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greatsally
Total Posts: 2
Registered on: ‎07-06-2012

severe depression and metformin

I sure hope someone can point me in the right direction; docs not much help.

 

Diagnosed with type 2 diabetis in November of 2011.

Started taking 1000 mg of metformin x 2

also glyburide

also lisinopril 2.5 mg 1x day

 

I was already taking 300 mg of zoloft for depression
(taken for many years for chronic depression)

 

Had/Having a depressive episode.  Can't work, can't function, can't cope.  Haven't had an episode in ten years.  All of a sudden I trace back my depression to November ---- viola --- that is when I started taking metformin. 

 

I stop taking my metformin and in two weeks, depression-wise I am extremely better.  Yahoo! 

 

I talk to my primary care doc about depression and metformin and his eyes glaze over and tell me that metformin does not cause depression, he instructs me to get back on metformin.  I don't.  I know it is the culprit.

 

I see psychiatrist for low income people and explain my concern of goijng back on metformin and such as the depression was so severe that I would rather  deal with complications of diabetis than face this debilitating depression that finds me suicidal.  

 

This dr. was a real head case and screamed about my stupidity and that I would die if I didn't care for my diabetis.  He too, states metformin does not cause depression.  I undersandt that in most people it does not.  In me, it does.  I can't get my two docotrs to communicate with each other and no one will listen to me. 

 

I am currently still NOT taking my diabeties medicine.  Does anyone know of any studies of diabeties meds and depression, or docs that specialize in this.  I am at my wit's end.  I know I need to control my sugar --- but my mental health is more important and I fear adding the metformin will send me over theedge. 

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks much,

 

Sally

Advisor
5e3deluxe
Total Posts: 299
Registered on: ‎06-19-2012

Re: severe depression and metformin

[ Edited ]

Get new doctors. 

 

Doctors are mostly greedy, lazy and stupid. Most of them will not think outside the box, even when confronted with evidence suggesting they should. Doctors who say "It's all in your head" should be shot. That's where "lazy and stupid" come in. 

 

When you get a new doctor (and you're going to, right?) ask them about glipizide, and other, non-metformin, oral diabetes drugs. 

 

Are you testing your blood glucose? What are your numbers like? 

 

Do you know what your initial fasting BG was? Your HBA1C? Those are numbers you should have in your head, permanently. You can swap them out when you get new tests but you MUST know these numbers, and you must test, even if your doctor says you don't have to. Mine, who is an internist who specializes in diabetes told me I didn't need a meter and I went and bought one anyway, because I felt cut off from my own condition and i hate that. Knowledge is power and you must be your most powerful advicate. 

 

Any doctor who screams at you should never see another G-D-F dime of your money. Any doctor who refuses to investigate a possible drug interaction is a G-D-F quack who should never see another dime of your money. It's YOUR body. It's YOUR life. Take charge. I've lost count of how many doctirs I've told, 'F-U, I'm leaving, you're an a-hole and I'm not paying you. Come get me if you think you can.'

 

All because they were greedy, lazy and stupid. 

 

Diabetes is not an affliction you can be passive about. You must be aggressively proactive. You must adhere to a diet that helps you lose weight (assuming you need to) AND keeps your blood glucose in check. I have read, over and over, diabetics should get 50-55 percent of their diet from carbs, but even so-called "good" carbs like whole grains in those proportions rocket me into the stratosphere (for me), yet other things like fruit, which are supposed to be not as good, settle my BG down, when ingested along with a protein (I love smoked turkey I cook myself). 

 

You must exercise, strenuously, at least five hours a week but seven or more is better. I have been having a "sleepy" day and may skip it today but I have exercised four days in a row, on my recumbent exercise bike, for an hour a day at the maximum resistance. 

 

You must test your blood. When you wake up, two hours after meals and before bed at least. If you phone Novacares, they will send you a free meter and strips. Same with most of the meter manufacturers as they make their bones on the test strips, not the meters themselves. They'll also usually send you a small supply of strips. 

 

Best of luck to you. Diabetes is a curse but it is a beatable curse if you're willing to put in the effort to beat it. 

 

But again, for emphasis if nothing else, fire your doctors. Keep in mind, you're paying the freight and if they treat you like they have, they're a-holes and do not deserve your business. 

