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 »

Disadvantages & advantages of Metformin

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Tannith, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. Tannith

    Tannith · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    378
    Trophy Points:
    103
    I am doing ND at the moment but shall not know til the end whether or not I am one of the people for whom it won't work because I might have had T2 long enough for beta cells to have "drowned" in fat and therefore impossible to resuscitate.
    While I am waiting to find out I am considering what to do if I turn out to be one of the unlucky ones and it doesn't work for me. I shall never regret trying it so that at least I shall know where I stand.
    I have heard Metformin causes some people the trots, but that some find after a while this disappears, or it disappears on a change to slow release pills. Also I should like to hear from people who found it beneficial to them. Thank you in advance for your experiences of it.
     
  2. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,229
    Likes Received:
    15,784
    Trophy Points:
    298
    I started on Metformin straight away on diagnosis. I started on 1x500mg/day in the first week, added two more tablets over the next two weeks, that’s where I stay 3 per day. The first week I had some diarrhoea but not constant, just a couple of times a day. I also had a bit of a tummy ache after taking each tablet. All these symptoms went away after about a week and I suffer no side effects now. At some point I may ask to reduce back down to two but I’m not bothered about coming off them entirely as they have several other benefits.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Tannith

    Tannith · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    378
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Thank you. What are their other benefits?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Fluffycat_

    Fluffycat_ Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I take metformin 2 x500mg daily i should have incresd it to 4 but i was not happy i spoke to my nurse my sugar is normaly about 7 some times 6.8 my nurse said its ok but should try to get it down to 6.5
    I was in a bit of pain when i went from 1 to 2 but it settled. I try to get a certain brand from chemist as they seem to suit and my chemist are happy to do this. I may have to think about going up to 3 maybe as mon it went up to 8.2 and i was quite bad had a very bad head and very tired and cold but started period next day so don't know if that triggerd it.
    Having few bad days at the momant as not eating requaly or eating junk.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,229
    Likes Received:
    15,784
    Trophy Points:
    298
    I’ve read that it can reduce your risk of certain cancers, helps with cardiovascular health, reduces your risk of glaucoma and decreases you chances of Alzheimer’s along with helping with type 2 of course
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  6. Taliesin

    Taliesin Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I have fairly poor hypo awareness so I was changed from 4x 80mg gliclazide to 2 x 500mg metformin five years ago. Yes, it causes a little gastric distress, but I've taken drugs that have caused way more distress and got through it. It's useful for me because of my low hypo awareness (I once tested after walking the dogs when on 4x 80mg gliclazide and, yes, I was shaky, but 1.1??? I'm now on 1000mg metformin twice a day with a single 80mg gliclazide which I take in the morning. Where my overnight BG was dictates when breakfast is. I think I have a little GI distress from the metformin still, but with my Rx it's difficult to tell. My rule with any new drug is unless I show one of the "get to the hospital NOW" symptoms, I take it no matter what and live with what it throws at me. After a month I contract to do two months and so on. After three months or so, life with the new drug has become the new normal...
     
    • Like Like x 1
    #6 Taliesin, Oct 20, 2017 at 1:08 AM
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  7. Art Of Flowers

    Art Of Flowers I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    1,379
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I found that metformin gave me memory problems and neuropathy (tingles in my fingers). It also disrupted my sleep as I had to get up in the night to pee, so it made me tired as well. Since my blood sugar is well under control I have stopped taking it.

    I think the other supposed benefits are just the result of lower blood sugars, not metformin. Cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s are caused by glucose spikes. If you avoid spikes by eating a low carb diet then you will be more healthy.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Tannith

    Tannith · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    378
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Great. Thank you for telling us that.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

    Messages:
    25,119
    Likes Received:
    30,608
    Trophy Points:
    298
    I have never taken Metformin, nor any other diabetes meds, and hopefully can stay this way for a long time to come. I agree that the diseases Metformin is supposed to benefit are also attributable to high insulin levels. (caused by carbs). Keeping insulin levels down by not eating too many carbs probably does as good a job. Also, Metformin works on the liver, and I like my liver. I need it for a lot of important things (not least, to stay alive), so I dislike the thought of filling it with chemicals. But that is me.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. ringi

    ringi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    1,219
    Trophy Points:
    158
    The Accord study showed over a large number of people that Metformin reduced the risk of heart disease etc a lot more the other drugs that reduced BG. These other drugs reduced BG much more than metformin did. It believed that this is due to Metformin making our body more responsive to insulin, hence reducing how much insulin our body makes, and the level of insulin in our blood. High insulin levels seem to do as much if not more damage then high BG levels. (Most Type2 drugs increase the level of insulin.)

