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Diabetic and blood sugar high, also hypersensitive. Metformin causes diarrhea. What else do you recommend?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 540 Questions
My husband is type II diabetic. His physician says his blood sugars are between AIC #'s 6-7 (some tests were fasting -others random). His home testing fasting blood sugars have recently been 128, 123, and 133. He takes metformin which does not agree with him at all-constant diarrhea, and GI upset. How bad are his results? Are there different oral medications without the side effects of metformin?

He is also hypertensive and takes the medication Diltiazem 120 mg orally 2-3 times daily. My concern is that his systolic readings are always high (155-180) while his diastolic readings are normal or slightly above normal. His caridiac stress test was "fine" and he used the treadmill until he was told to stop-not because he was in any distress but the test was completed. He is otherwise very physically fit for his age. He golfs 18 holes at least twice wkly, three times when he has the time.
Posted Fri, 27 Apr 2012 in Diabetes
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 51 minutes later
Hello and thanks for your query,

I shall make an effort to provide you with good professional recommendations specific to your questions.

His Hb1Ac levels are good.

Fasting Blood Sugar levels are a concern especially with the coexistence of hypertension. How long has he been taking Metformin ?
Yes, there are in fact many better drugs than Metformin. The selection of the drug from a different class would be at the discretion of your doctor who has seen your husband. Some drug classes that can be considered are thiazolidinediones and sulphonylurea groups - Depending on what he can tolerate a myriad of drugs are prescribed.

His systolic readings also have to be curtailed a bit though not to 120 as you might think, as the guidelines say a target of 140/90 should be fine with those hypertensive patients coupled with diabetes. Here, for this - you might want to discuss with the doctor if he thinks adding another antihypertensive drug of a different class can be possible. Yet again, practically many combinations exist and the best is guided by the health record of your husband. I can only guide you. I cannot pin point the exact drug without personally examining your husband.

I would suggest a review with his overall medications for a more decent control of his conditions; this apart from lifestyle modifications of course.

Let me know if I have missed out any other concern in your question.

Yet again, I duly appreciate your query to me, I do hope that you have found something useful to help you and I shall be glad to answer any further apprehensions.


Dr Sujeet N Charugulla, MBBS, MD
Consultant Physician.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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