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Metformin - should I or shouldn't I?

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by TooManyCrisps, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. TooManyCrisps

    TooManyCrisps Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was diagnosed Type 2 at the beginning of the year with an HbA1C of 97. I discussed this with my GP and we agreed that I should try to get the reading down with diet and exercise before considering medication.

    Since January I have followed a lchf diet, upped my exercise and also bought a meter and test regularly.

    I had another HbA1C test and got the results this week. The level is now 49. I've also lost 10kgs. The DSN was very pleased and felt i was making real progress. However, she felt that i should start taking Metformin as it will help my pancreas to make the best use of insulin, and it should therefore help md achieve lower levels.

    I am reluctant to take medication if i can avoid doing so. We agreed that I will have a think about it and go back and get a prescription if I decide to start taking it.

    Has anyone else been in this position? Will Metformin support what I'm doing or is it pointless?
     
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  2. britishpub

    britishpub Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    1: Well done on getting your HbA1c down so much in 3 months. Brilliant result and due to a lot of hard work.

    2: I can never understand people's reluctance to take Metformin. It is not a medication that you will become reliant on, and is a great help in getting your longer term levels down and will assist in getting lower fasting levels. Other than the over emphasised side effects, which you won't know will affect you until to try, there are no real downsides and loads of possible upsides.

    3: Metformin also has lots of alleged other benefits to health apart from diabetes related ones.

    If you can take it with no adverse side effects then to me it is a no-brainer.
     
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  3. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    There are a lot of misconceptions about met. One being that it works to stop post meal spikes, and another being that it helps the pancreas. So if your nurse is giving that as a reason to take it, then you need better, accurate info.

    Have a look at this video and it should allow you to make a balanced decision :)

    If I could get met prescribed for me, I would take it like a shot -- but purely because of the hope it would reduce insulin resistance.
     
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  4. Ross.Walker

    Ross.Walker Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    97 to 48. AWESOME, you have the best attitide which will make you reach your goal. I am new to this too, however I am on metformin and intend to come off it as soon as I can. I have read about people who come off it with no ill effects once they are in real control of their lifestyle/diet.

    I would offer this thought, if your body needs that extra bit of help why wouldn't you?
     
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  5. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    My experience with Metformin is as follows. I took 2x500mg a day but noted that my blood sugar levels didn't change as a result. I got a problem with the taste of food, some of it tasting like burnt plastic.To overcome this the dose was halved and so it was even less effective. My DN finally stopped it on the grounds that it was inefffective.

    The significant improvement I got by changing my diet meant that I didn't miss Metformin.

    Why not try it and see if it helps.
     
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  6. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    I have a slightly different view on this.

    First up I will confess I had a dreadful time while taking metformin. It didn't agree with me at all so I ceased taking it after 3 weeks.

    But I'm thinking that like me @TooManyCrisps doesn't want to take any medication. When you can control your condition with diet alone then why would you want to pop pills?

    She has had great results with diet alone so why is the nurse trying to get her onto tablets?

    Personally I would try low carbing for another three months and if your next HbA1c is no better then try the meds. That's my personal view with no medical background whatsoever.
     
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  7. mfactor

    mfactor Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    What bulkbiker said :) ....you reduced your results by half in a few months on no meds :)....and the DN wants to put you on them when you are a smidgen from being outside the diabetic range (48) :banghead:
     
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  8. muzza3

    muzza3 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @TooManyCrisps

    What a sensational result. In anyone's book what you have achieved since the start of the year is tremendous and we all know on here how much determination that takes so Congratulations.

    This is your decision to make. Are you feeling well? Are you feeling in control? Do you feel you need more assistance? Only you can answer those questions.

    But if you are comfortable I can't see how it would hurt to keep it up your sleeve and see how you progress as you can always revisit it

    Well Done!!!
     
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  9. TooManyCrisps

    TooManyCrisps Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I think my reluctance to take it is based on 2 psychological factors
    1. It somehow feels like I'm admitting I can't control this by myself, and I hate not being in control,
    2. I have been incredibly careful with my diet for the last few weeks and I'm worried that when faced with temptation (crisps) I would be more likely to give in on the grounds that I'm on medication which will allow me to do so. I know that's not rational, but I also know the limits of my will power!
     
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  10. TooManyCrisps

    TooManyCrisps Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to everyone for their views, it seems the jury is out. I will watch the video and do some more reading around it. I'm not ruling anything out but I am tempted to do what @bulkbiker suggests, carry on trying to get my levels down and then review in 3 months depending on the HBA1C result.

    Funnily enough, I was quite prepared for being told i needed Metformin when I went into the appointment, and would probably have (reluctantly) accepted it had the reading been, say, 70. But knowing how hard I've worked and finding I'm so close to an acceptable result means I want to carry on without meds. On the other hand, if Metformin preserves my pancreatic function for a bit longer..... decisions decisions.

