unwell and waiting for hba1c, metformin fears

MoyaAnne

Member
Messages
13
Type of diabetes
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Dislikes
Gym
Exercise classes
My poorly managed T2 diabetes recently appeared to bite me on the bum.
I was so unwell I knew it was because of my lack of discipline. Nausea was the worst thing. Weakness, joint pain. I have had my HbA1c tests today and I’m waiting for results. I really am not keen on starting on metformin ( in the UK it’s the only meds they offer. ) the side effects are very often headache and nausea. I just cannot face the thought of feeling like that forever.
So I’m trying to be really strict now and have drastically changed how and what I eat. The pairing of foods is quite complicated but I’m sure I’ll get there.
Is there anyone who has NOT HAD ANY SIDE EFFECTS, please?
 

lovinglife

Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
4,571
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Diet only
Hi @MoyaAnne and welcome to the forum :)

Well done for taking the first steps in getting control. Don’t be hard on yourself lots of us have been in your shoes. The main thing is you acknowledged the need to make changes. I don’t know what changes you’ve made to your diet but a good few of us T2 members help control our BG with a low carb or even keto diet. All carbs turn to glucose in the body not just sugars.

One of our members @JoKalsbeek has a very good blog that explains low carbing in more detail so have tagged her for you.

In regards to the Metformin, yes the side effects you have described are very common but that doesn’t mean everyone gets them, I had no side effects whatsoever from Metformin even from the start and still don’t. Some people get side effects in the beginning that settle down after a short while, some get them and they don’t settle, if this happens you can request to try slow release Metformin which I’m led to believe is gentler and has less side effects.

Take your time and read around the forum, if you are looking for things to eat try the recipe section or the low carb what I’ve eaten today forums are very good for ideas


Edited to correct spelling mistake
 
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EllieM

Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
9,271
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
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forum bugs
Hi @MoyaAnne and welcome to the forums.

It's the nature of forums that people report the problems with their medication and don't post when there aren't any issues. Personally, I had no issues with metformin when I was on a medical trial to see if it would help T1s, but as it was a double blind trial I never found out whether I was taking it or a placebo. :)

Good luck with your diabetes journey and I hope you start to feel better soon.
 

Rachox

Oracle
Retired Moderator
Messages
15,868
Type of diabetes
I reversed my Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
I really am not keen on starting on metformin ( in the UK it’s the only meds they offer. ) the side effects are very often headache and nausea. I just cannot face the thought of feeling like that forever.
This isn’t so, if Metformin doesn’t suit you, then you could try the slow release version, if this doesn’t suit then there are many other meds that will be offered.
 

MrsA2

Expert
Messages
5,618
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Diet only
The pairing of foods is quite complicated but I’m sure I’ll get there
Most of us on here don't bother with pairing foods, other than making sure each meal has sufficient protein, green veg and some fat, enough of each to feel full until the next meal.
It doesn't have to be complicated.

Just stick to simple real food
Meat
Fish
Eggs
Dairy
Green veg
Olives and olive oil
Nuts
 

jessj

Well-Known Member
Messages
256
Type of diabetes
Treatment type
Diet only
Hi @MoyaAnne

What you're suffering might be down to something unrelated. That's how I used to react with gluten intolerance that came out of the blue & before I had diabetes. The side effect of low carbing sorted that out & as hoped, brought my diabetes under control, a win, win.

As for Metformin, I didn't have any side effects at all when I started it, which surprised me, but I seem to have a really decent GP & she put me straight onto the SR form. So if you should have to go on it, ask to go on that from the onset.

Food pairing has gone under my radar, which I'm quite happy about. ;) Have a good read through the forum & especially at the low carb section & threads, they will help immensely, as will the wonderful, knowledgable low carbers.

Good luck on your journey.
 

