Suggestions on over the counter products that can help lower blood sugar

By Jesse82 Latest Reply 2013-01-07 08:21:46 -0600
Started 2013-01-03 17:46:45 -0600

Is there anything I can take in conjunction with metformin to help lower my blood sugar? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

15 replies

hughsbayou 2013-01-05 09:35:43 -0600 Report

I was diagnosed with T2 almost two years ago. I was also about 45 lbs overweight. I went on 500 mg of Metformin twice a day and cut carbs from my diet using the Protein Power type advice. I immediately lost 10 lbs mostly due to water retention loss and then steadily for the next three months lost another 30 lbs. It was tough going on a strict low carb diet but after about three weeks I was adjusted to it. I also started taking fish oil and a good multi vitamin called Douglas Labs Preventative 10, but the big discovery was Benfotiamine. In my research I discovered that diabetics are about 70% deficient in Thiamine because B-1 is water soluble and if diabetic there is a tendency to urinate a lot. Benfotiamine, a fat soluble B-1 substitute developed in Germany, replaces thiamine and remains in the cells. Why is this important? It seems that B-1 is essential to the utilization of glucose for energy in the cell. Without it the cells do not take in the glucose or utilize it leaving it in the blood stream. This stuff is very cheap and has no know side effects. I've been taking it for about almost two years now and the results are great. I have not taken Metformin regularly for the last year. I've had blood work done three times now over that period and all of my numbers are well within normal now. If one didn't know they would say I was not at risk for diabetes nor, according to my numbers, do I have it any longer. That conclusion would be false however as I find that if I stray from my diet my BG number rises above what is consider optimal pretty quickly. I keep some Metformin handy as if that happens I'll take a half a pill and that usually does the job. Now the big advantage of the diet (and moderate exercise) program along with the supplements is that I never have sudden low BG. That is a problem with a chemical like Metformin as quite often if you take it and don't eat enough you can have a low glucose incident which is pretty unpleasant. My triglycerides dropped from a dangerous 300 to an optimal 80 and have remained there. My weight has stabilized at about 165 which is ideal for me. It's been stable for about a year and a half now. My doctor calls me the poster child for what to do about mild T2 diabetes. I can't say that this will work for everyone but it sure has for me. I find, in conversations with some diabetic friends, that they don't really stick to the diet and continue to eat grains, rice and potatoes all of which I no longer eat except for a small bowl of multi-grain cooked cereal in the morning and those multi-grain thin sandwich buns that I use for my lunch. It's mostly meat and vegetables all the time. I buy grass fed beef, free range chicken and organically grown pork as well as a fair amount of fish. Seems more expensive but it turns out not so bad.

old biker
old biker 2013-01-05 09:33:38 -0600 Report

Hi Jesse If I was you I wouldn't worry about it to much. You said your A1c was 6.5 that means your average BS was 135..You are doing good my friend, 7 and under on your A1c is good…Being an OTR trucker I would worry about my BS dropping to low, Which can leave you disoriented more then a spike in numbers after a meal. Check your numbers 2 hrs after eating for a better understanding of what you can and can't eat

tabby9146 2013-01-05 09:08:16 -0600 Report

I've heard about the ones Gabby mentioned and vinegar too a balsamic vinegar dressing had me low one time, after eating at Ruby Tuesday, I had edamame, big salad with lots of veggies, just ate from salad bar, some other beans, and had that dressing ,and it wasn't an hour later, I was low so since then, when I have that dressing, I make sure to eat more carbs, but that is just me. might not affect everyone that way

Jesse82 2013-01-04 15:25:07 -0600 Report

Over the road

Nick1962 2013-01-04 15:58:33 -0600 Report

Thats even tougher. It's not like you can just park at a grocery store and fill the fridge with lettuce and salad fixins. That said, maybe smaller portions (with snacks in between like nuts and beef jerky) and healthier options when available might do the trick. I'd still check with your doc to make sure meds are in the right range(s).
There are a few OTR's here that have had some good ideas on keeping control. Might want to start a new post with "trucker" or something in the title if you still need more. Best to you!

