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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-22-08, 04:44 AM   #1
cantdrv55
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Anyone else on here a diabetic? Got a question for you.

Just had my physical and was diagnosed with full blown type 2 diabetes. Seems my glucose is 3X the upper limit of normal. Am now on Metformin and the drug is making me feel kinda weird. I'm a little short of breath and I get hungry a lot. Is anyone else on this drug? Did it take you some time to get used to it and did you ride soon after being on it?
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Old 03-22-08, 09:29 AM   #2
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I took both Metformin and Avandia as part of my treatment for Type II. Neither of them caused me any physical symptoms. You should discuss any problems you're having with the pills with your doctor, as there are alternatives.

From the WebMD page on Metformin (http://www.webmd.com/drugs/mono-7061...Metformin+Oral):

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Metformin can rarely cause a serious (sometimes fatal) condition called lactic acidosis. Stop taking metformin and seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of the following symptoms of lactic acidosis: unusual tiredness, severe drowsiness, chills, blue/cold skin, muscle pain, fast/difficult breathing, unusually slow/irregular heartbeat.
As an aside, after a year on these drugs and with strict control of both my food and me exercise, my pancreas and liver seemed to be functioning properly, so I was taken off the medications and told that I could pretty much do and eat whatever I wanted. Of course, by then I'd gotten into the habits of eating healthy and exercising just about every day, so my lifestyle didn't change, but the lesson here is that this condition need not be permanent if you don't want it to be, and if you're willing to put in the effort to change. Good luck.
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Old 03-22-08, 10:56 AM   #3
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I have been on metformin as well without the symptoms you described. you better talk to your doctor about it. there are a couple "diets" that have worked for me. The Rice Diet and a diet by Dr. Bernstain book - Diabetes Solutions
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Old 03-22-08, 05:12 PM   #4
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See if you can take glipizide. I've had no side effects with glipizide.
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Old 03-22-08, 08:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cantdrv55 View Post
Just had my physical and was diagnosed with full blown type 2 diabetes. Seems my glucose is 3X the upper limit of normal. Am now on Metformin and the drug is making me feel kinda weird. I'm a little short of breath and I get hungry a lot. Is anyone else on this drug? Did it take you some time to get used to it and did you ride soon after being on it?
I am not diabetic but my SO is, her reply to reading this over my shoulder is that Metformin makes her feel like crap all the time. She doesn't currently ride, but we are going to work on our diet, she promised to get a bike and start riding. Typically when there is a diabetic in the house, the diet doesn't hurt other members of the household.

The cure for type II if your over weight, is to get your weight under control, yeah, it's that simple, drugs like Metformin are a crutch to minimize the damage high blood sugar does, while your working on dropping the weight and getting your carbs under control. There are only two ways to deal with high carbs, avoid them, or burn them off, that's it.

You will find tons of information on diabetic diets, google is your friend, however most of them are for people who are completely sedentary, so if you exercise then those diets need to be modified, to allow for more fuel to keep the steam up,

What you must do, is have a blood glucose monitor, know how to use it properly, and use it on a regular basis. For example 2 hours after eating, after a long or hard ride, you should also check it, you don't want to be too low either. If it's too low, it means your not fueling enough, during your ride. If it's too high after a meal, go for a hard ride, that will knock it down fairly quickly.

While your on a diabetic drug, you should have a HbA1c test done, about a week before needing your prescription refilled, if you have been careful with your diet, and riding enough, so that your test is nice and low, then your doctor can reduce the dose, if you have been bad with your diet, and not riding as much as you should they can up the dose.
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Old 03-22-08, 11:21 PM   #6
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I'm a diabetic, but I never had to use meds. So far, Ive been lucky and diet and exercise are keeping it under control. I get my HbA1c tested every 6 months to be on the safe side.

I've been reading lately that it's even more important for diabetics to get their cholesterol checked frequently, and also their blood pressure.
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Old 03-22-08, 11:30 PM   #7
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I'm diabetic. I take metformin twice a day. I take insulin shots 3-4 times a day. I've been on this regimen for 5+ years. I can't say that it has had an effect on my cycling. If I'm riding 20+ miles, I won't take insulin within 4 hours of the beginning of the ride. I'll usually carry a syringe with about 10 units of insulin just in case my blood sugars go high from eating or sports drinks. However, I haven't had to use the insulin ever. The cycling seems to bring them down on its own. I hope to start riding enough to lose more weight and reduce the medications.

My biggest concern while cycling is having my blood sugars go too low. It's happened before, but I've been prepared with something to eat or drink to bring the sugar levels up fairly quickly. I've had to pull over and just wait for them to come back up to a safe level before I got back on to ride. Don't let diabetes be an excuse for staying off your bike. The cycling can and will help your diabetes tremendously.
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Old 03-22-08, 11:43 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. I better read up on the symptoms of high blood and low blood sugar so I'll know how to treat myself when I'm alone on a long ride.
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Old 03-23-08, 05:06 PM   #9
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Some pretty good information can be found here http://dlife.com/

Sign up for their newsletters while there.

