Feel like whining today -- new meds too expensive and no better

By NewSong53 Latest Reply 2014-11-15 18:37:11 -0600
Started 2014-10-25 12:42:38 -0500

Hi, folks — Went for my Well Woman exam this week. Don't have the results of my A1c yet but my BG was 249 that day. Had overindulged the week before and sometimes forget to take my Metformin in the morning or at night. The main reason for trying to change my meds was the Metformin gave me diarrhea in the morning (not good when you have two transfers of buses and trains and no bathroom anywhere). I think if I worked harder and got back to the greens and protein diet that I was on in the beginning — and coupled it with daily exercise — I could get my BG under control eventually with Metformin. I take 1000 mg — 1 in a.m. and 1 in p.m.

I still have some of the same symptoms with the new meds — taking 2 pills at dinnertime. The new med is Glumetza 500 mg (or 1000 mg day). My pharmacist said it contains metformin. It seems to be an extended-release medication. I don't see any difference in my BG readings, when eating same diet. Even with the $100 price reduction card the cost was no different than with my insurance (about $98 for 30 tabs — which seems strange because I'm supposed to take 2 tabs daily — meaning need 60 for 1 month — go figure!!). I'm so disgusted and angry about the cost of this medication when it certainly isn't making a difference.

I'm ready to be a "good" girl again and try a better diet. I'd rather spend the extra money for healthier foods than for meds. I am 61 yo and tired and don't feel 100% (turns out I have a UTI). I just want to have more energy and be more clear-headed. I need foods that I can prepare on the weekends so I can grab-n-go and crockpot meals that I can take for lunch in a thermos. Also thinking of making a smoothy for lunch now and then. I take cashews for snacks at work. Thinking of apple slices and peanut butter or celery and peanut butter. Need a super freezer pack for packing salads but it's 5 hours from the time I leave my apt. for work until lunchtime.

I want to try yoga and have an exercise bike. It's too dark weekdays to walk (although I get a decent amount of walking in my commute and at work). I just need some tips and shared experiences for getting back on track. Sorry to be such a whiny baby — I'm just so discouraged.

Thanks for any tips you can give me.

27 replies

momtheteacher 2014-11-01 23:49:28 -0500 Report

New Song, I know I used to see a comercial for a lunch bag that would keep food cold for up to eight hours. You might try searching Amazon for it, or even the internet.

JenCo28 2014-10-30 08:40:10 -0500 Report

why don't you take your metformin after your transportation issues? I still get results (not as good) but at least the bg won't skyrocket :( Sorry for your bad day…its ok to whine, we all need to let it out :)

NewSong53 2014-11-01 08:35:05 -0500 Report

Well, I try to take it on my break in the morning — but sometimes I'm so rushed I forget to take it. I might start taking it when I first wake up in the a.m. (4:30) so if "anything" happens it will happen before I have to leave at 7:00. I might try it tomorrow (Sunday) to see how that works.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-10-29 08:23:13 -0500 Report

Hey New Song,

Nice to see you! I am not a physician so I am sorry to say I don't have helpful advice for you. But I do want to say that you are not being a whiny baby! Diabetic Connect is all about getting support. Venting and asking for advice is welcome and even encouraged.

Glad you checked in!


lilleyheidi 2014-10-27 02:28:13 -0500 Report

I do a lot of my food cooking in one day and put a bunch of stuff in the fridge or freezer to last the week. I cook up 3 chicken breasts and make a big chicken salad (onion, celery, a little bit of chopped apple sometimes and mayo) then toss that into a low carb wrap in the morning for lunch. For dinners I make a lot of soups or casseroles that I can portion out, again, low carb, but they are made ahead and last about a week in the fridge and all I have to do is dip a measuring cup into the pot in the fridge and pour it into the bowl and microwave it and dinner is ready in 2 minutes. One of my favorite casseroles is a hamburg, green bean and mashed cauliflower casserole, very low carb, and if you mash the cauliflower with a bit of cheese and sour cream it is very very yummy.
The thing for me has been keeping my carb count down to about 30-40 grams per meal. A lot of label reading.
The other thing, ask your doctor for a referral to a diabetes educator/dietician, they have lots of great ideas on what will help with the medications and on the diet.
congratulations to you for making the steps needed to get healthy. you can do it :)

NewSong53 2014-11-01 08:37:09 -0500 Report

Yes, please share the hamburg casserole recipe! Sounds yummy. I'm going to try your ideas this weekend — and thanks again for sharing them.

