Gastroparesis & Metformin

It is my understanding that there MAY be a correlation between long-term metformin use and Gastroparesis symptoms like bloating, nausea and delayed gastric emptying. I have been on Metformin for about 20 years and was first diagnosed with gastroparesis 10 years ago. My health care professional just recently suggested a 30-day pause on metformin for me. Has anyone tried this and did it help with gastroparesis symptoms? Did you take any precautions such as a continuous glucose monitoring device? I am not a health care professional and am not suggesting my experience applies to you just asking for you to share your experience.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Digestive Health Support Group.

Hello @annabelle6dawgs and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Your health care professional sounds very proactive and interested in exploring this correlation as it relates to your symptoms and experiences. Are you feeling hesitant? Did he/she suggest any additional precautions such as glucose monitoring and if so, are you doing so?

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Morning Annabelle, I have gastroparesis and severe small,large colon motility. I tried that med for its side effects for 60 days. I’m not diabetic. It is used for the side effects sometimes. It did not help. The side effects are diarrhea but it didn’t give me that. I had all my diagnosis's prior to trying Metformin.
Now I’m trying low dose erythromycin, 2 weeks on and 1 week off. It is suppose to help push things through the stomach faster. I’m still on my first week and nothing yet. I have tried many meds. I feel their is almost always another alternative to every med. I have many drug allergies so for me it takes many so I’m not sick. Also, has your doctor tried changing as many pill form meds to liquid? My Gastroenterologist does. Even most vitamins are all liquid and erythromycin is liquid. My research has led me to believe that having gastroparesis and taking pill forms they sit in your stomach to long. Then it’s time for another dose and first hasn’t digested. I get almost everything in liquid. It makes sense. When I drink shakes I don’t get that awful fullness and indigestion. When I eat ground turkey I can digest very tiny amounts. This is just my opinion and what I feel works for me. I wish you well and you get answers.
Blessings-Joanne

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@mothermary1

Morning Annabelle, I have gastroparesis and severe small,large colon motility. I tried that med for its side effects for 60 days. I’m not diabetic. It is used for the side effects sometimes. It did not help. The side effects are diarrhea but it didn’t give me that. I had all my diagnosis's prior to trying Metformin.
Now I’m trying low dose erythromycin, 2 weeks on and 1 week off. It is suppose to help push things through the stomach faster. I’m still on my first week and nothing yet. I have tried many meds. I feel their is almost always another alternative to every med. I have many drug allergies so for me it takes many so I’m not sick. Also, has your doctor tried changing as many pill form meds to liquid? My Gastroenterologist does. Even most vitamins are all liquid and erythromycin is liquid. My research has led me to believe that having gastroparesis and taking pill forms they sit in your stomach to long. Then it’s time for another dose and first hasn’t digested. I get almost everything in liquid. It makes sense. When I drink shakes I don’t get that awful fullness and indigestion. When I eat ground turkey I can digest very tiny amounts. This is just my opinion and what I feel works for me. I wish you well and you get answers.
Blessings-Joanne

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I was diagnosed with gastroparesis 6 months ago, it's been hell. Can't take reglan or erythromycin due to my heart. Lost 27lbs in a year. I will see a neuro gastroenterologist in Dallas next month. Hoping for the best. Gastroparesis is a life changer!

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Yes, it sure is. I’ve lost 20 plus now suffer malnutrition. I eat same foods every day, never change but hold my weight which is what they want. I eat one slice white toast or half English muffin with on poached egg just couple days a week. I suffer high cholesterol. I eat dairy free yogurt, lactate free cottage cheese and organic ground turkey and occasionally a piece of chicken. That’s it, anything else is deadly. It’s awful , I’m 68 but this works. I don’t have a lot of energy but sub two days a week at local high school. It is a way of life I guess.
Good luck.

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@annabelle6dawgs, I added your question to the Diabetes & Endocrine System Support Group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/diabetes-and-endocrine-problems/ as well.

Do you take Metformin to manage diabetes?

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@amandajro

Hello @annabelle6dawgs and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Your health care professional sounds very proactive and interested in exploring this correlation as it relates to your symptoms and experiences. Are you feeling hesitant? Did he/she suggest any additional precautions such as glucose monitoring and if so, are you doing so?

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Yes my GI is great. I am willing to try but just don't want to end up with a dangerous low blood sugar event. That is the reason for hesitation. I have asked for continuous glucose monitor device from my GP and waiting to hear back. I understand insurance may not pay for it. I was just looking for others who may have done the 30-day pause and learn their experience.

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@colleenyoung

@annabelle6dawgs, I added your question to the Diabetes & Endocrine System Support Group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/diabetes-and-endocrine-problems/ as well.

Do you take Metformin to manage diabetes?

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1000mg Metformin BID, 5mg Farxiga SID
Will I see responses or do I need to join the Diabetes & Endocrine System?
Thank you,
annabelle

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@mothermary1

Yes, it sure is. I’ve lost 20 plus now suffer malnutrition. I eat same foods every day, never change but hold my weight which is what they want. I eat one slice white toast or half English muffin with on poached egg just couple days a week. I suffer high cholesterol. I eat dairy free yogurt, lactate free cottage cheese and organic ground turkey and occasionally a piece of chicken. That’s it, anything else is deadly. It’s awful , I’m 68 but this works. I don’t have a lot of energy but sub two days a week at local high school. It is a way of life I guess.
Good luck.

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Hi Joanne – if the erythromycin doesn't work you may want to ask your health care professional about Motegrity which was designed to help with severe constipation but a small study showed it helped with gastroparesis (Prucalopride in Gastroparesis: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study).
Your comments about liquids was helpful. I think they are easier to pass through the digestive tract. I eat a lot of soft low-fiber foods (purees, soups, scrambled eggs) and drink lots of clear fluids.
I am not a health care professional and am not recommending anything but am just sharing my experience.
Hope you find something to help you!
Annabelle

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@annabelle6dawgs

Hi Joanne – if the erythromycin doesn't work you may want to ask your health care professional about Motegrity which was designed to help with severe constipation but a small study showed it helped with gastroparesis (Prucalopride in Gastroparesis: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study).
Your comments about liquids was helpful. I think they are easier to pass through the digestive tract. I eat a lot of soft low-fiber foods (purees, soups, scrambled eggs) and drink lots of clear fluids.
I am not a health care professional and am not recommending anything but am just sharing my experience.
Hope you find something to help you!
Annabelle

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Thank you…I have been this way since June 2020 and I tried that drug for 6 months and absolutely nothing. I’ve been on Linzess and Amitiza for months as well and as a combination. My list is very long. I’ve decided that it’s life long and making life style changes is what I did. I was supposed to have a total colectomy September 2021 and I was scheduled and said no, I changed my mind. It’s really a good thing because gastroparesis came early 2022 and prior my testing for stomach emptying was normal. It would have just caused huge problems without a large colon. I think I do okay and it’s one day at a time. Thanks for your suggestion. I’m always looking for something I may not have tried. Never give up.
Joanne

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@annabelle6dawgs

1000mg Metformin BID, 5mg Farxiga SID
Will I see responses or do I need to join the Diabetes & Endocrine System?
Thank you,
annabelle

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You will see responses. It just means that the discussion will appear in both groups. You may wish to join the Diabetes & Endocrine System support group too.

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