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#1
Juliahh

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Hi, anyone else out there on metformin? I just found out yesterday that I am pre-diabetic. My A1c is 5.8. My estimated average glucose is 120. I'm not sure how close I am to diabetes, but I'm committed to making changes! I started metformin yesterday and have a horrible headache and am extremely nauseous (it's a struggle to get online as I just want to lie on the couch all day). Do these side effects tend to go away? Also, I am not able to sit at the computer long enough to research what I need to do on my own. I don't know what kind of foods to eat, how much to exercise, increase water, and anything else that may help. I appreciate any advice/feedback. Thank you, Juliahh

#2
princesslinda

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Welcome Julia! :wavey: Metformin can cause nausea for some people. Sometimes these symptoms resolve with time, sometimes not. It can take metformin a few weeks to reach optimal levels in your system, so you may not see immediate results. Some folks find that the extended-release metformin minimizes these symptoms, so if they continue, you'll want to talk with your doc about switching. I've taken the metformin ER version, 500 mg twice daily for nearly 5 years now w/o problems (unless I eat something really greasy, then I get diarrhea/cramping).

Gretchen Becker has a book "Prediabetes: What You Need to Know to Keep Diabetes Away. I've not read this particular book, but her book "The First Year, T2 Diabetes" was a great resource for me.

One of the best ways to keep your blood sugar in line is to minimize your carbs. Avoid white foods such as potatoes, rice, bread and pasta, choosing instead, salads, green veggies, cheese, eggs, beef, chicken, fish, pork and seafood (avoiding the breadings and sweet sauces). If you test, eat then test 2 hrs after your first bite, your meter will guide your food choices.

Hope you are feeling better soon. Not sure what your dosage of metformin is, but perhaps you could take one of your doses at bedtime (along with a snack so your stomach won't be empty) and see you tolerate it better. Post often, let us know how you're doing.

Edited by princesslinda, 09 March 2011 - 03:16 PM.
added word

T2, diagnosed 8/31/06.
Meds: Metformin-ER 500 mg twice daily, HCTZ 12.5 mg every other day for BP Enalapril 20 mg 1 daily (ace-inhibitor)
Diet: I eat to my meter, generally eating 75-100 carbs/day with the occasional splurge.


#3
liz32

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some people get over the nausea and upset tummy... the most I could ever tolerate was half of one pill 2x's a day. I had horrible sulfur/metalic burps, and practically lived on the flush.... there is an extended release version which is supposed to be easier of the system. There will be more on here which can give you more advise...
Liz macdonald
T2 since January 2005
levemir & novo rapid

#4
v man

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>> I started metformin yesterday

What I would like to know is why ? Also who suggested such, your general practitioner ?

Personally I would not go on such until stopping all sweets & adjusting your diet as mentioned above to see what numbers you can obtain. Then only after consulting an endocrinologist should the numbers be over 6.2% or so doing all that you could do avoiding excessive sugar & carbs.

Also for others out there. How many of you started meds before your average a1c reached 6.2 or so after doing all you could do to avoid such through diet

#5
karessamom

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Welcome! Have you seen a dietician yet or did your dr. reccomend one?? As others have said the best way to get your numbers under control is to reduce carbs and exercise! I am brand new here too just a week or so. I found out a couple of weeks ago I had an A1c of 5.9 but dr. said everything was normal--after doing some research, I found that NOT to be true so I am going to another dr. next week. Did your dr. give you a glucometer to self check your sugar levels? From what i'm learning the best way to combat this is thru education and committment. We'll help each other out! Good luck

#6
jwags

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I am on 2550 mg of metformin and have no problems besides a little gas in the beginning. There are a few people I knew that had extreme fatigue on Metformin and had to go off of it. I would call you doctor and discuss this. You should still be able to function on Metformin. I have been on it for 4 years.

metformin 2550 mg
Moderate carb diet 40-75 carbs a day
3 T of Coconut Oil daily

Vit D, CoQ10, Melatonin, Multi vitamin, zinc, B 12
Chia Seeds , Flaxseeds, fish oil, biotin, occuvite and zinc

Exercise- Tennis - 2 hours/week, Power Walking- 2-4 miles most days, Hiking in the summer on trails and in the mountains

diagnosed Feb 2007
Age 64

#7
AJack

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There are a few people I knew that had extreme fatigue on Metformin and had to go off of it.


