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Metformin >>> side effect

Discussion in 'Metformin/Biguanides' started by sterling, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. sterling

    sterling Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The doctor placed me on one tablet a day for two weeks before moving up to two.

    He warned me that diarrahea was very likely.

    I have got the exact opposite: constipation and stomach cramps.

    I am taking one Metformin after dinner with two Senokots!

    Is this unusual?

    [I am seeing the nurse Friday week]
     
  2. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    I had the same problem especially early on after dropping my carbohydrate intake considerably and eating more things like eggs. The wife has put me on Benefibre which is tasteless. You add it to tea or coffee or whatever drink you like. Seems to be doing it for me if you get my drift.

    The only other reaction I get to Metformin is I now feel nauseous very quickly after eating anything with pastry which is very useful imo as I use to be a sausage roll and cornish pasty devotee. Apart from that I think its really good, its very helpful with blood sugar level spikes, losing weight and suppresses appetite.

    Don't expect it to be a miracle cure regarding blood sugars. I'm afraid when it comes to reducing your levels changing your diet is really the only way. I find that it has reduced my background sugar levels by at most 1 mmol although it does help reduce the spikes you get in levels after you eat. At a guess it is allowing me to eat around an additional 25-30g of carbohydrate more each day than I could without out so not a lot but enough to allow you eat a wider variety of things. Everyone is different however so it might be better or worse for you.

    If you get horrible reactions to it after more than a few days the standard procedure seems to be to go back to the gp and ask for the slow release (SR) version.
     
  3. sterling

    sterling Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you xyzzy for your kind and quick response. That is helpful to me in several respects.

    I am just a few days into Metformin.

    I asked my GP to prescribe it because I already do a substantial amount of exercise and eat reasonably well having never had a sweet tooth. Therefore I'm making incremental changes.

    I immediately, prior to diagnosis, stopped all orange juice, Coffeemate and snacks. But more particularly, I stopped bread, potato, rice and pasta completely.

    It may be, as you suggest, that the diet is contributing temporarily to my difficulties rather than the Metformin.
     
  4. angieG

    angieG Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you take on plenty of fluids as Metformin tends to dehydrate.
    I have had similar problems if I haven't drunk enough the day before.
    Flaxseed added to cereal, porridge, yoghurts or whatever helps too.
    Angie
     
  5. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    Some more words of advice.

    Get a test meter and test yourself. Because of the post code lottery that our NHS is you may find your GP will give you a meter and test strips or they may not. The NICE guidelines are that a Type 2 should get test strips if they understand why they are testing and responding to the results they get.
    Keep a food diary and record what, when and how many carbs you are eating. Show these to your nurse or gp as evidence you know what you are doing. I get my test strips off eBay as that's the cheapest place by far. At the moment I test before I eat and +2 hours after a meal. If there is a big gap between when you get up and when you eat breakfast measure when you get up as well.

    Don't be surprised if you get high readings when you wake up its called the Dawn Phenomenon and is a real pain in the neck. At around 4.00am each day your brain issues instructions for you liver to dump glucose into your bloodstream so that you have energy for the new day.

    My readings after now 7 weeks from diagnosis now average at all times between 4.5 and 6.5. At these levels I am nearly back to the range of a non diabetic which is where I want to be but everyone should make their own informed judgement of the risks they want to take. I started with readings in the 20's. To get to the range I am now I cut carbs down to around 50g / day max initially and now average around 65g / day. Everyone is different so carb intake my well be different for you.

    You may find articles telling you to eat this oil or that oil as it will cure your diabetes. It is rubbish there is currently no cure for type 2. You can control it with diet and possibly reverse some effects if you've been caught quickly enough. Sorry if that's a bit blunt.

    You may be told by the NHS that you are eating too few carbs. Tell them you'll eat more when YOU see that they do not put your BS levels into the danger zone. Refer them to the Swedish NHS that is far more up to date with the latest scientific opinion.

