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Does Metformin Cause Diarrhea?
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larsstarscanary posted:
Does anyone know if Metformin causes diarrhea?

I tried it the other night for the first time with my snack (a banana and rice milk) before bed. I had very soft stools the next morning. Why I'm alarmed is because I have ulcerative colitis and IBD. I had diarrhea for 4 years, and was able to stop it late last year and up to now with a probiotic. I refuse to go back to chronic diarrhea again.

Does metformin have to be taken with a big meal? I found I was light headed and very hungry when I woke up the next day.

Does anyone know of a good website that will tell me about the side effects of metformin?

Thank you.

Lar
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soapster1949 responded:
A lot of people experience gastrointestinal abnormalities when they first start taking Metformin. It generally goes away after several days as your body gets used to the medication. You should take it as directed by your doctor. Generally it is advisable that you take it with your meal. Is it regular Metformin or Metformin ER? The ER (extended release) generally causes less problems than the regular met. You can google the drug and come up with lots of information. You should read the information your pharmacist gave you when you had the prescription filled. Generally, Met does not cause low blood sugar. As with any medication, you need to give it some time to work and your body to adjust.
 
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davedsel57 replied to soapster1949's response:
Hello.

Here is a link the the information on WebMD regarding Metformin: http://www.webmd.com/drugs/mono-7061-METFORMIN - ORAL.aspx?drugid=11285&drugname=Metformin Oral&source=2

Soapster1949 gave a perfect answer. I just wanted to provide you with some "official" information. Your pharmacist will also have information on this medication and should have given you a sheet when filling the script.
Blessings, -Dave
 
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GaryTardiff responded:
I had the same problem when I first started using it but it only lasted for a week or two.

I take mine with a late snack and find it works really well for keeping my fasting blood glucose numbers way down. Thanks to rebitzman for that tip. Dr. said it was fine and it's really helped me.
 
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rebitzman responded:
Does anyone know if Metformin causes diarrhea?

YES! But only at first - it goes away after a couple of weeks.

Does metformin have to be taken with a big meal?

My PCP suggested after my last meal or with a snack
 
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GaryTardiff replied to rebitzman's response:
Hey rebitzman, try reading the post right before yours will ya??
 
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rebitzman replied to GaryTardiff's response:
Gary - it's called reinforcement!

Thanks
 
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GaryTardiff replied to rebitzman's response:
Ohhhhhh, then pleaseeee forgive me for ever questioning you!!
 
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phototaker responded:
Lar, I have IBS and am not using any medicine for my diabetes.
I was concerned about taking Metformin, too, because of my problems. If you had diarrhea for four years, I would be hesitant, too. Have you talked to the doctor that treated you for your IBD about your concerns? There are other medicines out there, too.

What were your A1C numbers?(3 months of testing your blood sugar numbers) How high are your fasting numbers in the morning?

You can try the great ideas from these other posters, knowing it will probably get better, but if it doesn't, also know that your IBD and colitis might be compromised too. You have to do what's good for you.

If your numbers are in the pre-diabetic stage, you might be able to do this with a big change in your diet and exercise.
 
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larsstarscanary replied to phototaker's response:
I want to thank all of you for responding--You've all been very helpful, with or without reinforcement. I want to ask all of you if the Metformin ER also makes you fall asleep all over the place.

Phototaker, I can especially relate to what you wrote because you have the gastro issue, as well.

I've had the diabetes since 2000. I've been controlling it with diet. My sugars (hemoglobin A1c) before now have been from 5.9 to 6.3. My last one was 6.6.

The endocrinologist is gloomy and kind of wishy washy about the things she says at one time but not another, but I think it might be time to take the meds, Metformin ER--She says they will make my pancreas not work as hard and that I could stay off insulin a little longer....I suppose she really doesn't know this for sure.