Jesse82 2013-01-04 15:17:07 -0600 Report

Thanks Nick. That helps a lot.

Nick1962 2013-01-04 15:23:58 -0600 Report

Yeah, it sound like this could be lessened if you took a look at your diet. Road days are always a PITA for me even being T2. Doing it daily as a T1 really has to take some work, (and a cooler or fridge in the truck). Are you OTR or short haul? Just curious. Last A1c says you're doing something right, highs and all though!

Jesse82 2013-01-04 14:41:05 -0600 Report

Well being a truck driver diet is a big part of it. My last A1C was 6.5. The problem is the spikes after meals.

Nick1962 2013-01-04 15:09:55 -0600 Report

Ok I can understand the issue better now. I don’t drive a truck, but I drive a computer 8+ hours a day, so my activity level is pretty low during the week. During those times I do get out, I’m often stuck in a car or truck traveling. I’m guessing you don’t pack meals for yourself and probably eat what’s available. This was the hardest thing for me to do on “road days” because I’d often be out before breakfast (which was McDonald’s on the road), work through lunch or go to lunch with clients, then grab something small like a gas station hot dog on the way home for dinner. I got into the habit of packing a lunch – usually similar foods each day I knew didn’t spike me too bad. Breakfast was an apple or orange on the road, but if I was going to watch myself, or know I might skip lunch, an egg mcmuffin in addition for fuel at my first rest stop.
It’s really boring, and can’t always be adhered to, but if you can set up a near constant food routine, it helps a lot. If a client wanted to buy lunch, luckily where I live BBQ buffets are big so I could fill up on pulled pork and salad and avoid carbs (and of course my “good old boy” clients usually did too – just three times as much). Other than that, I try to eat smaller meals and snack more in between. That way your carb hit is smaller per meal and less spike. That any help?

Nick1962 2013-01-04 13:56:05 -0600 Report

I’m thinking a little differently than the others. What is it that makes your BG’s high? Do you know? Are you miscalculating your insulin/carb intake? Is it a medical issue or simply a nutritional issue? I don’t know that I’d offer any suggestions without first knowing what your medical professional(s) have tried to do about it. If you’re numbers are high, as a T1 my first reaction is talk to your doctor about your meds and insulin. If however you’re looking for something OTC to counteract bad habits, in the long run nothing will do that.

type1skillset 2013-01-03 21:22:27 -0600 Report

Hi Jesse,
My suggestion is simple. If you are not getting results early with Metformin, then time to add another therapy. Whilst Joyce is correct in saying everyone responds differently to meds, if you are not getting your sugars in target after 3 months, then time to move to the next line of therapy. If you want an overview of some of your options, I have done a summary at this location (no pressure to visit it, I just write it in one place so I don't have to rewrite the same thing over and over :))

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-01-03 20:36:23 -0600 Report

Diabetes is different for each of us. What works for some may not work at all for you. If you are looking for a quick fix, that is not the wisest thing to do. Lowering your blood sugar takes time, hard work and perseverance.

If you do decide to go that route, I would do as Gabby suggested and do some research. Keep in mind that just because a supplement says it will do something does not mean it will. I know people who take Vitamin C to ward off colds. It does not do that for me. If you do try them, do not get disappointed if they don't work. There is no such thing as a quick fix. Good luck

EJMac 2013-01-03 19:39:53 -0600 Report

I hear that PGX fiber pills helps to lower blood sugar if taken before meals. You can get it at any health store.

GabbyPA 2013-01-03 18:47:46 -0600 Report

Those things are different for most of us. Many over the counter supplements that say they work on glucose levels work to maintain good levels, not really lower bad ones.

However, we are all different and if you want to do some research, here are some places to start:

Bitter melon:
Milk Thistle:

There are more, but this is a good place to start.
You may also find that foods like cucumbers and lemon or lime will also drop your glucose levels when you eat them.

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