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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just diagnosed with diabetes last week. My blood sugar has never tested high but apparently there's some other blood marker that says I'm diabetic.

I've been put on Metformin and I don't know know what to do. I've been nauseous since the first day but the doctor said that it would make me nauseous and that was part of how it works. On the second day I started having vomiting and diarrhea. I hoped the nausea, vomiting and diarrhea would stop on their own so I gave it a couple days. I called and left a message with the nurse at my doctor's office on Thursday but they haven't returned my call. I'm desperate for some help because I'm also epileptic and I'm terrified that all this vomiting and diarrhea will interfere with my seizure meds just when my seizures have only been under control for just over a month. I'm also on a fever-reducer regimen and I'm afraid I'm not keeping enough Tylenol down to prevent the high fevers that cause me to have seizures, too. I'm vomiting six to ten times a day and I haven't had any normal bowel movements since I started Metformin.

I'm completely ignoring my doctor's advice to drink less water (he said my urine was too diluted and to cut back my water intake) at the moment due to the vomiting and diarrhea.

Years ago, I used to drink flat soda pop for vomiting but I can't now. I can't have aspartame (it sets off my seizures) and, obviously, I can't have regular pop. What can I do instead?

I'm already on a low calorie diet (1,000 calories/day) because I also have thyroid disease. I've even cut out fruit so all that's left is vegetables, a touch of whole grain, and fish a few times a week. I find I can't eat my normal low calorie diet foods with the nausea. I've been eating horrible for me crap like saltine crackers because they sometimes stay down. I also feel weak and I have felt faint a few times a day. I assume it's because I'm eating very little and very little is staying down it's not being properly processed if it does.

I also have lupus, vitamin D deficiency, and fibromyalgia as well as the diabetes, epilepsy and thyroid disease. My normal level of pain has gone up by probably triple and my pain medication isn't staying down. I wake up in the night throwing up. I'm also confused and extremely forgetful.

Please give me some advice on how to make this stop. Alternatively, please tell me how you live like this without having a breakdown. I can't think straight so I need some help figuring out what to do.

I have a doctor appointment on the third of October but I can't wait that long for relief.

I'm sorry my first post is all whining.
 

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Sorry you are having this type of reaction. I would go to the nearest med center and see what they say, you are probably going to have to stop the MET if thats whats making you ill.
 

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Just a couple of thoughts......
Are you eating with the metformin, even a few crackers? That helps with the upset tummy sometimes. For me, taking it on an empty stomach gives me problems with nausea. As far as the diarrhea goes, I've come to accept that. I have a very slow digestive system and it is a welcome relief (no pun intended)!
Are you checking your sugar levels? Maybe the metformin is dropping you too much. Especially if you aren't eating hardly anything.
And I'm not a Dr. but seems to me that dehydration would be an issue with the vomiting and diarrhea and he would encourage you to keep fluids going in.
Don't really know what to say to help you, just want you to know that we're here to listen and offer whatever we can based on our experiences.
 

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With your other auto-immune conditions, your doctor should rethink that T2 diagnosis and consider testing your c-peptide level and also testing you for GAD antibodies. I'll bet a better treatment program for you will involve insulin. If it were me, I'd stop the Metformin now and be aggressive with the doctor's office staff about getting an appointment right away.

Jen
 

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Metformin can indeed have terrible gastric side effects, that happened to me as well, though I didn't have nausea and vomiting. I switched to the extended release (ER) version and even then had to wait a month or more until my diarrhea stopped. But - waiting out the vomiting is a whole other kettle of fish ...

What dosage are you taking? And is it the regular or ER version? What were your lab results for blood sugar? Did your doc do an A1C? I'm puzzled by what 'blood marker' your doc is referring to ... maybe he meant your A1C?

If you are taking a minimal dose of metformin (500 mg), you are getting less benefit from a diabetes perspective than if you weren't taking it and weren't eating crackers, whole grain, and any other carbs from grains, potatoes, fruit, bread, milk, sugars of any sort, or starchy vegetables. You could replace the carb calories with fat calories, which would be kinder for a pre-diabetic (is that what your doc says you are?), keep you more satisfied, and help you lose weight if that's an issue - and even for having thyroid disease, you are eating very few calories.

If you do not have high blood sugar, and if the metformin is a minimal dose (500 mg), and if it was making me throw up all day - I'd stop taking it, and stop eating carbs from non-vegetable sources.

That said, you need to consult with a medical professional, which I'm not.

Welcome to the forum - and sorry you're here because of feeling so miserable!
 

