Metformin - has anyone else had extreme pain taking this?

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swirley-1
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/4/2007 2:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I was put on Metformin on May the 8th.  By May the 10th, I was doubled over with extreme gas pains sad . I also had diarrhea and I was limiting my carbs to veggie, raw and cooked, and limited meat, and high fiber Wasa Bread, oat bran and fruit.  I totally cut out all the white foods.  I had to stop taking it on May 18th I was so sick.  I waited 5 days and then tried coating my stomach with maalox, etc, and still nothing stopped the extreme pain in my back, colon and stomach.  2 days after I started it the second time, I had to quit, and returned to normal in about 48 hours.
I know lots of other people who take this med. without problems.  Has anyone else had this problem?  Swirley

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 6/4/2007 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Swirley,
Welcome to HealingWell. Glad to make a new friend, but not for the reason of Diabetes. ... The only time I have a problem is when I eat too many carbs. Then I have bad "D" until they are all out of my system. My doctor told me that if I "overdo I go POOH!" That doesn't seem to be your problem. First off I would ask how much metformin are you taking, what other diabetes meds are you on, how are your sugars running with and without the metformin and what kind of daily exercise are you doing.

From one of my medication websites I got this:Gastrointestinal upset can cause severe discomfort for patients; it is most common when metformin is first administered, or when the dose is increased. The discomfort can often be avoided by beginning at a low dose (1 to 1.7 grams per day) and increasing the dose gradually. Gastrointestinal upset after prolonged, steady use is less common.

You may want to speak to your doctor about starting again with a very low dose and working your way up. Metformin is usually a very safe and effective medication. It helps protect Type2's from many of the circulatory complications of diabetes and other than the gastro problems in the beginning, has a low incidence of side effects. It acts to prevent some of the absorption of glucose molecules in the intestines (hence the diarrhea with excess carbs) and it also acts to lower insulin resistance in the cells.

There is one specific side effect of Metformin called diabetic acidosis or ketosis which, if left untreated, can be fatal. It is rare and usually makes one sick enough to seek medical help. There is a link on Wikipedia to Lactic Acidosis which may explain it better than I can. Either way, whatever the problem is, you should be talking to your doctor about this and if he/she doesn't give you adequate help you may want to find another doc.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
~Please remember that 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class! Yours may be one of them...
==================
"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


swirley-1
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/5/2007 7:20 AM (GMT -7)   
:-)  Good Morning Jeannie - I was not over eating anything.  Especially Carbs.  I was visiting my mom for Mother's Day and was so sick, I could not eat much of any thing.  I have been on Adkins for a long period of time in the past, so I have the "carb" thing down.  I was on 500 mg of metformin.  My sister in law started the drug in Feb and is up to 2000 mg per day.  She says she still has some (D) problems.  Maybe it is when she splurges and has a few extra carbs, she has lost  40 lbs. 
 
My blood sugar test was the 90 day average, I can't remember the name of the test, my blood sugar was averaged at 139.  My Dr. did not recommend a meter, or at home testing.  I do not have Insurance.  In fact, he just called in this drug, had his nurse call me and tell me to pick it up and start taking it.  I did not like that kind of communication.  I take Diabetes very seriously and wanted some dialogue with Him. I have found that when you are very obese, many docs don't value you enough to try to help you, they just want their office visit $. 
 
I started to look for another Dr. that could help me with my thyroid issues.  I've been working on that for the past 5 months, and now that I have my numbers up on my thyroid, I have to start dealing with the blood sugar issue.  Thanks for your encouragement.  I know I have to start moving, and now that my thyroid is better, maybe I will have the strength.  

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 6/5/2007 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh, Swirley,
I'm so sorry that you have to fight to get a good doctor! I understand the 'no insurance' thing since I'm in the same boat with you. The only way that you can take control of this disease is by testing daily and learning all you can. Your doctor should be acting as your partner in your health care, guiding and assisting with prescriptions and lab work. He sounds like he is acting as the 'Paternal Figure' doctor, who in my opinion are the worst ones. They often resent any knowledge that you show of your disease and just want you to be a 'good little girl' and do as doctor says. I would dump him pronto and find a real doctor who isn't hung up on an ego trip. Been there, done that... such a pain to go thru!

I purchased my Prestige IQ meter from a place (I think it was American Diabetes Wholesale or Diabetes Store?) for cheap and the things that I like about this meter is that it is simple to use, takes regular AA batteries, and best of all the test strips are inexpensive. Most any company will give you a meter because they want you to be bound to them to use their strips. When you do your research, look for the meters with the least expensive replacement test strips. That is where the money gets spent.

You need to get a meter so you can see where your blood glucose readings are going with your daily food plan. Although a glycohemoglobin will give you a three month average the daily tests let you know which foods are spiking you and if you have dawn effect or are running hypoglycemic. What you really need is an endocrinologist who accepts credit cards. I put all of my medical expenses on one credit card and that way I have accurate records for my income tax at the end of the year. Amazing how it all ads up!

