Metformin and Insulin Resistance

About a year ago, my endocrinologist determined that I was exhibiting signs of insulin resistance. In short, my body requires more than the average amount of insulin to cover carbohydrate. She suggested that I start taking metformin, noting that it would do two things for me: It would decrease the amount of insulin I need to take and it would help curb my appetite, thus resulting in weight loss.


When I first got on it, I thought it was great. My blood sugar levels improved, my appetite was in fact curbed, and all seemed wonderful — until I stopped taking my metformin. As a high school senior, I had atrocious sleeping habits! That, coupled with the fact that taking metformin was really killing my appetite, was causing me to become exhausted and get some pretty severe headaches.

Looking back on it now, it’s very clear that the metformin wasn’t the problem, it was me. However, as a stubborn senior in high school, I was determined to maintain my sleeping habits, as I deemed them completely normal and in accordance with the typical behavior exhibited by my peers (boy, how I’ve changed…). So, I stopped the metformin.

The last three weeks or so, I’ve been back on metformin regularly. I decided to start it up again after my last appointment with my CDE. Thus far, it’s really been working wonders and my blood sugars have decreased substantially! Where my 30-day average was hovering around 190 just a few weeks ago, it has now dropped to 137! I was seriously shocked when I saw how much my average fell.

For the most part, my blood sugar levels are in range, but I have had my fair share of lows as well. Managing metformin really is a science that can change on a daily basis depending on my activity level. For example, the first two weeks that I was back on metformin, I was in the gym every single day. I knew that I would have to cut my nighttime basal rate by at least 70% if I wanted to avoid a 5 AM low.

However, in the last week, I’ve only been to the gym once because of a fundraiser I’m organizing. What I realized is that I still need to cut my nighttime basals by about 50%, even without exercise. The metformin, coupled with being really stressed out about organizing the event, has essentially diminished my appetite! I force myself to drink a lot of water and snack on some form of fruit throughout the day, but I honestly have no desire to eat! (Which, if you knew me personally, you would know is VERY out of the ordinary!)

It’s been a really interesting couple of weeks seeing how metformin has affected my body and how it works when combined with exercise, stress, etc. This first year in college has really put me in tune with my body like never before. Where I once relied solely on my care team and parents to do all insulin dosing and so forth, I now realize that I have the ability to control these things just as well. I just have to constantly be in tune with how I feel, what my blood sugar levels are, and whether I’ve taken metformin.

I really would recommend talking to your endo about metformin if you find yourself struggling with weight or wacky blood sugar levels that are difficult to bring down no matter how much insulin you give yourself.

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  • jim snell

    Metformin drops liver glucose production.

    Dropping liver glucose production and exercise lowers the glucos stored in the skeletal muscles.

    This enables the skeletal muscles to uptake more glucose. AT this point the skeletal muscles upgrade the insulin sensor sites senstivity on the skeletal muscle cells to accept more glucose – dropping the “insulin resistance”.

    For me it is a miracle drug that has enabled carbs control and heraty exercise do their thing to get the blood glucose levels in the blood stream dropped and under better regulation.

    A1C dropped from 13.3 to 6.4 on combination of and order:

    a) metformin spread around clock in smalldoses – 500 to 600 mg

    b) carbs control diet of 1200 calories daily

    c) one and one-half to two miles walking a day.

    Without metformin, liver leakage in step A above would crash diet and exercise.

  • calgarydiabetic

    All of america should be on metformin not statins it is cheap and effective for most. If I take it for more than 3 weeks I get so tired I cannot get out of bed. Otherwise it is fantastic.

  • Alice Young

    Thank you for this article I just changed PCP and he put me on Metformin. I had been on Glypicide before. Your article explains why I am having the same side affects that you are. I had been off all medication for about 3 months but they said I had to raise my carb intake as they said it was too low. It was running about 126 or in that range. My A1c was 5.6, 5.9 and they said that they wanted it to be at least 6. Well after controlling my carbs for 30 years I didn’t know where to start. I had a blood test when I saw my PCP and the A1c had gone up to 6.5 so he put me on the Metformin. I am 73 and my main exercise I am getting right now is walking. I walk the lenghth of the inside of my house. From one end to the other it is 68 steps. I do this three times in the morning and three times before bed. I plan on increasing that when I get my full strength back. I just moved and found out that the house I had been living in had a Carbon Monoxide leak and I was getting to the point that I couldn’t lift anything, I was very light headed and I am making a come back. But back to this article. I am so glad that I read this as I had gotten to the point where I was afraid that I was going to have to go back to the doctor to find out what was wrong. Now I can work with my diet and arrange my meals better.
    Thank you again. Sorry to be so long winded.

  • David Spero RN

    I think a lot of people with Type 1 could benefit from metformin. They might be able to reduce their insulin. But you have to be careful, because met may decrease your liver’s ability to respond to lows. So you better not skip meals.

  • jim snell


    Excellent thought and comment.

    I hate to disabuse those who think metformin does not cause lows. My experience on tight diet and exercise does exactly what you mention.

    The other interesting issue in Alice Young’s posting has to do with the fact that her Doctors wanted her A1c a little higher.

    From data I see and my Doctor’s comments was that less people die and heal faster in hospital environment when the Blood Glucose is managed up to 140 to 180 rather than at bottom of barrel super tight numbers like a young person with properly working system.

  • Riley Done

    I have been having an A1C around 10.7 . Do you think the metformin would help lower my A1C? By using metformin it seems like it would reduce my intake of insulin which could help me lose weight? Does this seem right?

  • Neal

    I’m a 60 year male and was diagnosed with Type 2 in August 2011. My blood glucose was 201 and my A1C was 10.2. My doctor put me on a low carb diet and 500 Mg per day of Metformin. In 90 days, I had my A1C down to 5.9 and my glucose was back into the control range (70-120) in two weeks. Also, I attended a 4 day/4 hours per day diet class. Metformin has been a true blessing along with diet alteration. I’m very thankful for the drug.

