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Type 2 Metformin Increasing Blood Sugars

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Sunflowers, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. Sunflowers

    Sunflowers Family member · Member

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    Hi hubby has recently started on Metaformin as been diagnosed as T2. His sugar levels were about 7 when he started on these pill. Now that he is up to two pills a day he is steadily high first in the morning between 12 to 15 & its starting in afternoon as well. Coupled with blinding headaches he is starting to think he is better off without these pills. Can anyone give me a clue as to why his sugar levels are rising on these pills but if he stops taking them for a couple days then his sugar levels reduce right down?
     
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  2. ButtterflyLady

    ButtterflyLady Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have never heard of Metformin increasing blood glucose. Maybe he should go back to his doctor and ask about it?
     
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  3. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    Hello Sunflowers.

    Did your husband adjust his diet at all when he started on Metformin? Did he receive any dietary advice from whoever wrote the prescription?
     
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  4. catinahat

    catinahat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    He should use his meter to discover why his levels are going up. Test before a meal and again 2hr later any rise should Idealy be below 2mmol/l . anything above indicates that his meal contained far too many carbohydrates.
    Metformin won't cause a rise in glucose levels but by using my meter I have found that bread(any sort), pasta, rice, porridge, breakfast cereals, fruit and low fat yogurt all do.
    We are all different and what affects me will not necessarily cause your husband's glucose to rise to unacceptable levels. That's why it's so important to test every meal to find what suits him.
     
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  5. Sunflowers

    Sunflowers Family member · Member

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    Thank you all he did ask Diabetic Nurse & she was unsure. Although he is a healthy weight he has started to gain weight since starting metaformin.

    Although he does eat a very healthy diet he has experimented by eating the same meals & quantities while on metaformin & then repeating the process without metaformin a few days later. He tests at the same times & always high readings on the tablets. Yet normal range 5 or 6 while off the tablets.
     
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  6. Sunflowers

    Sunflowers Family member · Member

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    No dietary advice but he has never been overweight due to the way we eat as a family. He also does not add any sugar to his diet & we are careful about hidden sugars in foods.
     
  7. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Expert

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    I think this goes to prove that there are exceptions to every rule. If your husband has better levels without the metformin, then in his shoes I'd be dropping it. There are genetic factors that can influence how different drugs are processed by the body and their effectiveness or lack thereof. If your husband is normal weight and gaining weight on metformin, he would appear to have a unique reaction to the drug as it is often given to Type 2's because it tends to cause weight loss rather than gain.
     
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  8. ladybird64

    ladybird64 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No idea why that would be happening, Metformin doesn't usually do that (doesn't make a lot of difference to bg levels anyway but does have other benefits). I'll stick my neck out and say that if his levels are between 5 and 6 without Metformin, why take it? There are a lot of us here (myself included), who refused the usual Metformin/statins combo that is often prescribed when somebody is diagnosed. Cutting down significantly on carbohydrate ie bread, pasta, rice and potatoes (even so called brown "healthy" versions) make the biggest difference to levels.

    If the aim is lower levels which means better control, I wouldn't rock the boat if it were me. Only my opinion though (and one that diabetic nurses often disagree with;)).
     
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  9. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Expert

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    The aspect that is a bit concerning to me is that metformin's effects are aimed at the liver, so I would be worried that continued use of a drug that is not having the intended effect is that the liver is having troubles with it. Not trying to be alarmist, but I think I'd be asking for liver and kidney function tests just to be on the safe side.
     
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  10. Anthea1948

    Anthea1948 Type 2 · Member

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    I've tried Metformin twice and came off it both times because of weight increase. Didn't notice much change in sugar levels, but have noticed a drastic difference between the meter my husband uses and the one I was given, indicating that some machines are not completely reliable.
     
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  11. bevg

    bevg · Member

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    I have been on metformin since 2008 and the only problem I have had is a permenantly upset stomach. hopefully that will stop now as I learned on here there is a slow release version that more or less stop's it. my lovely db nurse changed my prescription to that yesterday. my bs has gone up and up on it's own but my med's as well as metformin have all changed. I no longer have gliclazide and I feel 100 time's better. no more dry mouth and I have lost a stone and a half in a month since I stopped it with db nurse's permission. I also take dapa something tablet and byetta injection so it's swing's and rounabout's with it all but I still doubt if metformin is your problem. I would say to everyone if you are on gliclazide get off it.
     
