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I am 54 years old. Female. I believe I am relatively healthy. I am overweight, and I am starting to work on that. I weight 290 and I am 5'6' tall. I do have high blood pressure and take medicine for it, and I take medicine for triglycerides. That is the only medicine I am currently on.

A few months ago my doctor says I am borderline diabetic (type 2). That we will keep watching it. He sends me home with a testing kit, and tells me to keep track of it on a daily basis. I did this, took the results back to him 2 weeks later. He looks at it, says I am still borderline. I could take medicine, or not. He leaves it up to me. So, of course I opt not to take medicine, that I may or may not need. So, a month goes by, and I go back to my doctor, and show him a months wok of glucose testing readings. He says, still borderline, but prescribes me Metformin, which is a drug I'm sure a lot here are aware of.

I asked him, if I start taking this, will I ever be able to stop? He said not really, there have been some cases that if the person lost a significant amount of weight, they can come off the drug, but most likely not.

I have a fear of taking medicines for diabetes. Can I ever stop taking it if my weight does change enough? Will prolonged use of diabetes medication cause my organs to fail later in life? I have heard that people that take diabetes medicines gain even more weight? If I miss a dose can I go into diabetic shock or have a seizure? If I start taking the medicine can I NOT eat certain foods? What happens if I don't take it? I have tried to question my doctor about this, and he just doesn't seem to have enough time. I can't switch doctors on my plan until April 2012.

Is there someplace here that I can go to that will answer these questions for me, any help would be appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the forum Trixlette - good that you are asking questions now, wanting to learn about diabetes, so you can head off complications later on.

You didn't say what your blood sugar testings numbers are, but you didn't mention anything about diet. I take metformin, but the single most important thing I do for my diabetes is manage my diet by eating low carb and high fat. By doing this I have improved my cholesterol (if you're taking a statin, it's actually not doing your triglycerides much good - cutting carbs is what will bring that number down), lost almost 50 lbs, and gotten my blood sugar under control.

I do take metformin, but I was not borderline diabetic at diagnosis. Don't agree with your doc that you can never stop taking it. If you are so-called pre-diabetic, you can absolutely control your diabetes without medication but diet is even more important than weight management in doing this.

Weight gain with diabetes medication that you hear about is typically insulin-related. Metformin has the opposite effect via controlling appetite in many to most people.

If you go to the website bloodsugar101.com, it has a wealth of easily-digested and important information about diabetes, all backed up by studies.

Thanks for joining us!
 
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You also did not say whether you are able or not to exercise or if you exercise. Many people that have prediabetes (the correct, but still not a good term) are able to come off medications once they have lost some weight (you also did not disclose this need) and become active. Many people who remain sedentary can gain weight on insulin, but many do not because they reduce their carbohydrates and become active.

Moon gave you a good reference and here is the link to click on and go directly to the site -
Blood Sugar 101

Even many people with type 2 are able to get off medications once they become active and eat more healthy - less carbs, medium to high fat, and slightly increased protein. Get rid of the rice, potatoes, pasta, and highly processed convenience foods. Avoid fast food if at all possible and talk to your doctor about an exercise regimen and you should be able to get off medications.

I also suggest Metformin XR (extended release) because if taken just before a meal, you should have less of the side effects.

Please learn about diabetes medications and do not rely on myths as diabetes is serious and must be treated as such to manage it properly.
 

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Metformin is the safest of all diabetes drugs for most people; it combats insulin resistance, which is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes. It does not negatively impact your organs - not even your pancreas, which is often the culprit in diabetes. The damage to organs is caused by untreated diabetes - the high levels of glucose in the blood. If you take metformin, it will help your liver stop dumping glucose into your bloodstream, and facilitate uptake of available insulin into your cells. It will also curb your appetite, making weight loss easier. It works very well with a low-carb/high-fat diet. It isn't meant to work like insulin, so you can't continue eating large amounts of carbs - it just isn't calculated to cover great amounts of carb.

If you don't take it, your insulin resistance will continue unabated, the liver will continue dumping glucose, and your cells will still not be able to access the available insulin.

Welcome to DF, Trixlette . . . it really IS hard when the docs aren't forthcoming with information, and y'know what I think? I think they really DON'T KNOW, but they won't admit that.
 

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As all above have said, just taking pills is not enough.

Exercise and diet each trump the effects of any medication that can be prescribed for you.