  • Suzanne

    My experience with metformin has been horrible. Although it did lower my numbers, the gastrointestinal distress was ruining my life. The diarrhea at all times of the day and night made it impossible to be effective at work. After toughing it out, I was finally taken off metformin. Although my quality of life has improved, my numbers have not and my internal medicine doctor sent me off to the endocrinologist. At my last appointment my endo put me on metformin XL and Byetta. Again, my numbers are better, but the gastrointestinal distress is returning. I am beyond frustrated, feel nauseated most of the time and my bathroom visits are much more frequent.

  • Dan Bartoli

    I have been taking Metformin for 14 years since being diagnosed when I was 40. I continue to take it, but it doesn’t seem to be the “miracle drug” for me that it has been for the rest.
    My biggest problem with it is that at high dosages (over 1 gram a day) it seems to cause constipation and other digestive problems.
    I have not experienced lows with metformin alone, but I can see how it could cause problems with a person who is fasting and exercising.
    I have been on dosages as high as 8 grams a day of metformin alone during a study and did see drops in HbA1C at that level, but the side-effects really make it impractical for me at those levels.
    I am currently having success with a combination of Victoza, Novolog and Metformin and have dropped quite a bit of the weight that I had gained while on other oral antidiabetic drugs.

  • Bill Carithers

    I really cant see any difference, I feel the same.
    My doctor added it to my regimen some months back not because I was a sure type 2 diabetic but because of my age(75) which ups the blood sugar count and I am taking statins which also up the count. Since I was border line he felt it would be a help maybe to prevent diabetes.

  • Patricia

    Metformin worked very well for me when I first was diagnosed with type II, but I had pretty bad diarrhea, which was diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. From what I have read and experienced lately, I think I really have gluten intolerance that causes the diarrhea. Does anyone know if the metformin medication has or is coated with gluten?

  • Dale

    I did Metformin till it caused me to have Congestive heart failure then I had to go to a low dose long acting insulin

  • Margaret

    Metformin works well for me during the day, but my early mornings were high. Adding Janumet (which is Januvia and metformin) helped stabilize my liver sugar production. My last A1C was 6.05!!!

  • Dan Kashefska

    Metformin has been a godsend for me. I was Diagnosed in 1995 w/ type 2 and had a A1C of 9.1. Over the years I have tried Byette(body would not tolorate 10units which it took to control my type 2, Avandia which my dr took me off because of the heart attack scare and it did nt give me good control. It kept coming back to metformin. In 2010 I was taking 2000mg @ day of metformin and started using Lantus in conjunction with it! My A1C dropped to 7.0 when using 26 units of lantus and 2000 mg metformin. In Nov 0f 2011 I started on a special diet called the alkaline/acid diet and now have cut my Lantus to the minimium dose of 6 units and am slowly weening myself from the metformin ([email protected]) and my insulin resistance is improving daily! I thank metformin for helping me with my diabetic problems and it did it;s job better than any of the other pills I was given at the time I was diagnosed, avandia. glypicyde, etc!
    My latest A1C was 5.8. My Dr advised me to not take it any lower! This diet and metformin will be all I need in the future and if I can, I am (as this diet advocates) going to cure my diabetes. I now have to be carefull and adjust my metformin dose as my post meal blood sugar dictates! My morning BG reading is 90-105, and post meal never above 145 and sometimes as low as 100!

  • Gregory Schwartz

    I am 61 years old and have had Diabetes 2 for over ten years now. I have been taking Metformin since I started testing fasting blood-sugar levels, and taking medication for diabetes.

    Yesterday, my morning, fasting blood-sugar glucose level was 99!!!! This morning it was 100!I keep a record of my daily levels and occasionally take a measurement of the level for one hour after eating. My blood sugar levels have been excellent, and my endocrinologist gave me his blessing last month during my last appointment. I visit the endocrinologist every six months and he says my diabetes is under excellent control. Since I have never driven a car, I walk a lot or ride my bike. He says he wishes all of his diabetic patients were as active as I am. I think Metformin is a great drug and has helped me live with diabetes without too many sacrifices. (I still drink pop and kool-aid and eat al the chocolate I want.)
    For the past year our local grocery super market chain, Publix has been filling Metformin prescriptions for FREE!!!! This saves me over $25 a month and I don’t have to deal with my health insurance company! Thank God for Metformin!

  • Beth

    I was diagnosed as Type II in 1990. I started on metformin many years ago (before generics were available) and never had any serious problems other than a little diarrhea during the “breaking in” period. I control my blood sugars through multiple daily injections, 2000 mg daily of metformin, a moderate diet and exercise. Recently I ran out of metformin, and was two days without before I could get to the pharmacy. My blood sugars (which have been very stable, A1C of 5.5) jumped 50 points after only 2 days without. I was glad to get my refill! Its cheap, effective and will probably remain part of my regimen for years to come.

  • Kathy Piersall

    Metformin has worked well for me. I’m a Type 2 since 2008. At first I had some headaches and intestinal problems when starting Metformin, but they were mild so I just rode them out. I also try to be really physically active, and watch my diet pretty carefully, but I don’t take any prescriptions other than Metformin. Our local Target charges about $6 – $10 for a 45-90 day supply. Hope this is helpful.

  • Bryce

    I could not tolerate Metformin. I tried for a couple of years but it was a miserable experience. Insulin has been great. I have experienced a large weight loss resulting several reductions in the insulin I am taking. Now they are talking about taking me off insulin but I am real worried they will try to put me back on Metformin.

