Barbara K
By Barbara K Latest Reply 2011-11-20 12:11:17 -0600
Started 2009-07-09 23:06:31 -0500

Last December my doctor increased my metformin to 2 tablets day. This was ok but then in April when I had my A1C tested he increased the dosage to 4 a day. I then began experiencing severe digestive problems such as intestinal gas extreme and sulfar tasting belches. He said it was from the increase in dosage and backed it down to 2 a day. He is going to check A1C again in Sept. to see if it is where he wants it. It actually is not that bad 7.2 I am exercising and watching diet but hope it goes down so he does not add anything else to the metformin. Has anyone else had the digestive problems with larger amounts of metformin and if so what did you do.

26 replies

kimcavett 2011-11-20 11:41:47 -0600 Report

I take metformin 500mg twice a day and am suffering from chronic diareha. Dr says it is my diet but I don't think so. I have changed my diet and still having issues. Some times I can't make it from my house to work before having to go again. 2much imodiam constipates me and pepto is not fast enough. This is making it hard to work or do any socializing, I love going to church but don't alot because of this.

Any suggestions?

blueroselady 2011-11-20 12:11:17 -0600 Report

I know several people who had that problem,,one being my late husband. I was told I had Diabetes in 8/10,,been on insulin ever since.But I watched a documentery called "FORKS OVER KNIVES",,also has a book & website. The dr who wrote it has a son who wrote THE ENGINE 2 DIET,,also has website. I live with my sister & her hubby & he is also a diabetic 30+ yrs. We all went VEGAN! I was in shock how much weight we lost,,how much energy we have,the less pain were in & for me,,,I have all but stopped my insulin ! maybe once every week instead of 2x aday. Im not telling you to stop your meds!!! But I havent felt this good in manys years. My sister & I were both over 290,,after one month,,270! It takes a lot of reading & interent research but its fun. And its fun to try new recipes! THE BEST PART IS HOW WE FEEL ! Im sorry to rattle off but we feel like shouting to the rooftops!! ANIMAL PRODUCTS,SUGAR & FATS CAUSE CANCER,DIABETES & HEART DISEASE! tHEY HAVE YEARS & YEARS OF PROOF!! Give it a try,,you dont have anything to lose . Just make sure its a balance of foods so you get all the stuff you need. I hope a lot of people see this!!

Pmassie 2009-09-26 12:58:54 -0500 Report

Four metformin (500mg) daily can cause GI problems. This comment is from my own experience. I believe the maximum daily dose 4gm or 8 (eight). Make sure you get blood tests for lactic acidososis…


kdroberts 2009-09-26 13:57:03 -0500 Report

The max dose is 2550mg per day. You don't really need to be tested for lactic acidosis unless you have kidney disease or are an alcoholic. It is very, very unlikely to happen if you have neither of these. Plus, if you have it it will come on quickly and you will know about it so testing is largely pointless. The only reason that metformin carries the warning is that phenformin was notorious for causing lactic acidosis and was withdrawn from the market because of it. As far as I know there were no cases in any of the studies and I've only read of one case attributed to metformin and that was in an elderly patient with kidney failure.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-09-27 07:18:52 -0500 Report

As for my experience, I was on Metformin 750 for about a year or so, they found this mass on my left kidney 2 weeks ago, the kidney was already dead—so they removed the Metformin as they said it was hard on kidneys—now I am without anything for the diabetis—but it isn't going over 200 so who knows what will follow/ I wonder if the Metformin played a big part on its demise—-as the tumor had been growing for a long time, they said—-just, "color me uncertain" these days. Hugs Pat R

salmanda 2009-09-27 07:59:37 -0500 Report

I was on Metformin for a year or so. Right from the start, I had digestive problems with it. I was titrated up to the maximum dose, but I just couldn't tolerate it. The extended release made my stomach hurt so that was out. I have now gone off it and take Glipizide instead as well as Januvia. I am much happier without the side effects from the Metformin!

Candace Soltermann
Candace Soltermann 2009-07-19 09:55:14 -0500 Report

I take 1500mg per day…my sugar is over 100 every morning. Is there anything I can do to get it down?

mamaoak 2009-07-19 10:11:03 -0500 Report

hi candace so is mine it has something todo with our bodies in the night.there was an artical on it in dicussions.

kdroberts 2009-07-19 15:41:58 -0500 Report

What is it before you go to bed?

apanda 2009-07-19 16:22:03 -0500 Report

I take 2000mg of Metformin everyday. Mine will be 120 or less at bedtime and I will wake up and it will be anywhere from 136-158 on my fasting test. I don't understand how it can be good before I go to bed, eat nothing before bed, or sometimes eat a snack and no matter what, it is high when I wake up. I follow my diet to the letter.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-19 20:05:39 -0500 Report

I really don't know why, but mine was doing the same, higher in the am, lower during the day—maybe exercising, for months UNTIL THE PAST FEW DAYS!! Now it is staying between 87 to 141 (before I took my Metformin 750 for the day. Do you suppose that a person has to get into a better habit of eating better, and exercising—for a fair amount of time THEN the body slowly changes too, GRADUALLY comes down for longer periods of time, within what we want as a NORMAL?!''As an article read here on this site, Diabetis is NOT an exact science, so fluctuations just seem to be in the cards as there are so many variables. Anytime you try to enforce by numbers what the body once did automatically, I don't think it will stay as low as we think that it should.

