Just started my Metformin and pricking, not feeling that great yet

Hey all.

Well, I just started the Metformin yesterday along with my pricking (that is what I call it). So far, so good, But I just don't feel good yet. How long does this take before I start feeling good again? My doctor told me to take my meds one at breakfast and one at lunch - At least I am pretty sure this is what he said (I have 500mg Metformin, twice daily with meals). Does this sound right?

Yesterday, I tested and ate as follows:

FBG: 128 no meds yet

ate steel oatmeal (tasted like glue) with cinnamon

2 hrs. After breakie and med: 247

before lunch: 168

had hummus with celery and bok choy

after: 148 (went down!)

Before din: 108

had mixed green salad with cukes, tomato, walnuts, half avocado and olive oil

after: 116


FBG: 129

Had low carb toast with peanut butter

After: 159.

No lunch yet.

No sure what I should do about snacks. I mean, how I can I accurately test and fit snacks in there. I have been avoiding them.

I guess some of this has to do with the meds. My cousin is taking Metformin and she said it takes a while. I am still weak from that whole dehydration thing. I get tired really easy, mouth is still dry, off and on. When I took the first Metformin, the left side of my face started feeling a bit like when I had an allergic reaction to a sulfa drug about a month ago. Of course I got really worried etc. Seems to have gone away but I still worry about an allergic reaction. My body feels different from hour to hour. Is this is what is supposed to happen? I worry I am not doing this right. Couldn't sleep last night because I was worried about my blood sugar going too low. Ugh! Muscles feel a bit achey today. Is this what the rest of my life is going to be like? I guess I am impatient.

I still figured out what to eat. For most of my life I have eaten bread type products for breakfast like bagels or english muffins. So, it is all trial and error. Didn't feel good enough to go shopping at the store to make other things. I just wish I felt better had more energy than I could cook all these different things.

I will probably start my blog on here with my numbers and I want to keep a food log so i keep track of food and numbers etc. At least the pricky thing wasn't as bad as I thought, still hate it though. I do admit I like the little pen lancer. It is like a little gun in a way and it does all the pricking for me so I don't have to figure out how hard to poke myself. :) Although I did have to read the instruction sheet, like 5 times to figure it out.

I just wonder if my doctor is right about when to take the meds as I see lots of people saying they take them at breakfast and dinner on here. Although, now since I moved I have to find a new doctor and I want to see an endo too. It is just so overwhelming. Lots of do and I have no energy or strength because I don't feel well.

Tomorrow hopefully I will get information on diabetic classes (I know people say you don't need them if you are on here but I really think I do). I know everyone will say I am not eating enough - but honestly I ate so much fiber yesterday it felt like I had a big fiber rock in my stomach and than I wasn't hungry! I used to a small breakfast, small lunch and a bigger dinner. It is hard to get used to eating at a certain time not just when I am hungry. Grr. I hate this.

Is it just me or does every one feel icky when they start this? Please tell me it won't always be like this. Thanks guys!

Well, gots to go and eat "lunch" even though I have no idea what I am going to eat or that I am not hungry. blah.


Hi Kimberly,

I started my Metformin the next day after I filled my prescription. My doctor wanted me to take 1 pill at dinner for 4 days, then 1 pill at lunch & another at dinner for another 4 days before moving it up to 3 a day, once after every meal. He told me that there are side effects to Metformin that some people experience. Unfortunately I’m one of those people. So I had to dial it back to 2 a day, which said I could do it 3 was too much. I started seeing a difference in my numbers within 7 days. For the past 3 nights I’ve also been taking 2 tablespoons of vinegar right before bedtime, and my numbers are low when I get up.

My numbers were like yours last week (my first week) and my energy levels were all over the place, but I started a routine (consistency) and found I responded throughout my day. I have a cup of water with whatever meal I eat, but for snacks I have things like celery, colored peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and nuts. If I have a sandwich, I make sure I’ve got iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers in them. I also like to drink Perrier, and protein water that I mix myself. My favorite is Kellog’s Special K Strawberry/Kiwi. One packet lasts me weeks because I use so little to slightly flavor the water.

Don’t feel discouraged, there’s plenty to eat. :smiley:


When I was briefly on Metformin (due to being misdiagnosed) I took it with breakfast and dinner. And with food, not before or after it because it is a killer on your stomach. I think it takes 3-6 weeks to kick in. And you really need to watch your carbs.
As for icky, I still feel icky a lot of the time but I’m a newbie (diagnosed in September) so am also hoping it gets better. I wish you luck and don’t forget to drink lots of water!!