Interesting. Now, I'm wondering if Metformin is contributing to my extreme fatigue ? I was taken off Metformin, due to bad stomach cramping/constipation. Doctor then scribed me Metformin SA in Jan,. I had chills and shivering for a few day's, but side effects went away. But now, I am feeling awfully tired again, must be the Met.

#8
gphx

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Welcome! Have you seen a dietician yet or did your dr. reccomend one?? As others have said the best way to get your numbers under control is to reduce carbs and exercise! I am brand new here too just a week or so. I found out a couple of weeks ago I had an A1c of 5.9 but dr. said everything was normal--after doing some research, I found that NOT to be true so I am going to another dr. next week. Did your dr. give you a glucometer to self check your sugar levels? From what i'm learning the best way to combat this is thru education and committment. We'll help each other out! Good luck


I love that. I hate A1C. Let's say a hypothetical person's average bg is 94 and their A1C is 5.25. Most doctors say that's not bad. However, one could have those numbers if for 22 hours in the day their bg was 85 and for 2 hours it was 200. Surely that's not good and many people find going from 85 to 200 and back to 85 to be an exhausting experience. A1C is, to me, only a part of the picture. Actually the above isn't all that far from my own experience and I feel so much better having gotten off the carb seesaw.

I agree. Get a glucometer so you'll always know what's going on. It'll put you in the driver's seat. As a prediabetic with a glocumeter you'll be able to verify and know whether anything anyone else tells you is true for you. I'm not on Metaformin so no advice there but I see many helpful souls jumped in. Welcome to the group and congrulations on the first steps to a new you.

#9
karessamom

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The only problems i've had with Metformin is that I get diareah (sp) but i'm not taking it very often per my drs. rx. I've found by using my glucometer I can monitor what foods are ok and what i can't eat anymore. apparently i'm really sensative to carbs right now and if i eat too many or the wrong kind my numbers will shoot up.

#10
jwags

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The only problems i've had with Metformin is that I get diareah (sp) but i'm not taking it very often per my drs. rx. I've found by using my glucometer I can monitor what foods are ok and what i can't eat anymore. apparently i'm really sensative to carbs right now and if i eat too many or the wrong kind my numbers will shoot up.



I know we have talked about this before, but metformin needs to build up in your system slowly to have the side effects disappear. If you just take it every once in awhile it is not going to work the way it is supposed to. Usually doctors start you on a lower dose and gradually increase it as your sensitivity to it improves. One of the way it works is to make you more sensitve to the insulin you make. Just taking it once in awhile won't accomplish this. I would talk to your doctor about this. Metformin works in the liver , not the pancreas. It doesn't stimulate pancreas to produce insulin like other drugs. I think your doctor is confusing his type 2 drugs. There is a drug called Pranadin ( sp) that specifically lowers bg if you eat too much. The reason your fastings are higher is because of dawn phenomenom and a steady dose of metformin will help prevent them from spiking, when you reach the right dose.

metformin 2550 mg
Moderate carb diet 40-75 carbs a day
3 T of Coconut Oil daily

Vit D, CoQ10, Melatonin, Multi vitamin, zinc, B 12
Chia Seeds , Flaxseeds, fish oil, biotin, occuvite and zinc

Exercise- Tennis - 2 hours/week, Power Walking- 2-4 miles most days, Hiking in the summer on trails and in the mountains

diagnosed Feb 2007
Age 64

#11
SteamPoweredBoy

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I was on Metformin for years and it caused a lot of diarrhea and nausea that never went away, plus it never really helped my blood sugar or A1C very much.

#12
karessamom

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Ok so how do you question a drs reasoning?? He is far better educated than me on this --I'm just doing what i'm told--I really wasn't all that impressed with him but my other dr. didn't even think i had a problem--too bad cause i really liked her. Now I feel kind of like i'm caught in the middle and don't like the feeling.

#13
princesslinda

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Ok so how do you question a drs reasoning?? He is far better educated than me on this --I'm just doing what i'm told--I really wasn't all that impressed with him but my other dr. didn't even think i had a problem--too bad cause i really liked her.


I'd just ask. Sure he's better educated, but diabetics make up only a small percentage of their practice (unless he's an endocrinologist). My doctor said i'd probably know far more about diabetes than he ever will, as i'm the one living with it on a daily basis.

Also, google metformin and see what you can learn about the dosing. I've heard of people being started on a small dose daily, increasing incrementally until the desired dosing is achieved, but in all the time i've been on the forums, you're the first person i've ever seen post that they were advised to take it sporadically.

