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To Metformin or not Metformin, that is the question!

Discussion in 'Metformin/Biguanides' started by misterdj, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. misterdj

    misterdj · Active Member

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    Id be interested in thoughts from people. I was newly diagnosed with type 2 in February. Through following low carb diet and exercise i am now getting regular meter readings in the 5's and 6's. However im still testing out foods and get the odd spikes as i did with porridge today when i went to 10.2!

    My initial thoughts were to try and do as much with diet and exercise. I try and take as little medication in all others areas of my life. However the GP has asked me to consider Metformin.

    I have a friend who is also type 2 who is on metformin and another drug which escapes me. He says the metformin will help counter the spikes so i dont need to be such a facist wit the low low carbs. But im worried that if i start the drug now at 41 it will be a slippery slope requiring more and more drugs for the rest of my life.

    How long have people been in metformin for without increasing the dose?
     
  2. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've been on it 2.5 years, which is no time at all really. I take 500mg 3x daily. I tolerate it well, and find that it seems to suppress my appetite and help with weight loss. I also value it for its protection against stroke/CVD, as I will not take statins.

    Have a good read round about it, both on here and via Google, and make up your own mind. Ask you GP why he wants you to take it - he should be able to say more than "we give it to all newly-diagnosed Type 2s".

    By the way - it doesn't stop me drinking! and it doesn't cause hypos. It seems it's really a very safe drug.

    Viv 8)
     
  3. pav

    pav Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have been on it 13 years and now on the max dose of 3000 mg, if it helps to take the spikes off your meals its worth trying. Only problem I have with it is the exhaust gas side affect, though others have had different sides affects. Its only when I came across this forum that there are 2 versions of metformin which for some the slow release one is more suitable than the standard one.
     
  4. Sid Bonkers

    Sid Bonkers Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi misterdj, as Viv says Metformin does help to curb your appetite so if you need to lose weight it is worth taking just for that benefit alone.

    Metformin works by slowing down the amount of glucose absorbed into the blood stream in the intestines and it also slows down the amount of glucose released from the liver as well as helping your insulin to do its job of unlocking the insulin receptors in the bodies cells, in fact its quite a clever drug and has also been shown to help protect against the growth of certain cancer cells too.

    That said it is not a magic bullet and will help to reduce blood sugars but wont make a major difference without diet help in the form of some sort of carbohydrate reduction.

    I would doubt if it would help stop spikes as it doesnt really work in that way, it may take a little off the top end of spikes but bear in mind that even the highest dose will only help reduce overall bg levels by between 1 and 2 mmol/L.

    I recently posted that I ate a cream tea a couple of years ago which comprised of two white flour and high sugar scones with jam and cream and as nice as they were they still shot me straight into double figures despite my not having an HbA1c outside of the 5%'s for the last 4 years and at the time I was taking the highest dose of Metformin of 1000mg bi daily, it showed me that whilst I was well controlled I could still record high spikes if I ate the wrong foods. To be honest I wasnt really surprised with the result and as a one off I felt it was well worth the sleepy afternoon that followed :lol:

    So in summary Metformin is considered a very helpful drug by most people, even those who are not keen on medication generally, but will not give instantly good control without dietary help and IMHO is unlikely to stop high spikes when eating high carb meals/foods.
     
  5. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

  6. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    Metformin is a pretty safe medicine. Millions of people on it worlwide. Some folks get digestive upsets with it, but it usually wears off. I've been on it neear 10 years with NO problems. I was initially started on 3 x 500mg per day plus half a Gliclazide tablet [I'vve forgotten the dose. I went to the USA on holiday and forgot to pack my gliclazide. I managed on just the Met and reduced some carbs. I've never gone back onto the Gliclazide. I eventually went properly low carb and have dropped one of the Metformins too. My Hba1c hasn't been out of the 5s since then either. I'm trying for low 5s or 4s at the moment, still on the minimal Metformin only. since I stopped the gliclazide, I've lost about 3 stone, but my weight has beeen stalled for nearly 2 years now. I'm VERY weight loss resisant.
    I would say, try it if you feel it would help you. If it upsets after you've given it a fair chance, you tell your care team and ask to come off again. After all the medics cannot force medication down you.
    Hana
    Metformin doesn't usually cause hypo
     
  7. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    An interesting summary - thank you, catherinecherub.

    Maybe "they" should be putting everyone on Metformin instead of statins? :wink:

    Viv 8)
     
  8. misterdj

    misterdj · Active Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts everybody - lots to consider.
     
  9. cslagenhop

    cslagenhop · Newbie

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    You should definitely take metformin. What most don't realize is that the root of the problem is insulin resistance. Metformin helps your insulin work more effectively. This will slow the progression of the diabetes (yes, it continues to progress, even if you diet and exercise) There is lots of good evidence that metformin reduces the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and aids in weight loss. (Insulin is a growth factor and causes inflammation in the body) The common side effect of metformin (gas & bloating) should not be a factor if it is taken with a low carbohydrate diet. A study called the LOOK AHEAD trial was stopped by the US government because the results indicated that even with diet and exercise, people continued to have increased risk of heart-attack and stroke. The only thing that modified this risk was medication.
     
  10. carina62

    carina62 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I get my Hba1c results on Wed and i have a feeling that it has gone up since diagnosis 4 years ago. I have been on diet/excercise control but wonder if i am offered Metformin whether i should refuse and give myself another 6 months to get my weight down even more and see whether i can manage to keep off the meds a bit longer.

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  11. Geocacher

    Geocacher · Well-Known Member

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    Studies have shown that metformin can slow the progression of T2 diabetes by up to ten years. The earlier you start it, the better the outcome.

    Based on that I've been taking metformin for eight years, I've only been diabetic for three years. In a family where T2 is common and invariably leads to premature death, I'll do whatever I can to buy time.
     
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