Type 2 Diabetic -- Monitor readings on Metformin Not So Different

By NewSong53 Latest Reply 2014-08-04 12:34:50 -0500
Started 2014-07-27 13:52:40 -0500

Hi — I'm a Type 2 diabetic and take a 1000 mg Metformin tab 2 x day. II just started taking it 6 days ago but don't see a lot of difference in my readings — maybe 40-45 points fasting. Do readings get better as time goes on? Or am I expecting too much from this medication? I'm eating a little better than I was, but still trying to find what Foods I can live with.

I'm walking more but need to step it up. Will an exercise bike be just as beneficial? (I can do that indoors in bad weather.) Also, have decided to start having salads at lunch (we have a cafeteria where I work) and bringing in my own chicken breast to add to it since they don't provide that. Also, planning to have a chicken breast w/ceasar salad for dinner or chicken breasts with broccoli florets or other raw veggies & salad dressing. Maybe skipping bread altogether and adding cheese to make meals more satisfying.

Any suggestions? Any experience or information on what I should expect from Metformin would be greatly appreciated!

27 replies

Pegsy 2014-08-03 16:41:46 -0500 Report

So…it's been a week. Are your readings showing any improvement yet? It seems like mine took a week or two, once my dosage up to 1000mg. Just wondering how you are doing now.

NewSong53 2014-08-03 17:05:39 -0500 Report

Yes, they are! I had a reading of 146 before dinner last night and it was 154 (if I remember correctly) this morning! If there is this much improvement just from eating differently I can't wait to see what happens when I start working out with dumbells and the treadmill. The amazing thing is that the food I eat now is so enjoyable I don't miss bread and pasta (much, that is — but it passes). Thanks for asking!

msann 2014-08-04 12:34:50 -0500 Report


Pegsy 2014-08-03 17:12:06 -0500 Report

I'm so glad you're seeing improvement! Exercise will probably make a big difference too. It did for me. I do eat a little whole wheat bread now and then, and have a little potato occasionally but I skip the pasta and rice. I don't even miss them.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-31 21:10:57 -0500 Report

Metformin is not going to change your readings that much but changing your diet and exercise will. I take 500 mgs once a day and my A1C is 6.9. I am working to get it back down. I was sick for over a month and found out I will be recovering from surgery for about a year.

I am to the point where I eat just about anything I want to eat including ice cream, a candy bar, a donut now and then. I always check my blood sugar before eating so I know where I am. I don't eat salads because I don't like them. I eat fresh veggies everyday and if I have walked I eat a tuna sandwich or roast beef, chicken or turkey. The surgery I had left me with a swallowing problem and I can"t wait to have a cheeseburger.

Thankfully my blood sugar is now between 85 and 110. My doctor told me I am doing great controlling my blood sugar.

I walk every day and I find that any kind of exercise will help. I am about to start doing Focus T25 the modified one.

IamBubbely 2014-07-29 14:08:46 -0500 Report

I too love bread. My husband purchased a breadmaker ..a ice cream maker and I now make my own bread and ice cream. My a1c is 5..no more depression. I walk everyday. It was hard..very..very hard..but not impossible. Blessings!

NewSong53 2014-07-29 19:02:28 -0500 Report

You eat bread and ice cream and have 5 a1c? I'm afraid if I had those things I'd eat it all the time. You must be very disciplined — do you exercise a lot? Would love to know how you do it! Congrats on eliminating the depression — I hope I can eliminate mine by getting this blood sugar thing under control!

IamBubbely 2014-07-29 21:45:28 -0500 Report

Yes I do exercise often..mainly walking. Also it is the ingredients that I am using to make my bread and ice cream. Coconut flour and coconut oil. I must admit it is very costly since I have changed my diet and I get less for the money that I spend..I used to think that I couldn't afford to eat right and now I know that I can't afford not to…

NewSong53 2014-08-03 17:07:40 -0500 Report

I've never heard of coconut flour — but I'm learning about coconut oil. I use it to heal scratches, soften my skin, remove makeup, add it to coffee (when I remember) — one of these days I'm going to be brave and cook my eggs with it!

elwojcik65 2014-07-28 19:34:22 -0500 Report

It will take you time to figure all the what to eat, how many carbs and exercise stuff. You will find tons of support and information on here. I was diagnosed 7 months ago. It was the worst winter WI has had in years so didn't do much outside. What helped me was doing Lesley Sansone walk at home dvds, They are great for a beginner like myself. There are several for free online or available for purchase at several big box stores. A friend of mine on here said I should read one article on here every day. It's a great way to get as much information as possible. You can do this.

Pegsy 2014-07-28 17:25:29 -0500 Report

I am on the same amount of Metformin that you are and it does take time. Mine was increased gradually as my body needed time to adjust to it. It has helped a great deal but my goal is to eventually be off of it eventually, if possible. Try to be patient and kind to yourself as you adjust your eating and exercise habits etc. You'll get there if you just keep at it!

Glucerna 2014-07-28 19:10:43 -0500 Report

Great advice Pegsy! To make sure that you tolerate metformin, typically it's started on a low dose and then gradually titrated up if necessary to get good blood sugar control. Steve has given you excellent ideas on areas you can make changes. I love your idea of using an exercise bike when the weather is bad so you don't have an excuse to skip exercise, and you're already thinking about how you can change your meals to be healthier and contain less carbohydrate. You're making an excellent start! ~Lynn @Glucerna

Pegsy 2014-07-28 19:15:49 -0500 Report

I don't use the exercise bike because it hurts my tush, LOL. I have a treadmill and I am often on it because of the heat here. If I can watch the news at the same time I manage to stay on it a lot longer. Otherwise boredom sets in and I don't put in enough time.