T2, diagnosed 8/31/06.
Meds: Metformin-ER 500 mg twice daily, HCTZ 12.5 mg every other day for BP Enalapril 20 mg 1 daily (ace-inhibitor)
Diet: I eat to my meter, generally eating 75-100 carbs/day with the occasional splurge.


#14
jwags

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I think what a lot of us have found out is we have to take charge of our own disease. That means researching every drug our doctor wants to give us to find out how it is supposed to work and what are safe doses. Many doctors see us as numbers and not patients. I remember before I found online forums I asked my doctor about DP, he told me it was very rare and usually happened to muscular men. Well, I am a petite woman. When I joined several forum I couldn't believe how many d's suffer from DP. Many doctors only know what the salesmen tell them about drugs. I was put on a statin and asked about side effects. I was told nothing. People online warned me about them but I did not heed their advice. When I complained about all over body and muscle aches he blamed it on a sinus infection. It wasn't until I could barely walk that I stopped the statins on my own and within a few weeks the symptoms gradually disappeared. I still have some residual shoulder and back pain, but I am hoping time will heal that. When I told my doctor that I stopped the drug on my own, I thought he would be mad but he told me I did the right thing. He also aked if I had memory loss and brain fog and I said yes. He said a lot of his patients were complaining about that. So sometimes when you sit down and discuss research and other things you get better treatment.

metformin 2550 mg
Moderate carb diet 40-75 carbs a day
3 T of Coconut Oil daily

Vit D, CoQ10, Melatonin, Multi vitamin, zinc, B 12
Chia Seeds , Flaxseeds, fish oil, biotin, occuvite and zinc

Exercise- Tennis - 2 hours/week, Power Walking- 2-4 miles most days, Hiking in the summer on trails and in the mountains

diagnosed Feb 2007
Age 64

#15
Ronin

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Hi Julia!

I have to chime in on the topic of your "diagnosis." Many MD's are hyper-vigilant on the topic of diabetes, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. What is bad is grabbing the prescription pad following a single test. You haven't said a lot about yourself -- are you young or older, overweight or at your correct weight, do you exercise regularly or not? Why do I ask these questions? If you are overweight and don't exercise doing these things can change the whole game. If you are thin and exercise and you have these sypmtoms you need to have your insulin levels checked (via a C-Peptide test) and perhaps an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) before prescribing medications that have lots of side effects and may, or may not, do anything for the BG levels. Oh yes, I did ask the age question because I have a personal theory that age does play a part in the diagnostic procedure -- no there is no scientific or medical data to back up that theory -- it is just my pet theory that a 60-something body is going to be different from a 20-something body.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch
[Garison Keilor]

Ronin (a.k.a, George N. Wells, CPIM)
Tandemist/Lay Theologian
Enjoying Life and Learning about myself everyday.

Pre-D -- Not on Insulin :D (yet) :eek:
For Cholesterol though:
2500 mg Niacin
5 mg Zocor
2013 Cycling Miles: 4880 (31 Dec)
2014 Cycling Miles: 3888 (22 Oct)

Fasting C-peptide 1.4 (02 Oct 08)

HbA1c's:
 
01-Jun-2014 -- 5.7%
01-Jul-2014 -- 5.6%
01-Aug-2014 -- 5.2%
01-Sep-2014 -- 5.5%
01-Oct-2014-- 5.7%

#16
karessamom

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Hi Julia!

I have to chime in on the topic of your "diagnosis." Many MD's are hyper-vigilant on the topic of diabetes, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. What is bad is grabbing the prescription pad following a single test. You haven't said a lot about yourself -- are you young or older, overweight or at your correct weight, do you exercise regularly or not? Why do I ask these questions? If you are overweight and don't exercise doing these things can change the whole game. If you are thin and exercise and you have these sypmtoms you need to have your insulin levels checked (via a C-Peptide test) and perhaps an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) before prescribing medications that have lots of side effects and may, or may not, do anything for the BG levels. Oh yes, I did ask the age question because I have a personal theory that age does play a part in the diagnostic procedure -- no there is no scientific or medical data to back up that theory -- it is just my pet theory that a 60-something body is going to be different from a 20-something body.


