Would you stop taking your meds against doctor's advice?

By Maggs777 Latest Reply 2016-07-22 23:19:02 -0500
Started 2013-01-30 14:37:44 -0600

I am currently taking 2000mg of metformin per day and 120mg of diamicron per day as well as an insulin shot at night before bed. I am at the max dosage of the diamicron and almost the max dosage of metformin. I have never felt this sick in all my life. I have spoken with my endo and she said to continue to take it that the side effects would wear off. I always take it with food and I have tried to eat half of my meal first but I get the same effects. I don't physically get sick but I get unbearable cramps in my stomach and of course the good old runs. I have lost 7 pounds in the past week and I have absolutely 0 energy.
I am following the meal plan from my dietician to a tee. I have been so well behaved I have even shocked myself. My endo is convinced I am a type 2 but does think it might be possible I am a LADA. My BG continues to sit around 15-18mmol. I test before my meals and I test 2 hours after my meals. Should I not be seeing these numbers drop? If I was seeing a daily decrease little by little I would stick to it but I have seen nothing change even though my eating habits have changed drastically. So what would you do?

38 replies

Wishitwouldgoaway 2016-07-22 23:19:02 -0500 Report

This happened when myself and my sister took metformin once your body gets accustomed it stops. One of the positive things is it is supposed to help for weight loss. It is normal

Gwen214 2013-02-09 14:53:47 -0600 Report

Do you think you have other issues? GI issues maybe? Maybe you need to see your primary care to get tested for digestion issues?

PetiePal 2013-02-07 10:07:41 -0600 Report

I wouldn't change it without their consent. If you're still sick after 2 weeks on Metformin, tell your doctor you HAVE to switch and that your quality of life is minimal.

I highly recommend an Extended Release Metformin such as Glucophage XR or Glumetza. Did wonders for me, Metformin used to kill me.

Nana_anna 2013-02-05 12:44:24 -0600 Report

I am also on Metformim 1000 twice a day and Glyberide This combination has worked for me. I had side affects for a while, about a year before it all finally stopped. Now I am doing good I have tried to go without it, but I start getting a really bad yeast infection, and then I have to get medicine for that. Its always best to stay on your meds. Even if they make you feel bad. I hope you feel better soon.

pixsidust 2013-02-05 00:09:46 -0600 Report

Get some Imodium Plus. The plus is for the gas and cramps. I had to take two imodium daily to help with the runs. Something is causing the numbers to stay up. What are you drinking? Any real juice in there? As Gabby said how long on this medicine plan? Are you counting your carbs?

GabbyPA 2013-02-03 14:33:44 -0600 Report

How long have you been trying this treatment plan? Maybe it needs some more time?

It sounds like there is a lot, but maybe the one thing missing is exercise? Do you include that in your treatment. I know you have no energy, but maybe just making it happen and see the results.

snuggles11 2013-02-01 18:39:03 -0600 Report

MoeGig I'm sorry to disagree with you !
I never hope to take a shot if I don't have to !
Sorry that's just the way I feel !

MoeGig 2013-02-01 10:36:53 -0600 Report

In my opinion, many T2 diabetics who have difficulty with meds should just switch to insulin. Drugs like Metformin, etc try to manage blood sugar by slowing down the release of glucose from the liver, etc. Other drugs do other "un-natural" things. What your body is missing is insulin. Why not just take it. Taking shots is super-easy. It's the most natural solution. I don't believe it's worth all that effort to avoid taking one or two shots per day and be miserable with side effects. My dad is T2 and he went through all this before moving to Lantus. I've been T1 for 46 years and have seen this situation with T2's many times. But, I'm not a doctor, so it should be done under a doctor's care…preferably an endo. (But I did stay in a Holiday Inn one night :>)

Nana_anna 2013-02-05 12:47:06 -0600 Report

I am on two meds, for diabetes control, and insulin. I feel pretty good. But I also exercise, and have got my energy back.

GabbyPA 2013-02-03 14:35:31 -0600 Report

LOL...I only stayed in a Day's Inn, so I don't know so much! LOL

It could be more resistance than the need for insulin. I know that is my trouble and exercise is the only activity that we do that allows glucose to enter our cells without insulin, that is why it's more effective.

snuggles11 2013-02-01 18:38:30 -0600 Report

MoeGig I'm sorry to disagree with you !
I never hope to take a shot if I don't have to !
Sorry that's just the way I feel !

jayabee52 2013-02-01 10:51:15 -0600 Report

what does staying in a Holiday Inn for one night have to do with anything? I fail to see the humor so obviously intended.