  • Mary Van Ewyk

    I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in December, 2007- a few days before Christmas. My doctor put me on Metformin twice a day. I first took it in the morning with breakfast, then at noon with lunch. That caused diarrhea, so I now take two in the morning and two in the evening. That works much better. Metformin has worked well in keeping my blood sugar under control and my last two A1Cs have been 5.6. I will continue Metformin until it no longer works or the doctor prescribes something else.

  • Susan

    I have Type 2 and Metformin worked for my glucose levels, but I had to discontinue it. I could barely leave the house due to the diarrhea. It was NOT a good med for me.

  • Char

    Metformin is my wonder drug. In 2009 I stopped taking it due to financial issues. Told my doctor and he was surprised that my A1c was still below his clinics standard of 7.0. Then after 6 months of not being on it I had a lot of family things going on and I started to binge eat. So at my next 6mo visit I told my dr this and he agreed to have me start taking it again. And once again it did it’s job keeping my A1c around 6.4 and supressing my appetite. Now it’s I don’t want to eat but know I need a little something healthy to take with the Metformin or the awful throwing up starts. I am very happy with Metformin and plan to stay it unless my doc puts me on Insulin and stops the Metformin.

  • Winnie

    I have tried Metformin 2 different times and am unable to take it. It made my life hardly worth living if I had to stay on it.

  • Barb

    I had to stop taking metformin because it also made me have problems with diarrhea and nausea. My doctor couldn’t figure out the problem, so she sent me to a gastric doctor and he found the problem right away. When I finally got the stomach problem under control, I was taken off metformin immediately. I was then put on Victoza and it has helped me a great deal. My blood sugars are down and I am also losing weight.I almost have to force myself to eat because it suppresses my appetite. But when I do eat I make sure it is something healhthy.

  • Judy

    I too,am now on a combination of Metformin and januvia. It got my A1C down from 7.0 to 6.8. I hope to show more of an improvement on my next blood reading, Friday.

  • Rick Lagrand

    I’m 81 years old and overweight. Was diagnosed as diabetic a couple years ago. But have been controlling blood glucose with diet and exercise. About 2 weeks ago, after several days of erratic blood glucose readings, my PCP put me on Metformin. Results were immediate and my blood sugar has stabilized. It’s still a little high in the morning (around 140) but pre-dinner in the evening it’s in the low 110’s.

    I’ve had no negative side effects and look forward to my next A1c reading. It had crept up to 7 and I hope to see it at about 6.

  • Pam Schlageter

    I took Metformin for 3 months for insulin sensitivity. It worked extremely well in controlling my insulin sensitivity and blood sugars.

    I had diarrhea 4 – 6 times or more a day. Since I was taking potassium, I didn’t think much about it. I felt fine.

    However, I experienced some horrible
    nausea/vomiting at the end of that 3-month time and wound up in the hospital with dehydration and low potassium and magnesium levels.

    I no longer take Metformin, but do take another drug (Januvia).

  • Carol

    Hi, Thanks again to all of the great answers posted. I have been type2 since 2001 and on Metformin. I have managed to keep myself well in control, a1/c between 6 and 7. I was pretty casual about the metformin, missed a lot. From some info on this page several posts said how well they do when the Met is consistantly taken so I took the advice and am very happy that I did.

    One said to take it with the first bite of food, so I do that. It does work better.(I take time-release)

    Another post said that Met is one of the best anti-occidants out there and of course I now believe that, too.

    My morning tests are between 96-120. I’m thrilled. Now I will look into the alkaline/acid diet because I have always believed that I could cure this disease. Thanks to all of you and this publication. Carol (78yrs)

  • Ferne

    I have been on Metformin for several years and the side effects almost control my life. I am so tired of diarrhea and trying to keep my mornings free so I am home. I was advised to take it after I had eaten but it still can be bad. I have to take iron and codeine and both can be constipating but doesn’t counteract the metformin. So I take metamucil and probitics trying to keep my life under some kind of control. It’s a great medication but sure can make life miserable.

  • Maxine

    I have been on Metformin ER about 5 months, I have had no side effects as with the regular Metformin. It is working quite well for me. Age 69

  • Lorene

    I am 65 and have been on metformin and glipized for about 6 years…my major complaints are constipation and gas and a severe vit. B12 deficiency along with a severe vit.D deficiency…
    my A1C is 5.9…my blood sugar 7 day average is 102…my stomach is upset most of the time and most
    everything I eat makes me sick to my stomach…
    especially in the morning before breakfast and evening before supper…

  • Linda

    I’m now 63. I’ve been on 2000mg of Metformin for over 12 years. I’ve never had side effects when just on metformin or metformin with insulin. But about 5 years ago I needed mor than the metformin. So the doctor first tried byetta, then januvia, then actos. I had horrible digestive issues with all three of those.

    I lost a lot of weight with Januvia, but I think it was because I was in the bathroom all the time. I had such horrendous gas with byetta that my boyfriend threatened to break up with me.

    Finally the doctor and I settled on a metformin – insulin combination which keeps my A1C in a healthy range while not causing other issues. The insulin also puts me in control. I like that.

  • Janice E. Phillips

    I take Glyburide/metformin HCL 5/500mg tab it has worked for me! Keeping it in control!

    Thank you!

  • Karen

    I have been using Metformin since Jan 2012 when I was diagnosed with Type 2, my AIC was 14!!! After a majorly good diet of carbs, little exercise and taking my med properly, my last AIC was 6.2, I have lost weight, gastro issues come and go. I have found out that the snacks between meals works best, I just eliminate the diet drinks completely. No caffeine and no alcohol. I feel much better…even my cholestrol levels have dropped, still on statins though. Hope the drug keeps working.

