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New to meds, concerned about side effects

Discussion in 'Metformin/Biguanides' started by lisa5466, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. lisa5466

    lisa5466 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Hi, I was here in 2013 and managed to reverse my type 2 following the Newcastle diet and running. I lost my way and have relapsed in a grand scale. Latest HB1AC was 80, and meter testing has been around 23mmol/l with one day reading 31mmol/l. I’ve been low carb for a week now and down to 17.2mmol/l today. Saw DN & started SR metformin today, 500mg building up to 1000mg per day. GP called yesterday & said I need to get up to 2000mg within a month. Also been given statins for cholesterols. I’ve delayed starting metformin as I was concerned about possible side effects, especially as I had to travel for work!! How soon do the side effects kick in? Hoping to be lucky & not suffer but need to be prepared if it’s going to happen. Also, are those bg readings very high as DN was going to go straight to insulin until I told her how hard I was working in low carb eating. Thanks.
     
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  2. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    I would be more concerned about those numbers than by taking Metformin. A reading of 31 should have resulted in a visit to A&E. Numbers in the high teens are wholly undesirable. Metformin will have a small affect on your readings but does come with benefits whereas a statin may actually raise your levels.

    Dietary changes will impact your numbers in a much more positive way. Do you carb count at all?
     
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  3. lisa5466

    lisa5466 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Hi Guzzler, thanks for your reply. After reading here I had thought my numbers were in the high range but didn’t appreciate it was so dangerous! I started low carb, have been for about a week now which is how I’ve come down from 20’s to lowest being 16.8. I’ve just downloaded an app to count carbs too. Hoping the metformin can bring it lower now.
     
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  4. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Just to refresh your memory I will tag @daisy1 for her fabulous welcome post. Great start with the lower carb approach, any questions at all and don't hesitate to ask. It can be a bit of a minefield at first but as you have already seen it does make a difference. Good Luck!
     
  5. walnut_face

    walnut_face Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If it helps I stopped metformin a month ago due to other medications. I restarted last week, and the need to go RIGHT NOW arrived 3 days later. Thankfully only lasted a couple of days, but we are all different
     
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  6. Derbysocks

    Derbysocks Type 2 · Active Member

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    I have been on all the meds you mentioned and have had no problems
     
  7. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Metformin only helps to a very limited extent, mainly a small amount with early morning fasting levels. What it won't do is reduce any post meal spikes. Diet is the key. Statins can raise blood sugar levels - there are warnings about this on the patient information leaflets. They also come with unpleasant side effects, some of which don't materialise for several years. I would be more concerned about the statins than the Metformin.

    Well done so far now you are back on the waggon.
     
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  8. Bexd12

    Bexd12 Type 2 · Member

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    I was prescribed metformin 500mg 2 tablets twice a day within 3 days the side effects kicked in and didn’t go away was then switched to glucophage slow release was fine for a couple of days then the nausea started again along with palpitations back at the doctors tomorrow to change to something else, no idea what my BS have been as waiting for my meter to be delivered, I am also on statins with no side effects, we are all different though good luck with your journey
     
  9. kokhongw

    kokhongw I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    T2D Remission simplified, no medication, no insulin, no weight loss,
    not even regular exercise <1000 steps/day and NO will power.
    Overcome our misguided fear of fats and fasting.
    Are you fueling better?

    1. Eat only during the day to restore our circadian rhythm. Dr Panda/Dr Valter Longo.
    http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(16)30250-9
    2. Carbs lite fats friendly lifestyle to manage post meal insulin/glucose spikes.
    https://myhba1c.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/turning-mountains-into-molehills/

    Guess when I dropped the carbs...

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Keith_Simpson

    Keith_Simpson Type 2 · Active Member

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    When I started taking Metformin it was the next day that I developed Raynaud's syndrome; extremly cold hands & feet. I took Metformin for 6 months & then it was another 6 months before things went back to normal. I don't think this particular side effect is common enough to be recognised as such but I am sure many with cold extremities are told that it is the Diabetes effecting blood circulation, when in fact it is the Metformin. Beware medication; insulin is the only way to avoid side effects.
     
