Getting off metformin experiences

rhaardoerfer

Active Member
Messages
36
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Hi, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes last August. My blood sugar was very out of control. A1C was 12.3 and fast glucose was 296. After 6 month of a low carb diet my A1C is 5.6 and I am seeing my doctor on Monday. I am currently taking Metformin 500 mg twice per day. I know that I’m technically ready to reduce or completely get off the metformin but it freaks me out. Those of you who have reduced and eventually gotten off metformin, what were your experiences? I found only a few when searching in the forum. Thanks in advance.
 
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Resurgam

Expert
Messages
9,908
Type of diabetes
Treatment type
Diet only
Hi, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes last August. My blood sugar was very out of control. A1C was 12.3 and fast glucose was 296. After 6 month of a low carb diet my A1C is 5.6 and I am seeing my doctor on Monday. I am currently taking Metformin 500 mg twice per day. I know that I’m technically ready to reduce or completely get off the metformin but it freaks me out. Those of you who have reduced and eventually gotten off metformin, what were your experiences? I found only a few when searching in the forum. Thanks in advance.
I only took the tablets - Metformin and Atorvastatin for a few weeks, but they made me so unwell - so I binned them.
What a relief, but it took me 18 months to be free of pain and many hours of relearning were required. My diabetes was long gone by the time my memory was anything like back to normal.
 

MrsA2

Expert
Messages
5,930
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Diet only
Hi, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes last August. My blood sugar was very out of control. A1C was 12.3 and fast glucose was 296. After 6 month of a low carb diet my A1C is 5.6 and I am seeing my doctor on Monday. I am currently taking Metformin 500 mg twice per day. I know that I’m technically ready to reduce or completely get off the metformin but it freaks me out. Those of you who have reduced and eventually gotten off metformin, what were your experiences? I found only a few when searching in the forum. Thanks in advance.
I haven't been on metformin myself but I understand the effect is fairly minimal, but reading your other posts it seems like it might be a crutch you still need for a while, mentally if not physically?
You've changed and improved a lot in your life recently and I think, if it were me, I'd be reluctant to let a little help go just yet.
Good luck, whatever you decide.
 

Outlier

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,702
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Diet only
I stopped taking it by halving the dose, then taking the remaining dose every other day, then phasing it out completely. All effects were positive in that the awful gut issues resolved, and the blood glucose readings continued to come down without it.
 

rhaardoerfer

Active Member
Messages
36
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
I haven't been on metformin myself but I understand the effect is fairly minimal, but reading your other posts it seems like it might be a crutch you still need for a while, mentally if not physically?
You've changed and improved a lot in your life recently and I think, if it were me, I'd be reluctant to let a little help go just yet.
Good luck, whatever you decide.

Thank you! Yes it’s all very new. I trust my doctor she is very holistic and supportive.
 
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rhaardoerfer

Active Member
Messages
36
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
I stopped taking it by halving the dose, then taking the remaining dose every other day, then phasing it out completely. All effects were positive in that the awful gut issues resolved, and the blood glucose readings continued to come down without it.

Thanks for sharing! This is very helpful. I will share this as an idea with my doctor.
 
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Mrs HJG

Well-Known Member
Messages
328
Type of diabetes
LADA
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Hi @rhaardoerfer I was on 2000mg at diagnosis but remain on 1000mg and my consultant (and I) are happy to keep taking, as Metformin has a lot of protective qualities, especially for the heart. I literally had one day of negative side-affects when I started taking it, so I know I am lucky with that, so I have no reason to come off for the 'unpleasant' reasons.

I see the difference on my Libre if I forget to take it, so it does make a difference to my BG. I am LADA, but managing more like a T2 for now (low carb & exercise), as I am not on insulin.

When I first reduced from 2000mg I did a week on 1500mg first, and was told to keep an eye on my BG to see if it started to rise a lot in the days after, (some Metformin does stay in your system for as long as 4 days).

I think it is a personal thing, balancing the positives and negatives. I guess you can always increase the dose again if needs be.

Good luck, and if I've learnt anything from diabetes, its that getting the right balance, both physically and mentally, sometimes takes a while to get right.
 

rhaardoerfer

Active Member
Messages
36
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Hi @rhaardoerfer I was on 2000mg at diagnosis but remain on 1000mg and my consultant (and I) are happy to keep taking, as Metformin has a lot of protective qualities, especially for the heart. I literally had one day of negative side-affects when I started taking it, so I know I am lucky with that, so I have no reason to come off for the 'unpleasant' reasons.

I see the difference on my Libre if I forget to take it, so it does make a difference to my BG. I am LADA, but managing more like a T2 for now (low carb & exercise), as I am not on insulin.

When I first reduced from 2000mg I did a week on 1500mg first, and was told to keep an eye on my BG to see if it started to rise a lot in the days after, (some Metformin does stay in your system for as long as 4 days).

I think it is a personal thing, balancing the positives and negatives. I guess you can always increase the dose again if needs be.

Good luck, and if I've learnt anything from diabetes, its that getting the right balance, both physically and mentally, sometimes takes a while to get right.

Thanks so much for sharing! I appreciate it!
 
