Metformin & a Type 1

I started Metformin four days ago.

I'm Type 1, on 10+ injections per day with Insulin Resistance.

Yup, I'm one of those lucky "Double Diabetic" or also known as "Hybrid Diabetic" (except without the cool robot parts)

So, I don't make insulin (have to inject it) but I also have resistance to the insulin that I'm injecting and more than half of what I'm putting in my body is getting wasted, flushed, or attached to my cells and still not working.

This has caused slight weight gain (about 10 lbs over 5 years or so) no matter how much I exercise, as well as some pretty UGLY post prandials. It will take up to 10 HOURS to bring down a high BG and almost anything that I ate would spike my BG, but no amount of insulin would keep it in check.

I've gone up from 32 units / day of Levemir to a split dosage of 27u / 30u = 57 units / day of Levemir over the course of 2 years. That's about a 75% increase in 2 short years.

I exercise daily, walk everywhere, and I'm not fat. I'm actually really fit and I don't have any "love handles" at all.

So... my dilemma. :)

I started Metformin 4 days ago, and those pesky high BGs? Pretty much gone.

When I inject Apidra, it works almost instantly (where previously it was taking even an hour for the fastest insulin to help me)

My Levemir dosage is going to have to come down because where I was fighting off 200s and 300s on a daily basis, I'm now battling 30s and 40s for an hour or two.

It's unreal and I'm so excited to see my numbers come down. I'm so excited to see less spikes.

And an added bonus?? My complexion is clearing up and Metformin is said to make a woman more fertile. It's been in use since the 20s (BEFORE INSULIN) and the only side effects are physical- meaning vomitting and colon issues for a short three weeks until the body gets used to it.

Luckily, I haven't had any side effects as of now.

Currently on 500 mg per day (one pill at lunch time)

I had to fight my Endo for this scrip, show him my progress over the past 5 years with Insulin Resistance, and then demand that I get the scrip that I need.

Putting a Type 1 on Metformin is still considered an experimental treatment because the pill was intended for Type 2s. But as our bodies are evolving, the lines are getting blurred between the difference between the two diseases.

Can't wait to see if this stuff is really going to work and get my insulin needs down~ would love to see more great outcomes!

Great news! I am very happy for you.

sounds very promising. keep it the great work

I do hope it works… I’m glad its working for you now. I wish you the best!
Now to get rid of the “cool robot parts” in my brain…LOL

I am happy for you.
One of my colleagues started as T2 and became T1 was put on insulin Mixtard 30/70. After about 2 years on insulin his BG readings fluctuated too much and could only be controlled using Metformin and exercise. His A1c readings remain around 6.5.
In my case, whenever I go in for Metformin, I start getting weak muscles, I am T2. I also suffer from spondylosis, lumbar and cervical both. Whenever I get weak muscles due to metformin or otherwise, spondylosis virtually cripples me. Weak muscles are not documented in any literature on metformin. Has anyone suffered from weak muscles when on Metformin?

I’m also starting metformin. I’ve been on it for about week. Did 500 mg the first week, and last night I did 1000 mg for the first time. so far so good. No noticeable drops in insulin, but not having to take as much to correct. Look forward to seeing how it works for you too.

Thank you! So many changes these past few months (Dexcom, split Levemir, Apidra, increased exercise, low carb diet, Metformin) I’ve got to get it RIGHT some time! :slight_smile:

It’s great to see so many are able to benefit from metformin. I remember when it first came out and how people would say that it would do nothing for people with type 1, since type 1s don’t make their own insulin. I always thought there could be uses for it, particularly for people who were experiencing insulin resistance for whatever reason.

Marps – has your endo or gyno ever tested you for PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome)? Complexion problems are a highlight of PCOS, along with insulin resistance. Metformin has long been prescribed to help reduce the insulin resistance associated with PCOS.

Satinder – while I am not a doctor, I do know that metformin can cause problems with lactic acid (which is why it’s not recommended for people with kidney problems). It’s possible your problem with metformin is caused by lactic acid build-up. Have you had your kidneys checked?

Awesome results! So encouraging. Am thrilled for you. Keep us posted. Must be many more who’d also benefit from Metformin.

Hi AngelaC- Thanks for responding to my blog! I don’t have “complexion problems” per say… I guess it’s a flare up here and there, so I wouldn’t feel like I had acne- so to speak. I haven’t been tested for any of these things because for the past 5 years I’ve seen the IR increasing- so it really has GOT to be something to that effect.

Especially since Metformin is working to fix the IR issue. It was kind of like a “confirmation” that I’m not crazy and that I am logical and that sometimes doctors don’t know what’s best, but if they’re open and listen to symptoms (granted it took FIVE years to get through to them) then they will help.

Metformin has been around since the 1920s. It was on the market before insulin injections were and was used for all types of diabetes treatment. But, since insulin came out and helped type 1s MORE (because they realized that type 1s aren’t making ANY insulin) then Metformin kind of swung by the wayside.

In the 90s, it reared its head again and has been mass-marketed since 2008.

I only know this stuff because I was afraid to try something new, put it in my body, and not know the full side effects. So, since it’s been around for nearly 100 years, I figure, it’s GOT to be safe. :slight_smile:

(You guys are great)

Congratulations Marps your making progress! As Yogi Bear once said " What works, Works!" Reducing your insulin dosages is just great. Sometimes we get too focused on the Type of diabetic rather than what works for individual cases. Keep up the good work.

