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Metformin woes... the OPPOSITE effect

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by RFSMarch, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Sigh... while most people seem to possess the speed of Usain Bolt in terms of running to the facilities if on metformin, I seem to have gone the other way... he's the hare and I am the tortoise, sluggish on the start line for about a day and a half at a time before quite possibly keeping plumbers in gainful employment for the rest of their natural lives in terms of unblocking said facilities.

    Does anyone else get completely backed up on Metformin SR (only on 1000mg as well so one tablet at breakfast and one at dinner.

    All joking apart, it is one of the reasons I have politely declined a generous invitation to stay over at a relatives over Christmas, so that at least I can seek (eventual) refuge in my own bathroom and don't run the risk of blocking it!

    There - that will put a pretty dent in people's breakfast forum viewing ;-)
     
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  2. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I take Metformin, standard tablets, 500mg x 3 per day. I had the usual side effects for the first few days, however after that and 7 months down the line I tend to be constipated now. I blame my low carb diet for this rather than the meds, could this be your problem too? I deal with it by adding ground flax seed and chia seeds into my diet while trying to up my veggie intake. On the whole it works but I do have to resort to the occasional dose of Senna.
    PS I’d already eaten b’fast when I read your post! :joyful:
     
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  3. Salvia

    Salvia Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    @RFSMarch, Sorry, can't help with your problem (though I've been a fairly adequate diy plumber in my time).
    Just popped in to say I enjoyed your levity in the face of adversity - brought a smile to a dull morning. :)


    p.s. hope things get sorted for you soon
     
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  4. paulus1

    paulus1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    i thought that it was just me. i heard all the stories of the squirts. and i m bunged up. luckly ive loads of laxatives. that make the bowels function better.
     
  5. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I haven't even really started full on LCHF to be honest - but since getting back from last couple of tournies I have been on a ton of shifts and eating on the go (hahah much like at a tournament!)

    At its worst, I had this when I had JUST switched to SR at a tournament in the US, and I had one day in the media centre whee I felt so so ill and listless it was miserable! I ended up stopping metformin for a day, and had to uber to a grocery store, run in and buy some... relief... and then wait until I got back to the hotel to use it. That day was... hell!

    I cannot thing of any reason at the moment why this is happening, but I do have some flax-seed my mate gave me and Fibogel is currently my saviour!

    Off to google what the hell to put flax seeds in!
     
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  6. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Expert

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    @RFSMarch constipation for me is either codeine related or less for me on tramadol. Remind me again, are you on painkillers?
    Second most common is diet.

    Although I have had times of backed up metformin and surprised to then see multiple remains of metformin in my faeces. I'm 99% sure it was when I was taking codeine.

    Diet and it's fat content can slow down digestion so much that this can happen thou, for me. Hence high fat diet doesn't work for me. (That's why it keeps people satisfied longer).

    Maybe reduce your fat content in your lchf a little and see if it relieves you?

    Edited to add....oh I remember now your busy schedule and no lchf diet.
    Is metformin giving you ANY benefits? If not it could be asked to be changed to something else via gp?
     
    #6 ickihun, Dec 6, 2017 at 9:59 AM
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  7. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No painkillers at the moment (although after an exuberant boxing workout on Monday my arms are DEAD so maybe I might trot to boots!) and to be honest I have been out a few times ('tis the season after all) but nothing really over the top I would say.

    Difficult to know what my levels are doing as Libre issues meant most of November was dogged with dodgy sensors and readings.

    I almost bought some Milk of Magnesia from Boots this morning, but instead I will try and up my water intake first. as for whether metformin is giving me ANY benefit - that is a good question. I am on a stack of shifts this month (yay... money) but a couple of times I have raced out the door and forgotten to take my tablets and honestly... today I am not taking anything to try and get my innards to settle.

    No more nights out this week so maybe that will help it settle (or at least offer a respite until the pre-Christmas mayhem of next week.
     
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  8. Shelley6255

    Shelley6255 Type 2 · Member

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    I take inulin it’s powdered fibre that you mix with water a small amount and it’s tastless you can add to a hot drink and not know it’s there but it does the job! I also sometimes mix flaxseed with cream to thicken a casserole hope this helps I’m on very low carb but these work mind you it may be personal as I was permanently in loo when on Metformin and pleased to be off it!
     