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AloeSvea

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,114
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Other
The only way you are going to know the physical effects, re side effects if you have them, and its effect on your HBA1c, is by watching for patterns in your results, which your doctor will absolutely be doing, which might include as with you, going off it, and observing and noting those things, over a period of time. Usually this is the time between your HBA1c's, is my understanding.

I cycle metformin, ie, when my fasting blood glucose and post meal BG gets too high again, I go back on metformin until it comes down a bit. The idea for me being every bit helps.

I found physical exercise, as in aerobic exercise to have the greatest effect on lowering my too high BGs, not metformin. Which only seems to have a minimal effect, and I have some odd side effects that begin and end immediately on taking up and finishing a round of MET. (ie I am certain they are side effects of the drug, after several rounds.) But absolutely we are all different in these metabolic responses, which includes to various medications.

Because type two diabetes is a metabolic disease, those metabolic processes can differ quite substantially between people.
And online feedback and this Forum has been hugely influential in providing feedback on this, (I've been reading scientific papers on this, so I say this with confidence), so you are quite right to come in here and find out from others how MET on it and off it has affected them.

And wonderful that you have a good partnership with your doctor on trying things out and observing, reading, testing the results, and working out what is best for you.
 

rhaardoerfer

Active Member
Messages
36
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
The only way you are going to know the physical effects, re side effects if you have them, and its effect on your HBA1c, is by watching for patterns in your results, which your doctor will absolutely be doing, which might include as with you, going off it, and observing and noting those things, over a period of time. Usually this is the time between your HBA1c's, is my understanding.

I cycle metformin, ie, when my fasting blood glucose and post meal BG gets too high again, I go back on metformin until it comes down a bit. The idea for me being every bit helps.

I found physical exercise, as in aerobic exercise to have the greatest effect on lowering my too high BGs, not metformin. Which only seems to have a minimal effect, and I have some odd side effects that begin and end immediately on taking up and finishing a round of MET. (ie I am certain they are side effects of the drug, after several rounds.) But absolutely we are all different in these metabolic responses, which includes to various medications.

Because type two diabetes is a metabolic disease, those metabolic processes can differ quite substantially between people.
And online feedback and this Forum has been hugely influential in providing feedback on this, (I've been reading scientific papers on this, so I say this with confidence), so you are quite right to come in here and find out from others how MET on it and off it has affected them.

And wonderful that you have a good partnership with your doctor on trying things out and observing, reading, testing the results, and working out what is best for you.

Thank you so much! I am so glad I found this group of supportive people. I also find exercise very useful. I started with running and now added some swimming. It also helps me build muscle while still losing some weight. I love feeling stronger, too. Thanks again!
 

googlegoss

Well-Known Member
Messages
195
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Diet only
I just stopped taking them and then told the doctor that I'm not taking them anymore. They upset my stomach so much it was ridiculous. Doctor gave me something else instead.
 

Laineybod

Well-Known Member
Messages
51
When I first was diagnosed I had a few weeks to try diet and then a second hba1c (went from 75 to 69 in about 3 1/2 weeks) so decided to try met. The first week or so was ok as was on 500mg a day then the early days of 1000mg but as it continued the side effects just got worse and worse so I stopped cold after about a month and a half. I had another hba1c the following month and I was down to 47. Three more months of just diet and it sat at 48. Then I went on to the yearly tests. My last one was 47 and after a really difficult year I was happy with that and getting back into trying more this year. So I did have a small jump, a kind of rebound but then things settled again. Didn't notice any real difference in BG when doing metre tests post meals either.
 

rhaardoerfer

Active Member
Messages
36
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Thanks for sharing. I’m seeing my doctor today. I’ll report back what she suggests and how it goes after that.
 
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rhaardoerfer

Active Member
Messages
36
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
So, I got the okay to wean myself off. I am going down from 2x500 a day to 1x500. It was weird when I got my medication reminder and hat to switch it off. Excited thus far. I‘ll post how it goes.
 

rhaardoerfer

Active Member
Messages
36
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
I wanted to post an update. I have been frustrated and it is totally not logical, but I feel that I need to spell it all out to actually believe that all is doing really well.
I reduced Metforming from 1000 mg/day to 500 mg/day 12 days ago.
My blood sugar average and standard deviation are a little higher but my estimated A1C is still at 5.6.
In addition, this was not the only change - at least somewhat. And as a research methodologist, I know that making multiple changes makes any predictions much harder. I am still dealing with the weird cold/flu I contracted a few weeks ago. So, there is still some stress on my body, which also leads me to work less. And I am also having a lot of stress at work right now.
So, I should just be happy. It‘s just stressing me out and sleep has also not been great.

I went for a guided run this morning with the topic of joy. It helped get me out of my morning funk.
Now, I wanted to share my experience and feelings here.

I want to thank everybody on this forum for all the support. Knowing that there are people here who listen and also understand - at least partially - what my experiences are is invaluable.
Thank you!
 
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rhaardoerfer

Active Member
Messages
36
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
I use the Nike Running Club app. It’s free. I think that they also have walks. I really like it as it helps me change my internal dialogue when I’m stressed.