GabbyPA 2013-02-03 14:37:24 -0600 Report

There used to be commercials that had people doing remarkable things out of their areas of expertise because they stayed in a Holiday Inn. The commercials were quite funny, but I guess you had to be there.

granniesophie 2013-02-01 13:49:56 -0600 Report

Has to do with a commercial for HI Express a bit back where if you stayed there, you would be smarter the next morning. It was their tag line for awhile. I used to work for them, and heard all kinds of dumb jokes about this every single day, but that's not to say this isn't kinda funny! I guess you had to be there!

And Moe-I was on oral meds and got really sick from them, so got put on insulin. It wasn't the end of the world-it was wonderful for me, but it may not be to everyone. Alot of folks I've spoken to who are Type 2's would rather not go on it as a first step, but as an "if all else fails". Not everyone is ameniable to being put on insulin of any kind.
For me it was so easy, and I have control of my BG, but I also had it before on my oral meds until one caused me to be so sick!
I think it's a pretty subjective thing!

GabbyPA 2013-02-03 14:38:31 -0600 Report

Oh, sorry, I didn't see your response. You have a much better explanation that I did...Did you stay at a Holiday Inn? LOL

MoeGig 2013-02-01 17:56:11 -0600 Report

Maybe I need to upgrade the joke…going to Sacramento next week and going to stay at a La Quinta..:>) I hate to explain jokes…thanks for helping me out. Sounds like your doing well, congrats. Jaybee, you could have googled it. Hope all is well for you as well.

diabetesfree 2013-01-31 13:10:22 -0600 Report

If possible, you might want to get a second opinion from another Doctor. As for Metformin, I am on 2,000mg a day and have been for years. I have no idea if it is actually helping, but I have never had any of the bad side-effects, either.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2013-01-31 10:12:34 -0600 Report

Absolutely! I may be incorrect, but I think the max Metformin you are suppose to take is 1500. First, what is the met. suppose to do? (other than making you want to puke because it smells like 3 day old fish left in the car during the summer) It is suppose to help lower your blood sugar by making the insulin your body produces work better, if I remember right. So, let's say you stop it for a week. First, stopping it will not kill you. Now have your BS levels gone up since you stopped taking it? For me the answer was NO. My conclusion was that Met did not help control my BS. It was then I told, not asked, my doctor. He agreed! Apparently my body either doesn not make insulin, does not make enough, or can't use it properly. I inject myself with 80 (not 8) units of 70/30 in the AM and PM. So, I do not think a person should stop all meds without the doctor knowing, but the Metformin, no problem. I know someone will jump me for this, but rally, I did this on my ownself. Same thing with Crestor which the doctor had me stop due to cramps. He wantd me off of it for a week. A week went by and my BS, which was often above 300 or 400, dropped to below 200.
You are in charge of your health.
The only bell going off in my head is that you were doing well then things went AWOL. Something changed in your life. Food, meds, stress, who knows.

mhcfc13 2013-01-31 09:30:59 -0600 Report

I am seeing alot of good information being given. One thing that I have is to find out if it would be something like Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) or if you are experiencing anxiety. IBS I personally experience before being diagnosed T2. Anxiety has some very physical symptoms that present including stomach problems, which can lead or contribute to IBS. It may be medication, but the upset feeling may need antacids to calm the feeling. At least asking the Dr may not be a bad thing, even if they say no to the IBS. Good luck.

GrammieMags 2013-02-01 21:34:28 -0600 Report

And if IBS doesn't pan out, check into celiac sprue, at least into gluten insensitivity. The two conditions mimic each other.

MrsCDogg 2013-01-31 06:23:50 -0600 Report

I won't tell you to stop taking your meds. I will tell you what I did though. In November I started running out of my meds little by little. I couldn't get to the pharmacy so was without them for well over a month. As I ran out I started to notice that I started to feel really a lot better. Not just the digestive issues you mentioned, but some of the blood pressure meds I was on were causing other issues. Swollen feet, legs and ankles, insomnia, severe depression nearly to the point of suicide and the list goes on and on. I was slowly becoming immobile. By the time all the medications were out of my system I had made a decision. If I am very careful of what I eat I am able to control my blood sugars with some insulin and a bit of exercise. When I return to my doctor at the end of March I will tell him that I REFUSE to take any meds for blood sugars other than insulin. As far as the bp meds I'm not going to be taking anything other than lisinipril. I also take lasix and potassium for fluid.
I hope you can find something that works for you. It just seems so unfair that in order to be "healthy" in the eyes of doctors we have to feel like poo!

jigsaw 2013-01-31 09:26:33 -0600 Report

Poo you say! I have run into doctors with this attitude syndrome. Being determined and having an assertive attitude by nature, I have managed to have some very satisfying conversations with them. When it comes to my health, I have every right to know the whys!

jigsaw 2013-01-30 20:52:55 -0600 Report

Are you taking the extended release version of Metformin (Metformin HCL ER). It's more gentle on the system and generally easier to adjust to than Metformin HCL.

