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New to Metaformin, feeling rough!

Discussion in 'Metformin/Biguanides' started by Trikerider, May 28, 2019.

  1. Trikerider

    Trikerider · Member

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    Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes this morning, took first tablet at lunch time on an empty stomach, didn’t eat lunch. I know, shouldn’t have, and won't do again. Now, about 7 hours later feeling dizzy and nauseous. Not sure if that's just the drop in sugar levels. The nurse I saw warned me I'd feel weird until I got used to the lower blood sugar levels. But how long does it take to get used to the drop in levels? I'm going on holiday in 3 days! Help! Just nearly lost my dinner, not sure how I'm going to cope with travelling.
     
  2. Rachox

    Rachox Other · Type 2 - well controlled. Moderator.
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    Hi Trikerider and welcome, as this is your first post here I’ll tag in @daisy1 for her useful info post.
    Now Metformin really should be taken with food as you have discovered :eek: Metformin’s action, especially just one tablet is very unlikely to cause a drop in blood sugars so far as to make you feel ‘hypo’, it just doesn’t work like that. It has a cumulative effect and even once the dose has built up you will need to address your diet too. Did your nurse say anything to you about diet?
     
  3. MeiChanski

    MeiChanski Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello, welcome!
    I'd like to add have you been able to buy a blood glucose meter to test and monitor?
     
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  4. Trikerider

    Trikerider · Member

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    She certainly addressed diet in her chat. Today I ate one fruit yoghurt and diluted fruit juice (pre diagnosis breakfast) and 1 salmon steak, some cabbage and peas and a very small serving of hollandaise sauce. It's going to be a fun holiday!! Not bought a blood glucose meter yet. Was reading about them today...
     
  5. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    How long are you away for and where are you going...?
    In your shoes I might think about delaying starting the meds until after my hols (with your nursies permission of course).
    I had sone very unpleasant gastric experiences when I started metformin so I couldn't really recommend starting them when away from home or not close to a very comfortable toilet.!
    I made my own decision to stop taking them after 3 weeks because of it and changed my diet instead.
     
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  6. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    @Trikerider
    Hello and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it both interesting and helpful.

    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 600,000 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.
     
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  7. Trikerider

    Trikerider · Member

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    Many thanks for the replies, feeling a little less in shock today! So today I took the Metformin with breakfast as I should and have been feeling much better. Slightly upset tum over night but fine all day today. Hopefully a result of taking meds as instructed with food. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow when I go from one tablet to two... I'm going to Scandinavia, driving (well husband will be driving) so hopefully I'll continue feeling OK. If not, then I'll just have to be ridiculously strict with the diet instead. I had this conversation with the nurse yesterday.
     
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  8. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    If you are getting gastric upsets after just one tablet - I am rather apprehensive about your holiday.
    My reaction was pretty unpleasant - but it took a couple of days to ramp up.
    I find the low carb diet easy to do and very effective.
     
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  9. Trikerider

    Trikerider · Member

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    So now 4 days in and 2 days into taking 2 tablets per day the side effects have hit. I'm now sitting on a ferry waiting to disembark and start driving up through The Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark over the next thee weeks.... After a night on the ferry with completely liquid diarrhoea and facing several days in the car I didn't take the dose this morning. It's going to need to be a very careful diet and start again when I get home.
     
  10. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I was rather afraid that you'd be seeing that sort of reaction - it might take a while to subside, so try to allow for it, if possible.
    I found that eating less than 50 gm of carbs a day worked so well that I was no longer diabetic at 80 days from diagnosis, though there were some weeks of Metformin intake in that time. At 6 months I reached normal levels. I would eat frogspawn rather than go back on Metformin - luckily the diet which does the trick is a far more pleasant experience and I can only recommend it, even for the Metformin tolerant.
     
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  11. TriciaWs

    TriciaWs Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Going low carb when just diagnosed meant I could safely eat 100g of carbs a day while getting my blood sugar into remission quickly - I was lucky but there is some evidence that the sooner you go low carb after diagnosis the better for longer term control and hopefully getting into remission.
    Check the carb and sugar content of foods, and don't forget that a couple of milky coffees comes out quite high due to the milk sugar. Nut milks are generally lower if you can get them.
     
  12. Trikerider

    Trikerider · Member

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    I have to admit that going into a meal feeling ravenous does a lot for enjoying what I can eat. Also I've been surprised by what IS possible, for example last night's meal in a very nice restaurant was starter of asparagus and Parma Ham with the hollandaise on the side so I could just have about a couple of teaspoons, followed by veal with lots of boiled veg (also sauces on the side) was lovely.. There is hope. After going back to one tablet a day my stomach has settled so I think I may keep it at this and try upping the dose when I get home.
     
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  13. Angengray

    Angengray · Newbie

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    Hi there that was very interesting sorry to jump on board of someone else's post I'm new to this and haven't a clue how to start regards Ange
     
  14. Rachox

    Rachox Other · Type 2 - well controlled. Moderator.
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    Rather than derailing this post, please feel free to write your own post. May be here:
    https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/category/greetings-and-introductions.20/
    This is the Greetings and Introductions forum, you’ll get a better response too.
     
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