Low Carb Friends

Low Carb Friends (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/)
-   Diabetes (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/diabetes/)
-   -   Feedback for Newbie with Med Decisions? (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/diabetes/802679-feedback-newbie-med-decisions.html)

red65 04-23-2013 08:58 AM

Feedback for Newbie with Med Decisions?
 
Hello all,

I've been lurking for a while now trying to figure out the best game plan to get my BS under control. I've been battling it for months now with consistent fasting numbers in the high 200 and low to mid 300's. Readings during the day run similar with an occasional drop into the high 100's.

Last year my doctor first put me on Metformin 500 2x daily which didn't help. He adjusted it to 1000 2x daily which was not doing much and was tearing my guts up (I am unable to take and absorb extended release meds so Metformin XR is not an option.) He added 5mg Glipizide 1x daily but once again, the numbers weren't going anywhere good.

At this point I just sort of gave up for a while, playing ostrich and sticking my head in the sand. Stupid I know but factual. During this time I started having blinding headaches (different in nature from my migraines that I also suffer from) and blood pressure numbers creeping higher and higher. Finally I had enough and rejoined the fight in March which is where my story picks back up.

My A1C in March was 10.7 and my BS that day was 334. My doctor was not happy and told me he wants my A1C to be under 7.0. From reading here that is not even a safe goal!! He took me off the Metformin (due to gut issues) put me on Glipizide 10mg 2x daily.

The Glipizide has brought my fasting BS down to the lower 200's. Better but still very dangerous I know.My doctor told me that if the Glipizide didn't bring my numbers down significantly to come back in and we would weigh options. I went in last week showing the daily reading still n the 200's (he gave me a log sheet to bring in each time I come). Also, my blood pressure has continued to be consistently high even with taking a blood pressure med for 5 years now since a small stroke in 2008.

He added Lisinopril 10mg for blood pressure and said it also would help protect my kidneys from damage from the diabetes. He then gave me 7 weeks worth of samples of Januvia to try out. I am on 18 different meds for about that many health issues so I research any and all new meds before I put even one in my mouth. The things I've read about Januvia scare the crap out of me and I am scared to take them for fear of cancer risk. I already have a significant family history of cancer so this to me is just not acceptable yet as my mom told me, not treating the diabetes is NOT an option. Of course I know this as I watched my grandmother deal with dialysis, heart problems requiring a quadruple bypass and ultimately liver failure and am to this day traumatized by her last days).

Ok, sorry for the book and if you are still with me then thank you. I just wanted to provide as much information as possible. Ok. So, I am taking the Glipizide 10mg 2x daily but not taking the Januvia. I decided today that gut issues or not I am better off taking the Metformin again so am going back to the 1000mg Met 2 x daily in addition to the Glipizide 10mg 2x daily and am going to monitor my BS closely. I have 500mg Metformins left if things drop too low.

I am starting back on low carb and am dragging my husband along with me as he has high blood pressure and a family history of diabetes. We have both lost weight on it before and being a gastric bypass patient (13 years post-op), it is ideally how I should eat anyways. It is my hope that going LC and losing some weight will allow me to lower the BS and lower the meds with the ultimate goal of getting off of them completely if possible.

I just want to know from those who know much more than me if my decision to stay away from the Januvia and give the Met another try in addition to the higher Glipizide dosage seems to be the better of the two options? I KNOW LC will be a factor in this as well. I am not going to blindly shove anything in my mouth and expect miracles. I am no longer in denial about the seriousness of my diabetes.

My doctor will not even discuss insulin with me. He is a family practice doctor and all I can currently afford with no insurance. I am disabled and Medicare will kick in this September and I plan to find an endocrinologist ASAP but at this point I am trying to do what I can to save my own life.

I welcome any and all CONSTRUCTIVE feedback, just please be kind about it. I already feel crappy enough for being in this boat and I am also scared. I'm 47 with an amazing family including my first grandchild. I have a lot of life yet to live and I want to be here to enjoy it, not dead or worse yet a burden to those I love.

My LC plan is Induction Level Atkins for as long as it takes to see positive changes. I've always focused on the weightloss before and would get discouraged and give up when I stopped losing weight. My new goals do not involve weightloss as the primary motivator although I know that staying on plan and coupled with the Met I should lose weight. My primary motivator now is my blood sugar and learning to eat to my meter.

