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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 10-17-12, 06:33 PM   #1
DiamondDave247
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Question about Metformin...

i was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes way back in 1994. since then, i had been fighting a mostly losing battle of the bulge with my weight. luckily, the prescribed medications i was taking helped me somewhat "manage" my blood sugar levels. in 2008 after retirement and facing a sedentary lifestyle,...my bad back and sore knees led me to take up cycling again as a way to get some daily aerobic exercise. then, this year, after finally getting really serious with my diet and my cycling, i was able to get my A1C level down to 6.0 for the first time in a very long time!

okay, enough about the past,...here is my current situation,...my doctor was concerned that the Glyburide (5mg tab daily) medication i have been taking for all these many years, might create a dangerous low blood sugar reaction now that i have my glucose "under control". so he has switched me to Metformin (850mg tab daily). does anyone here have experience with a change from Glyburide to Metformin? are there any surprises i should expect from taking Metformin? is there a good time of day to take a daily dose if i do my cycling or workout during the late afternoon - early evening hours? is there any other advice or suggestions concerning Metformin? thanks in advance for all your replies and help.
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Old 10-17-12, 07:04 PM   #2
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im on metformin too. it keeps my blood sugar down... well it helps cause i changed my diet. i take mine in morning with my other meds. only prob i had was the first day.it gave me such a stomach ache i stayed in bed curled up like a baby. after that it was all good though. a few of my friends had the stomach ache the first day too.
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Old 10-17-12, 07:17 PM   #3
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...it gave me such a stomach ache...
my doctor also mentioned it might cause some stomach upset. i hope taking the Metformin before a breakfast meal will help with that side effect. thanks for the warning!
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Old 10-17-12, 09:25 PM   #4
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I've taken both, and am currently on Glipizide and Metformin, one in the morning, one at night. I have to very strongly advise that you need to talk to your doctor about how much and when you should take your meds. Don't take our advice! We are all different and have different needs. Really! Ask your primary care physician ... not us.

That being said ... when I ride, and also in my daily life walk, I always take extra food just in case my blood sugar goes too low. It is fairly easy to tell when I'm going hypoglycemic, (not often, just about once a year, if even that). An easy to carry item is those Quaker Oats 25% reduced sugar granola bars. Small, low calorie content, not too much sugar, and enough energy to stave off hypoglycemia.

- - - - -

p.s. I assume you carry a blood meter. It's easy enough to tell if your blood sugar levels are getting too low. As I was losing weight, I reduced my med dosage on my own. Keeping a record of sugar levels, and showing the record to the doc showed him that it was proper to reduce my dosage at that time.
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Old 10-17-12, 10:54 PM   #5
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For about the first week, until my body got used to it, it caused me terrible headaches and diarrhea. That was about two years ago, nowadays it causes no problems at all, thank God.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:08 PM   #6
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...Don't take our advice! We are all different and have different needs. Really! Ask your primary care physician ... not us...
yes, i realize we are all different and medication does not work exactly the same with each and every person, so i am more interested in personal experiences that people taking Metformin might have gone through. especially anyone that may have gone from taking an insulin stimulating medication like Glipizide or Glyburide to a glucose regulating medication like Metformin. as i mentioned before, i have taken Glyburide for many years and know how my body will react to it, and like yourself, i know the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia (i also carry granola bars and hard candy with me while riding).

however, since there is no "hard and fast" rule for "when" to take a prescribed dose of Metformin, i was kind of hoping to shorten the learning curve from the trial and error of others here. as for your mention of "how much" to take, well there is no adjustment to make, as my doctor has prescribed only one 850mg tab per day until we do some more blood labwork. so,...no, i would not be soliciting any advice from anyone here on dosage amounts for me to take, but thanks for the reply, i appreciate the words you've shared.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:12 PM   #7
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...nowadays it causes no problems at all, thank God...
thanks for the reply, i'm glad you have adjusted well. i hope my first week goes okay. i start my initial dose tomorrow.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:48 PM   #8
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I take it twice daily. My Dr. told me it works best when taken 30 minutes before a meal. I've not had any noticeable side effects. I believe I'm atypical in that I was diagnosed early and my A1C never got very high6.5 might be the highest I am not sure. I've been able so far to control my levels with exercise, Metformin, and slight changes in diet. When cycling I always carry at least one extra gel but as of yet have not experienced hypoglycemia.