Also, if you itemize you are permitted to deduct the cost of driving to the doctor or labs so you may want to check the milage to those places and keep track of that as well. I use mapquest to plot the course and milage and then use that number to multiply times the number of office visits in the year.

I am overweight myself and have just started to have some success with losing weight while following my diabetic routine. I also had thyroid issues and have those straightened out. Now if I could just kick my fibromyalgia life might be perfect! LOL! Take care.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
~Please remember that 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class! Yours may be one of them...
==================
"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


swirley-1
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/5/2007 11:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Jeannie,
 
cool   Thanks for your concern and information.  It is like you were there...the Dr. came in and started spouting information 90 to nothing, and when I interrupted, to ask a question, he was insulted.  He wanted me to start taking Lipitor, and he had never tested my cholestrol.  He was so ugly to me.  Anyway, I'm not gonna be bitter, I just have to look for a Dr. and I have to wait until my budget can stand it.  You hang in there.  I have several friends that have fibromylgia, and they sure suffer.  With your permission, I will pray for you.  :-) Shirley

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 6/5/2007 1:34 PM (GMT -7)   
LOL! You can pray for me with or without my permission. Muchly appreciated! The credit card is my answer because sometimes I need meds or diagnosis labs and don't have the cash. I can pay it off slowly and consider the carrying charges as part of my medical costs for tax purposes. Hope you have better luck with your next doc... BTW, I'm in Michigan. What state are you in?
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
~Please remember that 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class! Yours may be one of them...
==================
"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


swirley-1
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/5/2007 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   

N.W. Arkansas

Shirley :-)


harry4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1449
   Posted 6/9/2007 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   

metformin although fairly new in the USA has been long used ewlsewhere and causes few problems

a severe pani will result if you take it on an empty stomach and then dont immediately eat, in other words, it must be taken with food sufficient for the dose


recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional
emails are welcome but do mention healingwell to avoid risk of deletion as spam


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 6/9/2007 8:06 PM (GMT -7)   
That's interesting, Harry... I take mine on an empty stomach and then go without food all the time, and I've never had that reaction. Where did you find your information?
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
~Please remember that 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class! Yours may be one of them...
==================
"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


harry4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1449
   Posted 6/10/2007 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
it was stressed in australia

recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional
emails are welcome but do mention healingwell to avoid risk of deletion as spam


swirley-1
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/25/2007 2:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I tried taking metformin every way imaginable with food, during the meal, after - coating my stomach with malox first everything.  My pain was unbearable.  I don't know, maybe I'm allergic to it.  I have never had an allergy before though.   - Hope from vacation in Beautifiul Colorado.! 
Shirley

dsstewart
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/27/2007 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Metformin is the devil . I thought that stuff was going to kill me. I was on it for approx 2 years and the Dr. kept saying it will get better & it never did for me. I know several people who take it without any problems but I would rather have paper cuts on my eyelids than ever take that stuff again.
Good Luck!

Let’s all work together getting better.

Age 34 / Type 1 / Insulin Injections - Lantus & NovoLog FlexPen


FridayLong
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/3/2007 4:54 AM (GMT -7)   
If you're only taking 500 mgs that's just one dose a day right? My first week or so was miserable and the Dr recommended taking it at night and laying off raw vegies for a few weeks (they cause major gas). It took a couple weeks and gradual reintroduction of the vegies but I eat whatever I want now as long as I take the Metformin at night.

gelchick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 7/3/2007 7:20 AM (GMT -7)   

Some generic forms of Metformin have coatings and binders that cause the problem, not the metformin itself. When I had my prescription filled at WalMart- the pills smelled like dead fish and I had extreme pain, gas, bloating and the rest of it. The previous month I had my prescription filled at CVS pharmacy- the pills did not smell- and I had no problems, so I went back to CVS for month 3 - and again- no smell, no problems.  I have read on other forums where people can only take Glucophage brand, or the extended release version- it's something to think about. Even if WalMart was handing out free metformin- I wouldn't take their generic version again.

sandy


I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett


SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 7/3/2007 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   
My hubby is on Metformin,& has been on it awhile with no ill effects as of yet.
I had a Dr put me on Lipitor It made me hurt all over so I threw it away.I don't have high colesteral.Whats the matter with Drs these days??
SnowyLynne


harry4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1449
   Posted 7/4/2007 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   

IMO most people who take metformin on an empty stomach will get a stomach pain, its generally well tollerated in australia and has been used here for many years

500mg is only a small dose

it has the advantage of slowing the digestion, making overweight people feel fuller and reducing their desire to eat more


recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional
emails are welcome but do mention healingwell to avoid risk of deletion as spam

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