This is really good news. I know that every time you take a test you will feel a bit of shock at how your blood sugar is reacting, but realize that it is ok. Every time you take a test you learn a bit more about how your body reacts to different foods. And yes, as other have said, the metformin can take as long as 6-8 weeks to reach full effectiveness, but you may notice some difference in the first few days. Your initial dose of 500 mg twice a day is normal. Some people even start with 500 mg a day and increase it over time. I actually suggest that it is best to use the metformin XR, so next doctors visit you might ask about that. If you do have stomach troubles, let us know, there are things that you can do to minimize gastric distress.

Thanks guys! It is weird how the doctors want you to do a strange schedule.How do they decide these schedules for people? I often wonder if mine is correct. But now I am going to switch doctors so how do I know they will get it right?? I did have a bit of nausea but that seems to be gone now. I still hate this damn dry tongue. It comes and goes mostly.

I ate my lunchie (hummus with bok choy again and a cup of unsweetened almond milk). Than I went to do my test and had to open a new box of strips and I realize now I think the Walgreens dude sold me the wrong kind! Damn! That messes up my nice consistency I had going. I am using the True2Go Meter by Walgreens. It came with 10 strips and the guy sold me an extra box of strips that he said went with it plus lances. well, the lances are fine but the strips are bigger than the ones that came with the meter. First I got a E-3 error and finally got the “blood drop” to come up (means it is ready to receive blood - geesh, sounds like a little vampire) but than when I applied my blood I got an E-2 error which according to the book means wrong strip. Grr, I better be able to exchange these!

So, does this mean that the doctor will probably increase the mg? :frowning: I thought it was high and than went down as you were doing better.

Hi Jo,

What kind of side effects did you have if I can ask? It is so hard to tell sometimes if my ‘side effects’ are really ‘side effects’ or if they are just my blood sugar making me feel crappy or are they “serious” side effects or not. Since I had that allergic reaction to that sulfa drug, I get worried about every little ache or strange feeling. I hate feeling good one second and than all crappy and moody the next you know? I feel like I have bipolar or something - not like me.

Hey Kimberly,

I had serious stomach pains, gas, and then diarrhea. Here’s a link about Metformin I found helpful, based on the info my doctor had given me: http://www.drugs.com/metformin.html

Oh, the sharp pains were like none I’ve ever had before, especially since they were shortly after I had taken the pill. It was definitely a pain, not a cramp.

It’s very overwhelming when I think about it too much or try to tackle “how I can I prove my doctors wrong”. Still a bit in denial sometimes–hehehe.


I originally was told to take my met at meals, too. I started with 500 then went to 1000, then went to 1750 and now I am on 2550 mg ( 3 x 850) I am lucky no side effects except good ones, lower bgs (almost normal) and weight loss. Since raising my dose I have been able to hit my goal weight and even lost a few more pounds.
I take 1 tablet before bed, one as early in the morning (6 am) and the last around 11 am. Metformin works in the liver to prevent spikes, especially inbetween meals. Metformin can take up to a few weeks to totally kick in with the benefits. I think metformin works best for me on a very low carb diet (10-15 a meal) You should try to keep your bg peaks to 120-140 2 hours after you eat. Many things like cereals will spike T 2’s very high, especiall since some of us seem to be more insulin resistent in the morning so I find protein works best. Things like eggs, bacon work best for me. Sorry about the strip mix up. I’m sure you can return them.

Kimberly, it sounds like you are asking a lot of yourself for the first few days. It’s rather like that saying about eating an elephant…you can’t do it all in one bite. I’d say, you are doing a great job! Good for you, taking meds, and poking your finger for all those tests is GREAT! Pat yourself on the back, lady!

As far as snacks and testing are concerned. this is what I do, I eat one of my snacks before I exercise in the AM; because I swim early and need something in me, I test before I have that protein — it’s usually a smoothie that I’ve made up. When I get home, I have a very light breakfast, and then test an hour after. Lunch is around 1:00 and I’ll have vegies and protein and a carb then…testing an hour after that. About 4:00, I’ll have some yogurt or string cheese, and then not test until bedtime. Before I go to bed, I will have a protein snack which ever one I didn’t have in the afternoon. I eat 150 carbs s a day, 45 at each meal and 15 at each snack. I take my meds in the AM before swimming after lunch and then before I go to bed.