I think it is Blood sugar 101 that shows by what %age each component may improve blood sugars ... forgive me if I am wrong. I did read them somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much for the warm welcome!!!

Here are the readings I gave the doctor:
This was before I ate anything:

Sun-118; Mon-131; Tues-129; Wed-112; Thurs-144; Fri-99; Sat-116

These taken after eating:

Sun-156; Mon-170; Tues-188; Wed-141;Thurs-192; Fri-134; Sat-155

As for exercise I was sedentary, and have just started walking to begin with. I have been trying for 30 mins a day, but to start with I am doing 20, and going to work my way up. It's hard for me just starting out. But I am trying. I will go to the site recommended, and start to try and put myself together a healthy diet.

TY so much for the information and advice you have given me, you don't know how much it is appreciated :)
 

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From your readings, I would not call you borderline, but diabetic. I think you're on the right track taking metformin for now while you adjust and tweak your diet.

The after-meal readings - how long after eating did you take those? A good strategy is to also write down what you ate so as you modify your diet you can see what foods, and what combinations, seem to spike you and also which don't. You'll be getting a great education on bloodsugar101.com :)

Diabetes isn't something to be scared about, nor is metformin. You'll hear a lot of people say that they're healthier since diagnosis than before because it was the kick in the pants <raising hand> they needed to pay more attention to their health.
 

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I agree. Your fasting readings aren't great (They're often worse than mine, and as a diabetic I find mine high), and your post-meal readings are far too high.

This was before I ate anything:

Sun-118; Mon-131; Tues-129; Wed-112; Thurs-144; Fri-99; Sat-116

These taken after eating:

Sun-156; Mon-170; Tues-188; Wed-141;Thurs-192; Fri-134; Sat-155
This is NOT borderline. This is diabetes based on all current diagnostic criteria. (your doc may not be up on what's current unless they're a specialist in the field... and even then ... it doesn't always happen)

Oh, and :welcome: to the forum.

Regarding your readings - anything over 140 is damaging your body, and seriously.

The best thing you can do is lower your blood glucose by diet asap, and start on an exercise program.

Read "how to lower your blood sugar" at bloodsugar101.com - it's the first place to start.

Remember all carbohydrate becomes glucose. Certain foods are packed with more of it than others, and some quicker digesting than others. Aside from sugars, things like Potatoes, Corn, flour and rice (especially white) and many other grains are what's spiking you. Your best source of carbohydrate is non-starchy veggies.

Remember though, when you cut carbohydrate you MUST increase another macronutrient to ensure you get sufficient calories - most of us increase fat. And no, fats are NOT unhealthy. To be more specific, NATURAL fats are not unhealthy. Animal fats (meat, poultry, fish, butter, cheese), things like coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, peanut oil, etc., are all great. Any oil that needs to be 'refined' to create it should probably be avoided. (They 'refine' gasoline... I certainly wouldn't ingest anything 'refined'...)

A great place to learn about LCHF (Low-Carb High-Fat) diets is Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt's website. He's got a good introductory write-up on it here.

If you cut your sugars and starches, eat LCHF, and do some regular exercise (try for at least 30 minutes daily if possible) you'll find the pounds start to come off, your numbers will improve and you'll be much healthier.

And do NOT be afraid of metformin. Many people LOSE weight on it. It's the best diabetes drug for a Type II to start on. And yes, you may - with proper diet and exercise - be able to reduce or stop taking meds. But we are ALL different.
 

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I am 54 years old. Female. I believe I am relatively healthy. I am overweight, and I am starting to work on that. I weight 290 and I am 5'6' tall. I do have high blood pressure and take medicine for it, and I take medicine for triglycerides. That is the only medicine I am currently on.

A few months ago my doctor says I am borderline diabetic (type 2). That we will keep watching it. He sends me home with a testing kit, and tells me to keep track of it on a daily basis. I did this, took the results back to him 2 weeks later. He looks at it, says I am still borderline. I could take medicine, or not. He leaves it up to me. So, of course I opt not to take medicine, that I may or may not need. So, a month goes by, and I go back to my doctor, and show him a months wok of glucose testing readings. He says, still borderline, but prescribes me Metformin, which is a drug I'm sure a lot here are aware of.

I asked him, if I start taking this, will I ever be able to stop? He said not really, there have been some cases that if the person lost a significant amount of weight, they can come off the drug, but most likely not.

