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Advice about metformin timing in relation to meals

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by mm93fm, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. mm93fm

    mm93fm · Member

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    Hi,

    I have only recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and commenced on metformin 500mg 3 times a day.

    Many sites say each dose should be taken with your meal e.g. with breakfast, with lunch, with dinner, to avoid gastric side effects. However, my eating pattern is irregular (due to work and other issues) and so I may just have one large meal in the day. I never have breakfast anyway.

    So... should I take metformin 500mg evenly spaced out during the day morning / atternoon / night so that the blood levels are steady (even if I haven't eaten / not planning to eat for several hours)?

    Or should it be taken with a main meal only so that it can prevent hyperglycaemia from the meal just eaten?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
     
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  2. mojo37

    mojo37 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Needs to be taken with or after meals maybe discuss this with your Dn regarding your one meal a day though I'm sure she or he will recommend more than one meal daily.Saying that I have colleagues who take their meds willy nilly and don't appear to have any problems :)
     
  3. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    Metformin doesn’t have an immediate effect on blood sugars so the only reason to take it with a meal is just to prevent stomach upset. I take three per day, I have two with breakfast and one with my evening meal. I did take one breakfast, lunch and evening meal but kept forgetting the lunch time one so changed to my current regime, with my GP’s agreement.
    You need to discuss this with your GP really but I just wanted to point out that I eat lunch without a tablet and don’t go hyper. Metformin just works away in the background.
     
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  4. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Just take it when you eat. Ask your doc whether you absolutely have to space them out (No idea about that, so do check!). It doesn't do anything about the carbs (glucose) you ingest, it just mainly keeps your liver from "helpfully" dumping glucose...

    https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/blog-entry/the-nutritional-thingy.2330/ since you're already doing OMAD (One Meal A Day), maybe this'll be of interest to you? It's easier to change one meal than 3. ;)
    Good luck!
    Jo
     
  5. ianf0ster

    ianf0ster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    We can't give medical advice in here.
    The purpose of the Metformin is to keep your Blood Glucose in check. But you BG should be reasonably OK (Dawn Phenomenon excluded) while you are not eating. So logically (but perhaps your GP or DN will disagree) you only need the Metformin at mealtimes - it will also be kinder to your digestive system to take it then!
     
  6. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Metformin on an empty stomach - I can feel my gut tensing as I write.
    The tablets are not like insulin, they don't work like that.
     
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  7. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Metformin will not do much to your blood glucose with the meal you are eating or taking it with, it is a drug that has an accumulative effect and the optimum effect kicks in after a few doses, it is a good drug for lowering your fasting bloods and stops liver dumps which can push up your blood sugar it also has other effects such as heart protection.

    Taking it with food is basically to try and stave off the nasty side effects (it's not nicknamed metfartin for nothing lol) I am one of the rare lucky ones that never really suffered any of the side effects so I don't always take my morning one with food.

    Speak to your GP maybe if you explain they may prescribe you slow release which can be easier on the tummy and if I understand it you take less tablets for the same dosage
     
  8. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    Do you hv a coffee or a drink which contains a protein (milk)?
    Metformin is better taken with food or JUST after.
    If you're eating late (in your day) you won't wake up hungry.
    Breakfast is just that. If no fast then I can see why you don't feel the need for a breakfast.
    Do you find one meal a day keeps your weight down? A huge surge of insulin and glucose may be detrimental to your health. A few nuts or cubes of cheese can be nibbles successfully, whatever your shifts. Consider giving 3 portions which can be construed as 3 meals a go?
     
  9. mm93fm

    mm93fm · Member

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    Thanks everyone for your advice, this is really useful :)
     
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  10. wiflib

    wiflib Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    There is no need to eat more than once a day if that’s what you normally do, intermittent fasting has been proven to be nothing but beneficial, humans are designed to eat that way.
    Breakfast was invented by a resourceful cereal manufacturer called Mr Kellog so he could get rich.

    As for the metformin, I’m very surprised your GP has started you on such a high dose, the GI effects can be horrendous so it’s usually a far better idea to start with one and build up if necessary. The best way to lower your bloods is to overhauls your diet, dump the carbs and you may find you could end up medication free.
     
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  11. presidentholmes

    presidentholmes Type 2 · Member

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    I was taking 2 per day, one in morning and one in the evening. If I takeit during my meal, I am usually totally fine. If I take it after (I can forget to take it quite a lot), maybe an hour after or longer, I get chronic diaorrhea and digestive discomfort. Bad enough to have anytime, but terrible when you are out and have to gi to the toilet immediately. So I would advise taking with a lot of food. If you forget to take it, wait again till you can take it with food. You’ve enough to be worrying about without adding more.
     
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