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Metformin

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by jochop, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. jochop

    jochop Prediabetes · Newbie

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    I have been defined with Pre-diabetes and have been prescribed Metformin! I'm using a glucose count meter to check myself.
    Questions: 1. What kind of response can I expect from the Metformin vis-à-vis my sugar count?
    2. On 3 occasions after exercise I have experienced a drop in my blood pressure. Can this be attributed to the Metformin.

    Thank you
     
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  2. wiseowl_123

    wiseowl_123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    This is only my own personal opinnion and I apologise in advance if it causes anyone any offence,it is my belief and only mine that for the first 3 months after diagnosis and at a push 6 months,but after that I I feel that it does more harm than good,as I say just my own personal view based on my own short experience ;)
     
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  3. Alison Campbell

    Alison Campbell Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @jochop welcome to the forum. I have never taken medication for prediabetes so cannot answer from experience.

    Metformin as I understand it does not make a big difference to blood sugar levels. A change in diet and activity can help so much more.

    Tagging @daisy1 for new member information for you. Please read around the forum and check out the prediabetes section.
     
  4. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    @jochop

    Hello and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful. Ask more questions when you need to and someone will be able to help.


    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEWLY DIAGNOSED DIABETICS

    Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

    A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you'll find well over 235,000 people who are demonstrating this.

    On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

    The role of carbohydrate

    Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

    If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

    The bad news

    Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

    The good news

    People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

    Controlling your carbs

    The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.

    There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:
    • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
    • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates
    Reduce your carbohydrates

    A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

    The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

    Choosing better carbohydrates

    The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

    Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes.

    Over 145,000 people have taken part in the Low Carb Program - a free 10 week structured education course that is helping people lose weight and reduce medication dependency by explaining the science behind carbs, insulin and GI.

    Eating what works for you

    Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

    To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

    The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

    Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
    • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
    However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

    Access to blood glucose test strips

    The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:

    • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
    • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

    Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to blood glucose testing supplies.

    You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic.

    Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.

    Take part in Diabetes.co.uk digital education programs and improve your understanding. They're all free.
    • Low Carb Program - it's made front-page news of the New Scientist and The Times. Developed with 20,000 people with type 2 diabetes; 96% of people who take part recommend it... find out why
    • Hypo Program - improve your understanding of hypos. There's a version for people with diabetes, parents/guardians of children with type 1, children with type 1 diabetes, teachers and HCPs.
     
  5. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Hi @jochop and welcome,

    Your Metformin has very little effect on the levels of glucose. It helps to a limited extent with insulin resistance, it helps to a limited extent in reducing the amount of glucose your liver produces naturally, and it is an appetite suppressant. It won't help reduce any post meal spikes. It doesn't work that way.

    Do you mean you experience a drop in blood glucose after exercise, or blood pressure?

    Diet is the key, not Metformin. If you test yourself immediately before you eat and again 2 hours after first bite and look at the rise from before to after, this will tell you how your body has reacted to that food. Keeping a food diary including portion sizes is a good idea so you can record your levels alongside and look for patterns. If the rise is more than 2mmol/l there are too many carbs in that meal so you need to experiment by reducing the portions or eliminating some. It is preferable to keep your rise under 1.5mmol/ if you can. The flatter the better.
     
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  6. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. I agree with Bluetit1802. Metformin is a very safe drug but GPs rely a bit too much on it rather than giving sound dietary advice
     
  7. jochop

    jochop Prediabetes · Newbie

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    Thank you so much for your informative response - truly appreciate it.
     
  8. jochop

    jochop Prediabetes · Newbie

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    I experience a drop of blood pressure following my regular morning exercise routine - this has occurred since I started the metaformin. The blood pressure returns to my "normal level" in the afternoon.
     
  9. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    I haven't heard of this as a side effect of Metformin.

    https://www.drugs.com/sfx/metformin-side-effects.html
     
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