I have a fear of taking medicines for diabetes. Can I ever stop taking it if my weight does change enough? Will prolonged use of diabetes medication cause my organs to fail later in life? I have heard that people that take diabetes medicines gain even more weight? If I miss a dose can I go into diabetic shock or have a seizure? If I start taking the medicine can I NOT eat certain foods? What happens if I don't take it? I have tried to question my doctor about this, and he just doesn't seem to have enough time. I can't switch doctors on my plan until April 2012.

Is there someplace here that I can go to that will answer these questions for me, any help would be appreciated.
Hi Trixlette,

The only thing you should worried about right now is the damage these high sugars are doing to your organs. Dont be fearful of medicines, or even insulin for that matter.

Ever since my diagnosis I've made up my mind that I will not fear medicines. I am even ready to go on insulin if thats what it takes to keep my BG levels low and my organs safe.

You have lots of weight to loose. I also face the same issue. It's good that you have made a start.

Your numbers are bad. But not as bad as most of us were at diagnosis. A Fasting of over 126 is technically defined as diabeties.

Most medications are not addictive, especially in type 2 diabetics. There are so many people here on the forum who were on medicines and insulin and after getting strong control they are now managing without medicines (eg... John.in.France, ThoseBackPages). So if anyone tells you it is not possible, it's wrong.

My mom has been a diabetic and was overweight. Few years back she lost all her excess weight by watching her diet and doing an Indian form of exercise called "Yoga". She came of insulin and in some time off most tablets (unfortunately she did not keep her weight down and is back on insulin again). Any exercise is good. Start with just doing a walk. Slowly increase your speed. Fortunately for us "walking" is the best exercise for diabetics

To start with cut of all breads, potatoes, rice (carbohydrates) from your meal. You'll see the benfits very soon

Welcome to the forum ! Keep visiting here, ask questions and post your experiences and thought.
 

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Welcome to DF. I don't know why doctors are still using the word borderline, it is very deceptive. Normal bgs tend to be in the 70-100 range for fastings and rarely over 110-120 after eating. So if you are going above this something is going wrong with your endocrine system. As you said you are overweight . Can you tell us what you normally eat on a daily basis. One of the first things I had to learn as a diabetic was that my D body could not handle many carbs at a meal. So I had to give up bread, cereal, fruit, rice, pasta, etc. I still eat almost 2000 calories a day but they are low carb calories. The nice thing about using a low carb diet to manage my diabetes is that I have also lost weight even though I eat a lot of fat. I am a full blown diabetic and I like to keep my bgs below 100. I would not be afraid of medication if you need it. I think metformin is a wonder drug. The damage from bgs that are too high could be doing irreversible damage to your blood vessels. When I was dx'd almost 5 years ago, even though I was an early diabetic my eye doctor already detected blood vessel damage in my eyes. I would like to keep my sight, toes, feet, kidneys and avoid heart attack and strokes. So I do take the maximum amount of metformin every day. I also try to exercise 1-2 hours every day and keep my weight in a normal range. I know this is difficult as you age but many of us have done it. Did you have an HbA1c done. For a diabetic keeping it under 6 is a good idea.

I also think many doctors are used to seeing very high bgs in the ER with diabetics in DKA. So when they see bgs 200 and below they don't freak out. Well, they should freak out because damage is still being done at those lower levels. I was dx'd with a fasting of 240 and doctor said I didn't need medication , either. When I started to do my own research I found what damage I was doing to my body. So I did ask for metformin and thank God every day for it. Before diabetes I thought I was relatively healthy too. I was a vegetarian, I worked out 2-3 hours a day, I was very muscular and wore a small size. When I was dx'd it hit me like a ton of bricks. All my friends thought it must be a mistake because I looked so healthy. But no one can see the internal damage that high bgs do inside your body. It is a silent killer.
 

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Did your Doc order an Ha1c before he just concluded that you were "borderline" Diabetic? When I was diagnosed back in 1998 my fasting bg was 147, but my Ha1c was 7.4.

The Ha1c gives and indication of your average BGs on a 24-hour basis for the prior 3 months.

I agree with what others have said. The Metformin is a very old drug and excellent for treating Diabetes Type 2.

If you Doc hasn't run an Ha1c, ask him to do so. :)
 
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