Looks like I'm diabetic and metformin was suggested

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I'm waiting for the results of a blood test today but the practice nurse said that on the basis of the last one I'm almost certainly diabetic: level was 7.1 and should be 6

She said if I am diabetic the gp will probably prescribe Metformin: she already knows that my diet is very healthy and that I exercise, but I am overweight and have been for most of my life since birth.

What experiences have other people had with this medication?  The list of "side" (ie unwanted) effects is very daunting, except for the weight loss one

Thanks in advance.  I'm on 3 other forums with patient.info and have found them very helpful, so I'm assuming this one will be too

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  • Posted

    If this is a Fasting Blood Sugar then it is only borderline abnormal, nothing to panic about.  If it is not a Fasting BS then it is meaningless.  The first line of treatment should be diet alone and there may be many more adjustments than you realise that can be made to get your sugars back to the normal range.

    If you do go on Metformin (the usual first line of medication) you would start on a small dose.  It has been used for many decades and is safe and effective at helping the muscles utilize the blood sugar.  The main side effect a rumbling tummy, farting and minor discomfort; this lessens as you get used to it and you should always take it during or after food, which also helps.  I've been taking it for a few years and along with strict diet and exercise and my diabetic control is reasonably good.  You may lose weight which can only help your health.

    If your practice nurse is not a diabetic specialist you certainly need to see your doctor or a specialist for proper assessment and advice.  Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Thanks, but I don't see how the non-fasting test can be totally meaningless?  Surely it gives an indication of whether or not I need to have the Fasting Blood BS?   She's not a diabetic specialist, I go to her because she's a pulmonary specialist and I have COPD.

      Thanks for the info on Metformin, that doesn't sound too scary and losing weight would be a good thing for me anyway.  I was a bit concerned because an acquaintance who loves to "awfulise" used to go on and on about how "terrible" it was, but I should've known better than to take any notice of her.

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    • Posted

      A Random (ie non-fasting) BS of 7.1 is within the normal range and does not indicate a diagnosis of diabetes.  To test if you have diabetes you must have a Fasting BS, that is a blood test after 12 hours without food or drink apart from water.  It's unlikely that you have diabetes or need Metformin but you should see your doctor and have the test.  Millions of people take Metformin without much difficulty!
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    • Posted

      Depending on the results of yesterday's non-fasting test I will have a fasting one.  I was referred for one a couple of months ago but haven't it because of sleep problems from PSTD which cause me to wake a lot of mornings at around 4 am and that's too long to be awake without even a coffee and other mornings I've had early appointments.

      You sound very well-informed:  what is the "normal" range?  

      I know I'm in the risk group for diabetes

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