What are the dangers to using Insulin/Metformin to bring glucose down while eating wrong?

By pixsidust Latest Reply 2015-09-19 20:08:47 -0500
Started 2011-04-30 12:57:01 -0500

What are the dangers to using Insulin/Metformin to bring glucose down while eating wrong?

My Co-worker eats anything he wants it seems. Breakfast at his desk is two large Hardees sausage egg biscuits. Lots of bread in those. Snack is a candy bar. Then there is soda, beer and dessert. He slams insulin with each meal and takes Metformin. He says his sugar is under control around 160. I never see him test. I asked him since he is not making any effort to curb his eating is he just relying on meds to regulate his blood sugar? He shrugged his shoulders with a nod.

What are the dangers of doing this?
Isn't our medication hard on our vital organs?
What does the roller coaster ride of our glucose levels do to our vital organs? Doesn't Metformin affect the kidneys?
What can I tell him to let him know this is not the right way to go

13 replies

KassiaP 2015-09-19 20:08:47 -0500 Report

I think your co-worker is a blessed guy for having you around - you care enough to inquire what to do!
I agree with James - it is denial. And that was my case. I was in that same situation using Metformin, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Chromium for a very long time. I never took insulin but I played around and of course I stopped measuring my blood sugar. But about 2 years ago I did not care at all. I ate anything I wanted and begin to suffer the consequences. And I am a NURSE! So I began to have yeast infections (sugar spilling on my urine!) and my left toe got numb - and I got really tired one day and it finally clicked that it was the high blood sugar! and I finally have health insurance after 3 years with no insurance.
I remember sitting in my cubicle and calling my MD for an appointment and somehow I mentioned diabetes and the secretary told me she had a diabetes educator and I scheduled an appointment for that week.
I had to face 2 things. 1- I was extremellllllllly resentful that I had stop eating the food I loved.
But I told her - on a scale from 1-10 my resentment level is an 11 today. But I will do what I have to. She put me on Insulin - and I cried. Cried and told her that I was going to gain weight etc. She told me that I could do the diet and not gain weight. But I can not tell you precisily what took me to that decision to change. Its a combination of things.
Food for me is a very emotional issue. Its also a control issue. I eat to cope with things. So for me is not a question of only knowing what to do. There is a huge emotional cause. I am still reading a book called Emotional Eating and Diabetes Burnout that really helps me.
In my opinion - if you have the freedom and the level of friendship with him that I could say something - it would be that its always about choice - and that the consequences are real.
I think one thing that is helping me right now is that the paleo/keto diet I can still enjoy eggs, bacon, cheese, olives, ham and other things that I can still eat. Don't take me wrong. I love carbs but I really choose not to eat it now. Its a battle that some days I really resent it. But I would never be able to do it unless I had my family and friends to do it. Lets pray that God uses you and gives you wisdom for when to say something and when to just be there as a good friend. Your example on how you eat sometimes speaks louder than any words!

jigsaw 2013-11-15 07:17:15 -0600 Report

According to every doctor( I question all my doc and pharmacists) and pharmacist that I have asked, if you have healthy kidneys, then Met will not hurt them. On the other hand, if you have kidney problems, it is clearly stated that you should not take Metformin. There is no medical history of Met causing a person with healthy kidneys to be damaged by metformin. It is imperative for a diabetic to have their kidney function checked regularly especially while on Metformin, because High blood sugar, and hi blood pressure ( both common in diabetics) can cause kidney damage and then Met would become a risk. I took metformin with insulin, as well as Met by iself for a few years. My kidneys are still working well, as my frequent checkups confirm.
According to my endo, the most common side effect of insulin is weight gain. Currently, I only take insulin and it is quite a bit of effort to keep my weight under control.

Dog Dan
Dog Dan 2011-05-07 18:48:18 -0500 Report

I have had swelling in my feet and legs, sometimes my pants would be titer on my legs and I had trouble getting my pants off. I have been in real pain for over 5 years. Sometime I would be bed ridden. One day on the internet I read the side effects of Landis a 24 hour insulin that I was taking and I had every symptom and more. About 4 weeks ago I quit Landis most of my swelling is gone and the pain is down to the point I can walk and work for a hour.

Frank Fermier
Frank Fermier 2013-09-30 15:14:16 -0500 Report

You have been taking Lantus Insulin for five years, and still don't how to spell it?

Vazzie 2014-09-23 13:31:56 -0500 Report

/head falls to desk, Unable to spell Lantus?!? I am more concerned they can't spell tighter right! (sometimes my pants would be titer on my legs and I had trouble getting my pants off.) Really? Titer? lol

jayabee52 2013-11-15 02:48:26 -0600 Report

no need to pick on Dan because he misspelled Lantus. Every so often we ALL have a finger slip onto the wrong letter(s). Plus, we are here to support, one another, not to tear down.