I guess the main reason I decided to take the meds is because I haven't been eating as strictly as before. I love cinnamon raisin bread--15 grams of carbs per slice and I'll eat 2 or 3 slices in a day. I had to stop bringing it in the house.

I have gone back to counting carbs to get me back on the right track and using portion control again. Perhaps I'll only be on the Metformin ER a little while, if my glucose levels drop too far. I read somewhere that too tight control is not very healthful, and I don't understand why that would be....If I get down to 5's and 4's, I'm getting off that stuff.
 
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larsstarscanary replied to phototaker's response:
Phototaker, I wanted to ask you what are you using to keep the IBS in line?
 
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soapster1949 replied to larsstarscanary's response:
The Metformin wouldn't cause sleepiness. High blood sugar will cause sleepiness. Test when you feel sleepy to check and see what your number is at that time. You said "soft stools" and not diarrhea so I wouldn't be too concerned unless you seem to get worse and not better. You know that taking medication shouldn't be a substitute for a healthy diet and changes made to your diet need to be "forever" changes. Everyone slips up once in a while, but now you see what happens when you go off your food plan a little too often. Sticking with a good, healthy food plan may enable you to go off of the medication again, but you have to then stick with the plan. Good luck.
 
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phototaker replied to larsstarscanary's response:
Lars, I'm lucky that I only get a bloaty stomach, sometimes go between constipation and the runs(hardly ever the 2nd luckily), and pains in my stomach at times. I don't use anything to control it. My internist doctor years ago diagnosed me, as he had the same thing. I also have a milk allergy, so I have to be careful with milk products. I can eat some cheese without problems.

Thanks for being so honest about your A1C and your eating habits. My A1C is 5.8, so when I saw your numbers going up, I can see your doctor's concern and wanting you to be put on medicine.

You have two options. It sounds like you're already realizing the first one, being strict about your diet until you get down your numbers. Taking the meds doesn't mean you can eat your cinnamon bread, because then you might find another little something you like, and the process goes on and on.
If you have been really strict, I would say definitely take the medicine.

The reason I'm so sure about this(for me anyhow) is that I recently changed my way of eating even more, and I noticed my bs numbers going down. I've only been diabetic for three years, though, and you have for 10 years, right? That's awesome that you've been able to stay mostly off the medicine, but if you're doing damage with your higher numbers, that's not good either. If you want to control your diabetes, it's imperative that you eat as close as you can to keep those numbers in line.

Try eating smaller meals every few hours. That works for me.
I think Flutetooter does that, too, although she way more strict than I am....good for her.

Just like another poster said, if you're getting just loose stools and it hasn't gotten worse, stick with the medicine you're using. If you find it getting worse, and you're getting problems like had before, I'd definitely talk to my doctor...which I assumed you did already, right?

Sometimes we have to remind our doctors of past problems. I had to remind my heart doctor of something. They see a lot of patients a day, and some have only time to check your charts quickly, but sometimes miss things. I remind them about conversations we've had in the past sometimes, if it is important to what I have now.

Again, since you have IBD, you might have different symptoms and need to talk to your doctor about this and the medicine you're taking. You know your own body and what happens when you start experiencing problems with this.
The medicine does cause problems for some people. You also need to bring down your bs numbers, because of possible other negative consequences, too. I'm not a doctor, so I can't advise you about that.
 
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larsstarscanary replied to soapster1949's response:
It does cause sleepiness---I clicked on the link provided in a reply above and read this:

Metformin can rarely cause a serious (sometimes fatal) condition called lactic acidosis. Stop taking metformin and seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of the following symptoms of lactic acidosis: unusual tiredness, severe drowsiness, chills, blue/cold skin , muscle pain , fast/difficult breathing, unusually slow/irregular heartbeat.

But I think you have a good suggestion to test when I feel sleepy.
 
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DavidHueben replied to larsstarscanary's response:
The operative word being "rarely". Bjillions of people take Metformin without consequence.

David
Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that's bad for you! -Tommy Smothers


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