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  9. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @RFSMarch: For what it's worth, "The normal frequency of bowel movements in adults is between three per day and three per week" (Wikipedia). So your frequency of once every 1.5 days does not sound unusual, and is actually more frequent than mine, which went down to about 3 times per week when I adopted the LC diet.

    I found that not only frequency, but also consistency, changed in such a way that the toilet was much more likely to get blocked. This has required fairly frequent use of the plunger -- and some dread when no plunger is available, which is not that unusual nowadays in some homes and restaurants. Are you on a low-carb diet? I don't take Metformin but I am just wondering whether your "problem" is caused by something other than the Metformin.

    Sorry, I know this is Too Much Information, but it is a bit unavoidable, given the subject.

    To deal with constipation, I've been: (a) hydrating a lot, at least 2 liters of water per day in addition to fluids with meals; (b) eating a lot of home-cooked seed crackers; (c) added a tablespoon of wheat bran to my breakfast, which is high-carb but seems to "hurry things along" quite well. It is still a struggle, however, and some days are better than others.
     
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  10. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Only in a position to eat low c
    Because bizarrely this month I have been given a ton of shifts I haven’t been particularly low carb, opting to grab and go at lunch.

    I also found that if movements were painful and I needed fibogel to help, then it takes another couple of days before everything starts again.
    I had a day without Metformin yesterday, levels a bit up and down, but fairly steady in the night and in target but since moving the libre to my thigh after so many consecutive failing sensors I am still probably in the kinds of BG levels that necessitates continuing Metformin for a while.

    I know I just don’t drink enough water and have been trying to up that and I found a recipe for flax seed crackers that I can try tomorrow as I finally at home.

    In terms of consistency, since going on to Metformin SR I would describe the output as heavy and huge, hence the occasional issues with clearing. Never knew they could reach dinosaur pile sizes like in Jurassic Park! Well ok maybe there I exaggerate but this is a definite change since going on to Metformin SR.

    I am honestly trying to think of what has changed since last tournament and having time at home... and the honest answer is not that much yet!! I did resort to a few takeaways when I first got back because I hadn’t had time to go to the supermarket but that was two weeks ago and the issues started well after the fridge got stocked.

    All a bit baffling.
     
  11. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I just sprinkle the ground flax seed onto wet foods, like Greek yoghurt, fish and peppercorn sauce, spag bolognese (with butternut squashetti not pasta of course!)
     
  12. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My friend gave me a bag of flax seeds but while looking up cracker recipes I saw a lot of stuff saying they need to be refrigerated otherwise you will get a fishy smell?

    Anyway (don't try this at home!) but I am giving myself another day's break from metformin (mainly because I couldn't be bothered to get out of bed early this morning and then was in a rush to catch the bus for an early shift) and aiming for three of my little cans of water today.

    As I ultimately only want to control via diet and exercise, I figure it is a good indication of where my levels are really at. And hopefully the chance to try a home made cauliflower pizza tonight will make for a suitable low carb option this evening.

    Tomorrow I need to get all caught up with my logging etc on MFP as well.

    Only two shifts next week so maybe things will start to settle down a bit more. (she says... wistfully!)
     
  13. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes they do need to be kept in the fridge, even then they need to be used within 45 days of opening. I keep mine in the freezer and just transfer small quantities to the fridge every few days.
     
  14. Pinkorchid

    Pinkorchid Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes my husband had the same problem with constipation for about three/four weeks when first on Metformin. Fibogel did not work for him so he was taking Ducolax but his doctor said she did not want him to take that. She gave him Cosmocol a flavoured powder you stir into a glass of water and drink and it did the trick he has not needed it since. He had it on prescription I have not seen it on the shelves in chemists but I think you can buy it on Amazon
     
  15. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Good to know - yes mine started when I switched to the SR - at a tournament no less. That was... not helpful.

    I had to resort to Dulcolax in Cincy for sure, and after that, things settled down, and have been well in the routine of the SR twice daily, and I haven't yet thrown myself into low carb everywhere so it just feels like my body is playing silly bobbins at the moment!

    I have to see the nurse on Friday at the surgery so I might mention it in passing to her - and see what she suggests
     
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