Harlen 2011-04-30 19:14:55 -0500 Report

I will give it to you in the sort way
You can Die ,go into a coma or even get fat lol
Best wishes

jayabee52 2011-04-30 17:24:07 -0500 Report

Howdy Christy!
Sounds to me like your co-worker is in DENIAL (not-a-river-in-Egypt!) And 160 is NOT in control IMO! Controlling it in my book is a Blood Glucose range of 80 to 120.

I believe you're right about Met being hard on one's kidneys. I have come to believe that Met was at least part of the reason my kidneys got infected and shut down, and I had to go on hemodialysis for 10 mos. I was fortunate (blessed by God) that I didn't die in the 5 days I had collapsed on my bedroom floor before I my son took me to the ER and the ICU, where I was put on hemodialysis. God blessed me that I didn't have to do dialysis for the rest of my life, only 10 mos — although when I started dialysis I thought it very well could be for the rest of my life.

And about the dangers of doing insulin, I googled "Insulin side effects" and got this from Drugs.com: http://www.drugs.com/sfx/insulin-side-effects... And at the bottom of that I also noted this pamphlet which looked interesting: http://www.drugs.com/cdi/insulin.html

I suspect your co-worker is heavy. I'm guessing that from the things you report he's eating.

Taking insulin often can move our bodies to store up fat. Here's a discussion on this here in DC: http://www.diabeticconnect.com/discussions/28...

Extra fat can cause insulin resistance, causing a incresting spiral of insulin use and fat gain. PLUS all the adipose (fat) tissue must be supplied with blood capillaries, and that can raise one's blood pressure.

Many of us Persons with Diabetes ("PWDs") NEED insulin to control our BG#s and for us t2s especially it can be a catch-22 situation.

But you don't want to be your co-worker's "diabetes police". I suspect you hate that as do I. And there's a PWD here in my apt complex who uses the computer room with me, and has recently had a big toe amputated. In fact he just got his wound vac discontinued yesterday. He eats potatoes, pasta, and ho-ho cakes. I have to bite my lip and tongue to keep from doing the diabetes police number on him. I keep encouraging him to sign up for DC, but so far he's not doing it. He prefers fooling around on facebook. But I intend to gently keep after him. We're becoming closer friends, and I pray he'll eventually join us, and learn what he needs to learn to better control his diabetes.

Invite your co-worker to DC. Gently keep it up. I will pray that he joins us before it's too late.

My denial of diabetes, left me with several complications. I have the pain and burning of neuropathy in my feet and calves. Tingling neuro. in my fingers, hands and in my groin. I have ED. My male organs seem completely dead as far as pleasuring myself or a signifigant other goes. My kidneys are very weak, and I may eventually have to return to dialysis. I have also IBS which is exacerbated by the DM, IMO. I have also had ministrokes - 4 at last count - which has caused my balance to be challenged. Because I couldn't balance correctly, I had to give up a job as a CNA. I couldn't lift and transfer patients from bed to wheelchair or anywhere else when I was unsure I could stand up. And now I walk strangely because my gait is affected. And, I believe that because of the ministrokes, my temp regulation is off. I used to be a very warm blooded fella. Now I can't get warm enough. And I've noted that my ability to sense water temps for my shower is messed up with my right hand. Thank God my left hand seems to sense the temp correctly.

My complications are painful and mostly irritating. There are a lot more SERIOUS complications which I could have, but Thank God I don't — yet.

Christy, I pray you can convince your co-worker friend to come out of his denial and join us and learn all he can about controlling his diabetes better.

Blessings to you and yours, Christy

James Baker

pixsidust 2011-05-01 14:11:57 -0500 Report

Thank you for such an in depth reply. He is not fat, might need to lose 15-20 pounds tops to be at his fighting weight. I am worried about him. we have three Diabetics in my office of thirty, myself included. I have a fabulous support, & friendship with the other Diabetic, Anne Marie and really like Greg. He is a great guy! We both see him using the meds for his control without giving them help by his own eating habits. I would like to give him as much food for thought to make the changes without sounding like a mere nosy body or nag. I told him I read about those who had kidney problems and if I remember correctly they attributed it to prolonged metformin usage.

James you are a good man and I am sorry for your suffering. I will keep you in my prayers. Thanks for being here, sharing of your faith, time and knowledge!

jayabee52 2011-05-02 01:01:43 -0500 Report

Got YOU fooled Christy! (Just kidding!)

Seriously, thank you.

Frank Fermier
Frank Fermier 2013-09-30 15:20:58 -0500 Report

Got YOU fooled Christy! (Just kidding!)

Seems like not something to be kidding about. You mean the story about your ill health is made up?

jayabee52 2013-11-15 02:40:19 -0600 Report

no I was referring to what she said "You are a good man" when I said "got you fooled" The incidents I recount were real.

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