    "Low carb" and intermittent fasting also reduce insulin level along with BG levels, hence as I don't get side effects from Metformin I am using all 3 tools......
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. DaftThoughts

    DaftThoughts LADA · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    613
    Trophy Points:
    133
    I've been taking it since diagnosis. I'm currently insulin dependent (and will be for life) but I continue to take it 2x a day at 1000mg each.

    I never had any stomach issues on it, but I also take a stomach protector because I was having problems even before I was on oral meds. I keep them because they noticeably improve my insulin resistance. I went without for a few weeks, and while my bloodsugars weren't dramatically high, I did require a little more insulin than usual. It also helps prevent liver dumps into the body.

    Low carb is not an option for me right now, I eat moderate to high carb, but I suffer no ill benefits from the metformin. As they say, YDMV (you diabetes (mileage) may vary). No meds is always best if possible, but don't be scared of medication. If you need it, then you need it. There's no judgment, only a treatment that works for you.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. Pinkorchid

    Pinkorchid Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,918
    Likes Received:
    1,956
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I don't know why people shy away from taking Metformin even though their BG levels are good. I am only able to take one 500g SR Metformin a day as any more and my appetite completely goes. My doctor says as it lowers the risk of heart problems and strokes that any dose is better than none at all so I am quite happy to take it.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

    Messages:
    18,163
    Likes Received:
    12,136
    Trophy Points:
    298
    But they say that about statins too... personally I'd rather be medication free.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  14. ringi

    ringi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    1,219
    Trophy Points:
    158
    But the research on metformin is a lot more convincing and was not funded by drugs companies trying to sell it, no one makes much money from metformin. However, there has been no research on the benefits of metformin when someone has completely controlled their BG with low carb.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

    Messages:
    18,163
    Likes Received:
    12,136
    Trophy Points:
    298
    In my humble view anything unnatural in the body is not a "good thing". If I can avoid it I will. No natter what some medic says.
     
  16. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    941
    Trophy Points:
    153
    I am not currently on meds, and generally agree with what you are saying. However, when I got my T2 diagnosis and the doctor mentioned that I would be put on drugs if diet/exercise did not do the trick, I researched Metformin because I assumed that would be the "first-line drug" if drugs were needed. What really reassured me is that Metformin has been around for a very long time, compared to most other diabetes drugs. Some people have been taking it for decades. My reasoning is that if there were are serious issue with that drug, it would have surfaced by now.

    From Wikipedia: Metformin was discovered in 1922. French physician Jean Sterne began study in humans in the 1950s. It was introduced as a medication in France in 1957 and the United States in 1995. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.

    In terms of staying "drug free" my worry is when I see what happens to my elderly friends and relatives. By the time they are in their 80s and 90s they are often taking half-a-dozen or even more drugs every day. I suspect, but cannot be sure, that some of their health problems are caused by obscure interactions between all those drugs! Not to mention keeping track of them and taking the right doses at the right interval!! So, the longer we can put off the (almost inevitable) avalanche of "drug prescriptions for diseases of the elderly," the better!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 2
  17. SimonCrox

    SimonCrox · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Metformin doubles the risk of vitamin B12 eficiency which causes numb feet, poor memory and anaemia. SOme folk reckon that B12 level should be checked every 3-5 years on metformin. I don't have daibetes or take metformin, but I do have B12 deficiency - I wish that I had got my B12 level checked earlier cos my numb feet have improved, not resolved.

    The diarrhoea with metformin can happen any time - shortly after starting or after several years - it is one of the two things that really limit metformin use. The MR metformin halves the risk of diarrhoea, ie does not abolish it.

    Best wishes
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. SimonCrox

    SimonCrox · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I was told that the original Glucophage made by Lipha was the brand least likely to cause diarrhoea (by the guy selling the stuff!). Lipha got bought out by Merk, I think. Which brand of metformin do you find suits you? They are all simialr price now.
    best wishes
     
  19. Hotpepper20000

    Hotpepper20000 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,023
    Likes Received:
    1,307
    Trophy Points:
    158
    I have PCOS and with that comes extreme insulin resistance. Together with low carb it has greatly improved my symptoms and I have no problem being on it for the rest of my life.
    When someone breaks a leg no one criticizes them for the need of a crunch. And I look at Metformin as a aid in my road to health.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

    Messages:
    8,622
    Likes Received:
    5,180
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I would not mind taking metformin and a statin if it did not make me incontinent, itch all over, have dreadful pains in my joints and muscles, and around my kidneys, and removed my ability to remember nor to learn anything new - and I did tend to burst into tears for no reason. I was using walking poles to get around by the middle of December, as I could not keep my balance on the uneven pavements around here.
    Now that I have stopped taking the tablets for over 10 months I am relearning my songs to sing at the local folk club, but it is a long and painful process. I can now walk, without the poles, to the folk club and back again.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  • 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