Me and My Metformin

(I can’t help thinking I should make up a song with lyrics about “Me and My Metformin” set to the tune of this classic Sesame Street video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgkYHhG18uc  It was one of my favorite memories from childhood, and shaped my attitude around good dental hygiene, I’m sure.)

As I’ve mentioned before, I started taking Metformin a few months after I had a baby because I was having crazy issues with spiking blood sugars after breakfast that nothing else seemed to fix. Metformin is usually a drug given to Type 2 diabetics, but it appears I have Type 2 tendencies with regards to insulin resistance, even though I am most definitely a Type 1. Best of both worlds. Yay.

What I failed to mention was, it was my OB/Gyn who prescribed it for me. I was seeing my endocrinologist on a regular basis (every 3 months, baby!), but he had never brought it up as something that might help my continuing saga of insulin resistance, nor as something that may have helped with fertility issues. My OB/Gyn started me out on a pretty aggressive dose – 500mg of the extended release pills, twice per day. (I did inform my endo that I was taking it at my next appointment, and he was fine with it.)

Metformin

Metformin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Imagine my surprise when our little girl was 6 months old, I had been taking Metformin for about 2 months, and I suddenly realized one night that I was pregnant. (Of course, I had not gone back on birth control after having my daughter – it took such extraordinary measures for me to get pregnant with her, there was NO WAY it was happening naturally. Right?) Several pregnancy tests later confirmed it. We were over the moon with joy, called the OB/Gyn and made the proverbial 8 weeks check-in appointment.

I don’t think I can discuss this right now, but in short, I had a miscarriage. That is not the focus of today’s post, and I just can’t bring up those emotions today. The point is: I believe the Metformin at least “helped” in my ability to get pregnant on my own. Also, having recently had a baby, I’m sure that was a contributing factor to kick-starting my reproductive system. If Metformin could help me have a child on my own someday, we were destined to have a long and prosperous friendship.

My relationship with Metformin has gradually changed over the last (almost) 2 years that I have been taking it. About a year ago, I felt like it wasn’t  as effective as it had been when I first started taking it. I was getting strange overnight blood sugar spikes-and-hanging-out-for-hours in the 200s for no good reason. LOTS of them. On a whim, I tried cutting out the 2nd dose of Metformin that I was taking in the evening at dinner time. (My theory was that the Metformin was possibly lowering my sugar just enough to where my liver wanted to take back control and crank out some extra sugar to get me through the night.)  Magic happened! My sugars regulated back to overnight happy places between 90-120.

Things have been great with Metformin over the past year  (A1c’s have been consistently in the 5.9-6.3 range) until recently, when the dreaded post-breakfast blood sugar spikes have started up again. A couple of days ago, I tested another theory and didn’t take the Metformin at all. I had a TERRIFIC blood sugar day, with numbers on my Dexcom showing between 65-140 for an entire 24 hour period. No-hitter day!!!

…and then yesterday I tried not taking it again (see below.) Looks like I’ve got some work* to do with me & my Metformin. Dexcom Sans Metformin, Day 2(*Post Update -the “work” is what Scott mentions in his comment to this post – it’s tough to be patient and realize that ANYTHING could be causing weird blood sugar issues, and a couple of days of numbers isn’t really a good litmus test when you’re working on a theory. Oh, and I mention this in the About section, but ya’ll know, I am NOT a doctor or medical professional of any sort, so please don’t change your medications and what-not without consulting your own medical team of experts.)

UPDATE as of 5/29/2014 – A year later, and I am still taking Metformin daily. Not sure what that weird hiccup was, but taking Metformin out of my daily regimen of diabetes management was not in the cards. Overall, it’s been a “good” diabetes year. My A1Cs have been below 7, and while there are always the occasional WTH high or low sugar days, I feel like I’ve been swimming along, and swimming well. Let’s keep that up.

2 thoughts on “Me and My Metformin

  1. First, let me offer both congratulations and sympathies for what you described in this post. Since you choose not to elaborate further, neither will I, but I hope you understand this in the spirit in which it is intended.

    Referring to your last two days’ blood sugars, I wouldn’t be so quick to say the Metformin did this (or didn’t do this). There are so many factors at hand that influence blood sugars: the insulin and medications, the food, the alignment of the stars, and dumb luck, to name a few. Really, it could be anything. It’s hard to be patient, but really - I’d wait a few days and see what happens (the upcoming holiday weekend is bound to mess with things too… but have a good one!)

    • You are absolutely correct! It could be anything, and sometimes I am quick to judge and point the blame at whatever variable I changed recently. See, Metformin and I have that kind of volatile relationship 🙂 My period is due any day now (ha, ha, made you read stuff about lady parts!) and that always makes things wackadoodle. OK, I’d better stop replying now because this is giving me some good fodder for another post and I don’t want to use it all up. Thanks so much – you rock!! And hope you have a super weekend as well!!

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