 

One more thing: have you ever had your thyroid tested? Underactive thyroid (hypothyroid) can make depression worse. Get that tested ASAP. 

 

Sorry if I seem preachy, and I know doctors are more unkind to women than men, but you can't let that stop you and it's one of the reasons I say get new doctors. 

 

alan_s
Total Posts: 14,504
Topics: 203
High Fives: 1,410
Solutions: 158
Registered on: ‎10-30-2009

Re: severe depression and metformin

[ Edited ]


greatsally wrote:

I sure hope someone can point me in the right direction; docs not much help.

 

Diagnosed with type 2 diabetis in November of 2011.

Started taking 1000 mg of metformin x 2

also glyburide

also lisinopril 2.5 mg 1x day

 

I was already taking 300 mg of zoloft for depression
(taken for many years for chronic depression

Spoiler

Had/Having a depressive episode.  Can't work, can't function, can't cope.  Haven't had an episode in ten years.  All of a sudden I trace back my depression to November ---- viola --- that is when I started taking metformin. 

 

I stop taking my metformin and in two weeks, depression-wise I am extremely better.  Yahoo! 

 

I talk to my primary care doc about depression and metformin and his eyes glaze over and tell me that metformin does not cause depression, he instructs me to get back on metformin.  I don't.  I know it is the culprit.

 

I see psychiatrist for low income people and explain my concern of goijng back on metformin and such as the depression was so severe that I would rather  deal with complications of diabetis than face this debilitating depression that finds me suicidal.  

 

This dr. was a real head case and screamed about my stupidity and that I would die if I didn't care for my diabetis.  He too, states metformin does not cause depression.  I undersandt that in most people it does not.  In me, it does.  I can't get my two docotrs to communicate with each other and no one will listen to me. 

I am currently still NOT taking my diabeties medicine.  Does anyone know of any studies of diabeties meds and depression, or docs that specialize in this.  I am at my wit's end.  I know I need to control my sugar --- but my mental health is more important and I fear adding the metformin will send me over theedge. 

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks much,

 

Sally


 

G'day Sally, and welcome to the forum.

 

I am just a diabetic, not a doctor, so I won't scream at you for not taking your meds :smileyhappy:

 

Let's look at it practically. Whether or not metformin is related to your depression, I can understand why you are choosing to avoid it. That leaves the glyburide as your medication assisting your diet and exercise regimen.

 

I chose to word it that way carefully. Neither the glyburide nor the metformin, together or separately, are sufficient to manage your diabetes. The basis for good blood glucose management is your way of eating assisted by some moderate exercise. Please tell us more about that side of your diabetes; possibly we can help with suggestions that may minimise your need for either medication.

 

Don't answer if you prefer to be private, but more info on these aspects would help:

 

  • What did you eat over the past 24 hours?
  • What blood glucose test results did you see, and when did you see them related to your meals?
  • What is your glyburide dose and when do you take it?
  • What exercise or physical activity do you usually do?

This will help you understand why I ask: Test, Review, Adjust

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: It Must Be OK - It's Sugar-Free! Wrong!)
Born Under a Wandering Star (Latest: Budapest, Hungary)
Advisor
5e3deluxe
Total Posts: 299
Registered on: ‎06-19-2012

Re: severe depression and metformin

[ Edited ]

Alan, I must disagree with you regarding exercise. Moderate may be fine for people with diabetes who are not overweight or obese (I am the latter but I'm working on it), but if you are obese, you must exercise as hard as possible because you need to be burning most of the calories you take in. The formula is simple. You must burn more than you take in and unless you want to be on a 500 calorie a day diet, you must raise a sweat and essentially exhaust yourself, and truthfully, diet alone is not enough. 

 

I liken it to a credit card debt. If you make the minimum payment, your balance will go UP, not down. You have to pay down greater amounts. 

 

Same with exercise as it relates to weight. You have to pay down as much as you can. I have 130-140 pounds to go and if I only did moderate exercise, I'd die and still be 300+ pounds (137 kilos). 

 

I don't know Sally's condition but type 2 is generally a disease of the obese. You have to be aggressive. You have to work your arse off. That's how I see it. 