It takes time to get into the routine, and you need to give yourself that. How are you feeling…? It might be as much as a week or two before things really start to kick in, but if you are concerned, by all means, I’d call your doc and see if he/she has any ideas?

You’ll get it, I promise. It just takes consistency and staying on track. Come here often, we’re always filled with answers.

I think depending on how sensitive your stomach is then you may have different issues. I have a very sensitive stomach so when I first started to take metformin i was told to work up to 2 for each meal. I had bad case of acid reflux so the metformin made it feel like I was having a heart attack. Bad chest pains from the acid reflux which then made my body feel bad all over. I would vomit a lot too. Slowly I got used to it but since the doc did not like my numbers he put me in januvia and it all when down hill at that point. I stopped taking januvia and stuck with metformin. With the 2000 a day i was having lows at night all the time. I had to cut back on the metformin. I still wake up around 135 but If i try to lower it with higher doses of metformin during the day I pay for it at night with lows. I know they say metformin does not cause lows but they are comming from somewhere from me and it seems the higher the metformin dose the lower the evening lows. It did take about 2 months for me before I could tolerate and get lower numbers

People are started on low doses & then they’re increased, if needed, like most meds. As bsc said, see if you can get the Metformin XR, it’s time released.

With testing, make sure you wash your hands & dry them well. Don’t use alcohol wipes because they dry the skin. Wipe away the first drop of blood & use the second to test. No one told me that part until a nurse saw me testing.

Meters are allowed to be off by ±20%.

Hope you can exchange the strips.

Wow, ok. 45 carbs per meal. Is that the normal max? I never knew that. I thought I was supposed to go as low as possible. Maybe I need to allow myself more carbs? I am looking at the diabetic meals online and in some books and I look at the carbs and they are like 29g per the meal and I thought that was high - I guess I was wrong???
They only put the number of carbs on there though and not the sugars - why not?

Do my meals look too skimpy? I want to improve of course but I don’t want to starve to death either. I look at the yoghurt and it is so high in sugar on the label - I figure I can’t have it.

See, no one told me this about the diet. My doctor told me squat. When no one explains it to you, you are nto sure what to look at on the labels and such which makes everything seem off limits. Good thing I am going to look for another. It is very hard to get a hold of my doctor (or should I say ex-doctor). Maybe I should just marry one and than I can get quick advice right away. :slight_smile:

So, it looks like it is “normal” (at least in the diabetic world) to feel crappy for a while until the meds work. Thanks Cathy.

Thanks Gerri!

I will ask my next doctor about the other Metformin, I don’t think mine says XR on it.

Actually the nurse did say to wipe the first blood off and do the second but the instructions on the meter didn’t say to do that so I haven’t been so I will for now on. I wonder what the difference will be.

My nurse used alcohol too but the meter instructions said just wash hands so I haven’t been using the alcohol. Who wants more sting?

I am getting up to using your recipes. I just couldn’t find all the ingredients I needed right away. :slight_smile:

Thanks Jo!

I didn’t have anything like that. A little nausea - but than I was nervous too - hate taking pills. I just feel off you know. One minute I feel ok, the next I just want to lay down. My tongue and throat are dry. I am hoping it is just my blood adjusting to the meds - you know, sometimes I think I “feel” it (my blood) doing something. Fast pulses and “waves” through my body, aches.

I have gotten over the prove my doctors wrong thing for the most part - I would just like to feel normal again for one day. Weird how one day I felt OK and than all of a sudden totally icky - I never felt so up and down in my whole life before. I always felt OK.

I used to be that I looked forward to having a yummy vegan meal and I liked cooking it. Not anymore - everything seems so dry and plain.


Know how confusing it is. Most of us weren’t given much in the way of guidelines & had to learn on our own.

Eating what works for you is the way to do it. Lower carb is better. The ADA recommendations are 45-60 carbs per meal plus constant snacking, but that doesn’t usually work. In my opinion, this is too high to control BG. Been there, done that. Try lower carb & see how you feel & the results. Jenny’s site has great info http://www.bloodsugar101.com.

The goal is as close to normal BG as possible. You don’t want to stress your pancreas.

Thanks Gerri!

I’ll try but I really think I am not eating enough. How many carbs do you do per meal?

The whole snack thing seems like it would mess up your testing. Not sure how to approach that.

