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Newly Diagnosed and Metformin Question

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Old 03-10-2011, 07:10 AM   #1
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Default Newly Diagnosed and Metformin Question

I was diagnosed three weeks ago and began Metformin immediately (500 mg in the morning). I began taking my blood sugar two weeks ago. My question is when will the Metformin kick in? I am told to only take my sugar when I wake up and then before dinner. That's all. The numbers are all over the place. I have had lows from 62 to highs of 174. I don't see a pattern at all. I go next week to the diabetes education class for instruction on diets, etc.

(Another gripe I have...why couldn't I have all this done at once. I say begin treatment immediately. My first diabetes class one month after diagnosis. Ridiculous.)

Thanks for any input and answers.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:05 AM   #2
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Hey Mamaduck,

I've just recently started taking Metformin also (Feb. 28). However, I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which in some cases correlates with insulin resistance. I, too, started on 500 mg, and I am currently taking 1000 mg daily. Hopefully within the next week or so, I will be at the prescribed dosage of 1500 mg daily. Have you experienced any weight loss on this med? If so, do you mind sharing how much?
Your numbers could be all over the place due to if you're testing your fasting or non-fasting blood sugar levels.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:22 PM   #3
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Be patient. It took a long time to develop the problem and it will take a while to correct it. When do you get your next HA1C test, assuming you've already had one?
I know Metformin is supposed to have a weightloss assistance effect but I did not find that at all. I think they mention it because lots of diabetic medications make you gain weight.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:54 PM   #4
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I agree, that it would be good if you could do education right away if you want to. But for some people, the metformin treatment is so good that they need little else. 62 if fasting is a bit low, but not extreme, and the 174 is very high indeed unless you had just had a very sweet snack. When you test before supper, is that also a while since the last meal/snack/sweet drink?
Also, I know you haven't met with your diabetic educator, but have you made any lifestyle changes at all, especially those you know will be needed?
Gave up sugar in coffee/tea, or sugar sweetened soda pop? Are you taking a bit of exercise? like walking even?
Do start educating yourself, you don't have to wait for others. Just by coming you are starting to take the bull by the horns, and good for you!
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:00 PM   #5
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Sweetpea-I've only been taking Metformin a week longer than you. I have lost a couple of pounds in three weeks, but I can't attribute that to the medicine. I'm trying to watch everything I eat and I KNOW eating bread skyrockets my sugar levels, so I stay clear of it.

Ruthie-My next Ac1 test is in May. Three months after my diagnosis. That's why I feel so alone. I must take control of my own health. No one else will.

Fatmad-I changed my diet before I was diagnosed because I suspected my pop drinking was a problem. I used to drink a couple of Cokes a day, every day. I've always eaten low-fat foods. Some of my lows have been my before dinner test. Could it have been something I ate that lowered it so much. I can't go more than 2 hours before I start to shake. I wake up with highs a lot of mornings. Very weird and chaotic.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaduck View Post
I was diagnosed three weeks ago and began Metformin immediately (500 mg in the morning). I began taking my blood sugar two weeks ago. My question is when will the Metformin kick in? I am told to only take my sugar when I wake up and then before dinner. That's all. The numbers are all over the place. I have had lows from 62 to highs of 174. I don't see a pattern at all. I go next week to the diabetes education class for instruction on diets, etc.

(Another gripe I have...why couldn't I have all this done at once. I say begin treatment immediately. My first diabetes class one month after diagnosis. Ridiculous.)

Thanks for any input and answers.

It's not unusual for blood sugar numbers to vary as much or even more than yours are even with medication. Your range is actually fairly moderate. My husband's would vary form mid-60's to high 300's when he was first diagnosed.

It took a couple years for him to get the diet and medications right. And even so, his numbers still vary as much as yours do, and our doctor is happy with them.

At one time, it was considered "good" for a diabetic's blood sugar to be under 200 (I remember as a kid, those were the target numbers for my uncle and grandmother who were diabetic). Now of course, doctors want them lower, but it can take a while to get there.


My husband also got his first class session after he'd been on meds for about a month also. The doctor and diabetic educator both said it was because the lessons and recommendations would be based in part on how well the medications were working. Most insurances only allow a small number of hours of diabetic/nutrition education (some insurances allow a one time visit only, some insurances allow a few hours every year), so apparently this was one way to save time.

I can sort of understand it. I think it could be confusing to hear "ignore what I told you last time, now that I see your medication is working this way, I want you to do this other stuff instead."

But on the other hand, there were diet changes he could have been making for a month already.

Personally, I think the diet counseling should begin day one, and should be ongoing, at least for the first year, but insurance companies don't see it that way, and medicine is insurance-driven. Our doctor agrees that more diet counseling should be covered, but it isn't - and it's very expensive out-of-pocket.

When you go, ask the the diabetic educator for a reading list or at least some book recommendations, because you'll probably want to know more than he or she will be able to share in the time alotted (if your insurance allows you more than a couple sessions, you're very lucky)
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:51 AM   #7
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Thank you, kaplods. Your answer was very helpful and encouraging to me.

To everyone: I've received a lot of good recommendations from this board. You are all caring people and I'm glad I've found you!
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:56 PM   #8
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YOu have some low readings, but it is also possible that you will have pseudo low blood sugars too. This has been described by lots of people, and happens when you have a high level that comes down quickly. You meter might not even read low, but you have the shakiness that comes with it.
Happened to me once when I had a sweetened juice, I tested when I started feeling shaky and it was 17 (I think we multiply that by 17 to get US numbers) and was 6 an hour later. I assume it was higher to start which is why I was shaky at 17.
So it might be when you are low that you are having a reaction to a high sugar from a previous meal or snack. It is recommended that you log what you eat and do your own detective work to see what spikes you.
I can eat sugary stuff (like regular cheesecake! yum) with no or little spikes but can't manage even sprouted grain bread. All wheat really is hard on me. I can have small amounts of some other grains now, but stick to a lower carb diet in general.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:23 PM   #9
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Mad, we multiply or divide by 18. Actually I don't understand why the USA is not on the same measurement method as Canada. They are for HA1C.
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