1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

At what stage can I experiment going off Glucophage (Metaformin)?

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by Sidbear, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Sidbear

    Sidbear Type 2 · Newbie

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I was diagnosed just under a month ago Type 2. My fasting bloods were 13 and I knew that was high. My doctor prescribed glucophage 2 x 500mg daily and since then I have changed my diet and started an exercise regime and have lost about a stone in weight. I was just under 18 stone and am aiming for 16 for now. My bloods this morning were 6.3. I have gotten them down as low as 3.7 after exercise but they tend to hover between 5.5 - 7 most of the time. I experimented by putting Frosties in with my muesli on one occasion just to see how it effected me and my bloods went up to 14 (yikes). That said when I look at the last weeks average on my monitor it reads as 6.9, which I'm very happy with as my first week average was closer to 10. My question is that at some stage in the future perhaps a few months or so when things have stabilized I'd like to experiment with going off glucophage and I was wondering to what extent is it helping to keep my bloods low? Given that my bloods are averaging around 7 now I'm wondering would they shoot back to over 10 even if I kept my diet and exercise regime going. Has anyone here experienced going off the metaformin and if so to what extent did it affect your blood sugar readings?

    Many thanks,

    Pete.
     
  2. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    1,836
    Trophy Points:
    178
    My husband (James) halved his Metformin within a fortnight of being diagnosed, going from twice a day to morning only. (Finger tip blood tests had gone from a staggeringly high 24mmol/L on diagnosis to normal, non-diabetic within this time.)
    Three months later he reduced the morning dose and a couple of months after that he gave up altogether. At no stage did this reduction have any affect on his blood sugars - despite what his doctor said would happen. His HbA1c's continued to fall and the most recent one was 30mmol/mol. I believe that Metformin is an irrelevance, it's diet that makes the difference - understanding what carbs are and where they are hiding and then reducing to the absolute minimum is what brings sugar levels down - so no muesli!
    Good luck,
    Sally
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Loobles

    Loobles Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    876
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Im not sure, but personally, I'd want to be averaging in the normoglycaemic range before I came off it. I wouldn't want to stop it if I was still seeing 7's. Those high spikes are also potentially damaging, I'd definitely not want to come off it if I was going that high.

    You've done really well with your lifestyle changes so far, I'd carry on with that for now though, until I started seeing lower figures.

    You might be able to bring it down further by reducing your carb intake, but your BG is still likely to shoot up if you do eat carbs/sugar...in other words, it just masks the symptoms.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. jack412

    jack412 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,619
    Likes Received:
    6,788
    Trophy Points:
    178
    When your before breakfast is under 5.5 would be a time to start reducing your dose
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Sidbear

    Sidbear Type 2 · Newbie

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    That was an amazing turnaround in such a short space of time especially considering how high his bloods were. To what do you put it down to? I find it hard to believe it went from 24mmol/L to non diabetic in such a short space of time. There must be a bit of magic going on in his metabolism. Great to hear.
     
  6. Andy12345

    Andy12345 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,342
    Likes Received:
    8,381
    Trophy Points:
    178
    hi, well done on your progress, metformin is as drugs go a very safe drug and theres (in my opinion) no rush to cut them out, better to cut out the museli (very carby) again my opinion, why settle for an average of 6.9? when you can get a lower one but changing a few further things, any medication changes should really be done with your doctors knowledge (if not blessing)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. andcol

    andcol I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    3,176
    Likes Received:
    4,093
    Trophy Points:
    198
    @Sidbear have you had a look at the newcastle diet. There are many threads on the subject. A similar approach got me down within a few weeks. You can read my first 3 months in this thread http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/got-my-first-3-month-hba1c-results-this-morning.55719/
    I went from an HbA1c of 91 to 40 in those 3 months and lost 3 stone.