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  12. ExChocoholic

    ExChocoholic Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've been wondering about asking GP to let me go back to diet only instead of Metformin, even SR mess with my stomach - I am average BMI always have been and my last my sugars HBa1 never been overly high even though I've not been overly vigilant about carb and sugar intake of late - if I am more vigilant maybe I could give up metformin as some of its long term side effects are undesirable. Last visit my GP said it us the lessee of two evils - I just wonder?
     
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  13. Suzie Quartly

    Suzie Quartly · Active Member

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    Metformin doesnt agree with me, but when I was first diagnosed T2 the doc was determined I was going to take it and kept changing the dose around and swapping from standard to modified release. With Just one standard release my blood sugars came down -so did my weight. Increasing the dose didnt do anything to my blood sugars and my weight loss was spectacular, as were my stomach problems, to the point of being dangerous (Several Kg a day!!!!). So we changed to the MR/SR versions which went straight through me without touching the sides, however many I took. So having had my blood sugars decreasing the new version of metformin did nothing for me as I couldnt digest and absorb them, consequently my blood sugars increased. We then moved on to Gliclazide which suits me fine, but for some reason the doc wanted to try me on Linagliptin a while back. Now that did put my blood sugars up noticeably, and after 3 days I went back with what suits me. Apparently its not an unknown reaction to that drug.

    The moral of this story is, that we are all different, and there are various reason why individuals might find a drug does the opposite to what it should. However with diabetes there are several alternatives if one drug doesnt suit, so discuss it with your medical team
     
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  14. CJEd

    CJEd Type 2 · Newbie

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    a lot of talk about blood sugar monitors - I'm on metformin & was told categorically that I dont need a monitor but my nurse & doctor. reluctant to buy one as I dont want to be 'dependant' on using one unless I need to.
    ps my levels were just over 5 when diagnosed with T2 though
     
  15. Moosepig

    Moosepig Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Its great to have this forum to discuss our different symptoms. I've just read that someone on metformin didn't know about SR metformin, which for me, has reduced my symptoms significantly. Its useful too to see that we all react differently to our drug therapies, and quite reassuring and empowering giving us fuel to talk over with our DN's. I have to say, I'm very lucky - my DN is very supportive and really listens to me, and I'm fairly up to speed on nutrition and its effects on our condition. Still really helps though to be able to let off steam from time ....so thanks forum buddies!!
     
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  16. MaureenG

    MaureenG Other · Newbie

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    My partner has recently been diagnosed T2 and has high cholesterol. He has been prescribed Metformin and statins. His first dietician appointment didn't happen because she (the dietician ) didn't turn up. He has been left totally in the dark with no advice re monitoring his blood sugar levels or altering his diet. He is not overweight and has never been obese. My question is, should he just keep taking the tablets, should I continue with adjustments to his diet which I researched on this website or should he return to his GP? I'm beginning to despair!
     
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  17. Suzie Quartly

    Suzie Quartly · Active Member

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    Keep taking the tablets and keep all the appointments you get called for. Also persue the dietitian for another appointment. Adjusting the diet is good too - reduce carbs, avoid sugar and fruit juice. Learn which fruits are lowest in carbs/sugar and reduce the high ones such as grapes in favour of lower ones such as raspberries.
     
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  18. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Expert

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    Do you know why your husband was put onto metformin as he appears to have reasonably good BS levels? I think I'd be going back to the doctor to sort things out - but first, are you watching his carbohydrate levels as well as sugars? Starchy foods can be just as bad as, or sometimes worse than, sugar for raising levels.

    I've both lost and, more recently, gained weight while on Metformin, but I have to blame this on variations in activity levels and diet/food consumption.:(

    Robbity
     
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  19. MaureenG

    MaureenG Other · Newbie

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    Thanks for advice so far. I am trying to include LowGI foods as much as poss. Have cut down on sugary stuff. No biscuits, cake,sweets or alcohol. Always have strawbs, rasps and blueberries to hand. Protein is fish, chicken and very lean red meat occasionally. Poor soul. I'm just worried that without checking blood sugar levels it feels like we're working 'blind'. Sorry to go on but we are new to this. Your help and experience is much appreciated ☺
     
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  20. vinylandtrinkets

    vinylandtrinkets Type 2 · Active Member

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    I was diagnosed in March as type 2 and hubby in June type 2 again, neither of us have seen a dietician, the only thing my gp said to me was cut out all sugar, watch carbs, no juice or fruit, same for hubby, we're both on metaformin mine is the higher does,
    we were both told to monitor our bg 2 hours before and after meals, until our bg had settled,
    i have read on here metaformin has made someones bg spike, so might be worth speaking to your gp again.
    to be honest 90% of the things ive learned about type 2 has been from this site, 10% trial and error.
    we are both back on apples and pears this week so mega happy about that.
     
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