First of all I want to appologize to the OP on this thread--for getting off the original subject.
as far as about myself--i've mentioned in other posts but will say again. I am 51 (will be 52 this year) I am overweight with a BMI of about 37. I am not on a regular exercise routine but I don't sit around on my butt all day long either lol--(although my daughter would beg to differ lol) I was at a sams club a couple of months ago and did a screening finger prick where they discovered that I had a BG level of 165 (that was about 2-3 hrs after I'd eaten breakfast) said to follow up with my dr. which I did. She ran a bunch of tests with everything turning out normal except for a very low Vitamin D level for which she rxed a vit. D suppliment. My A1c came back at 5.9 which after doing some reading found out that even though they determined it normal was actually in the PreD range. I bought a meter on my own and started testing. I came to these forums and chat and did some more research and wasn't totally convinced that I was "normal" My cousin reccommened I visit her dr. which I did and although not impressed with him, he did look at the numbers from the tests that my other dr. ran and my numbers from home testing. He really didn't tell me I had diabetes other than he was saying that my numbers were too high for being normal and said I needed to loose 50 pounds walk 1 mile a day and take the metformin if my BG>115 in the am. I haven't been really good on the walking but I have lost a few pounds since last week and since the whole ordeal began a total of about 6 or 7 pounds! I've had other symptoms too --thirst, tiredness, weight gain, blurry vision, cotton mouth etc. that I all wrote off to other things ie--allergies etc. He actually didn't tell me much other than if i lost the weight i probably wouldn't have such a problem but i'm sure i'm going to have to remain on my carb restricted diet. (he actually told me he didn't care how i lost the weight or what diet to go on--just that I did.) TG for these forums and information I've read or i'd still be shooting high numbers--i've been battling weightloss for years now--up and down. The only reason I know it's diabetes is because I looked up the code he'd put down which was 250.02 and found it to be diabetes.

#17
jwags

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Diabetes strikes all ages and all Body Types. Before diabetes I exericsed at least 2 hours most days. Now that I have diabetes I actually exercise differently because I found too much exercise can raise my bg significantly. So I do shorter workouts more often. There was no family history of diabetes in my family, I was the lucky one. Once you are dx'd D you then start experimenting to see what works. For some diet and exercise alone will work, others of us that are Insulin Resistant need metformin. I actually had to raise the dose 3 times to my current dose of 2550. But it has helped me a lot. Even though I was just a touch over weight at 148, I am now 116 in a size 2-4. I feel so much better and have tons of energy to exercise. I now walk 3-4 miles, every other day and hopefully this spring will up it to 5 or 6. I play tennis once a week and can play 3 sets without tiring at all. I hate diabetes but it has forced me to eat a certain way that has been good for me. Most people get over the side effects of the meds pretty quickly.

metformin 2550 mg
Moderate carb diet 40-75 carbs a day
3 T of Coconut Oil daily

Vit D, CoQ10, Melatonin, Multi vitamin, zinc, B 12
Chia Seeds , Flaxseeds, fish oil, biotin, occuvite and zinc

Exercise- Tennis - 2 hours/week, Power Walking- 2-4 miles most days, Hiking in the summer on trails and in the mountains

diagnosed Feb 2007
Age 64

#18
tenderone

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First of all, congratulations for being proactive!

I have been on metformin since December 2008, and without it, I am sure that my readings would be higher than they are. I was diagnosed with PCOS in December '08 as well, which is why I was placed on met.

Anyway, I ended up with GD with my second child - in 2009 - and although it went away, they still consider me as a prediabetic since I do have PCOS. I have continued the met, diabetic diet, and exercise, and it has helped me lose 47 pounds since having my son.

Metformin is known for producing the effects that you are feeling. Be sure that you are eating enough prior to taking it; definitely do not wait to eat until after you have taken it. I was very sick when I began the met, but I can say with certainty that I am fine now.

You mentioned you don't know what to eat, etc. Have you met with a dietitian that specializes in diabetes, or gone to a Diabetes Education Center? When I had GD, I was required by my OB/GYN to do both, and that - in and of itself - was worth sooo much!

All the best!

#19
bike1962

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>> I started metformin yesterday

What I would like to know is why ? Also who suggested such, your general practitioner ?

Personally I would not go on such until stopping all sweets & adjusting your diet as mentioned above to see what numbers you can obtain. Then only after consulting an endocrinologist should the numbers be over 6.2% or so doing all that you could do avoiding excessive sugar & carbs.

Also for others out there. How many of you started meds before your average a1c reached 6.2 or so after doing all you could do to avoid such through diet



My last A1C was 6.5 and my GP didn't blink an eye. Told me to cut the carbs and to try to lose 10 pounds? Last A1C was 7.1 so he feels I am progressing? No meds yet? My FBS is ranging from 120-130.

#20
v man

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bike1962

One things for sure. You need to find another Dr.




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