    There are many on the site that have been very successful with it and a couple of others you may wish to talk to are @Pipp and @paulins

    Pipp did hers 3 years ago and really is a success story and paulins started hers about 2 weeks I started my diet.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    1,836
    Trophy Points:
    178
    @Sidbear wrote, "To what do you put it down to??
    • Very detailed record keeping of everything eaten at every meal, including weight of relevant items, timings, exercise, using my own spreadsheet, which changed and developed as needs arose. Making use of coloured highlights to help me spot patterns and highlight certain ingredients. Spending quite a lot of time pouring over it, working out what was doing what. Testing ever decreasing amounts of some items, such as porridge. Testing before and after meals and sometimes several times after meals, to make sure we developed a good understanding of the effects of foods. In other words, being obsessed.
    • Being a bad tempered old bag, who had total hysterics if he so much as looked at a banned foodstuff, plus following the same diet myself., so a supportive bad tempered old bag!
    • Being a competent cook, with a good knowledge of what is in what and having some scientific knowledge of nutrition. - Not essential, but almost certainly gave me a head start.
    • A steely determination not to be beaten.
    And after all of that, it turned out to be simply case of cutting out almost all cereals, flour products, bread, pasta, rice, sugars, fruit, potatoes, anything at all sweet. This is what we both continue to do, over a year later. Spreadsheets, temper tantrums and frequent testing all went with the last of the metformin - as our doctor said, when told that he had stopped taking it, "well, you don't need it, do you".

    Sally
     
    • Like Like x 5
  9. Sidbear

    Sidbear Type 2 · Newbie

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Oh it's just my current average. I'm not settling for it at all. Onwards and upwards (well downwards).
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Andy12345

    Andy12345 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,342
    Likes Received:
    8,381
    Trophy Points:
    178


    Good on ya! :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

    Messages:
    25,102
    Likes Received:
    30,588
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Metformin reduces insulin resistance, the production of glucose by the liver, and appetite, but all to a limited extent. Obviously, the higher the dose the more effective it is. It is mainly an appetite suppressant. It has very little effect on blood sugar levels overall. Many newly diagnosed don't even get it, at least not for the first 3 months and then only if levels are going up rather than down.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    1,836
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I've just been watching "How to Reverse Diabetes Naturally", via this link.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoyL4iGArWn5Hu0V_sAhK2w
    Before anyone goes any further, I must stress that this is about T2 and that I came across it via a new low carb diabetic forum, though it may have been linked to on here in the past.

    The speaker explains how T2 diabetes IS insulin resistance and it's excess insulin, which causes the damage and complications. High sugar levels are simply a symptom or marker, like a fever is a symptom or marker for an infection. What most drugs (e.g. insulin) do is treat the high sugar levels, not the insulin resistance, hence diabetes is progressive. Low carb, increased fats and intermittent fasting are all recommended ways of reducing insulin resistance. But never mind my précis, watch it for yourself!
    The reason why I mention it here is that, contrary to what I implied above about Metformin, I wonder if it's ability to reduce insulin resistance and its tendency to act as an appetite suppressant, helps break a cycle, even if only taken for a very short time?
    Sally
     
    • Like Like x 5
  13. mortiferum

    mortiferum Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    53
    @Sidbear

    Check my signature for my past / current metformin quantities...

    My last appointment with my diabetologist indicated a further drop in my HbA1C to 4.8% (29mmol/mol). Dr suggested I try and reduce tablets to a single Metformin tablet - I suggested that I try and drop both of them and see what would happen - Dr agreed.

    The following day I stopped taking Metformin altogether and rigourously tested my BG pre and post meals. After 4 days of this I decided to reintroduce the 2 x Metformin as my BG readings were steadily increasing to levels averaging around 120mg/dl (6.7mmol/l) pre meals - higher than I had been observing.

    After going back to 2 tablets a day, it took a few days for my BG levels to 'stabilise' again and reach levels that were more usual for me and I am more comfortable with ... currently averaging around 98mg/dl (5.4mmol/l) pre meal.

    Maybe dropping from 2 to zero tablets a day was too quick a jump? I plan to try and reduce the Metformin again (down to one tablet a day) in a few weeks time and see what effect that has on my BG levels- after my holiday to see if this is possible.

    Morty
     
    • Like Like x 2
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook