Getting off Metformin

My last A1c was 5.8, the lowest I have had in 4 years. I am sure it is from the added activity and elimination of starches that are the reasons for the great result. I was wondering if anyone has taken themselve off of Metformin. I want to continue until I have another good report and then wean myself off. I would appreciate to hear your experience.

My last a1c we 6.3 and i was pretty excited! i use to be really good with my a1c’s and the highest they would be was like 6 then when i started hs i like wouldn’t test and just bolus! and like it was 9.4 but then i got back on track because my mom bribbed me it worked though I managed to bring my a1c down to 6.3 (which i think is pretty good!)

Congatulations on your improved A1c Todd. Well done! Happy for you. I think being rid of medications, a well controlled BG, a healthy lifestyle and no complications are most if not all of type 2 diabetics goal. Personally Im working hard for it. I may not be the perfect nor ideal model (the fact that I’m stubborn sometimes with regards to carbs consumption), but I eat healthy and make exercising or physical activities a part of my routine everyday. I would say I have some successes since I have managed my bg pretty well. From the time I was first diagnosed (2 years ago), I managed to decrease metformin dosage intake from 500 mg plus 2mg of glimiperide twice daily to present 500 mg metformin once daily. Another year or two perhaps? :slight_smile:

This is something you need to discuss with your doctor. Some doctors don’t want to take you off medications unless you’re under 4.5 (the A1C Bernstein advocates); others will let you try going off if you’re under 6.0. Another thing they look at is what your bg checks are like. There are certain protective aspects to metformin, so some doctors don’t like to take you off it unless you have issues going too low when you are on it. My doc lowered my metformin prescription after I went down into the 50’s over a 24-hour fast, and then took me off it completely four months later. Five and a half years later, and I’m still diet-controlled.

What you need to do is to discuss the issue with your doctor. It sounds like you’d rather be not-taking pharmaceuticals than taking them; if so, make sure your doctor understands this is your preference and is willing to keep you on the lowest possible doses needed to keep you healthy.

Congrats on the great A1C and the efforts that got you there. That’s impressive.

Do keep in mind that the metformin (a cheap drug, compared to the cost of other diabetes meds) has helped you get there. I think many people fail to realize that diabete is progressive and that a person must stay on top of it, in eating and exercise as well as medications. And not just blood glucose-lowering medications. Blood pressure and blood lipid (cholesterol) control is highly important.

The typical “curve” of type two is that the body starts to be more resistant to its own insulin. This is caused by many things, including obesity, inflammation, and genetics. The blood gluose starts to increase. As the blood glucose increases, the body churns out more insulin in response. Which helps a bit, but the blood glucose continues to increase because the body just doesn’t use its own insulin very effectively. Then the insulin-secreting cells get “tired.” Insulin production starts to dwindle (it’s estimated that when most people are diagnosed with type 2, they are producing only about half the level of insulin they used to produce) and may eventually stop altogether. As insulin supplies dwindle, other meds may be added. Those types of meds encourage the body to secrete more insulin. But depending on how long a person lives with type 2, they may reach a point at which their body makes no insulin. Then insulin injections, pens, or a pump are the only treatment.

Because metformin helps your body use its own insulin more effectively, it may help your body from overproducing insulin and thus tiring your insulin-secreting cells so much that they stop producing insulin.

Only you and your doctor can determine what meds are right for you. Just don’t be too hasty to drop a medication that may actually be doing you a lot of good! Best wishes and, again, congratulations.

Some would say that 6.3 is great. I am with your mom, you need to keep up on it to stay below 7. If you think about it, I am sure that you feel much better when you are better controlled. I know that it is easy to ignore this disease, but in the long run you will better off if you stay on top of it. Keep it up, kid.

A couple years ago the Dr put me on Glipizide which stimulates your pancreas to make more insulin. I hated the lows and was worried that it would wear my pancreas out sooner. I took myself off and controlled my diet & exercise better. Did you lower your metformin yourself or with the advice from the dr? Great job on your progress.

Great job. I plan to talk to my Dr after my next A1c if it is still low. I am sure he will go along with it.I haven’t measured anything in the 50s or even 60s but often have a 70. I don’t even need a meter since I can feel it when it is that low. Thanks for the advice, I will keep working on it.