    Some more useful info on BS readings.

    It is thought that diabetic complications can begin to arise if your BS regularly exceeds 7.8.

    19 out of 20 non diabetics will have a reading of less than 6.5 two hours after eating.

    You may be told by the NHS that your HbA1c is fine so long as its between 6.5 and 7.5. Remember an HbA1c value is not the same as a BS reading. A 7.5 HbA1c is well over the 7.8 BS reading where damage is thought to begin. Many people on this forum aim and regularly achieve HbA1c's less than 6%. Around an HbA1c of 5.5% you would be at the top end of the range for non diabetics.

    Finally each 1% rise in HbA1c DOUBLES your risk of diabetic complications (going blind, feet falling off etc.) so someone with an HbA1c of 8 is 4 times for likely to get complications than someone at 6, at 9 its 8 times more likey etc.
     
  6. BaliRob

    BaliRob Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    One side effect of Metformin is, without doubt for many users, a strong metalic taste; after many years of usage I still experience this but perhaps to a lesser degree. I support the doctor's words of wisdom when he warns that Metformin can cause loose bowels (contrary to the questioner) but perhaps that's because I live in the tropics ha ha ha - seriously though I do feel is does work that way with me.
     
  7. HexJinx

    HexJinx · Newbie

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    I was diagnosed in the emergency room on Feb 3rd. They put me on metformin. I drastically changed my diet, cut out all sugar and white carb. The metformin didn't cause me any gastric distress, but I noticed my face looked like I had been on a sugar eating/alcohol swilling binge. And, I had an omnipresent headache and my head felt light. My fasting BG declined from 14.6 to 5.6 within two weeks, but my face got uglier and uglier. On Feb 17th, the doctor took me off the metformin. Apparently I was having an allergic reaction to it (facial swelling and increased rosacea). On the 19th, I started glipizide. Last night (the 20th), I had to take an antihistamine to stop the reaction to the glipizide. Having never had to take any medication other than the odd antibiotic over the years, I am disgusted over how crummy these drugs have made me feel. I'm determined to try and control this with diet and exercise alone. Wish me luck!
     
  8. hallii

    hallii · Well-Known Member

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    Yes I take Metformin and it makes me constipated.

    I just add extra bran to my homemade low carb bread.

    Also, I drink plenty of fluids, decaff tea or coffe, sugar free fizzy drinks, water etc.

    If you get really stuck (forgive the pun) try Lactulose, it is gentle and tastes OK as well.

    H
     
  9. sterling

    sterling Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Hallii

    Metformin induced constipation is lessening but I take one Senakot with each Metformin tablet.
     
  10. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    Be careful with using over the counter laxatives...... if used on a regular basis to relieve constipation they may also cause ' a lazy bowel' and will be habit forming. The best thing to do is to ask a pharmacist to recommend something that won't make the bowel become lazy. Fybogel is good as is Lactulose although Borofergies mention of Benefibre looks to be ideal as it is tasteless. Eating a good helping of veg every night that contains a lot of fibre will help and also drinking plenty of hot drinks. Hot liquid softens more than cold liquid :mrgreen:
     
  11. happypixi

    happypixi · Member

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    metformin gives me diarrhea, been on 500mg once a day for a month with some side effects but not much so dose got raised to twice a day but I had diarrhea so dose was dropped back to once a day, but I still got diarrhea, eat my breakfast in morning with my tablet, 20 minutes later dashing off to the loo. even though dose been dropped nothings changed. think I'm going to have to call my DSN to change medication.
     
  12. sujeet

    sujeet · Member

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    Diagonised with T-2 last year. Initially was on Vildagliptin + Metformin. For last 4-5 months I am having Metformin HCL 500 twice a day.
    But for last one month I feel constipation, heavy headness, headache, my BS is within limit, and hba1c is 6.5.I am really confused as to continue Metformin or some thing else.
     
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