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Frequent Advisor
Abunchofpricks
Total Posts: 145
Registered on: ‎09-02-2011

How long before you started feeling better?

It's been said that there is an adjustment period that occurs after being diagnosed with diabetes and beginning treatment where your body needs to get used to the new lower blood glucose numbers.  Paradoxically, some symptoms actually get worse before getting better when this adjustment period begins -- vision getting blurrier before returning to normal, for instance.  I'm curious to know how long it took for you to begin feeling better again after beginning to manage your diabetes?

 

I started to feel negative effects 4 hours after taking my first dose of metformin.  I started to feel lightheaded and a bit "loopy."  Six months later, I have not had a single day go by where I haven't felt lousy, dizzy or lightheaded.  I've developed vision issues that I didn't have before diagnosis - graying vision, brightness/contrast issues, spottiness.  When I've complained about the symptoms to my doctors, I've gotten responses from "I don't know what's causing it" to "It's normal and will get better."  When it hadn't gotten better and I mentioned that I seem to experience the symptoms when my blood pressure is low, it's been suggested that it might be dehydration.  But drinking extra water and zero-carb sports drinks to replenish electrolytes haven't done anything but make me urinate more often.

 

There doesn't seem to be any consistency as to the frequency or occasion when the symptoms occur.  Sometimes it is just one symptom at a time, other times it is multiple symptoms.  Some episodes last 10 or 15 minutes, other episodes leave me feeling lousy for days at a time.  I'm seeing tangible results from the controlled blood glucose - neuropathy is supposed improving; retinopathy as well.  My meter shows that I'm continuing to trend downward with glucose levels in the 70s before and two-hours after meals.  I'm not experiencing glucose highs or lows, even when testing during one of these episodes.

 

Reading other people's experiences here on the board, I feel like I don't have things so bad and that I shouldn't complain about how I feel.  Though I don't think things are getting better, I do feel like I'm tolerating them better.  But at the same time, I'm jealous of reading reports from people who start talking about how much better they feel since getting their diabetes under control. 

 

Though I wouldn't hope that others have had to suffer feeling lousy like this for as long as I have, I guess I was hoping that others may have experienced these feelings for as long -- or longer -- than I have and that there is still hope that someday I'll start feeling like my old self again.  Thanks!

Matt
Visit my personal blog - ABunchOfPricks.com

Type 2 Diabetic
Diagnosed April 2011

A1C:
4/20/2011 - 11.3
8/1/2011 - 5.5
11/1/2011 - 5.4
1/23/2012 - 5.5
7/19/2012 - 5.6
2/12/2013 - 5.5
10/7/2013 - 5.3
Managing with diet and exercise
Frequent Advisor
xenablue
Total Posts: 1,775
Registered on: ‎11-02-2009

Re: How long before you started feeling better?

Sorry to hear you're not feeling well,

 

Firstly, the Metformin - this med. works very slowly - over a period of days, weeks, even months until it builds up in your system to start really making a difference in your BG numbers.  I'd highly doubt the Met. would make you feel the way you were within 4 hours, although it MAY have caused some digestive upset, which is the only side-effect I know of. 

 

You seem to be doing everything right to manage your T2, so have you looked outside this and considered that perhaps you are feeling poorly due to something else?

 

If your BG numbers are in good range and not making wild swings from high to low (and you are testing often it seems) then if it was me, I'd be looking for other reasons.

 

Cheers,

xena 




Dx 2008 - A1C 8.6
Current A1C 5.5
Valued Contributor
maplesyrup
Total Posts: 4,364
Registered on: ‎11-14-2009

Re: How long before you started feeling better?

Reading other people's experiences here on the board, I feel like I don't have things so bad and that I shouldn't complain about how I feel.  Though I don't think things are getting better, I do feel like I'm tolerating them better.  But at the same time, I'm jealous of reading reports from people who start talking about how much better they feel since getting their diabetes under control. 

 

Though I wouldn't hope that others have had to suffer feeling lousy like this for as long as I have, I guess I was hoping that others may have experienced these feelings for as long -- or longer -- than I have and that there is still hope that someday I'll start feeling like my old self again.  Thanks!

 

Matt, don't ever feel you have to apologize for venting or complaining here. It is a huge part of diabetes for all of us and sharing your experiences helps all of us to better understand our own.

 

I am glad that your neuropathy and retinopathy symptoms seem to be improving and you really do seem to have a handle on your blood glucose.

 

But it does seem unfair that never a day passes that you do not feel unwell in some way. Perhaps a combination of nagging your doctors and being as patient and upbeat as possible may see you through this.

 

I was diagnosed with an A1c of 9.1 and was surprised that I did not know that there was something wrong. I had been very active and felt well.

 

But it took a little over 6 months before I realized that I really had way more energy and strength than I had before diagnosis. I should add here that I quit smoking at almost the same time as my diagnosis- giving up that habit initially added to the unpleasantness of adjusting to metformin and the anxiety of high numbers.

 

I must admit that I do have times when I feel a little jealous of those on the board who can eat way more than I can and still get an A1c below 5%. But that is a short lived envy and I know that I am lucky enough to have the ability to walk and do many other things that many other seniors, diabetic or not, are unable to do.


Diabetes and life are conditions where YMMV, your milage may vary, and in most cases I think we can find pleasure and satisfaction within our limits.