LRD 2014-10-30 12:43:10 -0500 Report

If you don't mind. You might want to put your receipe out for other diabetics on the Hamburg. You never know. It might go viral. Linda

Pegsy 2014-10-29 16:15:59 -0500 Report

Thanks for the ideas and inspiration about preparing foods in advance. I really want to start doing this. Having things quickly available during the week would really help me stay on target.

NewSong53 2014-10-27 05:58:05 -0500 Report

Thank you, Lilleyheidi for sharing your menu ideas. I printed them out and plan to use them — sound like something even I can do! Sometimes I just get so overwhelmed and what I love about DiabeticConnect is all the wisdom members share with each other! Have a blessed day!

Type1Lou 2014-10-25 17:49:46 -0500 Report

When your sugars are high and you "spill" sugar in your urine, it creates a more likely condition for developing UTI's, which are no fun and ultimately may put your kidney function at risk. Congrats on deciding to take control of your diabetes! I eat an apple with all natural peanut butter most days for my lunch. I have a digital nutrition scale that allows me to weigh the apple, input the "apple code", and it tells me how many carbs are in the apple. Because of size variations, apples may range from 25 grams of carb to over 40 grams, a pretty significant range. Are you counting your carbs? For me, limiting my daily carb intake is the key to better control. Wishing you well!

NewSong53 2014-10-26 06:13:50 -0500 Report

Thanks — I wondered why I get UTI's so frequently. Ya know, I like the apple and peanut butter idea for lunch — it's so simple and peanut butter always a great job of keeping my hunger at bay. I don't count carbs because I don't know what a good target for carbs is. Any suggestions there? I need to compile a list of carbs for the foods I eat repeatedly. I'm a little confused by packaging because it gives carb grams and sugar grams — do I count both towards my carbs? Don't have a car so I have to do all my book browsing online and it's hard to find just what I need. Any tips there as well? Thanks again!

ms.dixie 2014-10-30 16:15:01 -0500 Report

Cornerstones4Care.com has an awesome booklet. It's called carb counting and meal planning. Answers all questions to carbs. If you need to lose weight, 30 carbs for your 3 meals and 20 carbs for your 3 snacks. So far I have lost 68 lbs in 1 year. As far as exercise, physical housework for 1/2 hours per day. Things like mopping and sweeping. Washing baseboards. Things of that nature. Hope this helps and best of luck to you.

Type1Lou 2014-10-26 11:03:10 -0500 Report

I always count the total carbs of a food, not just the sugar carbs. I am 65 years old, moderately active, and weigh 120 lbs. I am able to keep my HbA1c in the 6's by limiting my carbs to 120 total grams per day: 30 for breakfast and 45 each for lunch and dinner. Each one of us may have different levels that work for us. My advice would be to determine how many total carbs you are currently eating per day and then gradually cut back until you reach the level you feel is giving you the results you need. Often, the lower calorie versions of foods will have higher carbs than the regular versions. Make sure to read the labels of everything that you buy. The benefits of reducing your carb intake should be better BG control and weight loss. There are many carb guides out there, both on-line or in book form. "Calorie King" Is an oft-recommended carb guide. If you have access to a library, you could also check out their collection to see if you find one better than another. I've been using Dana Carpender's "New Carb and Calorie Counter" I don't pay attention to the calories, just the carbs. It's been working for me.

NewSong53 2014-10-27 05:59:20 -0500 Report

Thanks for the guidelines for carb counting. I'm starting to look up the carb count of everything I eat now.

JenCo28 2014-10-30 08:41:40 -0500 Report

try downloading an app called myfitnesspal I use it to track my food intake and exercise. There are other ones more catered to diabetics but i've been using this one since before I was diagnosed and I love it. You'll see the benefits of seeing the carb numbers right there in front of you.

Ilovecarbs 2014-11-15 18:24:31 -0600 Report

I am also using myfitnesspal.com and I love it for keeping track of what I eat. I use the note section to record times and blg readings. I can't believe how many carbs are in some foods! Could'nt do it without this site.

