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Metformin. Its worse than the diabetes

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by gobbo, May 28, 2012.

  1. Unbeliever

    Unbeliever · Well-Known Member

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    I don't think vidagliptin and sitagliptin are exactly the same but won't argue about it. However Sitagliptin does NOT lead o weight gain . That is why it is becoming increasingly popular with Gp's and patients. This is a fairly new class of drugs .
    Don't have ime now to look up vildagliptin but will do that later.
    I just did not want anyone offfered sitagliptin to refuse it because of a misapprehension. Maybe vildagliptin acts slightly differently?
     
  2. Morgaine

    Morgaine Type 2 · Active Member

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    Hello Gobbo, and everyone :) I can't believe your GP can be so callous! (well I can actually) I was diagnosed 9 months ago, and put on Metformin. Even with a careful building up to a clinical dose, I had awful side effects and wondered what 'I'd let myself in for' by being diagnosed. (no choice except to accept it really as I later realised)
    I think I am very lucky as I get a good service from my GP and the Diabetic Nurse. I was offered a day with other newly diagnosed T2's within a couple of weeks following diagnosis, which I found very helpful. My nurse changed the Metformin to the SR (slow release) which I can tolerate better. Others here have offered you good advice, so please go back and talk to someone at the practice. I would even consider changing practice to a more enlightened one if that were possible. Everyone here is supportive and speaking for myself although obviously can't change anything for you, I can add to the list of people offering you that support.
    Good luck.
     
  3. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    Metformin is known for causing digestive upsets. It's generally increased slowly over time, starting with 500mg per day and adding a tablet every couple of weeks up to wher it's doing its job. You need monitoring for that. If they won't give you strips, present yourself at the surgery a couple of times a week to check.
    Hana
     
  4. bmorgen

    bmorgen · Active Member

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    Metformin is not the only drug for controlling diabetes!

    Find a doctor who is interested in helping. It took me a year to get used to Metformin but now I am side-effect free. But my side-effects were not as nasty as yours. Many of the drugs that control blood sugar do so by slowing down release of food from the stomach. This can cause discomfort. But, as I mentioned, for me it passed eventually.

    If you aren't able to handle the drugs, get yourself on a very low GL diet and control your blood sugar directly. Throw away the NHS diet sheet - it is dangerous. Cut out potatoes, white bread, and white rice. Keep whole grains to a small part of your meal but they are essential. Those whole grain german brick-like breads are a good way to get carbs that are slow release (low GL). Also, have fats with your carbs to slow down digestion. Beans are good. Have a few french fries instead of a fat-free baked potato. But just a few. Use a lot of low/no carb foods like eggs, meat, cheese, ham. Only have one piece of bread on your sandwich. There are loads of good ways to control your blood sugar without drugs.

    There is no cure but there are some very good drugs if you can tolerate them. Victoza is one. Also Januvia. They don't cause hypos and help enormously. But getting the NHS to give you these modern drugs can be tricky or impossible. Pity we are stuck with no-nothing GPs and budget drugs at the NHS.
     
  5. Skweek1

    Skweek1 · Member

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    :shh: Hi, all - good luck, Gobbo!!!

    Foul stuff - I was taken off the quick release Metformin when I joined the 4T project and started on insulin, but when my specialist retired, my control went to pot and my new specialist put me back on the slow release. The next day I was violently sick, had the runs and worst of all, couldn't feel my whole top leg at all - totally numb. This has not improved in the last 3 months. I saw my specialist again the other day and asked whether I should stick with it. His advice was, if I could tolerate it,better to do so, but the one thing I can say is that I can do my injections in my right thigh and not feel it all! And I do not take my metformin dose. So with my insulin, diet, exercise etc, I'm sure I can cope fine. :evil:
     
  6. rinfrance

    rinfrance Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I was put on Glucaphage some 11 years ago, sick, stifness, and god knows what else. I was put on Novamix, eventually chest pains on left side some sort of weird reaction, continued and told its not the insulin (oh yes it was) anyway was put on another metformin but was told it was something else! (Stagid) After 2 hours I was on morphine as the pain was so severe. Silly quack carried on and after 3 days was "stuck" on the side of my bed.
    Severe muscle lock up weird BP's, and I got you better not take anymore!
    So I was put on Actrapid. chest pains gone, and the only problem is the shoulder freeze and middle finger lock up both of which are "cured" by 1000 ug of B12 per day! This is not yet really accepted here in France, so I guess the same applies to both Metformin and other insulins that cause frozen left shoulder!
    I did a test myself just using Marmite and the problem went, gave some to a french friend who had been crippled for about 5 years. He is not now!
    Your muscle pains are almost certainly the lack of B12. Anyway you know the quick test, and you can buy B12 in the chemist really cheaply as this is what vegetarians have to have!
    Please let me know if your problem goes, it will only take 2-3 days.
     