 

I wish you well,

Dianne

 


Dianne

Diagnosed as type 2 in 2005 with an A1c of 9.1

Started with metformin and a low dose of an ARB for blood pressure. Added a sulfonylurea (a med that helps my pancreas produce my own insulin) Also a low dose of Crestor to lower my cholesterol.
After 7 years I could no longer tolerate metformin so am doing my best to keep control with a max dose of the sulfonylurea and lots of walking, some swimming.
Super Advisor
yellocanoe
Total Posts: 3,142
Registered on: ‎11-02-2009

Re: How long before you started feeling better?

Matt,

 

I started to feel better not long after diagnosis, but really felt better after a year+.  Nonetheless, I don't always feel great 2 years into this.  Some days are good and some days are better I guess.

 

Tom

Diagnosed T2 October, 2009  A1c 6.8
Currently on Metformin ER 1000mg per day
Last A1c 09/21/2013  5.4
Super Advisor
Talvie
Total Posts: 3,423
Registered on: ‎10-30-2009

Re: How long before you started feeling better?


yellocanoe wrote:

Matt,

 

I started to feel better not long after diagnosis, but really felt better after a year+.  Nonetheless, I don't always feel great 2 years into this.  Some days are good and some days are better I guess.

 

Tom


As I've always said, some days it's diamonds and some days it's rust.  Most days, I feel fine, but every once in a while -- two or three times a year at least -- I wake up and I just don't feel good.  I'll just feel completely washed out, but my numbers will be fine.  I don't know what causes it, but it happens.  As long as I'm feeling good the other 99% of the time, I think I'm still in the "win" column. :smileyhappy: 

 

I didn't really start to feel like myself again until I started an exercise program.  I don't know why, but that seemed to energize me and get me back to feeling myself again.  But it was probably six months to a year before I really felt better.  Most of the time, I feel better than I did well before I was diagnosed. 


Talvie


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Anais Nin
Type 2 Diabetes diagnosed December 13, 2000 w/A1c of 7.6. June 2014 A1c 5.6 Controlling with diet and exercise, and 500mg daily of metformin.
alan_s
Total Posts: 15,040
Topics: 208
High Fives: 1,593
Solutions: 180
Registered on: ‎10-30-2009

Re: How long before you started feeling better?



There doesn't seem to be any consistency as to the frequency or occasion when the symptoms occur.  Sometimes it is just one symptom at a time, other times it is multiple symptoms.  Some episodes last 10 or 15 minutes, other episodes leave me feeling lousy for days at a time.  I'm seeing tangible results from the controlled blood glucose - neuropathy is supposed improving; retinopathy as well.  My meter shows that I'm continuing to trend downward with glucose levels in the 70s before and two-hours after meals.  I'm not experiencing glucose highs or lows, even when testing during one of these episodes.

 


You've had good advice from the others. Your A1c is excellent.

 

Just two questions. What numbers do you see whn you test at the moments of discomfort? Do you ever test at one hour instead of two?

 

If you do neither, consider adding those tests at one hour after your last bite and also when you feel poorly for the next week to see if any patterns emerge.

Cheers, Alan, Type 2, d&e metformin 2000mg, Australia.
Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter.
There is nothing I could eat I like more than my eyes.
Type 2 Diabetes - A Personal Journey(latest: Catering For Different Tastes When Cooking)
Born Under a Wandering Star (Latest: Budapest, Hungary)
Frequent Advisor
Abunchofpricks
Total Posts: 145
Registered on: ‎09-02-2011

Re: How long before you started feeling better?

Thanks everyone for the feedback and words of encouragement.
I'm smart enough to understand that I won't reverse years worth of damage in the matter of a few months.  I was just wondering whether my doctors have been right to not worry about how I've been feeling or whether there is something more to be concerned about.  To me, I would have expected to begin feeling "normal" again by now but even though it is not getting better, per se, I am tolerating it a bit more.  I'm just concerned about this continuing longer term.  I'd just feel better about this if these were symptoms I was feeling before being diagnosed rather than symptoms that have developed since beginning treatment.  I guess I'll learn to manage but it's not something I'd like to live with every day for the rest of my life if I don't have to.  At the same time, I realize that things could be a lot worse.  I'll continue to worry about what I can control and make sure I continue to keep on top of those things rather than worry about what I can't control.

alan_s wrote:
Just two questions. What numbers do you see whn you test at the moments of discomfort? Do you ever test at one hour instead of two?

If you do neither, consider adding those tests at one hour after your last bite and also when you feel poorly for the next week to see if any patterns emerge.


Alan, when I've tested when I'm not feeling well as isolated events, I get pretty normal readings.  Looking back on some of the numbers, I see a 92, 88, 83, 81 and 82, for example.

 

I have also tested after an hour instead of after two.  Normally, my numbers will increase around 30 or so points as a high after a meal.  A few examples: 90 to 120; 79 to 113; 80 to 106.  My meals are normally around 45 to 60 grams of carbs though I've found that I can tolerate more without spiking higher.  Over the past 30 days, my average results are 77 overall, 78 before meal and 78 after meal.

 

Thanks again, everyone!

Matt
Visit my personal blog - ABunchOfPricks.com

Type 2 Diabetic
Diagnosed April 2011

A1C:
4/20/2011 - 11.3
8/1/2011 - 5.5
11/1/2011 - 5.4
1/23/2012 - 5.5
7/19/2012 - 5.6
2/12/2013 - 5.5
10/7/2013 - 5.3
Managing with diet and exercise