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How to tolerate the side effects of Metformin: Tips to feel less awful on Metformin

Metformin making you nauseous? Here are some ways to tolerate the side effects, and curb nausea.

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Metformin is a commonly prescribed medication that helps regulate blood sugar levels

Metformin can help people with diabetes, prediabetes and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome control their insulin sensitivity and weight gain.

However, many patients experience unpleasant side effects when starting the drug.

This blog post will give you tips on how to tolerate the side effects like nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting so that you can feel better while keeping your blood sugars in range.

How does metformin work?

Metformin works by reducing the amount of glucose your liver produces and decreasing insulin resistance.

What is Metformin used for?

Metformin is prescribed to help regulate blood sugar levels for people with diabetes, prediabetes, or PCOS.

It can also be used in conjunction with insulin and other medications if you have type 2 diabetes mellitus.

What are the side effects of metformin:

The medication has several known side effects that may be uncomfortable for patients:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Weight Loss

Tips for tolerating the side effects of Metformin

How I avoided metformin side effects with PCOS & Diabetes (patient's perspective) | The Hangry Woman

There are some practical things you can do to help with Metformin’s side effects.

  • Take it with food. Taking the medication on an empty stomach can make your symptoms worse. 
  • Ask for the extended-release version. Extended release releases the medication into your system slowly, so the side effects don’t feel as severe. 
  • Don’t skip doses of your medication. It’s almost like re-starting the clock, and you’ll have to get used to taking the medications again. This means your symptoms can come back. 
  • Natural remedies like ginger, peppermint or chamomile may help with nausea.
  • Your body will eventually get used to metformin and you should start feeling better in about two weeks.
  • If you still notice nausea, it’s best to talk with your doctor about symptoms, especially if they are debilitating. 

Metformin is a common medication to start. If you notice your symptoms getting worse talk to your doctor about next steps. 

About Mila

Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m earning my Master’s degree in Applied nutrition.

I’m a journalist and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach living with  LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen, and teaching you about diabetes self-management.

I’m here to help you live your best life possible diabetes by showing you how to create simple, blood-sugar friendly and delicious meals and tips on diabetes self-care.

Be sure to download my FREE Diabetes Community App Glucose Guide, or reach out for FREE 1:1 diabetes health and habit coaching.

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2 Responses

  1. Good video, but I have tried Metformin ER on multiple occasions and about three or four months in when I reach the 2000mg per day prescription the bloating and gut pain become intolerable. I was doing Gas-x twice a day to compensate for it but there was no way I was going to walk around everyday with a moderate stomach ache. I’d love to find a way to mitigate the side effects. They don’t go away for me no matter how long I’ve been on it.

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