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Old 03-28-2014, 01:00 PM   #1
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Metaformin, Not Hungry, Still High BS :(

Newly diagnosed as Pre-Diabetic. I started 1000 mg of Metaformin last Monday, and then moved up to 2000 this Monday. I am absolutely miserable. I am doing my best to eat very low carbs, and deal with the side effects of the medication. Yes, I have diarrhea like crazy. But I think the nausea is the worst. It's debilitating. My body feels like it has the flu. I have tried explaining it to my husband, but he just says "ok" and tells me I will get through it. I just want to stop all of it right now. But I know it is for the best. My BS seems to be averaging out at about 125 for 2 hour after meals and in the morning. I am eating hardly anything, so I would think my numbers would be much lower. Any advice or words of wisdom? Sorry for the whiny post, but I just want to give up at this point. I'm getting all teary eyed typing this. Ughhh!!!!
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:11 PM   #2
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My brother is also on Meformin (for diabetes) and my husband is on it for insulin resistance, both taking 2000mg like you. My brother reacted badly like you did, and it turns out that he jumped up from 1000 to 2000 too quickly. He had diarrhea and nausea very badly, so he stopped taking 2000mg and went back to 1000. He stayed with 1000 for another week (or two), and then went up to 1500mg for a week or two, and then went up to 2000mg. He did much better doing it that way. So, maybe you jumped up too quickly from 1000mg to 2000mg, without an interim of 1500mg. Talk to your doctor about staying at 1000mg for another week or until you feel better, and instead of jumping up in one step to 2000mg, go up to 1500 first for a couple of weeks. Your body may transition easier that way.

Also, Metformin takes a few weeks to start working, so don't be upset yet if your numbers are not as good as you expected. You should see improvement within a few weeks.

I'm sorry you're so miserable, but from what I've heard, Metformin is a very good drug that's been found to be protective from some types of cancer. Hopefully, if you ease into the higher dose, your body will adapt and you won't have those types of issues.

One more thing....my husband found that when he switched to another generic, his gastro issues subsided. That involved going to another pharmacy, but it's worked out. Our doctor actually told him to do that. Most major pharmacies have generic Metformin on their own prescription discount plan so you don't even have to use your own insurance. Walmart charges $10 for three months; Rite Aid charges $11.99 for three months. That's cheaper than going through our insurance which would be $30 for three months.

Good luck to you!
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:12 PM   #3
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that is not that bad. it is a great drug but not a miracle. that is just what your personal insulin metabolism can do with Metformin's help, so you should embrace that.

how much of an improvement is it over eating similarly without the Metformin? I bet it's pretty helpful.

and yes, you will acclimate to it. I felt like I had rocks in my stomach for a month.

but I suggest you call your doc and talk about going back to 1000 mg for another couple of weeks before moving up to 2000. if you are that miserable, give yourself more time!

some do better with the extended release Metformin
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:44 PM   #4
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My sister said she felt like she had the flu too. She quit taking it. She was on about 1000. Her husbands doctor told him that anything over 1500 doesnt work
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:47 PM   #5
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My sister said she felt like she had the flu too. She quit taking it. She was on about 1000. Her husbands doctor told him that anything over 1500 doesnt work
I find that doctor's statement strange as everything I've read and heard from our doctor as well as my brother's doctor is that Metformin doesn't really work BELOW 2000 mg. Actually, it doesn't make sense that a medicine wouldn't work above 1500 mg when the maximum daily dose is 2550 (2000 for extended release).
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ronnie51 View Post
I find that doctor's statement strange as everything I've read and heard from our doctor as well as my brother's doctor is that Metformin doesn't really work BELOW 2000 mg. Actually, it doesn't make sense that a medicine wouldn't work above 1500 mg when the maximum daily dose is 2550 (2000 for extended release).
I'm acting as medical advocate for a friend who's a diabetic and Metformin is only one of the medications she takes. According to her endo, the Metformin is not meant to lower her BG as a direct effect. It is meant to make her cells less insulin resistant. She takes other medications to lower the blood sugar.

To the OP...perhaps you could suggest to your doctor that he lower your metformin to 1000mg a day and give you other meds to help control the BG's? My friend is on the following:
1000mg (taken 2x a day) metformin ER
Januvia 100mg (helps produce more beta cells)
Farxiga 5mg (prevents reabsorption of glucose by kidneys)
Amaryl 4mg (stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin)

She's gone from poorly controlled BG's over 200, to consistent 140-ish as a fasting a.m. and about 110-115 the rest of the day (mainly because she still continues to eat about 200gm of carbs per day.

She originally was taking Lantus and Humalog (maximum doses of both) with very little control, so I was surprised when her doc put her on orals. His explanation was that long term use of insulin made the pancreas 'lazy'. Since insulin was being provided, it would slowly stop producing as much. His goal was to get the pancreas working the way it should. Love this guy. Wish he had been around while I was still on meds.

Then again, I might not have had the motivation to do Bernstein's plan if I could take minimum oral meds, control my blood sugar and still eat carbs.

Last edited by Aomiel; 03-30-2014 at 07:12 AM..
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:23 AM   #7
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That would explain why my brother's doctor would not take him off Januvia after he added Metformin to his regimen for his diabetes. And why my husband, who is insulin resistant, is only on Metformin.

As far as FirsttimeFL, she hasn't yet been able to take 2000 mg daily of Metformin (1000 mg twice per day) without feeling very ill. After she works herself up to 2000 mg (assuming she can), her doctor can revisit her blood sugar levels and then consider adding another drug if warranted.