  • cindy

    I have been on metformin since diagnosed 4 years ago. A1C is 5.8. I also had bad problems with diarrhea originally and had to quit metformin. Then a nurse practitioner said try half a tablet at a time and slowly build up. I did that and have been on Metformin 500mg 2x/day since with no problems unless I take it without food. I would recommend anyone who had trouble with it try this method of letting the body slowly adjust to metformin. I think this might also work with other medicines that have similar side effects

  • Irene

    I have taken Metformin since I was first diagnosed with diabetes type 2, that was in 1996, I was 56 years old. I have never had a problem with it.

    I have been asked by many doctors to try another medication but I refused, why would I when metformin works so well.

  • PAT

    Well after the stomach ache stopped and I learned that I had to eat before taking it. It stopped working or I needed more meds with it. Glimepiride 4 mgs. and now Januvia 100 mgs. Morning readings starting to creep back up. Next I guess insulin..who knows. It is not easy. (sighs)

  • creative

    I heard that over time Metformin destroys your kidney.

  • Jon

    I have been taking Metformin for about 4 months now and along with watching my carbs and sugar has been keeping my blood glucose levels in the normal range and i haven’t had any side effects from it.

  • Eleanor

    Metformin has been great for me. I take it with a low dosage of amaryl daily. If I take the metformin as directed and workout, and eat correctly I don’t have any problems.

  • Bob Richards

    I have controlled my Type 2 for 15 years
    with Metformin and exercise and low carb

  • Dotty

    I would much rather have the high blood sugar thann all the crazy side effects. I went the natural approach and am taking, Gymnemia and Bitter melon and Dr. Christopher’s Sugar Formula.

  • M.S.

    I am 52yo (female) taking both Metformin & Glyburide together for about 2 years. My problem has always been sugar-drops. I have scrupulously kept food and exercise logs but there is no explanation for the sugar drops. The only days I can be sure of not having them is when I make sure to have a carby snack every 3 hours (a low-calorie fiber bar, an apple and a light cheese stick, etc.). One time, I ate a decent lunch (a low-fat veggie sandwich from Subway, an apple, and bottle of water) and proceeded to go get a haircut. While sitting in the chair, less than an hour after eating, my sugar dropped. (Thank goodness the stylist was very understanding and patient, as he ran to get me a Pepsi from the back room!) My doctor said it might be the glyburuide, so she halved it, but I still continue to experience sugar-drops when I forget the snacking regimen. My A1c’s are very good, they’re below 7.25 and the doc can’t figure it out. So frustrating.

  • Phyllis Hunsley

    I have taken Metformin for 2 years. I take 500 mg twice a day with meals. My A1C has stayed at 5.8 for 8 years. The first 6 years I controlled it with diet and exercise. The one time it gave me diarrhea was when I only ate a can of chicken noodle soup preparing for a procedure in a couple of days. My morning glucoses becasue I eat an extra snack are 99 – 120. Taking metformin on an almost empty stomach can cause me to have diarrhea.

  • April Torrington

    I have been a diagnosed Type II diabetic since 1983. I was also given Metformin at a later date and it was a horrible experience! I do not recall having problems with diarrhea, but I started to experience muscle spasms in my upper stomach and esophagus especially after eating. It was a long time before I figured out that this problem was being caused by the Metformin. Probably my worst experience occurred when I was driving home on I-85. I had gone through a fast food drive through and bought a burger and some fries as well as a diet soda. I had almost finished eating when I got a horrid case of uncontrollable spasms. I began to throw up all of the fast food all over the front of my car as well as all over myself. Needless to say that was not only a very stinky mess, but it could have proved to be dangerous as I tried to drive to the side of the road out of traffic. Not long after I decided that there had to be a better way, and I DC’d the med. I have known quite a few people who have experienced the same problems I had. My husband also has these same symptoms, especially while eating in restaurants, and has been forced to make a fast trip to the bathroom in order to avoid regurgitating all over the table! I sincerely hope it helps some people, but I will NEVER take that med again!

  • John Nall

    Metformin has been a double edged sword for me. My Dr. wants me to take 2 1000 MG pills each day. I am lucky if I can get down one per day broken into three pcs. This stuff messes with my gut and so I only take a third of each pill with each of three meals. I also have to take 10 MG of Isosorbide at each meal and either drug alone or mixed causes gastro problems. One other thing – Metformin also puts the weight on you. No one seems to have any better ideas for getting around the stomach upset so I just bear with it for now. John Type 2

  • Shirley Brewer

    Metformin is a wonderful drug to keep your blood sugar in check. Just be sure your Dr. does kidney checks while you are on it. I took the drug until I had to be taken off of it. I try now to control with diet.

    Just for your info.

  • Moire

    When I was first diagnosed with Type II, I was put on Metformin with very good results, although the first 3 months really gave me an upset stomach, but my appetite decreased and I lost a few pounds.

    Then, after about 6 months, my doctor noticed that my kidney function was taking a turn for the worse, and I had to give it up. Now, I take Lantus and Humalog, along with a low dose of glipizide.

  • carol louise

    I have been diabetic for 21 yrs. I am 56 years old & have tried several different medications to manage my diabetes. The best thing that I have used & currently use is Lantus Insulin. But, I also take Amaryl (pill) which lowers the amount of insulin I need. The 2 things together have worked very, very well for me.
    My doctor did suggest Metformin about 1 year ago. So, I tried the Metformin with the Lantus Insulin. Within 2 weeks, I gained almost 10 pounds & felt sick, all the time. I have several friends who take Metformin & they ALL have gained a great deal of weight, up tp 40 pounds.
    As with all medications, please be aware of your body. Keep track of any changes in your health, even if it does not seem to be related to medicaion. Especially keep track when you have started a new medication.

  • Anne Baugh

    When I was told about the side effect of weight loss I was excited about taking Metformin. Almost immediately upon taking it, I became very nauseated but I kept trying for several weeks. I had to stop because the nausea did not go away and I also felt exhausted.