NewSong53 2014-07-29 05:45:56 -0500 Report

Yes — my tushie hurts, too! I'm going to try pinning a towel or fake sheepskin to it for cushioning. Maybe I'll move mine to the bedroom where the TV is — time will fly faster that way! Thanks.

Glucerna 2014-07-29 16:05:40 -0500 Report

You can also look into a gel-filled bicycle seat so it's more comfortable to ride the bike. Have fun! ~Lynn @Glucerna

suziesgirl 2014-07-27 21:10:51 -0500 Report

Make your goal no metformin. Read diabetes without drugs. Trust me you won't be sorry. It does take a little while sort numbers to go down. They didn't just get high over night. You have a great opportunity here to prove the manufactures of processed foods helped create your medical condition. No bread unless you make it without wheat or white flour. Don't rush it and don't lose heart. Drugs are a free pass to eat what caused this. Read the book, please read the book. Above all be careful taking too much advice from the ADA. They need a quick course in nutrition. Lol lol. Best wishes on you journey to heal your body


NewSong53 2014-07-28 19:03:46 -0500 Report

I agree with what you said about drugs being a free pass to eat what caused this. I was diagnosed over 8 years ago and while on meds still ate nearly everything I pleased. Now the meds are less effective. I work in a senior living community and see what happens when we don't control our blood glucose. It put the fear of God in me to say the least! Can't wait til the book you suggested arrives!

haoleboy 2014-07-28 19:49:57 -0500 Report

18 months ago I spent 3 weeks in a rehab hospital recovering from a stroke. during that time there were a couple patients in there rehab'ing from amputations due to complications from diabetes. Talk about motivation to get as healthy as possible.
I reflect back on my time in that hospital every morning before I start my day … makes it "easier" to get out of bed and do the right things.


haoleboy 2014-07-27 14:35:37 -0500 Report

Hi NewSong and welcome to DC
It can take several months before the full effect of Metformin is seen, and usually 1 to 2 weeks before any effect.
I have to say that a 40-50 point decrease is pretty significant … what were your fasting BGL's before?
Metformin works, primarily, by suppressing the amount of glucose the liver makes and, to a lesser degree, improving the bodies insulin sensitivity. What it does not do (directly) is effect the amount of sugar present in the blood that comes from the food we eat, so (IMO) diet and exercise are key in gaining control.
Regular, purposeful testing will help you figure out what foods you should be eliminating,or reducing. Many diabetics test prior to eating and then 1 and/or 2 hours after … keeping a log of the food eaten and the readings; this gives you a real look at how different foods affect your Blood Glucose Levels.
An exercise bike is a wonderful idea, by the way as all exercise is beneficial.
Big fan here of raw vegetables and salads … and a good idea adding protein via the chicken. One caveat though … watch the carb count and portions on the salad dressings … some can really boost your carb intake.(interestingly 'creamy' salad dressings are often the better low-carb choice).


NewSong53 2014-07-27 16:48:59 -0500 Report

Thanks, haoleboy. I thought the Metformin was supposed to have immediate effects (probably more due to what I'm eating now). Glad to know it gets better. Guess I need to do more research on how it works.

I've been checking my morning (fasting) BG levels only to save money. Plan to buy more supplies because how else will I get a true picture of the effects of what I'm eating. I appreciate the advice on when to test and keeping a log. Will start that tomorrow.
Tossing out the low-fat dressings — too much sugar in them. The hardest thing will be giving up bread. Love sandwiches — so easy and tasty but not worth losing vision or being fuzzy-headed!

haoleboy 2014-07-27 17:08:25 -0500 Report

Yes, you are probably seeing that improvement due to the changes you have been making in diet and exercise. Just be aware this is a marathon, not a sprint. It is probable that you may level off at some point (even slip backwards) as our bodies seem, at times, slow to make the changes we are working towards. I think it is really important that diabetics keep a sense of humor, a positive attitude (both of which you clearly have) and persevere through the challenges that we face.

In my decidedly non-expert opinion … if you can only test once a day you would be better off testing 2 hours after a meal as this will give you some idea on the effect the foods you are eating are having on your glucose levels … maybe alternate breakfast lunch and dinner testing throughout the week, but more testing is always better.

Good catch on those 'low-fat' dressings … often time "low-fat" means more sugar.

I am right there with you on the bread … seems as though the foods I loved best are now on the "forbidden list" … huh … maybe that is part of how I got here. ya think???


NewSong53 2014-07-28 19:05:42 -0500 Report

Thanks for the advice on the testing. Never occurred to me to test before and after a meal. Since I eat pretty much the same things, would probably be a good idea to test breakfast, then lunch and then dinner.

Pegsy 2014-07-28 17:29:22 -0500 Report

I really needed the reminder that this is a marathon and not a sprint! I get so impatient and discouraged sometimes when my A1c doesn't come down as fast and as low as I would like. This is great advice from Steve, NewSong53.

haoleboy 2014-07-27 14:42:43 -0500 Report

ps … work with your doctor or dietitian to set up your fasting and postprandial (after meal) BGL targets