Diabetes - Type 2 Community
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808221 tn?1242747788

Glucose response to metforming therapy

I started taking 500mg metforming twice a day this past Wednesday. I'm wondering how long before I start seeing lower glucose levels.  My average so far is 322, highest 375 and lowest 330.  I might add that I am also taking Sutant for renal cell carcinoma, Hyzar and norvesc for high blood pressure.  A side effect of Sutant is a shut down of my thyroid consequently I am also taking synthroid.    
31 Responses
Avatar universal
I don't have the exact answer to how long before the Metformin takes effect, gus. When I started on meds I started on a combination of Metformin and a couple others and I do remember seeing results fairly quickly (maybe a week)  I do have questions as to whether you are testing your blood sugar on a regular basis and modifying your diet based on the results you see. You sound like you have a lot on your plate; best of luck to you!
141598 tn?1355675363
"I'm wondering how long before I start seeing lower glucose levels."

That's too hard to answer. Metformin helps to lower your glucose by producing some insulin in the gut but it really depends on your lifestyle, your nutrition, your activity. Ignore one and you decrease the chance of Metformin helping you.

I drafted this document the other day and you will be the first.

There are over 21 million American adults and children who suffer from diabetes type 2 and the number is growing rapidly each day. The typical diet high in sugar and processed foods only adds fatigue, creates cardio issues, and raises glucose levels which in turn brings about diabetes.

Here are some tips to help control and lower your glucose:
1. Cut out sugar and processed foods. It’s the most important and hardest thing to do. Eat more fruits and veggies instead. Skip desert, period. Stop munching. Its not too late start eating better.
2. Eat a better breakfast. Your metabolism is faster in the morning than it is later in the day. Skip the man made dry cereals for they are loaded with sugar. Instead of doughnuts, eat foods high in fiber, protein and good fats, like a veggie omelet, or oatmeal with ¼ tsp cinnamon and handful of blueberries for the antioxidant compounds.
3. Learn to love your veggies. Although it’s contrary to many American meals, eat a main course of veggies with a small side of meat to provide the right nutritional balance.

Moderate exercise:
1. Go for a walk after eating to help burn off excess glucose.
2. Do some sort of moderate exercise daily or at least 3-5 times a week.

1. You’d be surprised how much lower your glucose will be if you shed those EXTRA pounds.

It’s all up to you to start practicing a better lifestyle control to improve and maintain good health. If you enjoy being sick and miserable, ignore this post completely.
141598 tn?1355675363
Good morning Zoe!
808221 tn?1242747788
Thanks for your responses.  I went to see my oncologist this morning and discussed the diabetes. It was my kidney specialist that put me on metformin. The oncologist thinks that my high TSH maybe a factor in my having diabetes.  I have started an exercise routine trying slowly to get back to where I use to do, 30-40 minutes on a threadmill or stationary bike.  I have also modified my diet and have taken all sugars off and increase vegetables (cooked and raw).  I started doing this right after I got my diagnosis. Also according to my weight this morning I have lost 2 lbs in one week.  Last night before dinner my glucose level was 526 mg/dl, the morning before breakfast it was 228 mg/dl.  I take two reading a day, before breakfast and before dinner.  I have oatmeal for breakfast and I j recently read that cinnamon helps reduce the glucose level.    
141598 tn?1355675363
Start monitoring what you eat. Don't munch on bad things between meals too. That last before dinner 526 mg/dl reading is dangerous and can and will lead to electrolyte imbalance. Congrats on tackling diabetes head on for you're on the right path. But, again, watch the foods. Even foods that contain little or no sugar may jack up your glucose. That is why its important to monitor what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat and then eliminate and/or reduce your intake of those foods so it doesn't wreck havoc on your body. Start a log/diary of some sorts. This is what I did until I knew which foods to avoid.

Good luck.
808221 tn?1242747788
I find myself overwhelmed with trying to decide what to eat and what to avoid.I thing as you suggest a journal of food intake will help. I imagine that it is a matter understanding what is good and what is not good and that will come with time.  Thank you
141598 tn?1355675363
Yes, its a slow process but isn't that with everything new that we learn? Just remember, if you follow those golden rules your life will be happier and healthier. The hardest thing is giving up foods that you once enjoyed. When you start reading and understanding food labels, you will be happy that you gave up poison. The fun is finding new foods that you never knew existed!
Avatar universal
Yes it can be overwhelming at first, gus, but it will come together in time. You do have to give up certain things but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy your food which means testing to find out what things work for you and what don't.