Frequent Advisor
mbkjad
Total Posts: 182
Registered on: ‎11-05-2009

Re: severe depression and metformin

5e3,

 

Obesity complicates Type II diabetes but is not a cause of it.  To make the assumption that someone is obese because they are T2 is rather disrespectful.  It is true that many T2's are obese but it is also true that many are not.  I was not obese when diagnosed and am not now.  I could stand to lose 15 pounds but of all the T2's I know it is generally a 50-50 split. 

 

Your analagy to liken it to credit card debt is potentially a good one.  However, making the minimum payment does make the principal go down but only by a small amount.  Your statement that the balance goes up is only true if you continue to use the card.  The same is true with your diet....if you don't make the necessary changes then no matter what you do exercise wise you may not lose any weight; however, if you adjust your diet by reducing caloric intake (even just slightly) and then increase exercise or intensity (even just slightly) then you have created a caloric deficit and you will lose weight, albeit at a slower pace.  That is fine....this isn't a race.  Slow and steady is more successful in the long run! 

 

Folks with T2 are in it for the long haul.  Slow and steady will get you there as long as you are consistent. 

 

 

Mike

Diagnosed Type 2 March 2008 (give or take a few months)
A1c: 6.4 (May 2013), 6.2 (Feb 2013), 5.9 (Nov 2012), 5.7 (Aug 2012) 6.5 (31 Jan 2012)
Meds:
Metformin XR 2000 mg daily
Lovaza 2 grams daily
Lipitor 10 mg daily
Fenofibrate 165 mg daily
Lisinopril 2.5 mg daily
Novolog
Zyrtec
Multivitamin
Began Pumping in June 2013
alan_s
Total Posts: 14,504
Topics: 203
High Fives: 1,410
Solutions: 158
Registered on: ‎10-30-2009

Re: severe depression and metformin

[ Edited ]


5e3deluxe wrote:

Alan, I must disagree with you regarding exercise. Moderate may be fine for people with diabetes who are not overweight or obese (I am the latter but I'm working on it), but if you are obese, you must exercise as hard as possible because you need to be burning most of the calories you take in. The formula is simple. You must burn more than you take in and unless you want to be on a 500 calorie a day diet, you must raise a sweat and essentially exhaust yourself, and truthfully, diet alone is not enough. 

 

I liken it to a credit card debt. If you make the minimum payment, your balance will go UP, not down. You have to pay down greater amounts. 

 

Same with exercise as it relates to weight. You have to pay down as much as you can. I have 130-140 pounds to go and if I only did moderate exercise, I'd die and still be 300+ pounds (137 kilos). 

 

I don't know Sally's condition but type 2 is generally a disease of the obese. You have to be aggressive. You have to work your arse off. That's how I see it. 


 

I tried heavy exercise, back when I was following the approved dietician's diet. It had very little effect on me; changing my way of eating had far more dramatic effects on both my weight loss and my blood glucose levels. Also, in my pe-diagnosis years I spent more money on gym memberships than I care to remember. I'd lose some weight, then lose the enthusiasm, and it all came back with interest. That was more like credit cards. The problem wasn't my exercise, it was my way of eating.

 

To each their own. If heavy exercise works for you - great. But it is not for all and it is especially dangerous for anyone approching morbid obesity. I did not see obesity mentioned in the original post on this topic, BTW.

 

I apply "everything in moderation" to both diet and exercise. And also to moderation :smileyhappy:

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: It Must Be OK - It's Sugar-Free! Wrong!)
Born Under a Wandering Star (Latest: Budapest, Hungary)
Frequent Advisor
sasooners1
Total Posts: 198
Registered on: ‎05-17-2012

Re: severe depression and metformin

I can't help but notice that the depression got worse at the time of diagnosis as well. Being diagnosed with an incurible disease is something to be depressed about. I'm not being glib, I too have suffered from depression and I certainly know the difference between depression and sadness. My psychiatrist is well informed about diabetes, the meds, and the complications. She always asks about my numbers and how compliant I am being and when my next endo appointment is. She tracks my A1c and everything. My endo knows about my anxiety issues and what meds I take and asks about what kind of control I have over that. There are doctors out there that know about both issues and can make intelligent suggestions to help with both diseases. I understand the desire to be in your right mind above all else and that is very hard to explain to someone who hasn't been there. I too refuse to take metformin even though my endo wants me to add it to my insulin. For me is was the terrible side effects that I cannot tolerate. When I explained how i had a panic attack just filling the prescription, he backed off and said we would find another way. Keep posting here, there are lots of people here to help and some, like myself, here to listen.
Michelle
Diagnosed Type 2- February 2001
A1c at diagnosis 8.8
A1c 12/12-6.0
Pumping Novolog with a t:slim since February 2013
Dexcom 4G since February 2013
Trusted Contributor
morrisolder
Total Posts: 10,453
Registered on: ‎11-28-2009

