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5 Weeks Into Metformin Questions

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by LeeSouth, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. LeeSouth

    LeeSouth · Newbie

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    Hi. I have recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and prescribed Metformin. I was advised I would need 2 tablets in a morning and 2 at night, but that I couldn't take this dosage all at once and to build it slowly over 8 weeks (1 in a morning, 1 in a morning and 1 at night, 2 in a morning and 1 at night, 2 at mornings and night).

    When I was shown how to use the sugar levels machine my non fasting blood score was 12.6. Since starting the medication the fasted readings have constantly increased to 13, 13,3 and 13.7.

    Now I'm 5 weeks in should I not expect the numbers to be the same or less rather than increasing?

    My diet has changed in the last 5 weeks since diagnosis to include more fruit in place of the cereal bars I was eating loads of and I have completely removed sugary drinks, but that should surely improve things not account for a constant increase? I know theres sugar in fruit as well, but surely less than a cereal bar?

    Should I be concerned the numbers are going in the wrong direction?
     
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  2. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    Hello @LeeSouth and welcome.

    It is possible that the fruit is causing the raised blood glucose readings. As you have been provided with a meter, using it to test and keep record of fasting level when you wake up, then immediately before eating, and at intervals of one hour, then two hours after stating each meal. That will give you info on which foods are a problem for you.

    I am going to tag @daisy1 who provides info for new members. Have a read, and come back with any questions. Members here are able to offer advice based on their own experience, and willing to help.
     
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  3. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    6DCF6C5B-36E1-472B-99A1-2A07D9827282.jpeg
    Hi Lee and welcome to the Forum. You’ve made a good move coming here. Glad to see daisy1 has been tagged for you.
    Metformin will only help your blood sugar levels a little, diet is the key. It’s good to see you have cut out obvious sugars like sugary drinks, however it’s a bit more complicated than that. All carbohydrates turn to sugar once eaten, so it’s good you’ve dropped the cereal bars but fruit although thought to be healthy by a lot of people actually contains fructose a natural sugar that is particularly bad for the liver as it’s readily stored as visceral fat.
    I got my type 2 under good control by using Metformin, reducing my carb intake a lot and self testing as @Pipp has described.
    I currently eat 40 - 60g carbs per day. See my photo for the comparison of carbs in a peach and a Tracker bar. Not much difference.
     
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  4. Lazybones

    Lazybones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    To Lee South,
    Firstly welcome to the Forum. You will learn much here and you are already off to a good start, checking your B/G levels and taking note of the effect that various foods have on the rise in your B/G level.
    When it comes to Fruit the general rule is to avoid or cut back on Tropical Fruits, which are generally loaded with hidden sugars, and stick to simple fruits like apples and berries with the occasional exotic fruit as a luxury. Avoid tinned fruits which are also often high in syrup sugar content, so always read the labels on the tins carefully.
    Many of us Type 2 diabetics have great success in following the Low Carb High Fat diet (LCHF) which restricts carbohydrate foods (sugars) and gives us the energy we need through eating the right sort of fats, so I would suggest to you that you look carefully at this, and also look through the forum for information on the LCHF from members who have sucessfully used it to control or reverse their Type 2 diabetes.
    It all takes time for the body to adjust, and no doubt yours, like many has become accustomed to one type of eating habbit over a period of many years, so give it a little more time and you should see the benifits of cutting back on your intake of carbohydrates.
     
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  5. millenium

    millenium Carer · Well-Known Member

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    Your carb intake is way too high to get a fasting reading of 13.

    Weigh your food intake with a digital scale and keep a record, and measure your blood glucose level before eating + after two hours from first bite and show us. There are many experienced people that will give you good guidance from more detailed info.
     
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  6. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
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    @LeeSouth

    Hello Lee and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it helpful. Ask as many questions as you like and someone will be able to help.


    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEWLY DIAGNOSED DIABETICS

    Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

    A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you'll find well over 235,000 people who are demonstrating this.

    On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

    The role of carbohydrate

    Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

    If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

    The bad news

    Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

    The good news

    People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

    Controlling your carbs

    The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.

    There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:
    • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
    • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates
    Reduce your carbohydrates

    A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

    The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

    Choosing better carbohydrates

    The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

    Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes.

    Over 145,000 people have taken part in the Low Carb Program - a 10 week structured education course that is helping people lose weight and reduce medication dependency by explaining the science behind carbs, insulin and GI.