What IS the “normal BG”? Isn’t it sad that the doctors don’t even tell you what that is? I see different numbers everywhere.

Does a too high BG stress out the pancreas or a too low one? My guess is high.

I was able to return my strips but now I don’t know what my last reading was. Of I go to eat more “non-food” (that is what I am calling it it right now).

Glad you’ve got the right strips!

Not to add to your work, but it’s good to write down your readings.

Honestly, I’ve never understood the ADA & CDE insistence on snacking. Proper dosing of meds or insulin is the right way, not eating to match the meds or insulin.

You’re right. High BG stresses the pancreas. In response to high BG, the pancreas produces more insulin in T2s. Since T2s are insulin resistant, you can see where this leads. Lows aren’t good either.

Consistent, sustained BG over 140 causes damage, so under this is the goal. Doesn’t mean that this is easy or always attainable, but that’s the goal.

Normal, non-diabetic BG is 70-80’s. Normal fasting (morning) is under 100. I aim for 120 after meals, not that I succeed:) Non-diabetics rarely go over 110 after meals & not for long.

Eating low carb doesn’t mean starving yourself at all. The dilemma is that it’s very difficult to eat low carb with vegan or vegetarian diets because to get enough protein you have to eat high carb foods. So, unless a person is super physically active, higher carb means higher BG.

It depends on what you’re eating. Sufficient protein is critical to health. You can live with no carbs, but you’ll get sick & weak with not enough protein. Not everyone can digest beans & other vegan protein sources properly.

My meals are protein & low carb veggies. Other than nuts, my carbs mostly come from a wide variety of veggies. I eat 30-35 carbs daily & follow Dr. Bernstein’s recommendations (Diabetes Solution–his book). I’m never hungry & it’s not a low calorie diet. It’s protein & fat that stop hunger. At first I lost weight & I was thin to begin with. My weight is stable now. I think low carb has helped my body use food more efficiently.

What are the non-foods you’re eating?

Kimberly, The responses that he have recieved up to this point have been sound and grounded. You are on the right track. Dont panic and dont lose sleep worrying about your numbers. Give the metforim serveral weeks to become therapeutic. You are on the right path. You will begin to find the balance between what yours meter says and what you eat. The goal should be < 140 2 hours after a meal but it will take trail and error to acheive. You do want to avoid the 247+ readings but they are bound to happen. Learn what caused them as your knowledge progresses. Most importantly continue to ask questions here. As you have found you will recieve great advice. Yell if I can be of any assistance.

Thanks Gerri!

You always make sense! I have been writing all my reading down. My meter came with a little log. I want to start a food log too. Need to get a notebook for that but it will probably go on the computer. :slight_smile:

Ok, under 140. My nurse said during daytime hours when you are eating 100 - 180 is OK, over 180 is too high. But you here different numbers from everyone. I was reading a book that said FBS should be 85 or lower I think. So under a 100. Thanks!

After I ate my dinner tonight (steamed broccoli and cauliflower with olive oil), my BG was only 96! But now I am worried that is too low before bed. I worry about this Hypo stuff. At what number would I be hypo? Looks like under 70 from your numbers? I know the symptoms (shaking etc). I guess I would just have a bit of juice like oj if that happens right? I need to get some of those glucose tablets that I have been hearing abou.t

I am working on the protein. I need to shop. And I plan to get some sort of protein powder like hemp or something. I normally don’t have a problem digesting beans (or at least I never have) but I’ll have to test and see. I might add some egg or cheese just temporary until I can figure out a good diabetic friendly vegan source of protein. I know they are out there I just need to go looking.

Hmm, the foods I ate before as a vegan that were high carb (for me it was mainly white bread, pasta and potatoes) I don’t remember having any protein. But I didn’t always look. There are the soy products that had the some protein and algae (which are an acquired taste) but I want to go very light on anything like that until I know that my thyroid is OK.

So I guess I need to snack on more protein and fat things.

Hehe, yeah, I have been calling them non-foods because I am getting sick of them. They are actually healthy foods. Mostly veggies, hummus, peanut butter, avocadoes,nuts. I normally love all these foods but right now I am getting sick of them esp since my mouth is still being dry and it is hard to enjoy the flavor of food with a dry mouth. And I definatley need to eat more. Weird how I am not very hungry though - all that fiber I guess. I normally don’t eat too much so not unusual for me.

Your 35 carbs is that for the whole day or per meal?