  • Vera

    Diagnosed as borderline diabetic, I took one Metformin and vowed never again. After taking that one, I had the worst case of diarrhea ever except for when preparing for a colonoscopy. I couldn’t leave the bathroom.

    That’s when I decided I’d deal with the pre-diabetes issue through diet & exercise, & today – about 10 months later – I’m pleased to report I dropped over 20 pounds & lowered BG to within normal.

    Anything I can do to avoid all those meds with side effects of diarrhea, weight gain, edema, etc., I will do….because if there’s a side effect out there, I’ll be the one to have it.

    It isn’t easy doing it my way, but it’s well worth it.

  • Michele W

    I have been on metformin now for a couple of years. I started it when I became a diabetic and the first month I lost 10 pounds with out me even doing anything. My doctor said oh yea it will help with weight loss. Well after that first month, I have not lost anything and there is no way my appetite is less. I am still craving sugar big time. My blood levels go up and down and I have told them that but since my a1c’s are in the range, they are not adjusting the metformin at all. I have no side effects that I could tell. I just really wish it would decrease my appetite a little more. I have thyroid issues to so with that being low, I gained weight too. I still after 3 years do not have my thyroid stable so maybe once i get my thyroid stable, then the weight will come off a bit more. Anyone else have thyroid issues plus have to take metformin? If so are you having as much trouble as me?

  • Karen Snyder

    History of taking this medication back when fist intoduced but found it caused my liver enzymes to go up and was only moderately helpful for A1C. currently on two oral and one injectable and fewer side affects.

  • Joy S

    After 47 years of being a Type 1, I found I was becoming insulin resistance. I was taking more and more insulin, gaining weight of courese from the additional insulin, and yet not getting the glucose results that I wanted. One of my doctors started me on Metformin and immediately I saw a difference in my glucose readings. I ended up losing 22 lbs within a year and lowering my daily insulin by 8 units. I have been very happy with the results from taking Metformin. I do exercise regularly and watch what I eat, results showing a lower A1c of 5.8. I’m a happy camper.

  • Annie

    My Mom & Aunt take metformin twice a day for their type 2 diabetes, it works great for them. My husband took it for over a year and he had chronic diarrhea, this can be a side affect. Although it controlled his blood sugar, it was hard for him to work with the problem. His Dr. eventually changed his meds but his blood sugar doesn’t do as well.

  • Vanessa

    When first diagnosed, I was prescribed metformin, I had the strangest side effect, my vision decreased. It helped lower my numbers but my vision was getting worst. I had my doctor change my medication and within a week of coming off the metformin, my vision was back to normal. Found out not to long ago the same thing happened with a co,worker of mines. Has anyone else experience this side effect?

  • Ed Greene

    I have been on metformin 1000mg for almost a year. Early on my numbers were not greatly different from my prior treatment.However i find thatprovided i am strict with my low carb diet my wake up numbers have gone below 100. Anyone who thinks that diet and drugs alone will take care of managing diabetes is grossly mistaken. You have to exercise to work off the sugar. I had started a walking campaign even tho i have other existing problems with bad knees and a history of cellulitis in the same leg.I just achieved my goal of a walk of 2 miles,with plenty of stops on park benches to regain control of my breathing. I am now starting a program at a cardaic fitness ctr in a major hospital.Last 4 year A1C was 6.3,6.4,6.3,6.4. lookin for a good reduction next time.

  • Jen Strickler

    I have been on 1000mg of metformin twice a day for almost 30 years. I don’t recall having any serious side effects, however, it also feels like the metformin is not doing anything to help lower my blood sugars. I experience more rapid results with using humalog and lantus than with metformin. I find it very hard to lose weight even with walking. Perhaps the metformin is helping to keep the weight on. I’m really not sure why I’m still taking it.

  • Sarah

    I also take the same medication for insulin resistance, but I find that when I work out that I get very dizzy and light headed. I still want to sleep all the time, and I’m still extremely hungry. What are you doing to avoid all of these symptoms?

  • Joseph Boyd

    One comment made stated that Metformin destroys the kidney may be true. I’m 70, had a double bypass heart surgery, A1c of 5.7, and was taken off of Metformin because my kidneys failed during surgery. Make sure that you have blood tests that measure your kidney function. Otherwise, I had good success with 500 mg daily.

  • jim snell

    interesting. for me it was bad a1c and actos that nearly nailed my kidneys.

    now under good a1c 6.4 and actos booted, kidneys stabalized and started improving after 3 year watch.

  • Becky

    Because of my age at diagnosis,55, I was diagnosed with type 2. Diet and exercise, enough to keep the BG down, caused me to lose too much weight, 7 lbs. down to 115 in 3 months. Dr. put me on Metformin. I got too many lows. Dr. changed my diagnosis to type 1, put me on insulin, took me off Metformin. I’m doing fine.

  • Dana

    I was diagnosed in July of 2012 with Type 2 at age 50. My A1C was 10.8. Doc prescribed Metformin 500mg 1X day. My A1C, after 3 months, is now 6.7, liver functions normal. It has helped me to lose 35 pounds, only 60 more to go (yes, exercise too) and I drink 80+ oz/day filtered water. My main side effect is constipation, which only affects a very small percentage. I have no issues with diarrhea, nausea or tiredness. I feel very fortunate that it is working and helping me get my health back.

  • lpalermo

    i’m a 73 yr old male – been on 500mg of metformin for 12 yrs – morn’g bg ave 98 – a1c for the past 12 yrs ave 5.6 – i was always diagnosed a borderline diabetic – side effects – my urination takes longer n is weaker? constipation constantly ! my hands n feet are freezing have numbness n tingling sensations constantly – cannot sleep unless i take ambien or amitryptyline n doxepin – got shingles march 2011 – resulting in phn – then neuropathy – agony is my present state ! my pcp thinks metformin helps control the numbers only! – every moment of every day – in agony ! totally consumed with this sickness ! been to more dr’s n specialists – and tests of every kind – thus far – nothing has helped !!

