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Metformin

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Patricia B, May 13, 2021.

  1. Patricia B

    Patricia B · Newbie

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    This is new to me, Ive never had a blood sugar problem, but always a weight problem & Ive told the Drs plenty of times somethings not right, my diet isnt perfect but far from rubbish. Almost everything I cook is made fresh from scratch, low fat & low sugar.

    The Dr was really supportive and started me on Metformin about 10 days ago, first 4 days were fine, I then made up some greek yoghurt, honey & passion fruit and about an hour later went down with horrific diarrhoea & ive felt sick & lethargic since.

    My calorie intake went from about 2400 a day to 500, it took 4 days to eat a small roast and I thought, great, I'm on the mend. I forced myself to have weetabix with lacto free milk for breakfast the following day, having not been eating I wondered if it was this that was making me lethargic, within about 1/2 an hour I threw breakfast up, back to not eating & forcing myself to drink, just water with fresh lemon currently. Ive managed to eat a few slices of toast a day with a little pate & crabstix & started the last two nights with dinner, fresh tuna & rice, no sauces, lethargic in the morning but started to feel a bit better this afternoon & kept it all down & in Wonderful, were moving on...

    Until...

    Tonight, my daughter made a cheese & mushroom risotto, I had a small bowl & within 1/2 an hour it was through me and I'm back to full on diarrhoea. Sorry for the graphics.

    I've never had a food intolerance, does the body adjust to Metformin & get over these side effects?
     
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  2. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I'm afraid that for some that is what Metformin does, even without all the foods you ate which contain carbohydrates - which I have heard can make it worse.
    I hope we can be of some help - but eating high carb foods is likely to cause disruption to your blood glucose levels.
    Were you told your Hba1c levels at diagnosis?
    You might well find that avoiding the carbohydrates is all you need to do to return to normal numbers, but breakfast cereals, rice, bread, the crabsticks, honey and high carb fruit will have caused your blood glucose levels to rise.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Metformin can cause explosive 'rhea, so if that doesn't abate after 2 weeks, it's not going to. You might want to ask for a slow release version, or go the diet route instead, which is what a lot of people have done here. It's not about whether or not you eat rubbish, it's about how many carbs are in there.... Rice, weetabix, toast etc contain a lot of carbs, and your body can't handle those. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/blog-entry/the-nutritional-thingy.2330/ might help a little, as well as dietdoctor.com (no need to pay, lots on there is free), so you can still cook from scratch without loading up on things that make your blood sugars rise. Also, low fat isn't the best thing for diabetics, as when they take the fats out, they usually put carbs in to compensate for the loss of flavour and bulk. Carbs up blood glucose, but fats are a sugar flatline. Hit the full fat cheeses. ;)
     
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  4. jjraak

    jjraak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Patricia B

    Hugs for the "issues"
    Sounds very unpleasant.

    One of the luckier ones I never had any issues with Met.

    Great answers already above

    A 2nd for the food choices..:wideyed:

    Hopefully a helpful note

    Liking the food from scratch, it's what I now do, but I guess it depends WHAT you're cooking from scratch.

    A nice steak & brocolli ..nom nom nom.
    Spaghetti or rice dishes..:arghh:

    As for calories, I gave up counting calories and only count carbs these days

    Low cal, low fat...mmh
    I tried a that immediately after being diagnosed, made the HBA1c worse...and left me starving hungry for 6 weeks.

    Came here, dipped a toe into the LCHF diet.
    Lost 3 stone and in 3 months got HBA1C down from 57 to 42, all while eating good food, that filled me up.

    Takes time to adapt, but we got a lifetime of time, right.;)


    Good luck with grappling with the Metformin.

    I'd agree that if it's still an issue, the diet route makes the most impact anyway,
    So if you can't tolerate Metformin but do amend the food intake, you'll still likely to get good results.
     
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  5. Andydragon

    Andydragon Type 2 · Moderator
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    I’m not sure I would agree that it is outdated. Many drugs are many decades one and still seen as useful

    For many people metformin works well without the issues. For those that have issues, often the slow release addresses that.

    it’s not perfect by far, and the impact is quite low but it can help support alongside dietary changes. I was on it for over a decade without issues. The higher doses can lead to vitamin B12 deficiencies so do need to be careful to be monitored, every drug has side effects but metformin is quite low in that regard hence it being often the very first used to treat type 2s

    yes, it’s cheap but in a squeezed national health service, that can’t be a bad thing! Ensuring the right advice, I.e. not a wonder drug and needs other changes like diet too then I cannot see why there is an issue.

    newer drugs may have more impact but often come with side effects that could be worse than the metformin ones.
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
  6. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Did they give you a blood test and diagnose anything?

    Metformin for weight loss (as you are unfortunately discovering) can be effective but in an incredibly unhealthy way.
    I had similar problems to you so changed what I ate, threw the pills in the bin, lost a load of weight and got healthy.

    As other have said it's not only added sugar that is the problem as all starchy foods turn into some form of sugar when ingested so are best avoided for weight loss.
     
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  7. Andydragon

    Andydragon Type 2 · Moderator
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    I am not sure how you have made the unhealthy assessment. It is not not sold as a weight loss treatment, it does appear in some cases to help support weight loss longer term but not in a substantial manner, more of an aid.

    looking at what you eat, plus other options if you can such as exercise is a better option than a magic pill or injection in my experience

    The linkages between Metformin and weight loss isn't clear. Some thoughts are that it could impact how hungry you feel so you eat less. Some thoughts are the gastro issues can impact which I could see as being not worth the small impact it could have but saying unhealthy seems a bit of a leap to me

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23147210/
     
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  8. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Losing weight through episodes of diarrhea is healthy somehow?
    I think not.

    I'm not sure why the OP was prescribed metformin.. perhaps we should wait for her reply?
     
  9. Andydragon

    Andydragon Type 2 · Moderator
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    I believe we are at crossed purposes here, often the trouble with the internet. That's not what I said was healthy, and tried to make plain that this isn't the way Metformin is supposed to aid with weight loss from all advice I have seen and been given.

    Losing weight via the means you describe are clearly not good and I would agree not healthy.

    The impacts being seen by yourself @Patricia B can occur and are clearly unpleasant. Whilst it can improve with slow release, it is something that I personally would speak to the Doctor about to seek advice

    Some ways to help support Metformin though are to look at slow release and also diet. Probiotics have been advised by some, the foods you eat might be making it worse, they are quite carb heavy but don't live in misery, some people never do tolerate Metformin and that's okay too
     
  10. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
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    Hi and welcome :)

    I am sorry you are not getting on with Metformin.

    If it is making your life miserable, then please get back in touch with your doc to discuss trying the slow release version, and if that doesn’t work, then other options (lifestyle/diet or medication) are available and many here on the forum opt to make dietary changes which lowers their blood glucose to the extent that they don’t need to continue with medication.

    you should not be left with unbearable side effects, so don’t wait until Monday, if you need advice before then. Ring 111 and ask them. They may be able to fast track you to a phone consult with a doctor (saw this happen last week.The doc rang back within 30 mins).

    As with all drugs, some people have side effects, and some don’t. Fortunately, most people tolerate Metformin well, but it can seem the opposite because those with bad experiences seem to be more vocal about it than those with good experiences. It is the same with most things. The naysayers always speak the loudest.

    Personally, I would love to get Metformin prescribed to me again because it helped with my ongoing and significant insulin resistance, and contributed to some weight loss. However, my local clinical commissioning group has decided that Metformin is not to be prescribed for anyone with an HbA1c under 53.
     
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