  7. chrissy283

    chrissy283 · Newbie

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    When i started taking metformin i noticed that i had some similar problems to yourself and i told my doctor...he immediatly changed my metformin to glucophage..he told me that the difference in the tablets were like changing from driving a mini to a rolls royce..a more expensive tablet with exactly the same effect..but made with better qaulity substances...weird eh!! But they did do the trick! We get all the generics perscribed to us, but some doctors wouldnt give these to their own mothers.
    perhaps you could suggest trying the glucophage. Hope this helps you and sorry for your bad experience.
     
  8. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Just skimmed through the thread and nobody else seems to have picked up that you started out at the top end of 'normal' BMI (so in theory had no real need to lose weight) and you are now heading towards the lower end of 'normal' BMI.

    Although your weight still looks O.K. I would be worried if it kept on going down - as you obviously already are.
    You may not look like a skeleton - you may just have been used for many years to be at a higher weight and just need to adjust your mental body image.
    I know my wife was starting to worry when I lost some weight because I looked so skinny compared with how I had been for the last 20 years or so.
    I think I could do with taking another half stone off.

    It does look as though your diabetes is probably not linked to obesity, so you are in the minority of newly diagnosed if I understand the statistics corrrectly.

    What HbA1c reading did you get on your last test?
    Or haven't you had an HbA1c test yet (I think they normally wait six months after initial diagnosis).
    2 stone weight loss will have made a difference if you had any problem at all with fatty deposits around your middle and could well have changed your ability to handle glucose.
    In which case you might be able to reduce your medication - but without HbA1c information we can't really suggest this.

    As others have said, try and change your GP.
    You could look for a different GP practice in your area, and ask around for a diabetic friendly one.

    If you could post your numbers from your initial diagnosis (and what tsts you had to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes) and any numbers you have had since this would help us to understand what is going on in your particular case.

    Regards

    LGC
     
  9. rmurphy195

    rmurphy195 · Member

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    Hi Gobbo -

    Does sound as if your GP is a tad unsympathetic.

    First of all the test strips - if you are on Metformin then you should be able to get these free on prescription - in fact, along with everything else. For my 1st 2 years I was excercise-and-diet only, and had to fund the test strips myself. After a couple of years I was switched to a Metformin/Approval/Statin "diet" and as my GP gave me the bad news, he also reached for his pile of application forms for a little plastic card that gave me free NHS prescriptions, so it is worth following that up. You can get testers for free.

    Also worth getting from your GP the forms to fill in (or whatever they do now) for an annual Retinopathy test (looks for damage to blood vessels in you eyes.

    See if your GP surgery has a diabetic nurse - if so arrange appointments with him/her, you will get some dietary advice. At some point you should go onto a schedule for regular blood tests to see how the medication is going, then at least an annual test after that. In my case for example I had quarterly tests during the 1st year of the "diet/exercise" phase, then an annual test, then quarterly tests once I went onto medication to see its going OK, now on annual test - with instructions to drop in if I feel unwell. Following the start of medication we found that the original blood pressure tablets weren't suitable (dizzyiness standing up etc) and my GP was happy to try somethingf else.

    My GP's advice on testing was to do so if I felt unwell, and pop and see him if the readings showed summat amiss - good advice, 'cos it saves fretting over every damn reading! So I do testing if I get curious, or if I do feel unwell. But I've not needed to panic yet. Except when I got a blister on my foot and I wasn't sure if it needed checking out (it didn't, but he got rid of it for me, with a grin on his face as he stuck the needle in!). But it might have done so now I have a better idea of when to see him.

    GP's are people, and they have bad days as well as everyone else. If you are consistently unhappy with his service (as opposed to simply being upset over your diagnosis, you need to try and be objective about this) or there is no diabetic nurse you can always look around. Or ask at your local pharmacy for thier advice - I have found Lloyds chemist to be helpful in the past, they explained to me how the various medications work in a way that even I understood!
     
