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miketurco

Metformin the miracle drug?

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miketurco

Haven't taken metformin for the last two days, today will be three. I'm thinking I don't need it anymore. (I'm almost off short acting insulin, too. One step at a time.)

 

About a year ago there was a slew of articles about metformin being a miracle drug, increasing lifespan and yada yada. Has any of that been either debunked or substantiated? I don't mind taking it but don't seem to need it for my bg.

 

 

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NoraWI

As you well know, Mike, metformin takes about 2 weeks to build up to a working level in the body. I would assume that it will take almost an equal time for the body to get rid of all of it. I don't think three days is enough time to have any big effect.

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OldTech

I stopped taking it for a month a year ago last August. After seeing a 5-10 point increase in my numbers over a month I then resumed taking it. 

 

I am now convinced that as a type 2 I need to do everything I can to reduce insulin resistance and metformin is one of the things that reduce insulin resistance. I consider it one of the good drugs.

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miketurco

Yeah, I'm a little nervous about going off it. I don't like the way the drug makes me feel but more important is my bg. Thanks!

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OldTech

How does it make you feel? I'm not sure I have noticed any effects.

 

And it is not just glucose we should be concerned with: hyperinsulinemia is just as important and perhaps more important once you bring down your glucose levels.

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Seagal

Mike, no answer for your question, but this may interest you or others.

 

Don't know if anyone has investigated berberine, but it has similar benefits to Metformin, plus helping with yeast infections (UTI's), cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory responses, glucose uptake, lipids,  and more.  There are some that take both, but they may be concerned with lows.

 

Since it helps with my chronic joint pain and the other bonus benefits, I thought I would mention it again. 

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miketurco

How does it make you feel? I'm not sure I have noticed any effects.

 

And it is not just glucose we should be concerned with: hyperinsulinemia is just as important and perhaps more important once you bring down your glucose levels.

 

I'm taking insulin and don't know that there's anything else I can do about having too much insulin in my system. Metformin makes my head feel cloudy. When I went from 2500/day to 1000/day, a few months back, it helped a lot.

 

Maybe I'm jumping the gun here. Progress has been so... slow. I'm going to see the doctor in December (probably) and should probably wait until then.

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samuraiguy

I personally don't think Metformin has a "dramatic" improvement in life expectancy beyond the ability to lower insulin resistance and thus help that way. I personally wouldn't make my decision to use it or not use it based on its ability to remedy or prevent other illnesses. I make my decision because most other diabetes meds have a list of side effects so long, some including cancer, I don't want my remedy to be as bad as my condition.

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Seagal

Re Berberine, I don't use insulin, so I have no information how it works except probably would cause lows unless insulin was adjusted accordingly.  I would discuss with doctor.

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OldTech

Re Berberine. Dr. Bernstien would ask why would you take a supplement with unknown quality control when you can take a low cost proven commercial drug?

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jwags

I know metformin is supposed to stop tumor growth. I have been on it for almost 10 years and still got Cancer. So I do think the miracle drug thing is hype. It does work to give me normal fasting BGs,,though. Some people do get wierd side effects like extreme fatigue. have you had your B-12 tested lately. It often depletes B-12

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SueL4

Great suggestion re: B12. Mine was very very low, below the low range of acceptable. I've been taking supplements for two weeks.

 

I hope you're able to lower your dose. I've tried but after a week, my numbers started to go higher so I stopped.

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OldTech

I know metformin is supposed to stop tumor growth. I have been on it for almost 10 years and still got Cancer. So I do think the miracle drug thing is hype. It does work to give me normal fasting BGs,,though. Some people do get wierd side effects like extreme fatigue. have you had your B-12 tested lately. It often depletes B-12

 

I think that there are some confounders when it comes to cancer. It is true that some researchers think that some cancers grow with higher levels of glucose (that's why a PET scan works - tumors take up more radioactive glucose than normal cells), so the benefit of metformin may be due to just lowing glucose (and perhaps insulin) rather than as a direct result of metformin.

 

Personally, I am somewhat optimistic that I am doing something right since my lung nodules are shrinking and resolving rather than growing. Of course that may have nothing to do with metformin. I tend to think that it is my keto diet, but it could also be due to just plain old luck.

 

And yes anyone on metformin should watch their B-12 levels.

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miketurco

I'm concerned about B12 and may have a problem with that. As I understand, met doesn't deplete B12, it prevents absorption. 

 

Per this paper, as many as 1/3 of those who take met may have this difficulty (and it can be serious). How much met you take (dosage) and how long you've been taking it are both factors. 

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649932/ 

 

>>[b12 deficiency] presents with diverse clinical manifestations ranging from impaired memory, dementia, delirium, peripheral neuropathy, sub acute combined degeneration of the spinal cord, megaloblastic anemia and pancytopenia.<<

 

(yikes)

 

Maybe B12 is the problem.

