Metformin and probiotics

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Everyone knows that metformin gives you pretty horrible diarrhea?, but I haven't heard anyone suggest trying to fix it with probiotics, including of course yogurt.  I just started taking metformin and happened to add not yogurt but cottage cheese to my diet - and coincidentally or not the problem seems to have moderated quite a bit.  It seems pretty obvious to *try*, but I haven't seen it online and certainly the doctors and nutritionists never mentioned it.  So ... anyone?

Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jx, there are a few issues at hand. First, the assumption that the cause of the gut issues is metformin interfering with gut flora. We don’t know that metformin disrupts gut flora, do we?

    Why not antibiotics? Slippery slope. Treat the side effects of one medication with another, and another... you take antibiotics, you have a bigger problem because it causes diarrhea and an overgrowth of yeast and fungus. Then you need to take an antifungal- which also causes more problems. Vicious cycle. 

    Why not yogurt. Yogurt, assuming you make your own, only has probiotics that are effective in the presence of dairy. Everything I’ve read is that store bought yogurt doesn’t really have any live cultures, and that milk cultures aren’t the answer to anything except if you eat dairy.

    Ok, so you eat cottage cheese and it helps. I’d narrow it down to either the fats, which could act as a coating for your gut to protect it. Or high protein content- you could test this by trying essential amino acids. I’ve found them to be very helpful for gut issues.

    Probiotics? A lot of people find they’re helpful for gut issues and to combat problems caused by antibiotics. I’ve tried tons of them for my own gut issues and the only one I’ve found to feel like it possibly helps is kombucha tea. I don’t take metformin, I’m on this site because my mother is diabetic. I’ve come to the realization that the gut issues I have are caused by other problems that need to be addressed. 

    I’ll do a search and post again if I run across any useful information.

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    • Posted

      Ok, a quick search reveals that metformin has been linked to B12 deficiency, pancreatitis, and lactic acudo
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    • Posted

      ... and lactic acidosis. 

      I’m pretty sure these are the likely causes of the gut problems related to metformin. 

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    • Posted

      Funny you should mention that, I just thought it had been a while since I took a B12, so I've been using some the last couple of days!

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  • Posted

    There is a slow release version of metformin. I had trouble getting used to them and was taking 2 a day. We have an excellent chemist in town and he suggested taking them both at once. That seemed pretty odd to me but the chemist is good and I trust him, so I did this and it worked. 2 after my evening meal no problem.

    Sarah

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    • Posted

      Yes, I've also heard about the time-release versions being friendlier.  We'll see, I expect once I start seeing the endocrinologist we'll be trying different meds.  Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hi I had quite an upset stomach when I was first put on metformin. My GP put me on the slow release metformin and I haven't had that bother. She told me it was more expensive so I am glad she gave me it. Maybe you could ask your GP if you could try it.

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