Do i need Metformin

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I am a 54yr old male of lean build, no othe health issues. Four years ago was diagnosed pre diabetic and since then have continued with a healthy diet and lots of exercise (triathlons, marathons). Went for annual check-up recently and blood sugar level came back 6.6 (I have personally tested my sugars monthly over the last four years, ranging between 5.3 and 6.7) and Doc reckons I should start taking Metformin (500mg daily) to prevent any health issues in the coming years. Not one for taking drugs and just wondering if a second opinion would be wise. I realise this dosage is at the lower end but fear of the 'slippery slope' scenario is nagging me. Any thoughts welcome.

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  • Posted

    That's doctors for you isn't it, they love to medicate you. It always strikes me that they just love to stuff one full of chemicals rather than give life style advice. I'm pre diabetic myself and my dr said 'Just watch your diet, your numbers will rise and I'll have the metformin for you when they reach near 50 [A1c] '. Foregone conclusion in his eyes.
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  • Posted

    That's doctors for you isn't it, they love to medicate you. It always strikes me that they just love to stuff one full of chemicals rather than give life style advice. I'm pre diabetic myself and my dr said 'Just watch your diet, your numbers will rise and I'll have the metformin for you when they reach near 50 [A1c] '. Foregone conclusion in his eyes.
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  • Posted

    Hi Alan,

    I was diagnosed as prediabetic a few weeks ago.  From that day I switched to a low carb/highish fat diet and it is working really well as far as blood sugar is concerned.

    May I ask whether you follow such a diet?  I received no guidance at all from my GP and opted instead to follow fantastic advice from a well known diabetic website.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lynn,

      No I don't follow such a diet - just a well-balanced (in my eyes) one of low sugar, low-fat, complex carbs, plenty veg and some fruit. Figure I need the carbs for the exercise I do - what do you call a highish fat diet?

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    • Posted

      You can eat all meats, fish, eggs, cheese and processed meats i.e. Ham, bacon in moderation, plus whole milk, double cream, cream cheese, yoghurt, butter, olive oil and mayonnaise.

      The carbs are the ones to watch.  Most vegetables grown above ground are absolutely fine.  Below ground veg you will need to test yourself for to see if they spike your BS.  Be very careful with fruit as they contain a lot of sugar. I find I am fine with berries i.e. Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries.

      I have found that I can eat some bread, such as Livlife, but white bread, pasta and rice do me no favours.  Potatoes are OK, but only a very small amount.  Sweet potato is better.  Chips in small amounts, too.

      As I am new to this, I have been advised to test before and two hours after eating and it has been a revelation.  Plus, I am now happily within my BMI at 8 st 11 lbs.

      Doing everything in my power to avoid slipping into diabetes.  Whether it works, or not, I will have done my very best.  And a bacon sandwich for lunch isn't too difficult, is it?

      Kind regards. Lynn

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    • Posted

      Lynn has put you in the picture of the low carb high fat diet. It's totally sustainable and together with exercise it really works. I lost loads of weight anyway, far, far more than with weight watchers or the NHS food plate - which is a disaster for diabetics. High fat and low carb is good for diabetics and for controlling BS. Until I discovered that way of eating on the diabetic-website-whose-name-we-mustn't-mention-here [!!] I never realised the difference between calories and carbs. You get your energy from the fat not the carbohydrate.

      Do try it before going on metformin if you can - just don't tell your dr how you lowered your numbers if he asks biggrin. Best of luck!

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    • Posted

      Evening Jane.  We spoke just after my 'diagnosis'.  Low carb/high fat has worked wonders for weight-loss (luckily there wasn't too much to come off) and for BS which is mainly in the low 5's.

      As you say, completely sustainable and will now be a way of life rather than a 'diet'.  What on earth is wrong with the NHS and their advice?  It is light- years away from what is truely effective.

      And, by the way, good luck with your results in the New Year.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lynn,

      My current diet includes fish, eggs, nuts, yoghurt & olive oil though not processed meats and cream - all good fats i believe. My concern about trying a low carb diet is it's effect on my running, from the research I have done it seems a high fat diet cannot sustain an endurance athlete in terms of energy beyond a certain point and the general consensus is that a balanced diet is best. My most used carbs are oats, sweet potato, brown rice and couscous.

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  • Posted

    I was diagnosed in 2005  I have 'progressed' from Type 2 using diet and exercise, then with Glicazide and now with insulin. Current NHS thinking has me eating a 'balanced' diet with  starchy carbs on every plate. My targeted BG levels are to be in single figures. I think that if you are still on the right side of 7.0 then I would hesitate to start medicating yet. But, diabetes is progressive and I really wasn't warned of this often enough. However, you have the prospect of managing it before it has progressed and the more you know the easier it becomes.
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    • Posted

      Current NHS thinking and balanced diets are 2 separate things !! How can you lower your BG levels whilst eating off their 'Eatwell Plate'. It's impossible and shocking the way they promote this. Then they wonder why we have both an obesity crisis and a diabetic epidemic.Crazy
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    • Posted

      Yep Jane, a time-bomb waiting to explode.  Can you imagine what's happening in the US?!!

       

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    • Posted

      Sorry, Jane, to disagree but it is a matter of balancing your insulin level to your diet and there is an over-riding philosophy that ensures that you don't suffer a 'hypo' because of a lack of carbs. I have had a hypo and it's not pleasant. Insulin levels are different for every individual and tailored to that individual's diet. If your diet is consistent and balanced than the insulin levels for you are fairly well controlled and consistent. In fact, I much prefer the insulin treatment because it is very carefully regulated as compared with taking tablets. My consultant is a professor at Glasgow University and I have confidence that he knows what he is doing for all his patients.

       

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    • Posted

      You're the patient, and I'm no medic and nor am I a diabetic so only know what I read up on but there are plenty of people who would doubt what you say but if you're happy with  that then that's fine.  I do  know that diabetes is progressive and most people will end up on insulin eventually, it all rather depends on how old one is when diagnosed I suppose.

      However  ALL  starch turns to glucose in the body so if you're trying to lower your BG doesn't it make  sense to reduce the carbs, at least if you're prediabetic?

      I still maintain that the NHS et al are wrong to tell people to eat so many carbs. Since I started lowering carbs I no longer seem to get that sugar crash in the middle of the afternoon which I certainly used to get and I believe the high carb diet that I used to have was responsible.

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    • Posted

      In my opinion they are giving out the wrong messages on diet. ALL carbs turn to sugar in the gut. Low fat foods invariably mean high sugar to make them taste good and sugar has been proved to cause inflamation.

      It's just my opinion but i do think this mantra of demonising saturated fats is wrong and outdated. Just my opinion and I'm not a diabetic but I do know if I was I'd follow the low carb and high fat way of life. It's not a diet it's a way of life.

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