Not only talk to and listen to your Dr. but also your pharmacist, they also know plenty about the medication and how it works. Hopefully the two will agree.
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Old 10-18-12, 12:04 AM   #9
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...talk to...your pharmacist, they also know plenty about the medication and how it works...
thats a great idea! actually, a pharmacist might know a whole lot more than my doctor about Metformin, including administering it and the potential side effects related to switching from another diabetes medicine. i will call tomorrow and hopefully get some useful tips. thanks!
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Old 10-18-12, 06:09 AM   #10
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I don't know if this is true or not but I heard that it can cause the bones to become weak and brittle over long term use.
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Old 10-18-12, 06:42 AM   #11
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I've been on Metformin for a year. I have had a never ending cycle of constipation/ diarrhea with it. I have changed my diet to control the diabetes a great deal during the same time. I think it has something to do with how the body reacts to the foods I eat and the way it controls sugar.

Yesterday, my new doctor (old one was fine..I moved across country away from the first) put me on Jaumet, which is Metformin and Sitagliptin. It is supposed to eliminate the issues I have been having.

Good luck!
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Old 10-18-12, 07:01 AM   #12
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...i am more interested in personal experiences that people taking Metformin might have gone through...
Understood. Personally, Metformin has not affected me like others here have related. All the different blood sugar control meds seem the same, (to me).
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Old 10-18-12, 09:50 AM   #13
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I don't know if this is true or not but I heard that it can cause the bones to become weak and brittle over long term use.
hmmm...i have not read anything about the long term side effects of taking Metformin other than there may be an issue with reduced levels of the vitamin B12 in the body. i will look into it. as long as we are talking bone density,...studies are now showing that low impact exercise (including cycling, swimming, etc.) can contribute to early onset Osteoporosis (weakening of the bones) in both males and females due to the lack of stress placed on the skeletal stucture of the body. this winter, i plan on doing a little more walking and perhaps work up to some light jogging to mix up the routine and to try and strengthen these old bones just a bit.
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Old 10-18-12, 10:06 AM   #14
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Yesterday, my new doctor...put me on Jaumet, which is Metformin and Sitagliptin. It is supposed to eliminate the issues I have been having...
thanks for the reply and the well wishes. trying a new medication (like getting a new bike) can take a while to "dial in" for the "best fit". sometimes, the only course is just to try a whole different approach. good luck to you as well with the Jaumet. keep us posted, if you get a chance, after you have been on it for a while. if Metformin doesn't agree with me, its good to know there is an alternative out there.
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Old 10-18-12, 10:36 AM   #15
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I have taken Metformin. No side effects to report...on the other hand I tolerate most medications very well without side effects.

so...YMMV.

Good luck in keeping your diabetes under control.
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Old 10-18-12, 11:33 AM   #16
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I took the 450 mg ER (extended release) for about 10 months, until my weight got down to the point where I could control my glucose with diet and exercise. Never experienced any side effects.
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Old 10-18-12, 04:40 PM   #17
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I used to take it but experienced cycles of constipation and diarhea - painful almost constant diarhea. I couldnt get more than 15 minutes away from a bathroom sometimes.
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Old 10-18-12, 08:34 PM   #18
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The advise above has been good. The standard of care with new adult onset diabetics, after lifestyle counseling, dietary changes and diabetic teaching, metformin is usually the first drug initiated. This is an international standard. The debate still remains as to what is the most appropriate second or third drug to be used, if necesary and when to initiate long acting insulin. It's important to take your meds at the same time of day and if taking Metformin once daily, 30 minutes or so before your evening meal is a good time, especially with your exercise schedule being in the afternoon. Metformin works differently than the glyburide you were taking. The metformin helps you to better utilize the insulin your body is already making and helps shut down glucose development from the liver. It has few side effectsand is sometimes associated with some mild weight loss. It does not typically cause hypoglycemic reactions, or low blood sugars like an oral hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) like the glyburide. It is always a good idea to ask your Dr, pharmacist or your diabetic educator any question you might have. Good luck!
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Old 10-18-12, 09:34 PM   #19
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You should do ok on Metformin since it's very much like what you were taking..........

