Getting off Metformin ... dream or reality?

Hi all. This is my first post here. I was diagnosed T2 about 5 years ago. I would like to get off of Metformin, and maybe not start on whatever the next medication is.

  1. Have you ever asked your dr about doing this? What did s/he say how to do it or how likely it was that it could be done?

  2. What would you need to know to see if it’s possible to get off metformin?

  3. Have you been able to stop Metformin based on something you did like diet change, weight loss, exercise, etc? (Or do you know anyone who’s done it?) If so, what did you/they do and how did you/they do it?

Thank you!

at dx my A1c was 12.0. After 2 years i stopped metformin with an an A1c of 6.0 doing LCHF and lots of exercise, no weight loss. 30 carbs a day after 10 years still 6.0 or less.

IMHO stopping medications was not a requirement or goal, but an out come of hard work and tight control.

My goal was to be under 6.0 with metformin, or insulin or diet and exercise.
What ever was required. I stopped metformin because of some of the lessor known side effects.

My recommendation is to concentrate on controlling your diabetes with what ever tools you need


If you can reduce your A1C sufficiently then you can eliminate Metformin. However, it has to be understood that the same strict control which lowered your bgs will have to be continued in order to stay off Metformin. Good luck!

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With diet and exercise, I lost 100 pounds and was no longer obese. I still exercise and eat right (for me). I have been able to stop taking Metformin for over 1 year and my A1c is consistently under 5. My fasting BG is under 100 unless I am ill or take a day off from diabetes.


Thanks for the reply. Wow! That’s really impressive you were able to do that. How long did it take you to get off Metformin after you did diet and exercise changes? And when you say “diet and exercise” can you give specific examples of the things you did? Like, how much exercise for how many days/wk? What sort of diet things? Thanks in advance!

Thanks for the reply, T2Tom. Congratulations on your success. I’m in awe of those that can change what they to do impact their health. I’m curious: When you say “lots of exercise”, what sort of activity, how long, how often, how strenuous?

And was the LCHF and 30carbs/day something you decided to do on your own, or did your doctor recommend that specifically for you?

And when you say “tight control”, did you get that feedback from blood sugar testing? If yes, how often?

Thanks in advance!

Lots of exercise = run 3 times a week 3+ miles run one 5k event once a month group work out once a week, no car walk 2
= miles a day. I tried some boxing did not like it LOL

I took a very good diabetes management course I learned to count carbs and eat to my meter and this where i ended up. My goal was less than 6.

I test 4 times plus or minus. Test before a meal to adjust carb amount. I test before and after exercise.

I was dx 10 years ag, there weren’t really LCHF or Keto then. I just figured out what worked for me.

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Diet - I concentrated on a diet that gave good fasting BG results and would not cause high rises in BG after eating. The low carb/high fat diet helped me do this and would fill me up.

Exercise - I started with a 10,000 steps a day plan. All I could really do when first diagnosed was walk. I was too out of shape to do anything else. I would do my activities during the day and then walk in the evening to make 10,000 steps. Eventually, as I became more fit, I dedicated time to walking and had routes.

I lost 75 pounds just walking. Eventually I began running, swimming, and cycling. Cycling is now my preferred exercise. These activities helped me lose the rest of the weight. I have maintained my weight for 2 years now.

About 1 year in, my doctor wanted to see how I would do without Metformin but I fought that idea at first. It took about 6 months to convince me to try it. ~ Mike

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Depending on your weight, body, and subtype of T2DM, strict diet and weight loss can bring you down to the point where metformin can be discontinued… at least for a time. I was off all diabetes meds for about 7 years, but time, regaining weight, reduced access to correct diet, social interactions, trigger foods, and lack of time to exercise sufficiently (i.e., 1 hr cardio, 1/2 hr weights daily) put me back on it. (That said, I’m about seven years on only 500 mg extended metformin/day, no other d-meds and maintaining A1c around 6.2.) Remember also that even if you can manage bgs at non-D levels without meds, your diabetes has merely gone into REMISSION, and may (some say WILL) recur at some time later where medications will be required.


I honestly think it is a hard thing to do as this is a progressive disease. Many struggle to maintain a LCHF diet. What is your life style like know? I count carbs and exercise . Life is a good balance. Nancy50

I don’t believe it is a progressive disease at least for me, speaking as a diabetic of 29 years. It is bad habits that are progressive, not the disease. You can always eat what is bad for you and eat too much increasing medications and exercise to compensate but you will get progressively worse. I am highly intolerant of carbs (Need 1 unit of insulin for 3 grams carbs) and have been from first diagnosis in 1990. For years, I increased medications and insulin and exercise to keep A1C between 5.6 and 6.2 while keeping my BMI in the 18-20 range. It worked but I knew there was better to be had.

Recently, after a couple of months of low carb diet (and no exercise) I went from requiring over 50 units of insulin per day to being totally off any medication, including insulin and at age 70 feel 30 years younger. The 2 pieces of hardware I used to make this happen was my digital scale which measures weight in 1/10 of lbs rather than lbs which allowed me to fine tune how much more or less I need to eat to keep my weight up or down to my target and my CGM which shows me through increased and decreased BG levels when I was eating more or less carbs than my body could or could not handle naturally on its own.

I am not on any fancy LCHF, Veggie, Bernstein, Paleo, Atkins, Keto or whatever the latest fad diet is, just cut my carbs to about 20 per day total and then eat as many varied foods as I can according to my CGM and Scale. So yes, it is very possible to get off of all medications even after decades of heavy use.

I now look at my past 30 day Clarity Dexcom results show 100% time in range, with a standard deviation of 15 and am willing to challenge anyone that is not on a low carb diet to come close to that performance. Getting low A1C is not going to help from getting complications if that A1C comes from an average of high, highs and low, lows yet it is the gold standard many people are using to cling to a certain diet.

@Marilyn6 instantly came to mind.

Congratulations, by the way, @CJ114, what a wonderful testatment to hard work and effort! It’s amazing what we can accomplish, given the desire!

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Thank you so much!!! Very much appreciate your support.

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Yes,you have done a great job. But I still say not everyone is able to do this. I too have been in good control for 26 years with no complications. I eat well and exercise. So much of this disease is a mental challenge. Nancy50

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I thought I had great control for decades as I could keep my A1C wherever my endo wanted it through medication, diet and exercise. Then I got a CGM and promptly realized, and could not believe, how totally ignorant I had really been for the past few decades. A total Diabetic moron.

Everyone is different and we are all so lucky now with the new technologies that enlighten us to how we are really doing every 5 minutes and giving each of us a whole new set of options to pick from with actionable data to make the best decision for our particular situation and needs.

I totally agree with you that the mind and body work together and everyone needs to do what is best for them and makes them happy. Regardless, the struggle is constant and never easy for anyone.

I wish you all the best Nancy50 in your fight with this scourge.