  • pmpatel

    I am a 40 yr old South Asian women whose entire family is diabetic – no, really. I am already thin (BMI = 19), already exercise 100-150 min/day, already eat a low-carb diet, don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t eat high fructose anything, and yet, my fasting glucose is over 100 and my A1c is 5.8. My doctor here in India (a diabetologist) suggests that I stay the course, not take meds and come back in 6 months for a re-check of my blood sugar, but I am frustrated by this approach because, if I have the power to delay onset of full-blown diabetes right now (as my family history would predict), I would like to try! I have not tried getting a second opinion because here in India I have found that there is no concept of prediabetes (and there should be since we are in the midst of a massive epidemic). Any thoughts/comments/insight would be greatly appreciated – thank you!

  • Cantrell

    I took Metformin faithfully for 1 year. During this time I complained to my primary doctor every quarterly visit about memory loss (forgetting simple tasks) and he stated it wasn’t the metformin. 5 months ago I asked my fathers sister if she was still taking Metformin and she said she stopped because it made her forgetful. This was 5 months ago. I wonder if it could be a genealogy thing going on. I stopped and my memory loss isn’t getting worse. I would like to know if any other diabetics can relate. I’m taking Cinnamon Pills and my new doctor suggest I take Glimepiride. I’m thinking about it. I’m aware Metformin has recently been called a Miracle Drug for Ovarian Cancer. I have recommended it to my cousin’s exboyfriend wife who has ovarian cancer a week ago and again this am.

  • lovey

    I also experienced major weight loss on metformin as well as chronic diarrhea , could not go any place without having a bathroom very handy ,I lost 58 pnds I felt great but the diarrhea made me stop taking it, gained nearly all the weight back, I often take extreme tired spells now when i eat bread or large meals, I wish I could take metformin without the diarrhea side affect as I also have poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS ), I had only 4-5 menstrual periods before i was 25 yrs old , diagnosed with PCOS AND INSULIN RESISTANT AT AGE 30, I took metformin for 1 year, at that time , now thinking that I should try it again ??? age 42

    • energy for u

      I am reading your post . As a mother of a 26 and 23 year old and a health educator, I can tell that you might be having some serious responses to gluten otherwise known as wheat. If you try for 3 weeks to get off of all whaet products, I would bet $100 your symprtoms wou;d significantly improve. Know it aeems hard ., but wrap sandwhiches in letteuce and eat apfruit instead of processed crackers and maybe your favorite nuts for filling you up! Best wishes.

  • blake

    dont forget extensive use can cause lactate acidois 50% people who have it dies also fda has a blackbox warning i would take it if it didnt cause this

  • Steve
  • v Eliot

    have had reactive hypoglycemia ten yrs–in Nov 2012 diagnosed w/ high sugar. A1C 7.2. took Metformin 500mg. Followed the diet,not hungry, couldn’t sleep,dry mouth, frequent urine trips, could’nt nap –readings 130 to over 200–very erratic. Also did exercize daily–felt bad most of time. I stopped taking Metformin for 5 days–felt much better but readings still crazy 145–218. Dr changed to Glimeperide 1 mg day w/bkfst. Sugar dropped very low by lunch and up high at dinner. It’s so confusing–Dr says it’s not uncommon to have low & high sugar at the same time. I stopped the Glimeperide yesterday. After the prescribed diet @ bkfst–am weak in two hrs prick is low–have a snack of 1 oz cheese & two triscuits. Ater two more hours weak again–will have lunch. sO PUZZLED. AM READING WHERE SOME PEOPLE experiment like I’m doing–it’s good to know that. Am wondering if it’s ok or do I really need th pill???? Dr says my range should be 100 to 120. I can’t function w that– soooo weak. most times my average over 7-10 days is 155. Posted by Gee 3-15-2013. I am a very senior.

  • Sunita Sangra


    Pls get urself checked for Non alcoholic liver damage. At times this remains undetected and it can lead to effects similar to diabetes because the sugar fat metabolism gets similarly disturbed as in diabetes; Many a time one leads to the other. Prolonged use of Metformin also leads to this condition in people who are allergic to the drug.

    Also pls use cinnamon a natural substance to reduce high blood sugar level. Other things like bitter gourd juice, fenugreek seeds (soaked overnight and consumed with the soaking water), a tropical fruit we call Jamun in India are also natural remedies.

    U can try the following
    mix 5 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds, 3 of carroway seeds and 1 part of normal cumin seeds. Roast a bit and powder and keep in a sealed container. Eat 1 spoon of this every night about 1 hr after ur meal with a little warm water. Not only does it reduce sugar, it cleans the digestive system and u will soon have a glowing complexion, shiny hair and overall health. Best of all it is safest and can be eaten with ur existing medicine routine.

    Wishing u best of health.

  • Sunita Sangra

    I forgot to add – many people are having non alcoholic liver cirrhosis w/o realizing it. So pls dont get worked up if u find u have it. Drs in India prescribe a low dosage of Udiliv for a while to mitigate it’s effects or even reverse it. Weight gain is usually the reason for both liver cirrhosis and diabetes. My father has diabetes and we discovered all this while getting him treated.

