Metformin in combination with Insulin Pumping

I recently heard of an endo (not mine) that prescribes metformin with some of his pump patients to increase sensitivity to the insulin. He says the positive results are less insulin use and better weight control. I wonder if anyone has heard of this or currently does this. It seems to make sense to me. Weight has been a constant issue since my diagnosis! It would be worth it to get this last 10-15lbs gone!

I have heard this and my Endo has me on insulin pump plus metformin 1000mg twice daily … works for me.

Thank you Tom! I really think I want to try this combination. I knew this was the place to go to ask :)!

I have more like 30lbs to lose, and I am definitely asking for either Metformin or Symlin when I see my Endo again this coming week… something has to give. I don’t know if my insurance will approve Symlin without trying metformin first, so I plan on asking for one or the other, and seeing what my doc has to say.

I feel like all the insulin I am taking is making me gain weight… and I need so much insulin BECAUSE I have some to lose already… it’s like a catch-22 and super frustrating.

It’s not like I’m not active enough, or not eating right, that’s the hard part. The weight won’t budge :frowning:

I know exactly what you mean Sarah! I have a real problem with going low during or immediately after I exercise so then I end up with the attitude what’s the use if I am going to have to eat high carb/sugar anyway.
My sister is a pharmaceutical rep and happens to sell insulin, she had an endo talk to a group of family practice doctors last week and he was talking about the combination. He is in the same town as the endo I see. I am seriously thinking about calling and getting a consult with him. My current dr. is good and a nice guy he’s just a little older and has been doing it for a long time. I wonder how likely he is to try new things. This other guy is in his 40’s.

Let me know how your appointment goes and what your endo says!

My endo is in her 30’s… she’s literally just a few years older than me. That was a little weird at first, but I like her a lot, and so far she’s been awesome, so I’m sure she’ll agree to something after we talk about the options :slight_smile: I’ll know for sure after Thursday though.

I think one of the huge benefits of seeing an Endo that is really “fresh” to the field is that she’s really open to my ideas and willing to try newer things than someone who has been doing it “one way” for 20+ years and is struggling just to stay current.

I have found that the only way to lose weight is to eat less and do some exercise. It is a constant battle. Recently my longest diabetic friend lost his second eye to diabetes and it was a major wake up call for me to address my issues with overall diabetic care. I felt very angry and sad and finally after visiting with him I decided to be more pro active with my care. Also the tudiabetes postings have helped me to eat less. Have you ever read the book “Sugar Blues?” If I stay away from foods that trigger me to over eat then I will not over eat. I would google the metformin-I had a friend that used a similar product and she stopped because of problems with it. There really is no quick fix. I think accountability and talking about your process on this web site will help. I agree that the exercise is not easy because of highs and lows. Audrey

I don’t know, I think there’s more to it than “just” eat less and exercise… for some people that is just NOT enough… it’s like suggesting that everyone who is fat is just lazy. It may be true for some but definitely NOT true for all.

I have Hashimoto’s in addition to T1, and I feel like the dose of Synthroid I am on (175mcg) contributes to some degree of IR (which is not helped by being overweight), which COMBINED with tight control, makes it more difficult to lost weight… it’s kind of a nasty cycle. No I don’t see drugs are “the” solution, but honestly it’s worth a shot to see if I can get my weight down to a point where I won’t need the extra help. I didn’t gain this weight overnight, and I don’t expect to lose it overnight either.

That said, I could have a higher A1C and drop weight pretty easily IF I WANTED TO, but that’s not the path I choose for myself… aside from being newly diagnosed and the few months following I’ve never had an A1C over 7%…

I also have had personal relationships with diabetics who have lost sight, legs, fingers and even their lives from this disease. I am well aware of the impact that excercise and food choices have on living with T1. The key word for me is living. I have a 4 year old that I am going to eat ice cream and pizza with AND manage my diabetes. I don’t want his childhood memories to be about his mom being diabetic. I am constantly researching and reading studies regarding treatment and therapies for T1.
In addition to my diabetes I have a history of duodunal ulcers and ulcerative colitis which restrict my diet greatly. I do exercise and carefully count my carbohydrates.
Because of my history I am very careful with medication but am willing to try things that could benefit my overall health weight being one of them. Much like opinions all individuals bodies use insulin in different ways. I was simply using this forum to ask if anyone had used this combination or knew anything about it.

Well, no Met for me… I had to walk out of my endo’s office because after waiting an hour and a half I just couldn’t wait ANY longer… I had to go pick my daughter up from preschool. Very very very frustrating and I am not very happy about it :frowning:

Now I have to reschedule and who knows when I will get another appointment :frowning:

I used symlin before metformin, but it gave me little results. I’m seeing better results from becoming vegetarian than I did with symlin. Once my body got used to it (and it is hell before you get used to it) I was eating just as much as before.

It makes sense because even people who take insulin (T1’s) can become insensitive to insulin (being overweight causes insensitivity problems). I asked my doc about it and she said if I am able to lose weight without metformin (I went off symlin about 2 months ago because it wasn’t doing anything for me anymore and I came to the conclusion that I am NOT amalyn deficient) that would be better. I just started eating vegetarian and am trying to limit myself to 45g or less of carbs a meal and I am seeing results: I have lost 6 lbs in 6 weeks!

My doctor said for her to prescribe metformin I would have to be taking at least 4 units an hour on my basal rates. And the more weight you lose, the lower your basal rates can be. And with lower basal rates and i:c ratios, the less weight you will gain. Weight gain is an issue with insulin users because of how the body processes synthetic insulin, but I personally don’t think that using any type of medication ment to treat another aspect of diabetes (amalyin deficency in the case of symalin and insulin insensitivity in the case of Metformin) should be the way endos go.

As far as your specific issue, I would of course advise you to go with what your endo advises and prescribes. I’m just going from personal experience here - I am about 100 lbs overweight and take between 1.5 and 2 u/hr as far as my basal rates go - I’d like to see my I:c ratios come down, and that’s why I am eating meticulously and exercising. Maybe when I get down to 10-15 lbs to go to my ideal weight, I will feel your pain. :slight_smile:

Leslie, did you have any luck getting metformin prescribed? I’m interested in asking my endo but am sure they’ll say no. I’m currently on symlin and it doesn’t seem to be reducing my insulin levels. Would like to decrease basals as well. I’ve been thinking about a second opinion somewhere but not sure which doctors to go to in the midwest?

I have been on MetCarbin (metformin) for the past 4 years and the day I went on to the pump, I WAS TOLD TO STOP TAKING IT, and Ir makes me a happy camper!