Last edited by Ronnie51; 03-30-2014 at 08:29 AM.. Reason: Added another sentence
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Old 03-30-2014, 06:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aomiel View Post
I'm acting as medical advocate for a friend who's a diabetic and Metformin is only one of the medications she takes. According to her endo, the Metformin is not meant to lower her BG as a direct effect. It is meant to make her cells less insulin resistant. She takes other medications to lower the blood sugar.

To the OP...perhaps you could suggest to your doctor that he lower your metformin to 1000mg a day and give you other meds to help control the BG's? My friend is on the following:
1000mg (taken 2x a day) metformin ER
Januvia 100mg (helps produce more beta cells)
Farxiga 5mg (prevents reabsorption of glucose by kidneys)
Amaryl 4mg (stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin)

She's gone from poorly controlled BG's over 200, to consistent 140-ish as a fasting a.m. and about 110-115 the rest of the day (mainly because she still continues to eat about 200gm of carbs per day.

She originally was taking Lantus and Humalog (maximum doses of both) with very little control, so I was surprised when her doc put her on orals. His explanation was that long term use of insulin made the pancreas 'lazy'. Since insulin was being provided, it would slowly stop producing as much. His goal was to get the pancreas working the way it should. Love this guy. Wish he had been around while I was still on meds.

Then again, I might not have had the motivation to do Bernstein's plan if I could take minimum oral meds, control my blood sugar and still eat carbs.
My sister is taking glimepiride which I guess is amaryl. It has done wonders for her. So, is your doctor saying that a pancreas pounder is better than insulin?
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:54 PM   #9
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Try Metformin ER

I had the same problem with standard Metformin. Then I switched to the extended release form, Metformin ER. It is known for having fewer side effects, and I have only noticed a slight decrease in appetite since using it.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:44 AM   #10
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My sister is taking glimepiride which I guess is amaryl. It has done wonders for her. So, is your doctor saying that a pancreas pounder is better than insulin?
Babsy,
It's actually my friend's doctor, but yes, he said the low dose of Amaryl (love that...pancreas pounder) is actually more beneficial because it forces the pancreas to work. I told him I was under the impression (since that was my doc's explanation of why she put me on insulin) that forcing the pancreas to work might cause it to burn out faster.

His explanation was that this would be true for someone who was completely uncontrolled and ignoring their diabetes but it would still take time. Plus, this is why he also prescribes the other medications which help produce more beta cells and help control the BG's by dumping sugar through the urine rather than the kidneys reabsorbing it. There would be less need for the Amaryl to pound the pancreas with less glucose going into the blood and with creating new beta cells.

I am sooo impressed with this doctor and his knowledge of diabetes...as well as his ability to explain things in a comprehensible way. My friend's last doctor was kind of irritated when she took me in as her advocate and very irritated when I tried to pin him down on things he was doing that didn't seem to make sense. This doc is very patient and believes a knowledgeable patient is more likely to be compliant because they'll 'understand'.

Again...where the heck was he when I needed him.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:50 PM   #11
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I've been taking Beberine (herbal supplement) for my blood sugar control and it works so much better for me than the metformin and with no digestive issues. I did a lot of research and read the studies that had been done comparing it with metformin and decided to give it a try. I consistently have fasting BS's under 100 now something I never saw with metformin.
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Old 04-10-2014, 04:30 PM   #12
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I've been taking Beberine (herbal supplement) for my blood sugar control and it works so much better for me than the metformin and with no digestive issues. I did a lot of research and read the studies that had been done comparing it with metformin and decided to give it a try. I consistently have fasting BS's under 100 now something I never saw with metformin.
I've never heard of that, but I'm definitely going to look into it, thank you. Do you know if it helps post prandial glucose levels? My fasting is always under 100 (usually low to mid 90's), but it's my post meal sugar spikes that I have a problem with.
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:42 PM   #13
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I ordered a bottle, thank you again.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:44 PM   #14
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I ordered a bottle, thank you again.
Ronnie can you keep us posted as to how this helped you or not? I'd like to get off metformin if I can. Thanks
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:02 AM   #15
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There was even one study that showed it's effects were additive to metformin. That is taking berberine and metformin doubled the BG lowering effect. Berberine also lowers triglecerides and LDL chlosterol. My chlosterol is 190 total which is fine but when I used berberine for a month or so it lowered it to 138 which is not good, not good at all so I stoped it.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:44 AM   #16
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Ronnie can you keep us posted as to how this helped you or not? I'd like to get off metformin if I can. Thanks
I'm sorry, That Girl, I actually cancelled the order. The reason is, I found some articles stating that the long term effects of Berberin are unknown and "could be harmful". So, since I'm not diabetic, I didn't want to take the chance. I did submit a question about Berberine to Dr. Andrew Weil on his website. If he answers it, I'll post his response.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:50 AM   #17
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firsttimerFL, the gastric distress caused by metformin will not last for ever. Use this temperary benaficial side effect to your advantage by not eatiing much. I lost 30 lbs before the nausia left me. That is the only reason I am not taking insulin now. Fat is your enemy. Your fat sucks up your insulin out of your blood. Less fat makes you less type II by definition.

My fasting BS is 140 +/- 10. That still keeps my A1c below 7.0.

Metformin reduces insulin resistance and reduces the amount of 'sugar' your liver will produce. That should reduce your BS. I only took metformin for my first 6 years.
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