  • Dave

    I am a 32 year old male and I weighed 315lbs. I had a standard blood test done in June and when I went to follow up with my doctor early this month, he said that my A1C was 7.1 and I was probably diabetic. Welcome to the club :). He immediately put me on 500mg of metformin twice daily and told me to exercise and eat well. I have been doing just that: I am on a strict diet and I walk 1 hour a day for 4 days a week, and 30 minutes a day for the other 3 days. I have lost 15 lbs in the past month and my blood sugar levels have taken a huge hit: fasting blood sugar is usually around 4.0 (4.6 this morning), blood sugar during a meal is around 5, and blood sugar 2 hours after a meal is around 4.5. I see my doctor next week, and although I realize that I can’t take this forum as medical advise, does anyone have any prefictions as to what will happen if the doctor reduces or takes me off metformin? I am having no side affects.

  • Ray

    Last year I was admitted to ER with chest pains, 3rd time in a month, except this time they decided to run a glucose test on me, my blood glucose was 480, They put me on Metformin 1000mg 2x a day, along with glipizide and a few other meds to protect kidney function etc., I followed up with Primary care and he got the ball rolling to get my diabetes under control (A1c tests, Nutritionists, etc.) after a month I was put on nothing but Metformin (my initial A1C was 11.8), initially the diarrhea was troublesome but I took it as a blessing as the pain was no longer in my chest, after a few weeks all side effects of Metformin had subsided, for the next few months I followed a strict diet and started walking daily (3-5 miles), at the 6 month mark my A1C was at 4.8, I had lost 60lbs, and was feeling pretty good, My doctor reduced my Metformin dose to 500mg 2x day, I did notice a small jump in my Blood Glucose but it never went above 110 (even after a particularly heavy meal), for the next 6 months my diet laxed a bit as I started becoming comfortable with what foods did to me, I allowed myself a few simple pleasures, Ice cream 1-2x a month, started eating cereals again (not a lot) but was on track to getting back to healthy normal, my last A1C was 4.6 so still doing well, I have lost 100lbs in the last 14 months, but a couple months ago my weight loss had stalled, I knew what the problem was, I was not eating enough, I was just never hungry anymore, and struggled to consume 900 calories a day, So I joined a Gym and started weight training, I quickly learned that I had to eat something before my workouts since my first bout of cardio tanked my glucose to the low 50’s, the workouts did make me hungry afterwards but not enough so I added 2 protein shakes day to try and boost my metabolism, after a month of trying to get hungry I went to see my doctor, he stopped my Metformin, saying it was time to self regulate, kind of scared of what may happen once the Metformin completely leaves my system, am on day 2 without it and have noticed my glucose has gone up. i.e. waking up with a 93 instead of 77, Guess I will just have to monitor my glucose more closely and reassess what foods do what to my levels again, hopefully this will work and I can drop the last 40lbs and finally be free of past self destruction

    • Emerald Eyes

      Your story supports everything that doctors are now saying DIET + EXERCISE = WEIGHT LOSS = HEALTH. Congratulations.

  • Joanne

    Wow, what a superb read. Thanks for everyone who has written their story, they are all insightful.
    I have had pre-diabetes for about 5 years and probably been diabetic for around a year but been in denial.
    A few weeks ago I was feeling unwell and checked my BS, it was 11pm and read 319. I freaked out and jumped on the treadmill t bring it down fast. Next day off to Dr, where I was fully tested and put on 500mg once a day Metformin.
    The following week I saw an endocrinologist, he changed it to 500 XR and said for me to double up the dose (500 XR x 2 every evening). I will double up in a few days. I have results already, but need to move my BS down quicker I think.

    My fasting BS has come down from 268 to 176. I am keeping it below 200 during the day also, and have had a low of 111 today, so I must be doing something right. My A1C was 9.5. …….I am so upset!
    I am eating a diet of vegetables and protein mostly.
    No bread, rice or potato, probably never again.

    I am 51 by the way and reached this stage through my love of chocolates, candies and ice cream.

  • Gail C.

    This has been a wonderful site, to hear all your news. For almost 2 years a1c has been in upper 6 s. Now it is 8.1 so now on metformin 250 mg twice a day. I think it’s been high for quite a while. Have had diabetic nerve pain for quite a while,in toes, feet and left forearm and shoulder, alot of painful pins and needles, numbness, sharp and throbbing pain. Also I am extremely fatigued have just had 2nd back surgery and also suffer from fibromyalgia for many years. Want to exercise more if my body allows it. I am totally keeping track of carbs and calories (need to lose 20 lbs.). Would like to know from anyone on Metformin to tell me that the fatigue gets better??? Also,if a1c levels go down to low 6 s or lower do you get to stop the metformin?

    • David Seigler

      Yes, I have found that drinking alot of water helps a great deal. I have been on Metformin for 3 years now, it was really fustrating at first put i learned alot since then. For me fruits and vegetables helps regulate also, along with exercising. I have lost 30 pound and added some muscle as well. Weight training is a great way to get stronger inside and out.

    • Vilma Arroyo

      I’m 60 year old, All I could tell u is that my A1C was 6.7 and was diagnosed pre diabetic, my doctor put me on medformin 500 twice a day. Since April of 2016 I have been taking for 5 months. On the second month In started feeling pain in my feet numbness, and sharp pain needles, and itching inside the feet. To make my story short. I just decided to do Zumba 5 days and cut carbs and cut sugar. Off course medformin help me loose 25 pound in 5 months. Now my A1C is 5.8. and I stopped myself medformin. Because I cannot continue with the pain in my feet. And started having pain in my breast. On r serving day without medformin I had less burning of feet and pain. I’m going on a week with out medformin and could tell you ask my pain is gone. And I know I have continue with my exercises and a low carb menu.

  • Gail C.

    Past 2 days bg levels have both been at 129 (barely normal). Still learning how to use the glucose meter, with the help of my husband. Turns out it’s easy and doesn’t hurt. Stressed myself out for nothing. Luckily I only have to do fasting bg level in am before breakfast. This is a WONDERFUL SITE!!!!!!

  • Gail C.

    Also, so far have had no side effects from the Metformin!!!