    Thanks also for your congratulations and good wishes. I could not have achieved what I have without all the advice and information I've gained from people like yourselves on this forum
     
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  11. britishpub

    britishpub Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I wish now that I had not asked for my Metformin repeat prescription to be stopped. I believe now that the longer term benefits of reducing Insulin resistance will be of huge benefit in the years ahead, if not necessarily the near term.

    I have my annual thingie soon with a nurse, which I expect/hope will be a result similar to the last blood test, so I don't expect I will be able to convince her to re-prescribe Metformin, but I will try.
     
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  12. TooManyCrisps

    TooManyCrisps Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I think i need to read up more on insulin reststance and the longer term benefits of Metformin. I know it's reputed to have unpleasant side effects, although that might help with the weight loss

    @britishpub, why won't your DNS prescribe Metformin if you don't mind me asking? Mine was singing its praises and strongly urging me to have it.
     
  13. britishpub

    britishpub Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if she will or not.

    I don't even know if she is a "real" DSN, as the receptionist referred to her as the Practice Nurse.

    I am more expecting some drivel telling me I'm cured or some other such nonsense, and trying to get me to come off the Diabetic register, which I will resist.

    I'm not stupid enough to think that a couple of non-diabetic HbA1c readings mean I am no longer a diabetic.
     
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  14. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    Whatever you do, for whatever reason will be your choice, but sort of like yourself, when I was diagnosed I was very keen (to say the least!) to try to "go it alone". Aside from issues relating to a long trip overseas, I was a bit afraid that if I took Metformin, then got good results, I would have no idea if it was my work or the Metformin making the difference.
     
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  15. kevkevkev

    kevkevkev Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If you decide to take metformin give them a couple of weeks if you suffer any side effects. I had tummy issues for a few days at first but now i'm fine and wouldn't be without them. In my opinion the long term (and short term) benefits outweigh the doubts. After all the longer your body works properly the better... Right?
     
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  16. Sutherlandlass

    Sutherlandlass Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Wow.. you've done so well! And.. without meds! That's brilliant, I can totally understand the level of determination you've got going on ☺ I must admit, that to begin with, after my diagnosis on Christmas eve 2015.. that I didn't want meds. However, after reading up and finding the long term benefits of taking metformin, I asked my gp about going straight onto sr met, especially as I am pretty sensitive to meds of any kind, due to my fibromyalgia. I am very glad I did start taking them, although the first week or so, my tum was not impressed I daren't even think what it might have been like if "normal" met?! Eek.. Probably! After that initial week my tum settled and my bg leveled out to good figures and very few spikes. LCHF all the way though. I am now at a point where I feel that maybe a morning dose would help stop any spikes during the daytime too?! Also with keeping my carbs extremely low, around 15-20 a day, to get good bg results, makes my food intake pretty boring sometimes. It would be great to have a few more carbs a day and still stay well within the 5's.. maybe I am asking too much? I have an appointment with my gp on 22nd April, and see what he thinks.. although I often feel that folks on here have much more knowledge and understanding about it all than my gp!
     
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  17. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    When I get a headache I take Paracetamol if I have a cold I take Lemsip and maybe cough mixture when I got Diabetes I took Metformin when I had teeth extracted the dentist gave me an anaesthetic yes you could deal with all those things without medication just like our ancestors did difference being they had no choice.
     
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  18. Dougie22

    Dougie22 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Excellent video that I hadn't seen before. Will rewatch and get to the end when I've got time. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  19. Pinkorchid

    Pinkorchid Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I do take Metformin and although my doctor says my diabetes is controlled... HbA1c was 42 at the last blood test....she still wants me to take it. She didn't say it lowers BG or anything but said that it has good protective properties for the body especially the heart. I can't take the full dosage of 1000mg twice a day because it makes me bloated and caused me to have loss of appetite but I can cope with 50mg twice a day of the slow release version and my doctor is happy with that as I have good BG levels she feels that is adequate for me. She said for anyone with diabetes even a small dose is better than none at all so I am quite happy to go on taking it and have no plans to come off it
     
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  20. Liam1955

    Liam1955 Type 2 · Master

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    @TooManyCrisps - The decision is yours, but would it be so bad to take Metformin, you have done so fantastic in 3 months to get where you are now. If taking Metformin keeps you at this level is it not worth it? Metformin lowers the amount of sugar created by the Liver, and decreases the amount of sugar absorbed by the intestines. It may help Type 2 Diabetic's lose weight as it lowers appetite. It takes time to build up in your system and can take up to 3 months to reach it's full effect.
     
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