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    Includes Expert Content
    How To Wean Off of Diabetes Medication
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff posted:
    In his latest blog entry, Dr. Dansinger says "One of my greatest pleasures in life is to help patients achieve remission of their type 2 diabetes . This means their blood sugar levels have become normal in the absence of any diabetes medication."

    So how do you go about weaning off your medication?

    Read all that Dr. Dansinger has to say about this and share your own thoughts:

    How To Wean Off of Diabetes Medication
    DavidHueben responded:
    I was diagnosed in June of 2005 with an A1C of 6.6%. About three years later, when my A1C was below 6.0% (but my fasting levels were rising), my doctor and I agreed it would be advisable to start a nominal dosage of Metformin (500mg once per day). After losing more weight (now about 90 pounds overall) and with an A1C of 5.2%, we discontinued the Metformin. I no longer use the medication.

    Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. - General George Patton Jr
    betaquartz responded:
    I had an A1C of 6.7 with FBG of 137 in April of 2009. How did I wean off of medication? I refused it! When the Dr. diagnosed me with the diabetes, I was really thrown for a loop. He prescribed metformin at the time, and I picked it up at the pharmacy. I researched quite a bit that weekend, and decided that I did not want to start on drugs. I called the Dr, office and argued thru a nurse to get permission to try on my own for a month. He relented at the end of the week. In June of 2009 he told me that if I continued to do what I was doing I would never have to take the drugs in his opinion. Now, my last A1C was 5.8, and my FBG was 94.

    I realize that this would not be the route for many people, but I also knew at the time that many things were happening in my life that would allow me to make the turnaround. The biggest was my retirement, that meant time to exercise, and watch my diet. Part of that meant no more late nights working on sets and grabbing dinner before falling asleep in front of the TV. It meant Saturdays free to be with my wife instead of teaching adult classes, or working on set construction to get things done. So for me it was the right decision to never have to wean myself off of the medications.
    Michael Dansinger, MD replied to DavidHueben's response:
    I remember when you informed us about your decision to stop the metformin. I know you have a great doctor, who knows you well, and that the two of you made the decision together after considering multiple factors. Was it the long duration of weight loss, or the fact that the A1c was at a certain level, or other factors that impacted this decision most?
    DavidHueben replied to Michael Dansinger, MD's response:

    That is a very good question and a bit hard to answer. First, three years after my diagnosis, my A1C was about 5.6% and my average fasting glucose level was 90 (without any medications). But, then my average fasting glucose level rose to about 99. At that point, I asked him if it would be OK to start a nominal dosage of Metformin (500mg once per day). He really saw no problem with that and wrote the prescription. I took the Metformin for about 18 months.

    When I dropped more weight and my A1C was 5.2%, we agreed that maybe the Metformin was unneeded. So, we stopped the daily dosage. At that point, I had lost 90 pounds since diagnosis and my average fasting glucose was in the low 70's. Neither he nor I saw a reason to continue Metformin.

    Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. - General George Patton Jr
    Michael Dansinger, MD replied to DavidHueben's response:
    Thank you for answering my question.
    Michael Dansinger, MD replied to betaquartz's response:
    Your story about taking control of your disease is a favorite of mine. Not only were the circumstances right to make such changes, but your attitude was right as well. Attitude and logistics must both be favorable to achieve such spectacular results. I'd like to think your physician also learned a thing or two about diabetes reversal from your own case.
    arealgijoe replied to Michael Dansinger, MD's response:
    My route was very different than betaQ's.....

    I lost weight, became kinda skinny even, rode bike miles every morning, watched my diet and even walked on lunch break. I ended up on insulin nearly 2 years after being hospitalized for diabetes at age 34.

    My diabetes is a bit wierd, not quite typical of either T-1 or T-2. I did EVERYTHING and still ended up on insulin. At first just NPH, then about a year (??) later NPH regular twice a day and 3 years ago went to MDI, Lantus 2x/day and humalog for meals and corrections as needed.

    After being in a shutdown mode for a couple years I am back to my easy mode and more stable than ever. I tend to flip flop modes, sometime for know reasons, sometimes over night for NO logical reason........

    Gomer ...never an averaage Joe
    xring responded:
    As most people here know, I didn't exactly "wean off" diabetes medication.

    My first two doctor visits after my diagnosis didn't go well for them or me (details in my profile). After my doctor recommended insulin first, then Metformin, then Janumet for one month, I spent some time doing research & found that some doctors feel that diet & lifestyle changes should be the first option & drugs or insulin should be the second. I saw no harm in abruptly stopping my medications & following a diet & exercise program I found on the web ( ) before you came on board here while frequently monitoring my glucose levels. When I saw my glucose levels staying the same as they were with medication, (sometimes even lower) I figured I was doing something right & two consecutive labs during the next several months confirmed it. My third doctor said "Keep doing what you're doing because it's working & there's no reason for medication."

    I have since asked two RN's & three CDE's why I had to find this type of info on the web rather than from my doctors. The replies ranged from "Doctors know patients won't follow such a program," to "Imagine how long the doctor visit would be if they wasted their time explaining something their patients won't do anyway." I've always believed that NO doctor should decide what their patient is capable of doing. Wouldn't that be like a weight loss counselor on "The Biggest Loser" deciding that obese contestants won't put forth the effort needed to lose weight, so why bother explaining the best ways to do it?

    I was pleasantly surprised that you believe that medication for T2 diabetes is overemphasized & overprescribed and that your diet & lifestyle recommendations are similar to Dr. Fuhrman's.
    If a man yells: --YOU LIE-- in a room full of politicians, how do they know who he is talking about
    betaquartz replied to Michael Dansinger, MD's response:
    I believe my physician has reevaluated his position. He followed the standard textbook story with me. During the last exam he basically admitted that he needed to take determination and circumstances more into the diagnosis mix. He says he comes here from time to time, and is learning more as we go. I have come to feeling that not only will I let myself down with a slide, but him as well. I think that is a good relationship for us.
    cfeliciano responded:
    Thsi is a great article. I have committed myself to loosing weight the last six months and have droopped 12 pounds. I also would love to either reduce or totally get off the medications. I use Lantos at night and many times my GLevel drops too much, waking me up in the process. Any suggestions? P.S. My A1C has dropped from 6.5 to 6.2.
    30blessed replied to DavidHueben's response:
    I have just received a call from my doctor 2 weeks ago saying that my level is 6.6. I am going tomorrow to be retested. I would like to lose weight (currently 238 lbs) and lower my level. Any suggestions on losing weight.
    betaquartz replied to 30blessed's response:
    Best suggestion here is to read the resources located on the right hand part of the screen below the main header-by Dr. Michael Dansinger,MD. The Low carb dietary program will, with exercise, improve your chances of better numbers. Read all that you can to understand the disease as basically being carbohydrate intolerant!
    RealityBytes replied to betaquartz's response:
    I guess my doctor took a middle-of-the-road approach. Yes, I was put on Metformin immediately (500 mg, twice daily), but I was also sent to diabetes education. Being med-free was certainly seen as a possibility and it quickly became a reality.

    I'm also aware though, that this is a progressive illness. My father is on meds despite being slimmer, eating better and getting enough exercise. I certainly don't view having to take a few pills at 80 as any kind of defeat.
    betaquartz replied to RealityBytes's response:
    I agree with you on the "having to take a few pills at 80 as any kind of defeat". I also think that even with the progressiveness of the disease maybe it still can be permanently beaten-at least that is the attitude I will take until proven otherwise. For my own good.

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