AndBreathe

Master
Retired Moderator
Messages
11,336
Type of diabetes
I reversed my Type 2
Treatment type
Diet only
My poorly managed T2 diabetes recently appeared to bite me on the bum.
I was so unwell I knew it was because of my lack of discipline. Nausea was the worst thing. Weakness, joint pain. I have had my HbA1c tests today and I’m waiting for results. I really am not keen on starting on metformin ( in the UK it’s the only meds they offer. ) the side effects are very often headache and nausea. I just cannot face the thought of feeling like that forever.
So I’m trying to be really strict now and have drastically changed how and what I eat. The pairing of foods is quite complicated but I’m sure I’ll get there.
Is there anyone who has NOT HAD ANY SIDE EFFECTS, please?
MoyaAnne, there are over 400 combinations of drugs available in the UK to treat T2 diabetes - NOT counting insulins, so it is simply not the case that Metformin is the only option. It IS true that it is almost always the first drug to be tried, and honestly, if it were on offer to you, I would urge you to try it. Swapping to something else is much easier than just refusing the first step.

Well done on taking steps to manage your diabetes better. It is important, because much as we might like to forget about diabetes from time to time, sure as eggs are eggs, diabetes will never forget us.
 

JoKalsbeek

Expert
Messages
5,959
Type of diabetes
I reversed my Type 2
Treatment type
Diet only
My poorly managed T2 diabetes recently appeared to bite me on the bum.
I was so unwell I knew it was because of my lack of discipline. Nausea was the worst thing. Weakness, joint pain. I have had my HbA1c tests today and I’m waiting for results. I really am not keen on starting on metformin ( in the UK it’s the only meds they offer. ) the side effects are very often headache and nausea. I just cannot face the thought of feeling like that forever.
So I’m trying to be really strict now and have drastically changed how and what I eat. The pairing of foods is quite complicated but I’m sure I’ll get there.
Is there anyone who has NOT HAD ANY SIDE EFFECTS, please?
Hi @MoyaAnne ,

I was one of those unlucky enough not to tolerate Metformin, and the slow release version didn't become available in the Netherlands until years after I got my blood sugars under control through diet. It is the first port of call, but it is far from the only medication you can try (Like gliclazide and, and, and), but you could try and just do this through diet, if possibly side effects make you so anxious. https://josekalsbeek.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-nutritional-thingy.html should help in that regard. Do keep in mind though that as your body starts to switch things around, it takes a little time to get used to a new equilibrium, so... You might experience some carb-flu. (fatigue, headaches, joint and muscle pain) Make sure you have bone broth or electrolyte supplements around to ward it off, and that, too, should be something you can avoid, far as "side-affect-ish" things are concerned.

Hang in there.
Hugs,
Jo
 

aylalake

Well-Known Member
Messages
716
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Dislikes
Being told “Oh go on, one won’t hurt you!”.
Conversely, the food police.
I have been on Metformin for years. I had stomach issues initially and was switched to the SR slow release version. Absolutely no symptoms since.
I have also found that, like @jessj , I apparently developed a gluten intolerance (not diagnosed) because since going very low carb my frequent bouts of nausea and diarrhoea have stopped. Coincidental? Maybe.

I have also no knowledge whatsoever of food pairing - I am off to read up about that.
 

LivingLightly

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,607
Type of diabetes
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Morning @MoyaAnne.

Well done for taking steps to improve your blood glucose levels by changing your way of eating. Even habits of a lifetime can be replaced for good, if there's a desire to succeed. It helps to focus on the many delicious foods we can safely eat, and try not to dwell too much on those foods best avoided like pasta, rice and breakfast cereals.

Keeping our blood glucose readings in check is a daily challenge, but it does get easier. After a while, low-carbing becomes second nature. I'm always on the lookout for new, mouthwatering recipes and this forum provides heaps of inspiration. It's important to enjoy our low-carb lifestyle, otherwise we'd never stick to it, would we?

That said, some of us need a helping hand. I'm a metformin user. Any side effects are usually temporary, provided that the tablet(s) are taken with meals and not on an empty stomach. If you should experience unacceptable side effects, there is alternative anti-diabetic medication that can be prescribed.
 
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ravensmitten

Well-Known Member
Messages
378
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)

Ooh

Sorry to drift slightly off topic, and pull this up, but for some strange reason I never considered olives!