Hey, waverider...I'm surrounded by "your kin" at the moment..in Costa Rica for the week at a surfer spot!
808221 tn?1242747788
Five days after starting metforming my dr. added Janumet 50/1000mg in the morning and metforming 500mg in the evening.  My glucose levels started to come down when i started on it 4 days ago.  Last evening my glucose level was 117 and this morning 134. I'm almost up to my previous level of exercise( 45minutes) and starting to feel much better. I'v also lost 2 additional pounds with diet and exercise and I have also posted my values on my tracker.  Hope to bring it.  
Avatar universal
Way to go, gus!!
141598 tn?1355675363
That's one big ATTABOY Gus! Way to go.
808221 tn?1242747788
Are you really 103 years old.  Pretty good!  Appreciate yours response to my posting.  I's good to have a support group that is willing to give encouragement and information when need.  Just to let you know that my diabetes is pretty much in control right now.  It didn't take too long to bring my glucose levels down.  Feel much better.
568322 tn?1370169040
"Metformin helps to lower your glucose by producing some insulin in the gut"

I'm a Diabetes Educator and I have been reading some of your answers and I'm amazed at the misinformation you are giving people.

Metformin does NOT produce insulin in the gut nor does it stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin like sulfanylureas (like Glyburide and Glipizide) do.  Furthermore, insulin is produced by the pancreas, not the gut.

Matformin helps to make your cells more sensitive to insulin.  The way it helps "in the gut" is by slowing the absorption of sugar from your stomach and intestines in to your blood.

568322 tn?1370169040
Metformin will not be enough to lower a blood sugar of over 300 down to normal levels.  See your doctor.

141598 tn?1355675363
You need to read the pharmaceutical on Metformin (glucophage) and get your facts straight. Furthermore, no one said anything about Metformin stimulating the pancreas. That is your own statement as a misinformed educator, not mine.

"Matformin helps to make your cells more sensitive to insulin"
And, at least spell Metformin correctly. Explain "your cells". What cells are you talking about or are you making this one up too?
808221 tn?1242747788
I have a question for all of you.  I'm on metformin and Janumet meds and I have been having a great deal of gastric distress.  Uncontrollable flatulence and gastric reflex especially at night.  Is anybody out there taking the same meds having the same problem.  I think I need to call my doc. and maybe change meds.  By the way my glucose levels have really come down.  Last night it was 9, this morning 107.
808221 tn?1242747788
meant to post a glucose level of 91 not 9.
808221 tn?1242747788
Just read this:The most common ( > 5%) established adverse reactions due to initiation of metformin therapy are diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, flatulence, abdominal discomfort, indigestion, asthenia, and headache.
141598 tn?1355675363
To help prevent Metformin side effects from occurring take it with food. If you are, consult with your doctor about your dosage.

And, congratulations on your successful glucose level. I know you won't let get out of control as cow's mother. I'm sure you must feel that after all your efforts, why does your blood glucose still rise during the night when you haven't eaten? Here are some Google pages that may help you understand this. http://tinyurl.com/d2t76s
808221 tn?1242747788
I take meds with food never on an empty stomach.  Call the doc this morning waiting for a reply. Since i'm loosing weight and exercising i wondering if i can control the glucose level with diet and exercise.  Doc will probably say no.  I started taking some probiotics a few months back because my cancer med was causing havoc with my digestive system.  The probiotics cleared it up but not helping with the glucose meds. I;ll google the pages you suggested.  Thanks
141598 tn?1355675363
Thus is taken from the mfg of Metformin

Q4. How is type 2 diabetes usually controlled?

High blood sugar can be lowered by diet and exercise, by a number of oral medications, and by insulin injections. Before taking glyburide and metformin hydrochloride you should first try to control your diabetes by exercise and weight loss. Even if you are taking glyburide and metformin hydrochloride, you should still exercise and follow the diet recommended for your diabetes.  
808221 tn?1242747788
Glucose level this evening before dinner is 65, isn't that too low.
141598 tn?1355675363
When did you eat last before this test? Normal 8-10 hour  fasting low is 70 mg/dl.
231441 tn?1333896366
Hi Gus,

I've just been reading your journey.

Super congrats on getting your blood sugar levels down so well and so quickly.

Possibly you can get off or reduce the meds later, but give youreself time to get your weight down and your diet habits and exercise and all down pat.

With diabetes,it is not justa bout what you eat, but also when you eat.  Particularly when you are on meds.  Yes the 65 is on the low side of normal.  YOu probably don't want to go much lower than that.

You will also need to play with what and when you eat, to give yourself stable blood sugar levels that don't go too low as well.

Congrats again.  What an acheivement and hopefully and inspiration to others too.

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