Monthly Archives: December 2007

What I wish I had known about metformin.

DISCLAIMER:  I am not a medical professional. If you have concerns about a medication or symptoms, you should contact your doctor. I only write about what works (and doesn’t work) for me in my diabetes care, so please realize that what works (and doesn’t work) for me may not work for you. Thank you.


This week marks six months since I started taking metformin. Happy with A1C results, not happy with the side effects.

Things I have learned about the drug:

  1. I take my recommended dose during or after a meal. Although I can handle taking my evening dose before dinner, I cannot tolerate taking my morning dose before breakfast.
  2. My fasting blood sugar readings are now almost consistently under 110, with only a day or two in the 130′s thanks to female hormones. Before metformin, even with strict diet and exercise, I was consistently in the 120′s, with an entire week in the 130′s and 140′s thanks to female hormones. I’ve seen similar success with post-prandials, with no more 100-point spikes after breakfast (and no more embarassing need to find a bathroom quickly with a full bladder).
  3. Three weeks out of the month, I have no issues with tolerating metformin. Again, thanks to female hormones, one week of the month is horrible with regards to side effects. I figured out that part of the problem might be with ibuprofen, after experiencing the same issue after taking it for hip pain in the middle of the month. Going without ibuprofen has helped some, but not completely.

I will be getting a full blood work-up early in 2008, so I will be curious to see how my cholesterol looks after several months on metformin. It was excellent back in July 2006, so I am hoping not much has changed.

Diet is a four-letter word.

I don’t believe in diets anymore.

I believe in permanent lifestyle changes.

I follow three principles:

  • Exercising most days of the week.
  • Limiting processed food, especially those containing high fructose corn syrup and white flour. (By the way, even some of the major weight loss companies sell food that is full of CRAP.)
  • Being comfortable with my weight, even though the number on the scale sometimes makes me cringe. As long as my lipids and A1C continue to look excellent, I must be doing something right. I may never be a size 8 again, but I feel much healthier at size 12 than I ever did overeating and being inactive at size 16…or undereating and being inactive at size 8.

The meter knows best.

The scale means nothing.

The meter means everything.

It has been sixteen days since my pledge to exercise daily during the holiday season. Although I missed yesterday, I averaged nearly 180 minutes of exercise each week in the first two weeks of said pledge.

The scale hasn’t budged. And that is fine by me.

The meter’s 30-day average has fallen from 132 to 119. In two weeks.


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