Metaformin

Selbie2626

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hello,

I was diagnosed with Type 2 a couple of days ago and started on Metaformin 500mg yesterday am, one per day initially for 1 week then to up to two tablets the following week. My Ac1b was 61. I hd severe diarrhoea and bleeding. All from taking just one tab! Anyone else experienced this? Not sure what the norm is. Thanks.
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hello,

I was diagnosed with Type 2 a couple of days ago and started on Metaformin 500mg yesterday am, one per day initially for 1 week then to up to two tablets the following week. My Ac1b was 61. I hd severe diarrhoea and bleeding. All from taking just one tab! Anyone else experienced this? Not sure what the norm is. Thanks.
Hi. Welcome to the Forum.

Nausea, vomiting, and diahorrhea are some of the most common side effects people have when they first start taking metformin. These problems usually go away over time. These effects reduce by taking metformin with a meal. To help lessen the risk of severe diahorrhea, people are usually started on a low dosage and it's then increased slowly, which is what you've been described.

Suggest you get hold of the leaflet that comes with the pack and read through the side effects.

I no longer take Metformin but I'm pretty sure that bleeding isn't a side effect. You should talk to your GP about that.

Martin
 

Selbie2626

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thanks, I'm awaiting a call back from my GP. I didn't take a tab this morning just in case. Can I ask about diet? What are the best things to eat and avoid. I've cut out potatoes, bread, crisps and sweet things. Taking Oat milk in place of normal milk....
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
The first thing to say about diet is that there isn't a one-size-fits-all for us Type 2s as we are all different in our body's response to carbohydrate. However, there are some obvious things like sweets, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, soft drinks (unless diet) etc that we should drop, almost all breakfast cereals and also starchy carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, pasta and rice. Where cereals, bread, pasta and rice are concerned switching to wholegrain varieties is generally recommended but with reduced portion sizes.

Eat as much fresh meat, fish, salads and green veg as you like but be careful with fruit. Tropical varieties like bananas are quite high in carbohydrate. Most of us opt for berry fruits like strawberries, raspberries etc.

There's lots of dietary advice on the site and Forum Members will chip in with what works for them. As I said, diet is very individual but you'll soon work it out. You'll become an expert at reading the nutritional information on food packaging, checking out the carb content.

The best way to figure out what works for you is to test your BG just as you're about to eat and than again 2 hours later. If your BG is more than 2 or 3 higher on the second test then you might want to reconsider that meal option. However, to do this you would need to invest in a meter, lancets and test strips as your GP Practice is unlikely to provide you with one.

Oat Milk actually has more carbs that semi-skimmed milk but I use it in coffee because it has less than half the saturated fat. For tea, though, only milk will do for me.

An HbA1c of 61 is not that far across the threshold for diabetes (mine was 114 at diagnosis) so by reducing your carb intake (less than 130g per day is considered Low Carb), exercising and (if needed) losing some weight you should be able to bring it down.

Martin
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Actually forget what I said about carbs in Oat Milk vs Semi-skimmed. Oat Milk has less than half. I forgot that I have half as much milk in tea as I have oat milk in coffee. I misread my food diary (that's a good thing to keep, by the way).

Martin
 

Selbie2626

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thank you @Anitram, really appreciate you taking the time to respond. I've already failed this morning as I had cereal and banana. Oh well, onwards and upwards. I'm hoping to turn things around with diet and more exercise . Still no callback from my GP. Chased Surgery and they said they forgot to look at the 'Out of Hours' file. Guess they're busy.
 

HenryBennett

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I was in the Cardiac Care Unit when diagnosed T2. I was all wired up, unable to get out of bed, unable to shower etc. I was (and still am) on 6 meds, one of which is Metformin. No choice and no explanation for a number of days. So it wasn’t great when the diarrhoea from the Metformin struck. As above, take it with food, and you should get used to it in a day or two.

Carbs, carbs, carbs. Eat and test. You’ll be fine. Lots of experience in this forum.
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I had a very bad reaction to Metformin and Atorvastatin together - very painful and disabling in only a few weeks. I threw out the tablets just before Christmas 2016 and have found no reason to consider restarting them. By eating a low carb diet I have normal blood glucose levels. I tried to remember just how soon after starting to take them the problems started - but that period is just a blank as I lost a lot of memories due to the statin. I think it must have been quite soon as the carpet cleaner was delivered end of November - so possibly in the first week.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Welcome to the forum @Selbie2626

Sorry to hear you’ve had a nasty reaction to your first ‘Metfartin’ tablet. The tips that @Anitram has offered work well for many forum members, and most seem to tolerate Metformin well after an initial period of gastric upheaval. We do have members who have never been able to get on with it though, so do speak to your GP - especially about the bleeding, which is not usual.

There are ‘slow release’ versions of Met that are generally kinder on the digestion, if your symptoms continue.
 

Selbie2626

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thank you. Can't believe the havoc taking one tablet has caused to my system. Have an appointment on Tuesday for more bloods so hopefully things will be resolved soon.
 

Selbie2626

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I was in the Cardiac Care Unit when diagnosed T2. I was all wired up, unable to get out of bed, unable to shower etc. I was (and still am) on 6 meds, one of which is Metformin. No choice and no explanation for a number of days. So it wasn’t great when the diarrhoea from the Metformin struck. As above, take it with food, and you should get used to it in a day or two.

Carbs, carbs, carbs. Eat and test. You’ll be fine. Lots of experience in this forum.
So sorry to hear about your experience. Must have been awful for you. Reducing the carbs is a challenge but I'll get there. Thanks!
 