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/glyburide-m...e-effects.html
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Old 10-19-12, 02:18 AM   #20
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Personally I went straight to insulin, but there have been a couple of positive discoveries about metformin. Here is one of them.

metformin comes with a rather unexpected and alluring side effect
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Old 10-19-12, 02:22 AM   #21
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thanks to you all for the well wishes, helpful information, links, and past history with Metformin. i had a rather important meeting on Thursday and so i decided to postpone starting my 1st dose until today. i will try and update this thread if there are any significant new developments or unusual side effects to share. diabetes is a life long disease, but it can be managed. i wish everyone dealing with diabetes here at the forum only the best in their efforts towards a healthy, happy, and long life. ride on and ride safe!

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Old 10-19-12, 02:32 AM   #22
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...there have been a couple of positive discoveries about metformin...
interesting article. sadly, any new brain cells Metformin might stimulate would be only a tiny tiny fraction of the total brain cells i killed in the '80s listening to "big hair" heavy metal bands!
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Old 10-20-12, 07:56 AM   #23
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I have to very strongly advise that you need to talk to your doctor about how much and when you should take your meds. Don't take our advice! We are all different and have different needs. Really! Ask your primary care physician ... not us.
NO NO NO. Is the doctor diagnosed with the condition? Probably not so they don't have first hand knowledge of what is going on. They see a patient for ten minutes every few months and there is no way they can capture all the conditions needed to cover all the bases to get the best solution for the individual, instead they go with the general solution that works reasonably well for most people.

It is foolish to not consult people in similar situations in an environment like this where you can thoroughly discuss the issue and figure out the nuances that you don't have time for in the doctor's office. You should talk to the doctor, the pharmacist, and other people with the condition. That way you get the whole picture and can make educated decisions about your health.
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Old 10-20-12, 10:57 AM   #24
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strongly advise you to read Richard Bernsteins book Diabetes Solution
google his name and look at one or two of his many videos
he had type one diabetes from age 12 and almost died from standard medical advice
finally he developed his own approach to regulating his blood sugar but the medical
establishment wouldnt listen to him so he went to med schoold got an MD and they still wouldnt
listen... hes now 76 years old in perfect health and he can save ur life or at least make the
quality of ur life excellent
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Old 10-20-12, 11:31 AM   #25
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...strongly advise you to read Richard Bernsteins book Diabetes Solution...

thanks! i just bought a used hard cover edition in "very good" condition on ebay for less than $9.00 total! if i find even 1 bit of useful information from reading the book, then it has more than paid for itself.

i tend to agree with "yellowsirocco" in the view that some doctors manage hundreds of patients from the time of your last office visit and they barely have time to quickly go over lab results, suggest an adjustment of meds, do a fast physical exam, then spend valuable consultation time online trying to enter prescriptions for mail order or local pick-up. health care feels very much like ordering fast food in the drive thru lane these days. i often wonder if my doctor even remembers me from our last appointment. heaven forbid you actually spend a little valuable doctor time discussing details about a new medication he prescribes! oh, and forget about actually talking to the doctor over the phone...not gonna happen! he may as well have a sign on his forehead that reads: "google is your friend...silly patient."

i have noticed, through personal experience, that many many type 1 and type 2 "long term" diabetics probably know their bodies, their disease, and their medication, BETTER than anyone else, including their health care providers. so it just seems logical to try and tap into these vital resources we all have available here at the forum. the personal history, links, and now a book suggestion, will all help me navigate through the trials of a new drug and will also educate me on what to expect moving forward.

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