 

The treatment is 1000ug (micrograms) of B12 per day for a week, and then the same amount once a week for four weeks after that. The B12 pills I've been taking, 1/2 of one per day, haven't seemed to help. Probably because they're 15ug each. I'd have to take 66 of them per day to get 1000ug of B12! Because they're not B12 only I'm not willing to do that. 

 

The blood test is $45 and I should probably get that. The shots themselves are $7 each, with a prescription, if you administer them yourself. 

 

As far as met is concerned, itself, I didn't take any last night or the night before. My fasting bg yesterday was 71, and this morning it was 95. The 14 point spread is probably because I reduced my basal shot, which I did based on that 71. 

 

I've been thinking about this throughout the day. Given that my BG has been pretty good for a while, I'm going to halve my met dosage and see where it goes. I did start feeling better after going from 2500mg to 1000/day on the metformin. Maybe going from 1000 to 500 will help as well.

 

Last time I saw the doctor we did talk about me possibly going off both metformin and insulin. I'm not overly anxious to do that, but it would be nice to get to that point.

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Seagal

Re Berberine. Dr. Bernstien would ask why would you take a supplement with unknown quality control when you can take a low cost proven commercial drug?

 

 

Dr. won't prescribe Metformin until my A1c gets over 6 or so. I've mentioned before that I'm not willing to increase my A1c just to get a prescription drug. Met would not help with chronic joint pain, and the other benefits I receive from berberine.  I trust the source of the berberine I'm getting.

 

While I have the utmost respect for Dr. B., not all aspects of his protocol work for all people, so I would tell him what I've said here.  I've been following a modified form of Dr. B's plan for 12 years, and consider his Diabetes Solution my diabetes reference Bible :)

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OldTech

It seems to vary a lot. So far I have not had any trouble getting a prescription (from three different doctors) even with an A1c in the 4 percent club.

 

On the other hand, the same three doctors have strongly refused to switch my thyroid medication back to a natural thyroid (Armour) that I took for 50 years.

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Kit

It seems to vary a lot. So far I have not had any trouble getting a prescription (from three different doctors) even with an A1c in the 4 percent club.

 

On the other hand, the same three doctors have strongly refused to switch my thyroid medication back to a natural thyroid (Armour) that I took for 50 years.

 

I wonder about doc tors sometimes.  They want me to get off met (why do they want to maker this harder for me), don't want to help me with my perimenopause symptoms (massive hot flashes which wake me multiple times a night, give me crappy sleep, and raise my BG numbers), want to put me on blood pressure meds (my last in office blood pressure was 97/69) and keep suggesting statins because I am "over 40".

 

Oh, and a baby aspirin.  Don't forget the baby aspirin.

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Seagal

Maybe it is a particular HMO plan.  We belong to Kaiser and I raised quite a ruckus appealing the decision to withhold Met even though their motto is "To Thrive".  They stayed with their protocol and I have the letter saying in my particular case, the drug wasn't necessary. 

 

Perhaps their protocol has changed, this was a year or two back, but I'm happy where things are for now.

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miketurco

How is it that a doctor doesn't want to provide metformin, yet is a regular pusher for statins? Wassup with that?

 

I got that b12, 1000mg tablets, and am going to follow the suggested plan from the study. Also cut back to 500 on the met. Will see how it goes ;)

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Weezy

Mike.....re the B12 issues.....if you haven't already, try taking a methylated version of it--it will be clearly labeled as such.  Some people have broken methylation pathways and the bodies cannot use the standard preparation of B12 (cobalamin).  I'm one of those (found out by running my 23andMe DNA at the suggestion of my naturopath).  This is why I can't use metformin anymore--after successfully taking it for about 2.5 years, I can't take it at all now because I get all of the bad low B12 issues as soon as the metformin kicks in and every time I try met again, my symptoms come back worse and faster.  

 

Also you may need to take a methylated folate too--my ND has me on combo shots of methylated B12 and folate ("regular" B12 shots do nothing for me--I have to have the methylated versions). ...went to the shots because my body didn't respond to the tablets, but the shots were a miracle for me!  Now I do a shot 2x a week and it costs about $35/month.

 

I wish I could take metformin--it was a miracle drug for me.  I couldn't lose any weight before I started taking it; once I started, I lost about 100 lbs in about 18 months (and no, it wasn't because of gastrointestinal issues).  It does help with insulin resistance and I think that's why it helped me so much. Unfortunately, the methylation issues are real and you can get into lots of trouble if your body isn't absorbing/using B12 properly, and metformin does cause problems with B12 absorption.

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SueL4

Clef us know, Mike.

 

I take 5,000 units of B12 and alternate between Solgar and Jarrow sub- lingual. I don't eat meat so I have the lack of B 12 from that and from Met.

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miketurco

I did not know about methylated b12. I started taking the non-methylated pills last night so I suppose I should see how that goes for a little while. I think I will eventually need to take the B12 test to know for sure. I also looked for the drops (sublingual) but didn't find them. For now, I guess, it's just a waiting game. Will see how I feel in two or three weeks. Then maybe take that test and/or get the better form of pills. The methylated pills don't cost that much more.

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