  10. tizzy

    tizzy · Well-Known Member

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    i sympathise i had lots of meds that did not work and side effects as long as they can tick boxes you get little help or sympathy i paid to see a private consultant who made me feel stupid along with the nurses at drs surgery i tried to tell them i could barly eat anything and had high bgs after doubling the dose and still 17 to 19 in mornings i insisted on going back to hospital consultant thankfully a kind man who put me on insulin i just hope i dont get too fat i was on starlix which initialy was good
     
  11. SouthernGeneral6512

    SouthernGeneral6512 · Well-Known Member

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    It's a funny thing I've always envied people who are good sleepers but now because of metformin I'm a good sleeper. I can easily get 8 or 9 hours per night and really if I'm honest even after that if I rolled over in bed in the morning I'm sure I could drop off again :crazy:.

    I'm amazed at all the metformin threads in here I realose it's a common medication but there does seem to be a lot of problems with it
     
  12. BaliRob

    BaliRob Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Regarding Chrissy's post stating that she was prescribed Glucophage which replaced Metformin. Surely they are identical in constituents ? Experts please comment as I was told that Glucophage was identical to Metformin when I moved to Bali.
     
  13. Truffle

    Truffle Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Glucophage is just another brand name for Metformin.
    Some people say that the brands differ slightly but the constituents are exactly the same. :)
     
  14. BaliRob

    BaliRob Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Dear Truffle,

    Thankyou that is how I understood them to be. Chrissy being used for the placebo effect??

    Rob
     
  15. gobbo

    gobbo · Newbie

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    Hello everyone.
    Sorry I haven't been back, so much has happened since my last post.
    Thank you all so much for your kind words, advice and encouragement.

    I went back to the doctor recently (if you remember my original post and the flippancy with which I was dealt over my weight loss issue) and saw a locum. He was appalled at my condition and wanted to know why I had not been back to the surgery over the weight loss. When I informed him I had been back twice with my concerns he just shook his head (Birds of a feather?) He examined me, ordered blood tests and set up an appointment for the diabetic clinic at the hospital to investigate the loss of weight.

    Two days later (03:00) terrific pains in chest, colour Grey, no lips, soaked in sweat, incoherent for 50 minutes. Ambulance called: Elevated Troponin T levels, erratic ECG's, high potassium. Paramedics, after consulting with a doctor on the phone, decided to leave me at home as the doctor did not feel it was a MCI.

    10:00 that day I had the blood test at my surgery as ordered by the locum.

    16:00 Same day. I got a phone call from my GP informing me that I had elevated Troponin T levels and may have suffered heart damage, that a blue light ambulance was on its way to take me to CCU, the GP phoned again 5 mins later saying I may not have suffered heart damage after all but he still wanted me to go in the ambulance to CCU.

    7 hours in CCU. ECG's normal, BG 4.5, Troponin T normal at 14 hrs (received the results two days later.) discharged with follow up appointment at Cardio clinic. My wife and family said I was acting like an idiot the whole time (totally out of character) as if I was drunk. (I'm Teetotal) W.T.F was all that about. Slept for 18 hours. My wife woke me in intervals to eat. I lost two days of which I have no memory.

    Since been to the diabetic clinic. Doctor was kind, attentive and understanding. He said the last two hba1c tests were fine and my diabetes seems to have been within normal limits, as shown by those two tests? He was shocked at the treatment I had received from my GP's, but (Birds of a feather again?) ordered blood works and a full body scan because of the unexplained weight loss, then said he needed to prepare me to the fact that I may have cancer. What!!!

    In December 2011 I was in really good health: Height 5'6" Weight 10st 10lb, fairly active given my mobility problems. (Garden, allotment and author of three novels.) Went to the well-man clinic for a routine check up and was told I was type 2 diabetic. Prescribed Metformin 2000mg per day. Since that time my health has deteriorated faster than a down hill skier. I take no other medicine or drugs other than Metformin. All my problems began when I started taking this ‘Demon’ drug, it has completely destroyed me as a once healthy person. Today: weight 8st 7lb.

    I am going to stop taking it for a week and keep a close check on my BG to see if it makes a difference and to see if I can control it by diet alone. I now wait with trepidation for this bl**dy scan.

    I believe this drug is solely responsible for my present condition and has far reaching consequences and side effects that the medical profession refuse to accept, given its saturation of use with diabetics. ‘Time for some in depth research.’
     
  16. BaliRob

    BaliRob Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Dear Gobbo,

    Your original loss of weight - down from 11 to 9 stone in three months - is not unusual and probably indicated the exact onset of Diabetes. In my case over the same time period I inexplicably went down from 14 to 12 stone but it was shortness of breath upon exertion that sent me to the doctor shortly after not the loss of weight. Your present weight is not far short of nine stone and I firmly believe that it is the Diabetic condition which is maintaining the low weight. I my case I just cannot get back above 12 stones even if I wanted to or abused myself with eating all those previously enjoyed 'goodies'.