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Metformin is a miracle drug but it doesn't work for everyone. There are some that are helped by the Extended ER version of metformin. Go to the metformin webpage and read about the side effects and how it interacts with other meds. You may be having a severe reaction and your doctor should deal with it right away. Can you tell us what your bgs were for them to dx you a diabetic? Many of us eat low carb but we don't eat low calorie. 1,000 calories is not very much. I would cut the whole grains out of your diet but add some protein and fat. You need to eat to keep up your strength. It may be that you have to switch the metformin for another med or even insulin. Also when you have a lot of autoimmune conditions it could be possible that you are LADA or Type 1.5, slow onset Type 1 which would eventually need insulin.
 

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Kylyssa? I'm not a doc either, but I think you should stop the metformin and get stabilized. Staying hydrated is a huge issue here, and you can't possibly stay hydrated when everything that doesn't come back up goes flushing out the other way. You're wise to ignore the doc's advice about drinking less water, but it may not be enough. Go to ER if you must - at least they can give you meds to stop the vomiting. I don't know if compazine is still used or not, but it used to work really well.

If I were you, I'd stop the metformin, and I would be very careful to not eat anything made with grain too - this will help keep your blood sugar down until you can find a doc who can figure out all the interactions of your differing illnesses. You're a complex patient, but not impossible. And if you don't hear from your doctor's office, then you may have to seek out a different doctor who IS available for a very ill patient on a weekend.

Everyone before as covered what comes to my mind, so I won't repeat. I'm sorry such a simple thing has erupted into a dangerous situation, and as I said - if I were you I would stop the metformin immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you to everyone for your helpful comments and most of all thank you for caring.

I don't know much about diabetes and I don't have a blood sugar testing device. My fasting blood sugar has never been above 83. I don't know what the other marker was called but the number was 7 and my doctor told me that it meant I have type two diabetes despite having a normal fasting blood sugar. The only other testing I've ever had was a friend tested me to show me how his glucose monitor worked last month. It was about two hours after eating and my blood sugar was 115.

I'm on 500mg metformin, once daily. It is just generic metformin and I don't think it's extended release or anything. I've been taking it with food. The doctor said we'd increase this dosage over time.

I have to stick to a low calorie diet to maintain my weight. I've been restricting my calories for over a year without any weight loss. If I eat any more, I gain weight. I don't think my thyroid condition is properly controlled because a fat person should lose weight on such a diet but if I deviate from it and average out to, say, 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day I will gain weight. My eyebrows are also completely missing in action.
 

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Kylyssa, the "marker" that returned a 7 was probably an HbA1C test. The results (very simply stated) reflect your average blood sugar over the previous 90 days, with emphasis on the previous 30. An A1C of 7 equates to average blood sugar of about 155, so if your fasting is 83, you've probably had a lot of fairly high highs.

Jen
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, so here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to stop the metformin and avoid all carbs not from green leafy vegetables until I can communicate with the doctor. If he's not available to advise me on Monday, I'll go to a med center.

Two days off it shouldn't be too big a deal. I was so confused, in pain, and almost drunk feeling that stopping it didn't even occur to me. When I read the first comment suggesting I stop it until I see the doctor, I thought, well, duh, why didn't that even occur to me? It's not like two days without it will kill me and seizures combined with vomiting actually could.

Thanks again. I couldn't have figured this out on my own in my current state.
 

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Good decision! You are not in any danger until you get this sorted out. Just eat low carb until it's done and be well fast. You scared me reading your first note!

Good luck,
 

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Yes, the 7 your physician referred to is your A1C, a measure of your blood sugar over roughly the last 3 months. Your fasting may be low, but you are probably spiking a lot after meals and after eating carbs (grains, etc)

You are not losing weight on such a low calorie diet because your body believes it's starving. I don't have thyroid issues, so don't know if this is useful, but here's one brief bit on low calorie with thyroid issues: Thyroid Diet Secrets: Are You Eating Enough Calories to Lose Weight? where they discuss the problem of eating too few calories.

I'm not sure a typical diet around here wouldn't also be valid for you with thyroid issues. I do not eat many fewer calories than I used to, but have navigated away from carbs and to fats as a replacement and have lost about 50 lbs this year so far. My story is common. It's a very easy diet, I'm not hungry, and my blood sugar numbers have plummeted as you can see in my sig. Just something to think about.

Your doc may support a low-carb diet, he may not. Many medical professionals advocate eating more carbs than the majority of diabetics on this forum can get away with.