Maggs777 2013-01-31 00:20:59 -0600 Report

No I don't think so. I believe I am on the regular Metformin.

jigsaw 2013-01-31 08:45:09 -0600 Report

I had two endocrinologists switch me from reg Metformin to the extended release version when I was on it. I was able to handle a larger dose with less discomfort. Definitely discuss it with your doctor.
For many of us with diabetes, the most common cause for erratic blood glucose is to many carbs relative to medications and exercise. This is the basis as confirmed by many medical professionals. By adjusting any one of the three, or all three, and finding the correct balance with them, I would bet that you would find favorable results eventually. It can be a tricky situation, and there is much to be learned, but this concept has consistently worked for me over a 19 year stretch with diabetes.
I know with determination and the right info and good doctors, you will find YOUR answer. Your diabetes is manageable for sure.

jayabee52 2013-01-30 19:36:33 -0600 Report

I HAVE discontinued medications AMA. My biggest discontinuation was DCing my insulin. Of course since I am T2 I could get away with it (I'd never suggest a T1 do that, that would be irresponsible of me).

But I did it as an experement. I was fully prepared to return to insulin should my experience show I needed to do so.

What lead me to this experement I had dropped my vial of insulin and it shattered on the floor. I had just moved away from where I had my medical insurance. I emailed my PCP and asked a new Rx for my insulin be faxed to my local pharmacy and she did that, but during the time I was waiting I discovered that if I ate VERY carefully my pancreas was producing enough insulin to cover what I ate. That got me thinking that perhaps I could manage my Diabetes Mellitus (DM) T2 by eating very carefully. I have been doing this for 3 yrs now. Don't miss the injections one bit!

If I had to take something like Metformin (I actually started on it and had no problems until my Kidneys acted up) and I had problems like you are experiencing, I NOW would not stand for it. I would TELL the Dr that I was going off of it and give him a choice. He could help me wean myself off, or I would go off cold turkey. But that is just me after I grew a backbone.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-01-30 19:33:57 -0600 Report

Never stop taking medications against medical advice. Some medications require you to be weaned off of them. I would give this some time and if at the end of that time period if the side effects have not improved, I would talk to my medical team.

jigsaw 2013-01-30 18:36:10 -0600 Report

18mmol is extremely high. Not knowing your diet and exercise routine, it would be impossible for anyone to say why your numbers are so high. I would try asking the experts on the Ask the Expert section of this site. These are doctors, dieticians, and diabetes educators that specialize mainly in diabetes. A second professional opinion wouldn't hurt.
I personally would do everything possible to find a way to stabilize a dangerously high blood glucose level as soon as possible.

jigsaw 2013-01-30 20:28:46 -0600 Report

Very convenient, thanks!

jayabee52 2013-01-30 20:49:20 -0600 Report

you're welcome

I have suggested to DC that we include a link like that in the links at the left since we are getting a lot of ppl who are using the mmol/l measuring system here. I think that would go a long way to understanding those who measure their blood using that system, and they understand us.

jigsaw 2013-01-30 21:02:06 -0600 Report

Excellent idea! It would definitely help, if all of us are on the same page with interpreting these numbers and units.

Nick1962 2013-01-30 17:27:32 -0600 Report

I would not do it AMA (against medical advice).
How long have you been on these meds? Met does take time to get over the hump, and most do without issue.
I was not lucky enough to get over the hump with Met, but I was able to talk my doctor into a "trial" period without it, provided I did intensive testing and really watched my diet. I severely cut carbs and made it through.

Quality of life is an issue I take seriously. You're on some major meds there including the insulin. If you can't function (no energy) then you'll get no exercise, which you need, and then there is the issues of drug side effects and potential depression, which of course will only compound the problem.

If you can give it another 30 days I would, then have a serious heart to heart with your medical team. You may not be conveying the gravity of the situation to them firmly enough.