I’m almost afraid to admit it publicly, but I’ve suffered from BAD back acne (never on my face, just my back!) since I was 14/15 or so… the only time it ever cleared up was when I was pregnant… BCP’s didn’t help, topical treatments made no difference, neither did showering more or less often. Now after 2 months on Metformin, it’s GONE… like magic :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m glad to hear it’s working well for you… I am really starting to think that Met is overlooked as an option in a lot of T1’s. I had to ask for it, and while my endo did agree it was worth trying, I sort of wish someone had suggested it to me sooner.

I sure HOPE this stuff doesn’t make me more fertile though… right now my cycles are all screwy since my thryoid meds are not right, but soon it won’t matter since I think DH and I are looking into permanent BC options soon.

Marps-- Glad to hear that your complexion is not a real issue! I knew a girl in grad school who had PCOS and was taking Met. She had a few problems with acne, which her doctors figured were related to the PCOS, since the cysts have been known to pump out testosterone and (of course) increase IR. Lowering her levels of IR helped bring her other hormones into line, which did lessen the number and size of the cysts and cleared up the acne. When I told her I was being put on Met a little over 2 years ago, she was all excited: “It’ll be the greatest thing! You’ll feel so great, once the side effects clear up!” Unfortunately for me, Met was a bust, as I am not insulin resistant. Only thing it did for me was make me sick to my stomach and cause my bgs to bounce between 65 and 365! But we are all individuals, so in that respect, it doesn’t surprise me I’ve had a different experience than others have had!

I’m happy it’s working so well for you and you haven’t had any side effects so far. Thanks for sharing too since it is something considered experimental and not really talked about, but can be really helpful with IR!

so glad for you, Marps!

AngelaC, Kidney and Liver function tests etc are OK.

It’s been about a week on Metformin now… and I’m still seeing lowering insulin dosages.
I have been waking up around 100 (my DP seems to be tapering off) and I’ve had severe severe lows during the days… which leads me to beleive I need to lower my Basal and my Bolus dosages (I:C ratios)

I’ve dropped about 8u total of basal per day, and I’m experimenting with 1:7 / I:C instead of 1:4 / I:C
We’ll see what happens. But I’m really really hopeful!

Still not side effects for me, that I’m really aware of. I get vertigo from time to time, but it’s nothing too bad (no vomitting, no colon issues so far) Then again, I’m only on one pill of 500mg per day. My doc asked me to take 1000mg (two pills per day), but I said… “Let’s start slowly” haha.

Might go to 1000mg next month after I’ve fully adjusted to 500mg first.

Marps –

That’s outstanding news! I’m a little flabberghasted at your doctor’s suggestion to put you on 1000 mg/day immediately. I’m presuming you are taking the ER (extended release) version of Metformin – right? When I was taking it, the lowest possible dose was 500 mg, which is just what you’re taking and what I started out on. I was told to take that for a couple of weeks and if it didn’t work (which for most people, that low a dose would have no impact), then we would up the dose to 1000 mg/day and would continue to increase the dose slowly, over time, until I reached the maximum dose of 2000 mg/day. The reasoning for this is to minimize the gastrointestinal issues which generally follow the start of Metformin. Even the 500 mg dose made me so sick to my stomach that I could barely keep any food down at all. When I increased my dose to 1000 mg/day, that change also made me sick. But that’s me. It sounds like the Met’s working for you the way it should!

You might want to follow Gary Scheiner’s recommendations for basal testing (you can read his rules for basal testing HERE and AmyT’s experiences with it HERE) to help you get a handle on your new and improved basal needs. It could help you out an awful lot, though, of course, things are going to continue to change as you increase your dose of Met and your body’s insulin resistance declines. At the same time, knowing how much insulin you really need is pretty important and getting those basals right is often key. And since there is a guideline for figuring out exactly how much you need, instead of guessing at how much to lower your basal, following this guideline will allow more precise adjustments. Gary also wrote a book you might find interesting: Think Like a Pancreas (avaliable HERE at It explains the logic of the basal testing much better than I could and how to really use it effectively. If you haven’t read it, I do recommend it!

Angela- Thanks! You guys’ support really helps during this time. I’ve seen that “Think Like a Pancreas” book mentioned across the forums on countless occasions. I have looked at it and it’s on my Wish List on Amazon, but other than that… I have made no moves to buy it. Not sure why. haha.

My calculations are coming out really nicely.
Since I got the Dex (and then a few weeks later started Metformin) I’ve really seen a huge difference in my numbers. My meter says I test about 12+ times per day (in addition to the CGM) and the averages there say I’m at 131 for 7 days, 134 for 30 days and 136 for 90 days. With as much testing I still do, I have to assume this is pretty accurate results! That means my A1c has finally come down from my 8.5% plateau and is nearing in on 5.5%!!! I’ve NEVER had that low of an A1c. I’m hoping hoping hoping this works out.

I just ordered an A1cNow kit to test my A1c for sure. I’d really like to know where I stand and my last blood draw was in January. Keep your fingers crossed please! (I’ve got my toes crossed too for extra measure)

Awesome to hear. I had been talking to an Animas rep about whether or not Metformin had been FDA approved for Type 1s but it looks like it is. Good to see your in better spirits as well.