Selbie2626

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I had a very bad reaction to Metformin and Atorvastatin together - very painful and disabling in only a few weeks. I threw out the tablets just before Christmas 2016
Can I ask what your blood sugar was when you decided not to take the tabs? Mines was 61. I asked the Nurse if I could just not bother with meds and control via changing my eating habits but she said "no".
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I'm afraid that I was in such a state that I have no idea - though after about five weeks of low carbing I would expect BG to be in the normal range - I was no longer in the diabetic range after 80 days, went from a Hba1c of 91 to 47 at the first retest, then was 41 at 6 months.
 

JenniJ

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
The first thing to say about diet is that there isn't a one-size-fits-all for us Type 2s as we are all different in our body's response to carbohydrate. However, there are some obvious things like sweets, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, soft drinks (unless diet) etc that we should drop, almost all breakfast cereals and also starchy carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, pasta and rice. Where cereals, bread, pasta and rice are concerned switching to wholegrain varieties is generally recommended but with reduced portion sizes.

Eat as much fresh meat, fish, salads and green veg as you like but be careful with fruit. Tropical varieties like bananas are quite high in carbohydrate. Most of us opt for berry fruits like strawberries, raspberries etc.

There's lots of dietary advice on the site and Forum Members will chip in with what works for them. As I said, diet is very individual but you'll soon work it out. You'll become an expert at reading the nutritional information on food packaging, checking out the carb content.

The best way to figure out what works for you is to test your BG just as you're about to eat and than again 2 hours later. If your BG is more than 2 or 3 higher on the second test then you might want to reconsider that meal option. However, to do this you would need to invest in a meter, lancets and test strips as your GP Practice is unlikely to provide you with one.

Oat Milk actually has more carbs that semi-skimmed milk but I use it in coffee because it has less than half the saturated fat. For tea, though, only milk will do for me.

An HbA1c of 61 is not that far across the threshold for diabetes (mine was 114 at diagnosis) so by reducing your carb intake (less than 130g per day is considered Low Carb), exercising and (if needed) losing some weight you should be able to bring it down.

Martin
hi Martin, my level was 113 when I had my blood tests done 8 weeks ago. I had my repeat bloods today and I am in a massive anxiety bubble right now, afraid it won’t drop or something else will be wrong. How quickly did yours start to decrease? I hope you don’t mind me jumping on like this. Just desperate to talk to someone.
Jen.
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
hi Martin, my level was 113 when I had my blood tests done 8 weeks ago. I had my repeat bloods today and I am in a massive anxiety bubble right now, afraid it won’t drop or something else will be wrong. How quickly did yours start to decrease? I hope you don’t mind me jumping on like this. Just desperate to talk to someone.
Jen.
Hi, Jen

We're here to support each other, so no problem.

I had my second HbA1c after 12 weeks and I'd dropped from 114 to 56. This was after following a strict diet/exercise/weight loss regime. If your second test was after 8 weeks then it will overlap your initial test as not all the red blood cells that contributed to the 113 result will have disappeared from your system.

However, I started finger-prick testing a week after diagnosis, on waking (fasting test) and 2 hours after our main meal in the evening (post-prandial). My waking results started with a 9.3 and then for two weeks I was getting 8s and 7s, and after another couple of weeks 7s and 6s. Post-prandial, being dependent on what I ate, was a little more erratic but after 4 weeks I was getting mainly 6s or low 7s.

Although there is no direct correlation between HbA1c and finger-prick results the latter does did give me an indication of where my levels were going.

I was lucky in that my DN gave me a test kit but if you weren't given one then you might want to consider self-funding.

Hope this helps,

Martin
 

JenniJ

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hello,

thank you for your reply. I did think 8 weeks was too soon and I’m worried I won’t get a lower result. I do not want anymore medication or a different medication it’s giving me anxiety massively. I don’t test my BG levels, it’s not something my GP has suggested yet anyway. We will see on Wednesday I suppose.
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hello,

thank you for your reply. I did think 8 weeks was too soon and I’m worried I won’t get a lower result. I do not want anymore medication or a different medication it’s giving me anxiety massively. I don’t test my BG levels, it’s not something my GP has suggested yet anyway. We will see on Wednesday I suppose.
One thing I can say with almost 100% confidence is that your GP won't suggest that you test. In fact HCPs are more likely to tell you it's pointless as a fingerprick test only tells you what your BG is at that point in time. That's completely true but if you test on waking and pre- and post-prandial every day and record your results (I use a spreadsheet) you can at least see whether your BG is on a rising trend, falling trend or is flat.

Let us know how you get on on Wednesday. I have my fingers crossed for you.

Martin
 

JenniJ

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
One thing I can say with almost 100% confidence is that your GP won't suggest that you test. In fact HCPs are more likely to tell you it's pointless as a fingerprick test only tells you what your BG is at that point in time. That's completely true but if you test on waking and pre- and post-prandial every day and record your results (I use a spreadsheet) you can at least see whether your BG is on a rising trend, falling trend or is flat.

Let us know how you get on on Wednesday. I have my fingers crossed for you.

Martin
Thank you, you have been very kind. I will speak to my doctor about why she said 8 weeks for re-testing and not 12? I’m hoping this doesn’t lower my chances of decreasing my levels as I’ve done everything I’ve meant to do. Just overwhelmed with anxiety today.
 

Selbie2626

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi JenniJ, I understand how you feel exactly. Its rather daunting receiving a diagnosis but from what I've heard and read it is really possible to reverse it so this gives me hope. I am reading the 8-week blood sugar diet by Dr Michael Mosley, and this is helping me, together with the information and feedback from the Forum.

I wish you well comrade.
 
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