Re: severe depression and metformin

Congratulations on finding that the met was causing the depression. Sometimes to be sure, you would want to repeat the discovery, i/e/ by trying  the met for a while again and seeing if the depression returns when you start and leaves when you stop again.  That would be worth doing IF the met otherwise was really helping in other ways.

 

How have your blood sugar levels responded to the medications and whatever lifestyle (diet and exercise) changes you may have made since diagnosis?  Did they change when you stopped the met, or a few weeks afterwards?  That last part could be key because met remains in the blood stream, affecting blood glucose levels for a few weeks to a couple of months after you stop taking it.

 

But if we assume that the met is causing the depression, then one key to stopping it would be to find other ways to achieve the same results re your blood sugar levels. If you can adjust the way you eat, or get more exercise, you may be able to keep your average glucose levels from going up, or perhaps even lower them without starting the meds again.

 

How are those levels?

Morris

Diagnosed Type 2, with an A1c of 11.4 in 2003; averaging a 5.0 A1c since then with diet, exercise and Glipizide XL + meds for blood pressure and cholesterol. 
A bit dated, but scroll down on this page if you want to know more ...


lizzylou
Total Posts: 13,897
Topics: 563
High Fives: 1,966
Solutions: 142
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: severe depression and metformin


5e3deluxe wrote:

Alan, I must disagree with you regarding exercise. Moderate may be fine for people with diabetes who are not overweight or obese (I am the latter but I'm working on it), but if you are obese, you must exercise as hard as possible because you need to be burning most of the calories you take in. The formula is simple. You must burn more than you take in and unless you want to be on a 500 calorie a day diet, you must raise a sweat and essentially exhaust yourself, and truthfully, diet alone is not enough. 

 

I liken it to a credit card debt. If you make the minimum payment, your balance will go UP, not down. You have to pay down greater amounts. 

 

Same with exercise as it relates to weight. You have to pay down as much as you can. I have 130-140 pounds to go and if I only did moderate exercise, I'd die and still be 300+ pounds (137 kilos). 

 

I don't know Sally's condition but type 2 is generally a disease of the obese. You have to be aggressive. You have to work your arse off. That's how I see it. 


I disagree with you as well.  First being overweight does not cause T2 nor does losing weight cure it, then there are plenty of t2s who are not overweight.

 

I lost over 100 pounds without doing anything but walking.  Moderate walking at that, not running.

 

There are also many people with disabilities that cannot do heavy exercise, they still manage to lose weight.  I even know others that can't exercise at all but still manage to lose weight without resorting to only eating 500 calories.

 

If it works for you fine, but don't assume that everyone is the same as you.

 

Lizzy

Knowledge is Power!





Here's some useful links, click on the titles


Testing 101
 
 All About Carbs

Resources For The Un-insured and Discount Medicine and Equipment

LizzyLou Videos



Lizzy's Blog
for lots more  


Super Advisor
LilMissDaisy
Total Posts: 2,147
Registered on: ‎01-04-2012

Re: severe depression and metformin


greatsally wrote:

...  Does anyone know of any studies of diabeties meds and depression, or docs that specialize in this.  I am at my wit's end.  I know I need to control my sugar --- but my mental health is more important and I fear adding the metformin will send me over theedge. 

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks much,

 

Sally


I don't know anything about metformin causing depression, but when I was first diagnosed and was put on metformin and lisinopril (for kidney protection), I went through about 3 bouts of depression...each one lasting longer and longer.

 

But I think mine was due to dealing with the realization of having diabetes and knowing that it'll never go away than anything else.

 

I really agree with what Morris said...try and try again to make sure that it is or is not metformin that is causing your depression.  How are you doing managing your blood sugar without it?

 

Good luck.  I hope you find the answer.