    Eating what works for you

    Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

    To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

    The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

    Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
    • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
    However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

    Access to blood glucose test strips

    The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:
    • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
    • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

    Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to blood glucose testing supplies.

    You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic.

    Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.
    Take part in Diabetes.co.uk digital education programs and improve your understanding. Most of these are free.

    • Low Carb Program - it's made front-page news of the New Scientist and The Times. Developed with 20,000 people with type 2 diabetes; 96% of people who take part recommend it... find out why

    • Hypo Program - improve your understanding of hypos. There's a version for people with diabetes, parents/guardians of children with type 1, children with type 1 diabetes, teachers and HCPs.
     
  7. LeeSouth

    LeeSouth · Newbie

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    Thank you all for your advice.

    I think the increase in fruit is not as helpful or healthy as I had hoped it would be.

    I struggle with low carb meal ideas but will read some of the material you have all suggested.
     
  8. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @LeeSouth, here are some of the foods I love to include in my loosely LCHF meals: Eggs, cheese, bacon, mushrooms, double cream, berries, lots of veges grown above-ground, chicken, beef, salami, fish, tinned salmon, sour cream, thick natural greek yoghurt, feta cheese, various nuts, small amounts of carrot, tomato and apple. There are some great recipes out there but I tend to keep things pretty simple most of the time. Loving scrambled eggs/omelettes with a passion makes one meal each day super easy for me.
     
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  9. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I don't like Metformin, and have criticized it in the past, but I have been told to write that it is a glucose lowering medication - you may judge from your own experience just how accurate that is for your own situation.
    Personally I had a miserable time taking the drug due to the side effects, gave it up and stuck to eating low carb foods. Meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, cheese, with lots of salad stuff with oil and vinegar dressings plus herbs, and low carb veges, often roasted, and I avoid anything sugary but do have small amounts of berries with cream a couple of times a week max, but no high carb foods. I can do this for the rest of my life, no problem.
     
  10. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. As others have said do keep the carbs down. Look at the listed ingredients on the back of the pack. Metformin never does that much; it helps but don't expect miracles with it. What it your BMI? Excess weight should reduce as you reduce the carbs in your diet. If the blood sugar keeps going up despite being normal weight do come back as there are other possibilities
     
  11. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    This sub forum could be a good place to start looking, @LeeSouth. Members post info of what they have for low carb meals.

    https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/category/low-carb-diet-forum.18/
     
  12. millenium

    millenium Carer · Well-Known Member

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    You can try limit fruit to 100g edibile portion per meal and that will mean you have to be very careful with the cereal/root veg group and other hidden carb. With a glucometer, you will soon be able to determine the amount of carb your body can tolerate per meal.

    Once you can control your post two hours readings for a few weeks, your fbg reading will come down also.
     
  13. jonbigboy7

    jonbigboy7 Type 2 · Newbie

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    I’ve just had my 3 month review, I’ve not had the option of testing strips from my diabetic nurse, so I’ve had to go through the three month not knowing where I am. I’ve reduced my sugar / carbs a tremendous amount. My question is why do some getting offered the strips whilst others don’t. Post code lottery ?
     
  14. mescott

    mescott Type 2 · Member

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    Nothing to do with post code studies have shown that with type 2 doesn't make any difference. What would you do if it was raised ? If you were on insulin you could increase your dose. If you're consistantly high after your appointment review then you would see the doctor for discussion. You can buy a machine if you are anxious
     
  15. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Studies have shown that when studies have flawed designs, they rarely yield useful information.

    Sad but true.

    There have definitely been studies showing that uninformed type 2 diabetics can be handed a meter, told to test occasionally, and that their blood glucose control doesn’t improve.

    On the other hand, many T2 forum members here have found that a little knowledge and a little information allows them to test before and after eating, assess the impact that food had on their blood glucose, and learn to tailor their food intake to control their blood glucose.

    Works like a charm for so many of us.

    In my own case it has allowed me to reduce my blood glucose to below pre diabetic levels and keep it that way for years. Without diabetic drug prescriptions and with a massive improvement in my overall health.

    I therefore cheerfully self fund my own blood testing equipment.
     
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  16. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    Metformin drug is a one which needs longterm use to be of greater benefit. Huge benefits in fact.
    Read more on metformin's benefits later but read its info leaflet, at least.

    Low carb eating is a great way to control blood glucose.
     
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  17. bruciebonus

    bruciebonus Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It's the fruit, it does the same to me I only eat one or two pieces a week at most,
     
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