Thank you in advance,
Kellye

ravenrose 04-23-2013 10:17 AM

insulin is a wonderful drug, far better for you than the glypizide. why does he not want to talk about it? I will come back to this later when I have time to read in detail. *hug*

Mistizoom 04-23-2013 08:14 PM

I have no advice on the medications but I wanted to post to say welcome. I'm very sorry you are dealing with so many health issues. Strict Atkins sounds like a good place to start diet-wise, though you may also want to check out Dr. Bernstein's books - Dr. Betnstein's Diabetes Solution and The Diabetes Diet.

That Girl 04-23-2013 08:15 PM

Ya, you need to be on insulin, if only a very small dose. It might save you the pancreatic "burn out" that will happen to someone whose numbers are that high.....a minimal dose may save your pancreas, and allow you to get control of your numbers. But, I have to ask you this, are you really sticking to the diet? If not, you are playing rusian roulette with this...usually if you're still a type II diabetic you can get control of this with medicine and diet...type II's go into type I, then you have to be on insulin for sure....try to stick to lc...you may be surprised by the results! Good luck, I am on the same journey as you, hang in there!

red65 04-24-2013 04:41 AM

Good morning,

Thank you for the hug, the welcome and the advice. Yesterday was the first day of doing the Met 1000 x 2 and Glipizide 10mg x2 and start to my LC eating. My FBS this morning was 104!! That is the first normal reading I have had since starting this battle last year. It gives me hope but also tells me that I need to watch my numbers. I just tested and feel pretty shaky right now. From what I've read on here my body may be thinking I'm going low just because it doesn't remember what "normal" is for me.

That Girl, I just started back on the LC thing yesterday. It has been about 3 years since we last ate that way so I can tell you that I plan to stick to the diet and I'm not trying to play Russian roulette with this. My hope is that the LC will enable me to lower and hopefully one day eliminate entirely the need for meds.

As to the insulin question, he just sort of blows it off. I think to his way of thinking, "we're not there yet". I go back for a follow-up next month and I will have my log in hand hopefully with proof that the LC is working along with the med combo. When I asked him about LC he said that he didn't recommend it but instead recommended an 1,800 calorie modified carb diet. When I asked what constituted modified carbs he said to google it and I could find plenty of examples there.

Definitely finding a endo as soon as my Medicare kicks in regardless of what my numbers are by then.

Thanks again all,
Kellye

SweetMe678 04-24-2013 06:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mistizoom (Post 16390205)
I have no advice on the medications but I wanted to post to say welcome. I'm very sorry you are dealing with so many health issues. Strict Atkins sounds like a good place to start diet-wise, though you may also want to check out Dr. Bernstein's books - Dr. Betnstein's Diabetes Solution and The Diabetes Diet.

:goodpost:

I would really recommend getting a copy of the book. You can get it used on amazon for about $10. It is PACKED with information, and has been very useful for my hubby who is type 1.

Quote:

Originally Posted by That Girl (Post 16390207)
Ya, you need to be on insulin, if only a very small dose. It might save you the pancreatic "burn out" that will happen to someone whose numbers are that high.....a minimal dose may save your pancreas, and allow you to get control of your numbers. But, I have to ask you this, are you really sticking to the diet? If not, you are playing rusian roulette with this...usually if you're still a type II diabetic you can get control of this with medicine and diet...type II's go into type I, then you have to be on insulin for sure....try to stick to lc...you may be surprised by the results! Good luck, I am on the same journey as you, hang in there!

These are good points too. Dr. Bernstein recommends small amounts of insulin to help give your pancreas a 'break', and to help it begin healing in conjunction with a low carb diet. If your OR your doctors concern about insulin use is the cost, Wal-mart used to offer insulin to those without prescriptions for $25, and at a very low dose the vial should last longer than a month in the fridge. You would of course want to check this, as it was about a year ago they were advertising this.
Dr B also recommends setting a 'target' blood sugar. Hubby started at 160 because he was running an average of 240 and even 120 could feel low to him, and because he is type 1 and on an insulin pump, we had to be careful about him going hypo. But he is now slowly lowering his target every week, with the goal of getting to 85 eventually.

This husband of mine, is the man who swore up and down that he HAD to have carbs at every meal, but now, he is sold on low carb. For the first time in his LIFE, he feels like he has control over his blood sugar.

Jrw85705 04-24-2013 08:00 AM

I wholeheartedly agree with Mistizoom and Sweetme about Dr. Bernstein's book. I firmly believed without it I would still be fighting my blood sugar numbers on a daily basis.

The great thing about the book is he explains why our numbers are high and exactly what to do to get them lower. I know before Dr. B my numbers would swing from the 200's to the 80's and the during the way down I would shake so much I was afraid I was going into a diabetic coma. Now I am always in the mid 80's and after an intense workout I might be in the high 60's and feel no adverse effects.