Metformin is a great med, but not if you're throwing up! Ask your doc about the ER version. I think it would be worth trying again once you're stable off the regular. But - with an A1C of 7, it's entirely possible to manage your diabetes without any medication, just diet and exercise. People do it all the time starting at much higher numbers than you have. Since your fastings are good, you would need to start testing after meals to get a fix on what's really going on.

You might have seen reference to this link if you've read around the forum, but if not - bloodsugar101.com is a great primer on diabetes, and she backs everything up via cited research.

Focusing on diet will give you the most bang for your buck.
 

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Many people have normal fasting but very high after meal bgs. Also with some of us our liver has a mind of its own and when we don't eat enough it converts stored glycogen into glucose . Since you don't eat a lot that could be what is happening to you. Your metabolism has slowed down and your liver is trying to compensate with extra glucose. I would go out to Walmart and buy a Relion bg meter and strips and start taking your bg throughout the day to try to find what your bg pattern is. As said above an HbA1c of 7 is an average bg of 154 or so. That means for much of the day you may be spiking above 200. I know when it comes to dieting you would think the lower you go in calories the better off you are but that is not always true. The trick is to sped up your metabolism and you do this by eating real food.
 

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I have thyroid issues too, Kylyssa . . . half of mine was removed way back in the 70s, and I've been on levothyroxine (175mcg) for years. I also eat a low-carb/high-fat diet since I was diagnosed with diabetes 2½ years ago, and the two seem to be altogether compatible.

What you're hearing from the other members is exactly the physiological truth - when your body is deprived of food, it enters into a famine state of being, reducing your metabolism & conserving every gram of fat, in order to survive until the famine is over. This is not the most efficient way to lose weight. But as Moon says, your doc may support you or he may not. The medical community is fixated on what they were taught in medical school, and are often not very amenable to learning what actually WORKS! :crazy: :der:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I wanted to thank you all again for your help and to update you on how things are playing out.

I called my doctor again this morning and had to get pushy to talk to a nurse. The nurse was kind of useless and didn't know if I could safely stop the metformin or not and told me she'd talk to the doctor and I'd get a call back today or tomorrow.

Of course I already stopped the metformin and I've been keeping all my other meds down. I only threw up three times yesterday and only once today so it's a big improvement. Diarrhea has slowed down. I haven't had any more seizures (I had four over the weekend) or any more fainting (once on Saturday) and I haven't had any high fevers since a big one on Saturday of 104.1.

I decided that calling me back just whenever and having no advice on what to do in the meantime was not acceptable so I contacted my health plan. They had me stop by right away and gave me a blood glucose monitor and showed me how to use it plus told me about food planning etc.

The nurse/advocate of the health care plan also said I'm not miraculously a different person than I was last week (before diagnosis) and that cutting off the metformin until the doctor contacts me isn't going to hurt me but that aspirating vomit during a seizure and not keeping down my other meds sure could. I also need to be especially careful to follow my pain management regimen and take and keep down my anti-fever meds because my severe chronic pain and frequent high fevers (fevers daily, fevers over 103 two to five time a week) could be where my blood sugar spikes are coming from.

And, she told me I've got to eat more and that I can still have raspberries (I cried because raspberries are my favorite food and I thought I'd never get to have them again- I'm not usually that emotional but, it turns out my blood sugar was low, 55 - I felt like an idiot/ass anyway) and other fruit in moderation.

But, I really, really love my health plan advocate. She's going to contact my doctor's office and light a fire under them to get them to get back to me and to make a treatment plan for my diabetes and other illnesses. She's also going to hook me up with this free gym membership type thing that includes a personal trainer. Did I mention I love her?

Again, I want to thank all of you folks here for being caring and for giving me sound advice when I couldn't think straight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I took my friend in with me on my appointment today and I have to say that my doctor must have just been having a very bad day last week because he was perfectly reasonable today.
 

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That's good to hear, Kylyssa . . . or else he just doesn't want any witnesses around when he abuses his patients, eh? ;)
 

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Wow. I'm so glad you seem to be getting on track with your docs, Kylyssa. I also had a bad reaction to metformin last June, but not the usual. Kept waking up with awful headaches as though I was hung over. Also had spikes up and one episode of hypo with a BG of 43. Quit the metformin and replaced it with januvia and glimpiride. Also had bad reactions and quit oral meds altogether. Recently tested positive for GAD antibodies, so am headed for a new endo and treatment for T1.5. I keep noticing so many atypical reactions to standard therapies. Points up the fact that there is truly a great deal not known about these incredibly complex diseases. Also the really tremendous value of this forum, Shanny, et al, and the collective wisdom of the participants. I really appreciate the chance to share and learn!
 
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