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Sickness and Metformin?

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:11 AM   #1
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Default Sickness and Metformin?

Hi all,

It has been about 2 years since I was diagnosed with PCOS. I am supposed to be taking 2 500MG tablets twice a day (total of 2000MG daily), however I just cannot get passed the sickness/diarrhoea that accompanies it. It is very strong and as I work, I find it really affects my life.

I am struggling with dieting at the moment and my doctor keeps telling me taking these will really help me to lose weight but I just cant manage to keep taking them.

Any advice?? Please?
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:33 AM   #2
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Aw! I'm sorry you're having stomach issues! I'm assuming you've tried taking them with/without food? Maybe drinking a glass of milk to coat your stomach beforehand would help with the nausea.

As far as the other stomach issue, can you increase your fiber? Or tweak your diet to provide more bulk? I find that eating at least 1 serving of soy (whether that be a soy yogurt or a MorningStar product) a day helps with keeping things slowed down to a better speed. (How do you like my subtlety? )

I've not personally experienced any stomach issues on Metformin, so hopefully someone will come along and be able to share what's worked for them. I hope you get feeling better soon!
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:08 AM   #3
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Some people don't tolerate Metformin well.

Metformin will control your blood sugar levels, it's not a weight loss pill.

The goal your doctor is trying to achieve is to balance your blood sugar levels in order to treat the PCOS symptoms you're having.

If you can do that through diet and exercise (which, it is hard), then you can probably convince him not to take the Metformin.

The alternative is to take less than the 2000 mg that he's recommending. But call him! Tell him about the side effects and that they aren't going away.

If you do choose to do it the food/exercise way (I did) just know that it's not easy either. It's a question of which "hard" you want to pick on this one.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:09 AM   #4
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Hi there. Are you on slow release? If not I suggest you ask for it. It will be a little more easy on your stomach.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:43 PM   #5
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The stomach issues should subside after about a month. Look Ono PgX, it's a natural fibre supplement that is meant to control your blood sugar levels and lower the glycemic index of the foods you eat. Many diabetics have started substituting this for their diabetes Meds. I stopped taking met because I gained 30 pounds and just generally didn't feel well. Since starting pgx I never get that low blood sugar feeling I used to always get.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:52 PM   #6
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Hey there,

I started metformin about 6 weeks ago. my doctor wanted me to work up to 1500 mg, or 1 500 mg tablet 3 times a day. she had me start taking 1 a day for a week, then go up to 2 for a week, and then 3...I had a lot of nausea when I first started and I took about 10 days each time before I moved up to the next dose but once I got up to the 3 a day, the nausea disappeared after about a week. I didn't have diarrhea, I had really bad constipation, but I found that eating starchy or sugary foods made the side effects a lot worse. Maybe try to work your way up very slowly and that will help?
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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I also have had a lot of stomach issues with this. In my first month so far and am down about 10lbs. I have not exercised for fear of being to dehydrated. My dr said to try immodium to help relieve my stomach issues. Just be careful not to take to much and go the other way! Good luck
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:27 PM   #8
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I took Metformin for well over a month, but I couldn't tolerate it at all. I even took the time-release stuff. Turned my life upside down and I couldn't function well enough to parent my kids or care for my ageing parents or go to work. Was switched to Janumet, then Januvia, which affected me adversely as well.

I ended up quitting everything and have gone back to managing with diet and exercise alone. I'm not perfect at it, and when I make poor choices I feel pretty bad but can still function daily. When I'm entirely on track, I feel wonderful! Feeling that good vs. feeling like crap is a great motivation to stay on track.

Losing weight is still difficult. I really have to push myself to stay entirely on track as well as cut calories. I've found that intermittent fasting has helped me some with losing weight, but when I push too hard, I get too stressed and fall into old eating patterns again out of frustration.

I exercise six to eight hours a week, Pilates, cardio and resistance training. I've added a lot more muscle over the last three years. I've managed to bring my A1c down from 6.9 to 6.0, and kept it at 6.0 for the last five years.

I hope I never have to go on the meds again. I'm a type 2 as well as PCOS.

Good luck with finding your solution.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:11 PM   #9
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I had no issues with metformin except for very slight queasiness and slight increase in my IBS symptoms (diarrhea isn't all that unusual for me, unfortunately). All my symptoms dissipated within a month.

Hubby had a harder time, but he also adjusted within two months. He also had to work up to his full dose.

I would talk to your doctor about starting at a much lower dose and seeing if that helps.

There may also be other blood sugar mediating drugs that you can try.


For some people, Metformin does boost weight loss, at least initially. For me, I lost easier for the first month or two, but the appetite suppression and the weight loss effects seem to disappear quickly.

However, I had to go off the Metformin for a week when I ran out before payday (for a few years we were barely living paycheck to paycheck). Within a few days, I noticed that I was much hungrier than normal.

Personally, I'm very sensitive to dramatic blood sugar drops. If I can keep my blood sugar stable, I'm less likely to overeat or binge. I don't get that desperate "must eat everything in sight" type of hunger.

You may be able to achieve blood sugar control with diet alone, or with Metformin alone, or you may have to use both.

Hubby and I have to do both. Hubby is diabetic, so he also has other medications, and he had the same problem with all of them. If the side effects didn't lessen after after two months, he'd have to try another and go through the process again.

It was very upsetting for both of us, because hubby went through a lot of vomitting and diarrhea during the experimentation phases.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:23 PM   #10
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I also had issues with the metformin. It made me gassy and gave me loose stool.. so my solution and it works well is to take my dosage at night, then in the morning I can do my business and not have the effects through out the day.

I did a lot of research and I didn't find any hard and fast rules that you HAD to take it at certain times. It was more of a just as long as you take it kinda thing.

So taking my dosage just as I go to sleep really helps me out and my Dr. was fine with it.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:26 PM   #11
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2 years ago when my doctor gave me metformin I couldn't tolerate it passed 500mg so I just stop taking it because I didn't see the point. But I decided to give it another try a month ago because my appetite was out of control I never felt full. No periods. Weight gain. So I decided on getting the pro longed release. And honestly it's so much easier on my stomach than the other metformin. I'm actually leaving food on my plate now. Im currently taking 1500mg. I sometimes get a little bathroom issues but it's usually when I eat food im not supposed to eat. Some days my appetite is non existent but I'm not complaining. I've lost 7lbs so far without trying.

Also make sure you take metformin gradually. Start with a small dosage then your body adjust to that then up your dosage.
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Old 09-05-2013, 02:44 PM   #12
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My sister & I both respond well to Metformin XR - Extended Relase and have no gastric issues, my sister could never get used to regular Metformin. My dr also said that there are different brands of metformin which affects people differently.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:21 PM   #13
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I'm on Metformin XR and after about the first 2 weeks the stomach issue got a LOT better. when I was on regular Metformin I used to get such bad stomach cramps and pains that I could barely stand but this time with the extended release it has gotten much better. I've been on almost a month now and it rarely messes with my stomach at all!
Hope it all gets better for you!
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:59 AM   #14
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I had to just avoid metformin in the end... it made me so sick, even the XR ones. My blood sugar dropped so low I started to hallucinate! I wish we could take short term leave of absence from work to recover from PCOS! Wouldn't it be great if we could take medical leave for a month and allow our bodies to get used to a medication?
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:09 PM   #15
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That's why I switched to brand name Glucophage because the diarreah and stomach pains were still so bad, even after clearing up a polyp on my stomach. But then I temporarily went off of it and still got diarreah so I figure it must have been the prilosec the stomach doctor put me on that I recently went off of. But I still get some mild diahrrea and not sure why.
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