  11. jjraak

    jjraak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    hi lisa.

    sorry to hear that, but kudos for being so proactive and getting back to the coal face.

    i started metformin in October....some slight issues, but really nothing that bothered me, if that helps

    but as others say, we all react differently.

    best wishes for a speedy return to more normal levels.
     
  12. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Unless of course we already produce enough or too much insulin (as is the case with the majority of T2s) but it doesn't work properly because of insulin resistance. Adding more to the equation exacerbates the insulin resistance, and often leads to weight gain. I call that a massive side effect, personally.
     
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  13. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Just for balance, I had no trouble at all with Metformin but an almost immediate reaction to the statin (Atorvastatin). We are all different, we can but just try.
     
  14. lisa5466

    lisa5466 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Thank you all for your replies, it’s reassuring to know there’s support here as this is uncharted waters for me! I’ve decided to go with the sukkarto 500mg twice a day which is what the GP wanted me to start in although diabetic nurse said start on 1 x 500mg per day to start. Desperate to get bg down so I’ll just wait and see the effects if that. I’m three days in with Atorvastatin so waiting to see if they produce any negative side effects. My overall cholesterol was 8 so I feel I need to give them a go. Did anyone find their cholesterol dropped naturally when bg dropped? Thanks again.
     
  15. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    The total cholesterol number tells you very little, the breakdown in figures esp HDL and Triglycerides will tell more about what is going on.

    After LCHF my Lipids improved.
     
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  16. timbro

    timbro Type 2 · Member

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    I had issues with Metformin and sudden diarrhoea at the most inconvenient times, awful. Life much better on insulin, don't be afraid of it. I lead a much freer life now as I can adjust my dosage to what I eat. (Not always correctly but better). I went through a very very low carb period before o went onto insulin and hardly reduced my hba1c however I never got above high teens on finger prick tests.
    We're all different, follow your nurse's advice and don't worry about insulin when the time comes, it can be life changing.
     
  17. Sminkypinky_

    Sminkypinky_ Type 2 · Member

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    Side effects of Metformin kick in really quick! I remember saying to my hubby 'I hope that urgent and explosive bowel movement was down to something I ate and not the new meds I have to take for the rest of my life!' Too much information? Maybe, but hey if we can't keep it real here, where can we? On the plus side, 'that' side effect didn't last long.
     
  18. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    @lisa5466
    Hello Lisa and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful. Ask as many questions as you need to and some one will help.

    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEW MEMBERS

    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 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. Most of these are 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.
     
  19. steveis36

    steveis36 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was diagnosed 2years ago as boarder line and they found my bloods were 18.5 mmol when i had a normal pre med.
    Metformin went straight through me
    Metformin slow release cause effect which is hard to explain

    Then this year i tryied Gliclazide which gave me stomach cramps for 9 months

    In September i thought"screw this"
    And stopped taking everything.

    My bloods went up and cholesterol was up and my DN was talking about me going on statins
    No,no,no!
    My weight is comeing off
    Cholesterol is down 4.2 to 5.8
    My bgs are still a little high but they average around 8mmol mark.

    Ive been on weights which ive read is better and i do HIIT as well

    Ive also realised its also timeing when and what u are eating.

    Eating high protien at breakfast and having carbs in afternoon is definitely better to regulate BGs

    I also do intermittent fasting.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  20. lisa5466

    lisa5466 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Some really useful info there so thank you everyone for responding.
    I’m on day 2 of metformin now, yesterday was ok, few stomach cramps last night (I took one am and one pm) but otherwise ok so far. BG still at 17 in the morning, which is better than 23-31 last week, but weirdly, I’ve lost two inches from my waist!! I feel bloated so I can’t understand that! Still doing low carb (under 50g) per day. I’m not exercising at all as still too tired. I’m not doing intermittent fasting although I’d be interested to hear thoughts on that. Also read today about NHS using the Newcastle diet. I used that in 2013 and reversed my numbers, and kept it at bay until now. If the met and low carb eating doesn’t work I may go back to that. Thanks again for all the great advice & info.
     
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