  • Susan

    I’m a 45 yo woman (otherwise healthy) but began taking Metformin for a precancerous condition as it is alternatively being used to prevent some cancers. After a few days on it I got a yeast infection, then urinary tract infection. On week two I started having muscle pain and tingling and numbness in my sleep. By the end of the second week I was having heart palpitations, muscle weakness and bizarre pains (flu like) as well as muscles twitching. I had to stop it. It completely wreaked havoc on my system. Do you think the Metformin made me too alkaline? Caused my sugar to drop too much?

  • Gail C.

    I now have side effects. Mainly nausea and dizziness added to all the Type 2 Diabetes symptoms. Ugh!!!! Now totally miserable!!!!

  • Julie Sale

    I was diagnosed with diabetes type 2 three weeks ago now and put on Metformin. I have not felt so good for years. I hadn’t realised that it was diabetes that was making me so tired, so the diagnosis and medication has been welcome as now I can manage the problem. Rather than stay negative about the diagnosis (although I felt pretty depressed about it for the first week) I have decided that this is the beginning of the rest of my healthier life and completely changed my lifestyle. Stopped sugar (apart from in fruit), drinking alcohol and smoking. I have also taken up more exercise and am completely buzzing. Life is fun again. I found the drug worked quickly for me. The stomach trouble side effect only lasted a couple of days and my appetite has returned to close to normal after a few weeks and I had needed to lose a bit of weight too. It has really suited me.

  • Gail C.

    Side effects continue but not so severe. I count every carb I eat and have stopped all alcohol. Have lost 8 first week. Hope the weight loss continues need to lose 10 to 12 lbs. more. I’m 62 years old. Still having trouble to quit smoking, can’t do everything at once!!!! I now swim almost every day!!!! Good luck to fellow Metformin users.


    i hv been diagnoised diabetic fb-103 post 205 –and hbaic-8.1 after taking metamorfin twice a days after 20 days i am with 105 and 160 below always with hbaic-5.89 .. wondering can i free from diabetic ……

  • brasileiro americano

    By the time I found out I was diabetic, my blood sugar level was almost 300 and I had an Hb A1C of 12.4 (indicating that my blood sugar was over 300), plus when I started twice-a-day testing of my blood sugar (before starting on Metformin) my blood sugar was 303. Since then, I have had a couple of days of spikes where my blood sugar was 200 or higher, but I had about 2 days in the 80’s and two days in the 50’s, but I’m thinking those may have been glucometer errors. I also had one reading yesterday that was 200, and I repeated it immediately and it said only 138. So the Metformin seems to be lowering it at the dose I am taking (500 mg 2x daily), but I wonder if I might be put on a higher dosage when I go back to the doctor in a couple of weeks, as my blood sugar average is about 160. I even try measuring out food and calculating carbs to make sure I stay within the range of 45g of carbs for meals and 15g to 30g for snacks, as suggested by my dietician. She said that as long as my evening blood sugar is below 180, I should be fine. But should my blood sugar be that high if I am taking 1000mg of Metformin every day, even if the two pills are 10-12 hours apart?

    • Cati

      Don’t take this as medical advice, since we’re not doctors here – but based on my experience your dietician is probably a little optimistic. I took Metformin for about seven years before I had weight loss surgery; after gastric bypass my sugars normalized and I was able to stop all my diabetes meds for almost 8 years. I’ve recently had to go back on it as I have some other health issues that have cause my blood glucose to rise again. Take a look at the timing of your doses; I was told to take mine right before dinner, not at bedtime, because it works best if taken along with the food.

  • donna griffith

    I was taking off metformin about 6 months ago due to having digestive tract problems , since then I now have been experiencing tremors . I am now wondering if by stopping metformin this could have anything to do with it. I have ask a couple of my doctor but do not get any straight answers from them as to why. I have been type 2 for about 10 yrs A 1 C level are 6.6 thanks for any help donna griffith

  • Abe Choi

    I have been only taking metformin for 2 days but I have changed my diet and excercided. My fasting blood sugar is not lowering, it is constantly around the 180 range. should I be worrried?

  • willliam

    i take metformin along with trulicity once a week and glimepiride 1pill daily i eat healthy but my a1c level was high on monday 8.6 at my pre-operation test appointment . my knee operation is schedule for october 10 ,but this high level will delay might operation will insulin help bring down my a1c level with continued eating healthy

  • Emerald Eyes

    Your eating habits sound awful. Food is important to Diabetics. Specifically, cutting the sugar out of your diet, eating tons of greens and having regular meals. You mentioned ”insulin levels” are you on insulin shots? There’s a Dr. Jason Fung on You Tube who is getting patients off all meds through Diet and Intermittent Fasting. His videos may be of some help.

  • Emerald Eyes

    Doctors are now realizing that diet is everything with Diabetes. No sugar, no breads or any starches, eating healthily should bring your numbers down and eventually they are seeing their patients off of all meds with very normal numbers. Diabetics have been told that bread in moderation, sugar in moderation, are all ok. Nope. For those of us who are Insulin Resistant our bodies don’t handle pure sugar effectively and the beta cells stop listening to the insulin knock at the door. That is why fat around the middle is so prevalent in diabetics. The sugar is going into the blood and not into the cells the way it does with non-diabetics. Change your diet to tons of greens, no sugars and no breads and watch what happens. Diabetes/Insulin Resistance is indeed reversible.

  • Tina

    I don’t have diabetes will network still help in weight loss

  • Tina

    Will metformin still help weight loss if I am not diabetic

  • I was shooting LONG ACTING INSULIN 30-30-30 and LENTUS 15 in morning- ALL FAILED !
    Then they increased LENTUS …and dropped NOVARAPID – it failed.
    Now I am trying METFORMIN – 5090 mg x 2 but I see no change…..
    Its frustration seeping in