Why isn't Metformin working and Diabetic Retinopathy

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HappyMom posted on Sun, May 1 2011 7:59 PM

I am taking 850 mg Metformin twice a day.  My fasting blood sugar has been around 220 still. I have been upset since finding out I have diabetic retinopathy which I will be going in this Thursday for steriod injection in my right eye and then in a week I will be having laser treatment. I have been just going to my regular doctor, but I am going to find a diabetic doctor and make an appointment to see him as soon as possible.  I was wondering if anyone else has had these injections and laser treatment? Plus, I wonder why the metformin isn't working? Thanks for listening! Diabetes is such a frustrating disease...I have been really discouraged lately. I know I'm not the only one who feels down in the dumps! I was just diagnosed in Feb of this year, but I know I have had diabetes for quite a while...I was in denial! 

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Madman replied on Sun, May 1 2011 9:35 PM

well...there's a lot going on here. Not sure where to start.


I guess the basics.  You didn't mention your diet.  What's it like?  Metformin is a good medication, but its still pretty easy to run the BG's up if you eat a lot of carbs.  Have you seen an Registered Dietician or Certified Diabetes Educator?  They can help you put together a meal plan to help control your blood sugars. 

Have you been tested for any antibodies?  There are types of diabetes that show up later in life and progress slower then typical type 1 diabetes.   These are usually referred to as LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults).   If this is what you have, no amount of metformin will control your blood sugars once its progressed enough.  Basically, someone with LADA has a slow progessing form of Type 1 and will require insulin.


As for the retinopathy...sorry to hear you are suffering this.  I too have it, but last eye checkup, it was not bad enough to need any intervention yet.  I need to go for another checkup though, as its been over a year.  All I can say is I wish you the best and a speedy recovery.


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jen1229 replied on Fri, May 6 2011 8:19 AM

Even if you have Type II, the disease could still be progressing. As your body produces less insulin, you medication needs increase.  You need to see your doctor.  Progression of the disease does not mean you are doing anything wrong. It just means you need a different kind of treatment.  Ask you doctor for a referral to a Registered Dietitian who is a Certified Diabetes Educator. This person has specialized training in working with diabetic patients and can help yo to incorporate those food into your diet. 

Jen  - LevemirConfused and Novalog Wink A1c 5.8



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My 17 yr old son was diagnosed in Sept. 2010, he is taking 2000 mg of Metformin, but his blood levels aren't high, it seems to be working for him. I do have a sister who has the retinopathy who has had the laser surgery and it seems to have worked for her. Another sister had the injection, and it did help. I would suggest seeing an Endocrinologist before you do anything with your eyes, if you live in Boston or MA run to the Joslin, they are the best. I don't have the rotten disease but all of my siblings do, and my son. It is a very frustrating disease, but, I guess manageable. Just don't get to discouraged, it's very hard when it's diagnosed, blew my mind and scared me when my son was diagnosed with it, still can cry. My son probably had it from birth, but I was in denial to, sorry I was but can't do anything about that. I hope you'll feel better when you know you're not alone, it truly is a terrible thing.

Do you have Type 1 or Type 2? My son is being treated as a Type 2, but classified as a Type 1, go figure, talk about being confused. This is why I am taking him to Joslin.

Good luck.



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