Thanks for the encouragement, Kelly. My other tests have been within tolleration. I am also on a statin and have low Vit-B & D without supplements. My BP has always been good. I have read a lot about moving to insulin but do not feel like I need to do that anytime soon. My Endo actually said, “…you will eventually be on insulin, move type 2s will”. I apprieciated that he is up front with me but it is not necessarily good news. I like the way you call the cells “tired”. I have referred to them as “lazy”, just like I was when I was 35lbs heavier when I was diagnosed.
I would like to be off the drugs if I can maintain accepatble levels. Cheers.

I’ve read recent research that more doctors are encouraging insulin for more Type 2 patients, often along with oral meds. Insulin protects remaining beta cells & prevents burn out. Many can’t have good control without the addition of insulin. Of course, many doctors/CDEs/RNs aren’t recommending lowering carb intake either, though they do stress weight loss & exercise.

You’ve done great by limiting carbs, exercising & losing weight & may never need insulin, but please don’t fear insulin if you should need it.

Thanks, Gerri, I know insulin is an option for me and do not fear it and if it helps, I actually look forward to it. Right now things are going well and I am enjoying it. Type 2 is tricky since there is no one treatment.

Glad you’re not. From what I’ve read here, many people are. Somehow it’s seen as the end of the line, or that they’ve failed in some way.

Type 2 is very tricky! Different meds, combos of meds, new meds coming out & some with not fun side effects. In my diabetes ed class I was the only Type 1. Several people said they felt sorry for me because I had to take insulin. I didn’t envy them having to take pills that made them feel ill. Pretty much bites for us all.

I agree with Gerri. I lost 85 lb and exercised 2 hours per day but was not able to get the BG into the normal range. A little insulin in the begining would have done marvels. Now I take a hell of a lot of insulin and my life is ruined.

Todd the diabetes is progressive so weaning yourself off may only be temporary but hey if temporary is ten years then all the best. I stopped metformin and controlled mine with diet and tonnes of exercise in my case the metformin did not seem to do anything and the Endo’s considered insulin toxic at that time.

I was taken off Metformin so that the radiology tech could perform a ct scan. And at the same time I was on antibiotics to were I couldn’t consume dairy at all so that the meds could work for 7 days.

I actually lost some good weight 7 lbs. So now I’m not on metformin, I check my bloodsugars and they are under control. But I say we need more research on this because Metformin has its ups and downs.

Only on glipizide and lantus, they are working great only them two.

Also depends on the body intolerance of what comes in the body. Sadly, I only drink a little bit of milk…4 0z every other day because of the flare up. I’m glad I found out was causing the body weight. We are all different, just follow what your body is trying to tell you.

good luck either way, and god bless

I have been doing experiments with my metformin. I was first diagnosed as type 1 and was on insulin for 9 months. I excercised and cut all the mess out and the bg’s came down. Then I was off of things for about 3 years. I started taking metformin again when I let my self go. I went back and read all the old journals I kept as far as excercise logs and food logs and i thought I could repeat again. So when i came back to treatment but with metformin this time around. I was supposed to start with 500 per meal and then work my way up to 1000 per meal. I noticed that the 1000’s worked to keep blood sugar between 100 and 160. As I saw things getting closer to 100’s and my A1C was right at 7. I decided to kick up the excercise and eat a hybrid dash diet. i stuck with the veggies and fruits and lower the breads a little but not too much since I needed the carbs for excercise. Then in the past 3 months I cut the 500 in half. I would take a half of a pill with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then i started biking for about an hour between 7 and 9. So depending on what I have for dinner I sometimes do not take the dinner half of pill because I seem to burn some serious calories on the bike ride. I was going low in the middle of excercise when I took the half pill for dinner. So the biggest thing about this experiment is checking all the time before meals, after meals, before excercise in between excercise and sometimes in the middle of the night. I used more test strips, but when I start to get to 160 to 180 i hop on the treadmill and bring it down. Or before I go on a bike ride I need to be about 180 so I can come back in an hour at 100. My last A1C with this routine was 6.3. If you need more info dont hesitate to ask

My doctor lowered the dosage about 9 months ago. She removed the glimiperide first about 12 months ago. I see the doctor and have laboratories tests every 3 months. Thanks Todd. Im really hoping in time I can be off medications :slight_smile: