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Worse Since Diagnosis

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by Redcadence, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. Redcadence

    Redcadence Type 2 · Newbie

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    I'm new to this forum and was only diagnosed 11 days ago. I was immediately put on Metformin with and increasing dose over three weeks, so I'm currently taking two 500mg pills a day. The thing is I feel absolutely awful. I didn't feel unwell before I was diagnosed (I have some MH issues which I'm taking Sertraline for) but I was tired so my GP recommend some blood tests and here we are.

    Over the last 11 days I have felt nauseated almost constantly, shakey, no appetite whatsoever (I had appetite issues already but they have got massively worse, to the point where I'm forcing food into me), hot sweats (I'm sat with the door open in a vest top and I'm still sweating), the tiniest of activities leave me exhausted and my heart pounding.

    I'm seeing the diabetic nurse on Friday for the first time. I don't know whether to keep taking the pills and see what is said on Friday, or try and get an appointment asap. I feel so unwell that I don't know what to do with myself. I also don't know if it's the pills, or if my body is adjusting to the affects, or something else.

    I guess I'm just looking for other people's experience.
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  2. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Hi and welcome to the Forum. First let me tag in @daisy1 for her useful welcome post. What you’re describing could be the tablets. But can I ask if you have altered your diet at all? Metformin will only help a tiny bit in reducing blood sugar levels, so if you have altered your diet to help, it could possibly be your body getting accustomed to lower levels. Having said that I think it’s most likely to be the Metformin so I would try to get an earlier nurse appointment to discuss it.
    Do you know the results of your blood test? If your levels aren’t too high you might be able to reduce them on diet alone.
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  3. kitedoc

    kitedoc Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Redcadence, Did anyone explain to you what the possible side-effects to Metformin were?
    It is considered proper prescribing practice to do so as well as what to do if such things happen. (GMC Good Practice in Prescribing and Managing Medication and Device) . I have yet to find an equivalent policy from Nursing and Midwifery Council.
    Some trusts include a clearly stated policy to inform patients of the side-effects of medications they are to be prescribed whilst others refer to legislation only.
    If you google 'Metformin - side-effects' you will see tummy upsets, diahorrea etc mentioned (in words such as 'gastro-intestinal upset').
    Perhaps you could contact this DSN on Monday and ask what to do. Why put up with your discomfort if there might be a way to at least reduce it?
  4. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I was very ill taking Metformin and a statin - five weeks of misery, but then I threw them away and felt a lot better.
    They were stopping me taking any exercise, any exertion was dangerous, and embarrassing. The statin gave me painful muscles anyway, I had all over itching, my sense of taste changed, my insides were so painful. I think I managed to take two tablets on two days, not consecutively.
    The saddest thing really is that I did not need them - I went back to low carbing and my numbers returned to normal. Perhaps you could speak to either your doctor or the nurse on the phone and get their advice.
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  5. JoKalsbeek

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

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    Hi, welcome! It does sound familliar... Metformin was hell for me. You could put in a call and ask for the slow release kind, if you're willing to experiment with the risk of responding badly to it. If not, there is other medication out there, it's just that metformin is the first thing they try. You've got options. Best thing to do though is change your diet. As a T2, you can't process carbs out of your system effectively anymore (and all carbs turn to bloodsugar, including the savoury ones. White, brown, doesn't matter). So that's certainly worth looking into. Meds didn't agree with me at all (I was simultaneously put on statins, which aggrivated my rheumatism as well). On low carb I could ditch both the diabetes- and cholesterol lowering medication and still achieve non-diabetic levels. So if you end up wanting to look into a no-pill way due to side effects, you can. In any case, metformin isn't your only option.

    Hope you feel better soon!
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  6. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    Hello Redcadence 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 want and someone will be able to help.


    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.
  7. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    For this symtom alone I suggest you see your GP or DN asap. Good Luck.
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  8. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    You need to see your GP. Although interaction between metformin and sertraline is not a well-known side-effect, that doesn't mean that it can't happen in rare cases. Sweating and altering your heartbeat are known possible side-effects of sertraline - it is possible that metformin is boosting the effect of the sertraline to give you these symptoms. On the other hand, sweating, nausea and pounding heart can be the result of an infection and it could just be coincidence.

    You could stop taking the metformin until you get your GP appointment - you could always restart it again later if it turns out you had an infection, or perhaps take lower doses of your medications if it turns out there has been an interaction between them. Your GP will be able to discuss this with you.
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