Metformin Side Effect

When my endo suggested Metformin, the first thing I did was bring up the gastro side effects. He handed me the XR version and told me that IF people get side effects, they're very mild and last for about three days. He made it sound like nothing to worry about, like it would be easy to ignore.

Though he doesn't want me to start it until after he sees my blood results, he asked me to try it over the weekend. He told me to take a pill and eat everything I want to. The point was to see if I could get my blood sugar high--if not, then it works and I'm set.

So I took one today. Just because I was told to push it, I did. I had TWO cups of sparkling grape juice (something I haven't done since being diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia four years ago), white bread, and some high sugar and carb foods. My blood sugar just hit 130. Wonderful. No headache, no dizziness, no exhaustion, no heart racing. Perfect, right?

Well, that minor side effect that my endo told me wouldn't be an issue isn't as minor as I was led to believe. On top of the horrible stomach cramps, I've also had some diarrhea. I also had some minor nausea, but I can live with that for a few days.

Does this go away? I'm taking 500 mg, so the dose can't really be lowered to build me up. I can live with this for a few days or even a week if it means being free to eat some carbs again (healthy--nothing like what I did today to test the Metformin's usefulness). But I'm in school and I can't leave a class three times to go to the bathroom. I also have an exam on Wednesday and there's NO way I can deal with those stomach cramps while trying to decipher electric circuits.

Does anyone know if there are any OTC medications I can take that might work for this? Just to get me through the first few days? I have a two and a half hour travel tomorrow morning with no bathroom access...BAD idea, considering. And, like I said, I have a HUGE Physics test on Wednesday and I'm not going to get much studying done with the pain I've been in.

Any advice? Suggestions? Reassurance that it goes away? Anything I can take?

Thank you in advance!

For most it does go away but not for everyone. Give it a little while. It may take a while for your body to adjust. Hope It works for you. It helps a lot of people

I had the same side effects when I initially took Metformine. Im also on 500 mg once daily...My doctor suggested that I take the pill during mealtime. Taking it with some food already in my stomach helped with the discomforts...It took me a few weeks for all side effects to go away. Though side effects vary individually. Talk to your doctor about it. Its also best you ask what you can take for the discomfort since it may have interaction with Metformine.

Thanks! I took the pill on a full stomach (having been warned previously). I miss Januvia, which I was able to take first thing in the morning.

Also, I never thought to ask about possible interactions with the Metformin. Thanks! I'll ask him when I call him this week about the bloods and the possibility of taking Metformin long-term.

I don't understand this, it's my impression this is not how Metformin works - take a pill and eat what you want.

Many say that Metformine is a relatively safe drug...but it is still advisable to consult your doctor before taking any other medications with it. Just to be safe :) Just like the other members who commented, I am also concerned when your doctor said to "take a pill and eat everything you want to..." Im hoping you misunderstood or misheard him. Metformine does not work that way...Low carb diet is still recommended.

He didn't tell me to go and eat whatever I want on a regular basis. For the past four months, I've been eating almost no carbs, since that was the only way I could control my blood sugar. He wanted to see whether or not the Metformin would be effective, so he told me that for ONE MEAL I should eat any carbs I want to, to see if the Metformin would really work. After that, I'm to go back to the way I was before he took me off most carbs (low-carb, whole grains, etc).

That being said, I also think he's skeptical that I have IR. I'm 20, young, and about four pounds overweight. I don't have a strong family history of Type 2. I have a very strong history of autoimmune, even though the antibody panel he did for Type 1 came back negative when he did it two years ago. I think part of what he wanted to see from that experiment was whether it actually is IR in the first place. If the Met worked, then it is. If not, then it's something else. What's the best way to test the Met to see if it's really IR? Eat a high-carb meal and see what happens.

Even if it does help you with your numbers right now, I wouldn't fully drop the thought of LADA/T1 out of your thought process. Metformin and diet and exercise worked OK for me at diagnosis, while my pancreas was still sputtering along, but insulin was always in the future. Actually, my endo still has me on the metformin, with the thought that it's helping keep my insulin use low.
Keep in mind that it can take a couple of weeks for metformin to become effective, so if you can muddle through the gastric distress, it may be better to try your 1-meal experiment until the medicine has had a chance to really get working

Roodgirl is right, metformin and other drugs can improve your blood sugar control if you are LADA/T1. It just makes sense, they make your body more sensitive to insulin and the remaining insulin works better. But if you are actually LADA/T1, your blood sugar control will eventually degrade and you will need to move to insulin. And you should not wait until things get really bad before moving to insulin, you should move to insulin early. The longer you can keep your blood sugar in normal ranges, the more beta cells you can preserve. Keeping those remaining beta cells matters.

The tests for LADA/T1 are the three antibody tests (GAD, ICA and IA2). Testing positive for any one of the three antibodies is suggestive of LADA/T1. But tests are not perfect as only 85-90% of T1s test positive for one or more antibodies. You still depend on sound and competent judgement from you endo.

I tried the Metformin test yesterday and it worked perfectly.

Also, my last two insulin levels were high. That also pretty much rules out T1 or LADA, no matter whether the antibodies come back negative or not. With me in general, I find that tests tend to come back negative when they shouldn't, but that c-peptide was definitely not at a T1/LADA level.