplant APR 1993
PSA 0.001 1992 - present
AMS 6 Nov 2012

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5924
   Posted 12/3/2012 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome hammer44. Are you diabetic? Are you drinking the cider vinegar to help control your blood sugar? I'm curious as to why you write that some people who take metformin will be on insulin later. Why do you say that?
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

netman
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 12/4/2012 5:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I would like to know too...

thanks

hammer44
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 12/4/2012 7:23 AM (GMT -6)   
i have some friends who went from metformin to insulin 2 to three years later. i was diagnose with pre-diabetes three years ago .I tried metformin
it upset my stomach so i stop taking it . yes i take the apple cider vinegar every night. when i do a fast blood test the reading is less than 100 sometimes it around 86. my reading is 125 2 hours after i eat.
i walk two to three mines everyday and i still pitch fast pitch softball.
i cut down on my sugar intake and try to keep it down to 5 mg , just read the food label.
just " will apple cider vinegar control blood sugar' i am telling it work.

there are many produce that are made with sugar alcohol that won't
raise your blood sugar level but you can't over eat them.
takecare
diagnosed age 54
psa 7.31 prostate 30cc volume acid posphatue 0.41
negtive bone scan RRP march 1992 cath remove 20th day
pathologic final report cleason 2/3 tumor within one cell layer of margin
involvement of the margin cannot be ruled out
post op ( HCT 29.7)( HGB 10.3)PSA 0.15
penile inplant APR 1993
PSA 0.001 1992 - present
AMS 6 Nov 2012

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5924
   Posted 12/4/2012 7:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Metformin helps the body use the insulin that our pancreas produces. Sometimes it can cause stomach problems which is why the doctor will normally say to take it with food. There is no reason to say it can cause people to go on insulin later.

Cider vinegar may help some people keep blood sugar lower and if it works for you, that's great. I hope you are controlling your blood sugar to normal levels and that you told your doctor you stopped metformin. Of course, there are other medications besides metformin.

Sugar is not the only food that raises blood sugar. Food in general with carbohydrates do this. For example, potatoes, rice, corn and any food made with flour. Vegetables have different levels of carbohydrates but if they have a lot of fiber, this sometimes helps to prevent spikes.

Reading labels on food packages is important to see how many carbs are in each serving. "Sugar-free" food may have sugar alcohols and if you eat too much of it, you may have diarrhea, so you need to be careful with chocolate or other candy that is "sugar-free".

Regular exercise also helps control blood sugar and it's good for the heart, circulation and mental health.

As always, our blood sugar meter should be our guide. Keeping a journal of our blood sugar and food we eat will help us see how the food affects us.
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

netman
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 12/4/2012 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Great advice Lanie. I would also like to add that a great way to control post meal blood sugar spikes is to use proper food combining at every meal. Have lean protein ( chicken, fish, poultry..) along with slow releasing carbs ( any green leaf salad )...you can have SOME starchy foods but they must be limited pasta, rice , patatoes... never ever starchy foods alone, they will surely spike your blood sugar.

Curt 2
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/27/2016 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I tried Metformin and became exhausted, and could not think clearly, also my hair thinned out. Life was not worth living. I am titrating off it now, and am cutting sugar and starch out of my diet and taking apple cider vinegar pills and cinnamon pills with my meals and hoping for the best. Also, planning to start exercising more. Metformin for me was a disaster.

theHTreturns...
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 19782
   Posted 6/28/2016 5:06 AM (GMT -6)   
welcome, old thread. exercise and diet. it's amazing how we get the rocket up our butt when things start going down hill...metformin is to help, not a cure. some meds work differently on different people. but awesome stuff on your front. 6 is a good figure. very good. 5.8 awesome. be happy with this....extremely happy.
THE HAPPY TURTLE.

A QUOTE FROM THE HAPPY TURTLE THAT REFLECTS ME.

"COMPLEXITY IS MY WAY OF EXPRESSING MY NEEDS IN A MANNER THAT IS NEITHER DESTRUCTIVE, NOR NEGATIVE"
'

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5924
   Posted 6/28/2016 7:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to Healingwell, Curt. I am sorry you think those symptoms were due to metformin. I have not read about those side effects at all. Have you spoken to your doctor? What have your blood sugar readings been after meals and fasting in the morning? Please read the two stickies at the top of the Diabetes Forum for more information about diabetes. I suggest you work with your doctor and not stop a medication that was prescribed for you.

As Turtle wrote, this is an old thread, so I'm going to lock it and ask you to create a new thread for yourself. Thank you!
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating
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