    As an author you surely DO NOT believe in coincidence? You went to the 'Well Man' subconsciously wondering whether you were ok probably because, at 12 stone, you were too heavy for your frame and other minor niggles and you got the shock information we all receiv

    Personally I am trying to stay on Metformin which has been good to me over the past eight years and going to try and increase by 1 x 500mg per day again. Tried a few weeks ago and I thought I was experiencing side effects - so have stopped taking Captopril to see whether there was a conflict between the two. If I can accept 1500mg per day I will be very pleased because Metformin is the only Diabetic medication to have been fully proved over 60 years (not talking about Insulin).

    There are good alternatives so do not give up hope - most of your conflicts are caused by your inability to take exercise and I do sympathise. By the way, love your prose - "Down-hill skier", etc., but I think I can beat Homer Simpson - Shaun the Sheep's boss (the farmer) is a nano second faster ha ha ha.

    Good luck with the scan.

    Rob
     
  17. gobbo

    gobbo · Newbie

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    Thanks Rob

    It's good to know a sense of humour can still exist among the growing millions of poor suffering diabetics.

    A diabetic walks into a bakery and asks the guy behind the counter, “Whaddya got that is safe for diabetics?”

    The Baker says, “Everything. As long as you don’t put it in your mouth.”
    http://www.tudiabetes.org/forum/topics/diabetic-jokes

    I went to the well-man clinic because her indoors bl**dy convinced me - ‘It’s a good idea love, you should go, you’re not getting any younger are you. You turn sixty next year, you should have a check up.’ - not because I had any health issues. Other than a shot knee I was 'Fit as a butchers dog' and could even pick up my eldest grandson and he's a 15 stone cage fighter. I'll be glad when he gets his own car back:) My mobility problems were caused by a London Bus and my motorbike trying to occupy the same space at the same time.

    Seriously though.
    There are not many people on this drug that have not suffered some side effects, gastric being the most common, as shown by the various forums. Your weight loss must have been of real concern to you? Two stone is a lot to drop in such a short period of time, I mean, you don't become diabetic on the day you're diagnosed and given Metformin, so taking this drug must account for the weight loss, not the diabetes itself. Though it is classed as one of the rare side effects on the enclosed leaflet. To continue to take it must have an adverse effect on the body and organs. I have only just begun to research it but I have already uncovered some disturbing information re: trials carried out on the link between Metformin and decreased B12 absorption.

    Vitamin B12 serves a variety of purposes in the body, including playing a role in metabolism, as well as in the function and development of the brain, nerves, and blood cells. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include weakness or tiredness, rapid heartbeat, pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, and stomach upset. If not corrected, B12 deficiency can damage the nerve cells, causing symptoms such as tingling and numbness of fingers or toes, difficulty walking, and depression.

    It is recommended in the BMJ that diabetics are given B12 injections to combat the loss of absorption caused by continued use of Metformin.

    Time to get some B12 down me.
     
  18. carty

    carty Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi gobbo
    I am not in any way medically qualified but just a thought that if your BG is 4.5 why not halve your met for a while testing regularly and sticking to a reduced carb diet.See how it goes and how you feel From what I have learned met does not have a great effect on the BGs and 4.5 is quite a low reading so you may even be able to stop it eventually .Testing will tell
    CAROL
     
  19. dawnmc

    dawnmc Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Reading this post makes me very worried, I've just picked up my Metformin, and wondering now if I should take it.
    You were started on Statins too, now I know they can cause all the problems you describe. I don't know if you stop that the symptoms can carry on. I know my mum 2 yrs after stopping Statins still can't walk and her muscles are very weak.
     
  20. BaliRob

    BaliRob Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Dear Gobbo,

    I lost the weight BEFORE diagnosis. It was in retrospect that I realised that this had been a precursor as has often been mentioned here as an indicator such as thirst as well, etc. Metformin undoubtedly reduces one's appetite hence further weight loss or stabilisation. Remember, Metformin did not cause me to lose weight - I was not on it and had never heard of it. But I do believe that there can be a 'sudden onset' of Diabetes, i.e., the pancreas being damaged or starting to lose its efficiency suddenly. We must not spread the word that Metformin causes loss of weight only that that may be a side effect of a reduction in appetite. Good luck with Vitamin B12 - perhaps you would be kind enough to keep a diary for us to consider it for ourselves?

    Regards,

    Rob

    PS I am 73 and still ride motorbikes here in Bali
     
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