It has been over two years of following his way to the letter and I can't imagine ever going back. Let us know how you are doing and check your library, they may have a copy of Dr. Bernsteins's book.

red65 04-24-2013 09:23 AM

Thank you for the feedback on Dr. B's book. I am going to order it from Amazon today and get it via Kindle so I can start reading up!

I'm not adverse to taking insulin if that is what it takes and cost isn't a huge factor as long as it isn't hundreds of dollars but even if it was if that is what was required then so be it.

I'm going to give it til my appointment next month and see where I stand and if things are still all over the place then we are going to have a firm talk.

These shaky feelings are not fun so I look forward to reading about ways to prevent them!!

Thanks to you all, will keep you posted!

Vilya 04-25-2013 06:41 PM

Please give insulin a try before taking Glipizide. The glip works by forcing your pancreas to make more insulin, which is only going to burn out your beta cells faster.

You may be able to get it under control with a strict LC diet and Metformin. That's what I did, and my starting A1C was 12.2%. I kept my carbs around 15-20 per day for months, along with Metformin. My numbers are now normal, and I now eat around 30-40 carbs per day. I choose to also stay on the Met for a little extra assistance.

cfine 04-25-2013 07:06 PM

I would just like to second what Vilya said about the Glipizide. Jennie Ruhl(I think I got her name right) has a couple of good books about diabetes and you can get it on your kindle. She is not a doctor but has done extensive research on diabetes and the different meds used to treat it. I think you would find these books very helpful in deciding the right treatment for yourself.
When I decided to finally get my own head out of the sand about my health, I went on Lantus for a sort time just to get my numbers under control. I couldn't take metformin because it made me so sick. If I could take it, I would! I am now off of any diabetes medication and have significantly decreased my blood pressure meds. It can be done, you just have to really be strict with your food choices. It's so worth it to feel better.

Tx_Clint 05-15-2013 10:01 AM

I have just a bit of advice on taking metformin. Friends and myself have found that metformin is easier to take and is more effective if you break it into several doses per day. For example 500 at wakeup... 5 hrs later... again 5hrs later and again 5 hrs later... I think you get the idea. The wakeup dose is important to help with dp (dawn phenomenon sp?). Second bit is it may take several weeks before the metformin is fully effective. Third and most important is eat to your meter. Best of luck.

Mistizoom 05-15-2013 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tx_Clint (Post 16425697)
I have just a bit of advice on taking metformin. Friends and myself have found that metformin is easier to take and is more effective if you break it into several doses per day. For example 500 at wakeup... 5 hrs later... again 5hrs later and again 5 hrs later... I think you get the idea. The wakeup dose is important to help with dp (dawn phenomenon sp?). Second bit is it may take several weeks before the metformin is fully effective. Third and most important is eat to your meter. Best of luck.

Regular metformin should be taken in divided doses, however the extended release version should be taken once a day. I take 1500 mg metformin ER at night before bed. I take it for insulin resistance/PCOS rather than diabetes.

That Girl 05-18-2013 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mistizoom (Post 16425724)
Regular metformin should be taken in divided doses, however the extended release version should be taken once a day. I take 1500 mg metformin ER at night before bed. I take it for insulin resistance/PCOS rather than diabetes.

See this is what I don't get from my Dr.....she has me taking the extended release 1000 mg in the morning, 1000 after dinner....I had to talk her into giving me the extended, she thought it didn't come that way. Now, the pharmacist said he thought I should take it all at once in the morning....I am confused!! Which is best?

Mistizoom 05-19-2013 04:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by That Girl (Post 16430636)
See this is what I don't get from my Dr.....she has me taking the extended release 1000 mg in the morning, 1000 after dinner....I had to talk her into giving me the extended, she thought it didn't come that way. Now, the pharmacist said he thought I should take it all at once in the morning....I am confused!! Which is best?

Are you taking the metformin for diabetes or for PCOS/insulin resistance? If for PCOS, anyway, I'm not sure you need to worry that much. Just try one way of dosing and if it works stick with it.

Dottie 05-19-2013 03:38 PM

Just pointing out, in case it's not clear, you should not ever start an insulin regiment without it being under a doctors supervision.
While you can get the insulin and supplies without a prescription, it is not something to play around with on your own without supervision.

Lindy in Louisiana 05-19-2013 03:47 PM

Red65,
Check out our other plans, Perfect Health diet on the main forum. It might be what you are looking for for both you and your husband. It is a little more moderate LC with potatoes and white rice added as safe starches that will not raise your BS. Good luck, :high5:


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:29 AM.