Another article said something about the NORMAL limits before and after meals, and that is about where I was—so maybe I have been more normal than what I at first FEARED!

BS before meals 70 to 130
while 2 hours after a meal, less than 180,
which includes some of my highs (I thought) of not over 190. Those numbers coincide more with a flexible life style that can be more easily followed, I think—just my opinion and deductions. I think I have adjusted to where I FEEL more in charge, understand it better, and don't feel so much like a VICTIM, or a bad person being punished for some reason!
May you all find PEACE too!

Best to ALL—Pat Roth

anthonesia 2009-07-18 23:15:12 -0500 Report

yes i am on metformin and have had the same trouble . dr put me on 3 a day and had to go down to 2 a day . feel much better. my mom was on it for yrs. she is off it know . i guess she is in a place where it wont help her any more she takes 5 shots a day . hope you feel better.

jlemae6 2009-07-12 11:59:19 -0500 Report

I am on metformin 1000 x 2 a day. I have not had any problems with the metformin. But I can say if your doctor puts you on actos also I did gain 20 pounds on this medication. I got him to put me on Januvia. So far I have lost 8 of the 20 extra pounds.

kdroberts 2009-07-11 22:00:48 -0500 Report

What version and how long did you take the increased dose for? Often the extended release cures all problems and with the regular the problems often clear up after a few weeks.

bru17 2009-07-11 13:24:49 -0500 Report

i'd like to see you off of metformin altogether…it not only has these side effects you mentioned…may i reccomend a book? Diabetic solutions by Dr Bernstein…bru

lipsie 2009-07-11 02:01:52 -0500 Report

Yeah, I also take Metformin and have had spells of things but after being on it for so long…years its hardly bothersome. Good luck with your next ac1 test and the medication though. *HugS* Sheila

MorganT69 2009-07-11 13:05:28 -0500 Report

I use to take Metformin and I had major problems with it. I could eat lunch and about 30 minutes later I could not find a bathroom fast enough. Metformin gave me the worse diareah Ive had in my life, it would go on for about 2.5 hrs after eating. Im a truck driver and bathrooms are not plentiful on the road so I had to tell the doctor I couldnt take it anymore. It was explosive diareah also, no holding it or stopping it. I hate Metformin, but I know its a good drug just not for me.

2009-07-11 16:50:49 -0500 Report

Thank goodness my problems with metformin aren't as severe as yours were. I have occasional, minor bouts with diareaha, not bad enough to quit using it. I don't blame you for not wanting to take it.

lipsie 2009-07-12 07:40:07 -0500 Report

I don't blame you for getting off of it then wow. How are things going for you now a days? Sheila

apanda 2009-07-10 09:44:33 -0500 Report

I also take 1000mg 2 X a day and I do have the problems you describe if I take it without eating enough of the proper food. High fiber diet is definitely the trick. I eat lots of fresh veggies, nuts and serving of Kashi mini wheats for breakfast everyday.
I brought my A1C down from 13 to 6.3 with this combination.

2009-07-10 13:35:07 -0500 Report

That's one thing I forgot to mention in my earlier reply, and that was to make sure you took your medication with food. Thanks for adding that to your reply.

Antique-Dave 2009-07-10 08:38:35 -0500 Report

I'm taking 1000mg met 2 x a day the only time I have any GI discomfort is if I do not have enough fiber in my diet and this is where I will sing the praises of Metamucil and similar products.

1 glass a day does it for me and there are no GI issues. you need to make sure the brand you buy is sugar free and do not take it within 2 hours of your medications.

It'll help regulate your glucose and help reduce your cholesterol too. its a cheap fix.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-09-26 12:01:04 -0500 Report

Me either, but it does make sense! Leave it to Dave to come up with some practical, effective solutions! PR

jigsaw 2009-09-29 18:27:43 -0500 Report

Wow, thats amazing because I found the same solution!
METAMUCIL or similar product worked for me also. It was recommended to me by a gastroenterologist.

2009-07-10 08:11:31 -0500 Report

I take two 500mg of Metformin a day. I do have spells of diareha, but not every day. My doctor told me that this was a side effect that occured for some people. I have never, however, taken as high a dosage as you mentioned. A 7.2 A1C level is slightly above what it should be. It needs to be kept under 7. Here's hoping that your next tests are and improvement.

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