Last edited by ScrubJ; 03-23-08 at 05:06 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-23-08, 07:13 PM   #10
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I've been type II and on Metformin for about 10 years. I can't feel anything after I take it. Sometimes riding makes my blood sugar go low, so I carry sucrose tablets for "emergencies" and always try to eat something before I feel that bonking sensation. When I go on tour in the summer my blood sugar gets so low that I stop taking Metformin entirely.
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Old 03-24-08, 11:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cantdrv55 View Post
Thanks guys. I better read up on the symptoms of high blood and low blood sugar so I'll know how to treat myself when I'm alone on a long ride.
My wife has type II and we've found that when she is getting her blood sugar back under control she will experience "low" symptoms (anger, impatience) even when a blood test shows that her blood sugar is still high. It seems that bringing it lower than you are used to can cause this reaction. It's not dangerous that I know of (I am NOT a medical expert), but is not pleasant for her or those around her. Those symptoms go away as your body gets used to the new, lower blood sugar levels.

BTW, +1 on talking with your doctor (or pharmacist) about your symptoms.

As with any info from the internet, YMMV
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Old 03-24-08, 09:12 PM   #12
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Metformin caused latic acid during a metric requiring an ambulance ride to the ER, as my legs locked up. When the ER doc heard I was taking metformin, he told me to talk to my doctor and use better drugs. Avandia is garbage for diabetic treatment. I'm better off with insulin injections and glipizide.
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Old 03-25-08, 08:24 AM   #13
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If your sugar level was pretty high it could be just your body reacting to the lower blood glucose levels. I was diagnosed with a 414 about 2 years ago and the first 3 weeks I felt sooooooooooo bad but it soon got better once my glucose levels got close to normal. I don't remember any shortness of breath so you definitely need to talk with the doc about that part.

Metformin was actually made to be a weight loss drug but after they discovered it was good at lowering glucose levels and helping with insulin resistance it became one of the most often prescribed drugs for diabetes.
There is NO CURE for diabetes but weight loss and plenty of exercise and strength training will get you in fine shape most of the time.
I'm off the meds and my last hbA1c was 4.9.
+10 to the person above that mentioned Richard Bersteins book. It's a little hard core for some people but very useful for getting you BG levels down in a hurry.

Good luck
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Old 03-25-08, 01:12 PM   #14
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Typically when there is a diabetic in the house, the diet doesn't hurt other members of the household.
It *really* depends on what kind of diet best helps the diabetic. I have normal blood sugar response and so do all my siblings. Mom's a diabetic. Dad is also normal but has some issues with a chronic disease that his doctors still haven't pinned down. Mom is best off on a low carb, high protein diet no matter what her activity level is. This suits Dad just fine too, since that eliminates some foods that give him the most trouble. And when us kids lived at home, we'd turn into ravening starving monsters if we ate exactly what Mom and Dad did... give us some rice and we were fine. We eventually worked out a strategy that would keep Mom's blood sugar stable, keep the kids from gnawing on the furniture, and keep Dad as comfortable as possible, but it was... exciting.

As far as side effects go, it's best to keep in close contact with your doctor and keep as close track of your blood sugar numbers as possible. Everyone has a different metabolism, and diabetes *changes* yours, so it can be much more exciting than anyone wants to get your metabolism to function usefully for you. Solid data on how your particular make and model of body reacts speeds up getting the right treatment plan.
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Old 03-25-08, 04:19 PM   #15
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It *really* depends on what kind of diet best helps the diabetic. I have normal blood sugar response and so do all my siblings. Mom's a diabetic. Dad is also normal but has some issues with a chronic disease that his doctors still haven't pinned down. Mom is best off on a low carb, high protein diet no matter what her activity level is. This suits Dad just fine too, since that eliminates some foods that give him the most trouble. And when us kids lived at home, we'd turn into ravening starving monsters if we ate exactly what Mom and Dad did... give us some rice and we were fine. We eventually worked out a strategy that would keep Mom's blood sugar stable, keep the kids from gnawing on the furniture, and keep Dad as comfortable as possible, but it was... exciting.

As far as side effects go, it's best to keep in close contact with your doctor and keep as close track of your blood sugar numbers as possible. Everyone has a different metabolism, and diabetes *changes* yours, so it can be much more exciting than anyone wants to get your metabolism to function usefully for you. Solid data on how your particular make and model of body reacts speeds up getting the right treatment plan.
True, it does have a lot to do with activity level, an active teen can burn through an incredible number of calories, an inactive teenager where his/her only sports are provided via Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo, can end up quite pudgy, even with a relatively low cal diet. I need to lose about 40lbs, I do hard physical labour, so a low cal diet, will probably work for me, short term, longer term I will need to supplement it some, unless I want to look like a cancer filled AIDs victim.....

HOWEVER, additional exercise will always help the diabetes patient as well. Most Type II patients are over weight, and that, tends to make one not want to exercise, the lack of exercise means a lower metabolism, and that leads to higher blood glucose levels. In dealing with the blood sugars, in todays highly medicated society, they give you drugs, that in many patients sap their low energy levels even more. At some point they simply give up, gain more weight, and repeat the cycle all over again, in a never ending spiral that ends with a heart attack sometime after your eyeballs explode.

The real solution is to find an exercise that is fun and low impact, that can be done without expensive equipment or that requires you to go to the equipment at a special place. It must also gives one the psychological ideal of wanting to do it better.

Lets look at the humble bicycle - it's fun, it's low impact, there are plenty of experienced bicycles available for relatively low cost, the bicycle is handy at all times, and once you have gone 10 miles, you want to be able to go 15. It's pretty much the only exercise that qualifies on all counts.
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