Will of course test after adding some to a meal, but will be amazing if negligible effect on me.


I only felt nauseous the first day I took metformin at a lower dose then again when I increased it to the dose I take now. I've had on and off side effects, wooziness, few bouts of tummy tummy here and there, but I can't tell if it's cause of one thing or another (making a few changes all at once) was thinking of ditching it, as been on metformin since before Christmas, but felt I'll give it a little longer as it's not unacceptable. I need to speak with the pharmacist when I pop in as the doctor I spoke with about it wasn't helpful at all, although I might contact them again and speak to a different doctor if the pharmacist can't sort me out.
 

aylalake

Well-Known Member
Messages
716
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Dislikes
Being told “Oh go on, one won’t hurt you!”.
Conversely, the food police.
Ooh

Sorry to drift slightly off topic, and pull this up, but for some strange reason I never considered olives!

Will of course test after adding some to a meal, but will be amazing if negligible effect on me.
Olives with cubes of feta cheese are my go-to snack. No effect whatsoever on my BG, whether green or black.
 

LivingLightly

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,607
Type of diabetes
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Ooh

Sorry to drift slightly off topic, and pull this up, but for some strange reason I never considered olives!
Will of course test after adding some to a meal, but will be amazing if negligible effect on me.
Evening @ravensmitten.

Avocados and olives contain negligible carbs and provide valuable fats not found in other fruits. Hardly a day goes by when I don't incorporatet one or both into our meals. Great for diabetics and good for everyone else too.
 

LittleGreyCat

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,237
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Dislikes
Diet drinks - the artificial sweeteners taste vile.
Having to forswear foods I have loved all my life.
Trying to find low carb meals when eating out.
I've been on Metformin for 10-15 years (some time off in my early years).
I've been fortunate in that I didn't have any of the common side effects.
Best to try it for yourself; you could well be one of the lucky ones.
 

ravensmitten

Well-Known Member
Messages
378
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Olives with cubes of feta cheese are my go-to snack. No effect whatsoever on my BG, whether green or black.
Evening @ravensmitten.

Avocados and olives contain negligible carbs and provide valuable fats not found in other fruits. Hardly a day goes by when I don't incorporatet one or both into our meals. Great for diabetics and good for everyone else too.

Ha, I love olives, but started avoiding them when I first went low carb for no apparent reason.

Avocados are so good too


On the other issue, spoke with pharmacist this morning. They couldn't do anything their end but referred me back to the gps. I spoke to a different GP in the surgery and it was night and day. They said they can start me on the modified release ones as I've had a dodgy tum around an hour after taking each normal 1g tablet for a few hours each day, and I didn't have to put up with the side effects. All sorted and picked up in the hour. They said to me if it's still an issue after 2 weeks of trying these then there's plenty of options we can go through.
 

aylalake

Well-Known Member
Messages
716
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Dislikes
Being told “Oh go on, one won’t hurt you!”.
Conversely, the food police.
They said they can start me on the modified release ones as I've had a dodgy tum around an hour after taking each normal 1g tablet for a few hours each day, and I didn't have to put up with the side effects. All sorted and picked up in the hour. They said to me if it's still an issue after 2 weeks of trying these then there's plenty of options we can go through.

Excellent news! You may be lucky and have no side effects at all - I didn’t, on the slow release. I do recommend you give it 2 weeks like your doctor said, if you do have side effects - it should settle in that time.
 

ravensmitten

Well-Known Member
Messages
378
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Excellent news! You may be lucky and have no side effects at all - I didn’t, on the slow release. I do recommend you give it 2 weeks like your doctor said, if you do have side effects - it should settle in that time.

Thanks, hopefully! Was a bit surprised as was my nurse partner that it was prescribed as 2g once a day rather than split over 2 doses, you'd think the 2 would cover a longer time, I'm no expert though.
 

Milliemoon

Newbie
Messages
1
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
I was put on the slow release 7 days ago, (day I got results of 98 hb…..) and aside from one bout of diarrhoea the following morning, I have been absolutely fine. 9lbs down since and eating a 1300 kcal diet daily. X