GabbyPA 2014-10-26 02:34:04 -0500 Report

I like that scale. Where did you get it? What brand is it? That sounds like something I could really use. Eliminate guessing.

Type1Lou 2014-10-26 11:05:45 -0500 Report

Gabby, mine was given to me by a friend and it had been purchased at Target a number of years ago. I use it every day and would be lost without it!I've googled "Digital Nutrition Scale" and found the same one on Amazon here's the link:

GabbyPA 2014-10-26 14:54:05 -0500 Report

Sweet! Just added it to my Christmas list. I also found a Food journal with an organized set up that I like. Thanks!!

Glucerna 2014-10-25 17:04:15 -0500 Report

You have some great ideas to increase your activity level and change your eating habits. Perhaps make a plan for the week along with a grocery list so that you're prepared to cook ahead and have healthier food choices on hand? ~Lynn @Glucerna

Pegsy 2014-10-25 13:09:37 -0500 Report

Sweetie, that UTI will raise your glucose regardless of your meds. I wouldn't be too quick to call the new med a failure. Get that UTI taken care of before you decide. As far as the Metformin causing diarrhea, if you aren't taking it consistently, your body is constantly having to readjust to it. Each time you skip a dose, it's like starting all over again. My doctor started me on 500mg once per day for a week, then upped it to twice a day for a week. Then added another 500mg each week until I reached the max dose of 2000mg. Even that way I had some stomach issues for a while. It took my body longer than average to adjust but once it did, it has been working well for me. Can you plan the increases for the weekend when you can stay home? I definitely do understand the stress and difficulty that comes with adjusting to Metformin. I had a lot of diarrhea in the beginning months. Also, I find that nearly every artificial sweetener (except for Stevia) gives me diarrhea, so consider that possibility. It might not be the Metformin doing that to you. Also, I don't think Metformin will help all that much if you don't have good control of your diet. Good that you understand that exercise is important too. How are you sleeping? I find that if I am not getting enough sleep or if I have a lot of stress, my glucose is higher no matter what happens with diet or meds. It's all these things combined that bring good control. Don't be too hard on yourself. You'll get there if you just keep trying. Big hug to you!

NewSong53 2014-10-25 17:56:20 -0500 Report

Thanks for the info re: the UTI. I didn't know that could cause my BG to rise. The cost was the major factor in my dissatisfaction with the new meds (along with the gassiness — ugh!). I haven't been getting a deep sleep — seem to be sleeping lightly and I think that's due to sleep apnea (probably why I get a deeper sleep in my recliner). I didn't know that missing a dose of Metformin would mean I'd have to keep readjusting. These are all good things to know. I plan to do some food prep tomorrow for next week's lunches. I read somewhere on the internet today that taking calcium with the Metformin sometimes helps. I'm going to get down on the floor and do some yoga now. And thanks for the encouragement — that helps more than anything sometimes.

Ilovecarbs 2014-11-15 18:37:11 -0600 Report

Yes, get your UTI taken care of! It's probably from the sugar in your urine. Keep trudging along and think positive. You're going to start feeling a little less tired as your numbers come down. Maybe take your Metformin right after you brush your teeth in the morning and in the evening.

Pegsy 2014-10-25 18:08:25 -0500 Report

I had not heard about taking calcium with Metformin to help avoid diarrhea. I will have to remember that. Also, when you are in pain, that will raise your glucose as well. I learned that with the kidney stone I had earlier this month. I had to stop taking the Metformin for 48 hours after the test they did in the hospital and when I started it again, I got to do the diarrhea thing all over again. Even though I restarted it gradually, it still happened, but it was mild compared to the beginning. Hang in there! You'll get through this.

NewSong53 2014-11-02 07:36:23 -0600 Report

Pegsy, just wanted to update you on the calcium — I've been taking my Centrum Silver with the Metformin and taking my cholesterol medication in the evening (in case it contributed to the tummy upset) and so far it seems to be working — either that, or I'm adjusting to the medication again. Thanks!

NewSong53 2014-10-26 06:08:30 -0500 Report

Thanks again, Pegsy! Sorry you had to go through that all over again. (And especially about the stone — I've heard they're very painful . . .)