Bread or fishy odor?

The media has picked up on a story from the ADA 71st Scientific Sessions & it is being run in a number of media outlets.  The premise is that it is less expensive to put people on the drug metformin when diagnosed with PRE-diabetes, than it would be to just let them get the disease and then treat it.  Prevention through proper nutrition was not even a part of the discussions.

(Bloomberg article excerpt – full article below)
“Taking metformin, a drug used to regulate blood sugar, before diabetes develops can reduce medical costs related to the disease by $4,412 over a decade. . . An estimated 79 million U.S. adults have pre-diabetes and, without timely treatment, complications from the illness rise exponentially, according to the World Diabetes Foundation. Diabetics spend an average of $6,649 per year treating the disease, according to a 2008 reportby the diabetes association.

“This is a no-brainer,” the study’s lead author, William H. Herman of the University of Michigan Medical Center, said today at the report’s presentation in San Diego. “It represents an intervention that should be adopted and widely implemented.”

Nowhere in any of the articles I read did it mention that simply restricting carbohydrates in the diet, A COST FREE way to eliminate symptoms, should be the first course of action.  When my own mother was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, her doctor suggested metformin and a statin.  He did not advise her of her option to reduce carbohydrates in her diet – But I did.  She returned to her doctor 6 weeks later with perfect blood panel results – all without drugs – all without side effects of any kind.

In all of the articles I read, nowhere did I see mention of the side effects of metformin so I will list them for you. I will also point out another side effect not included in this particular list and that is:

Other side effects have included reports of a distinct drug odor. The odor is generally described as “fish or fishy”.

Now I don’t know about you, but I would have to read no further.   Hmmmm, bread today, or fishy odor? Now  that, Dr. Herman, is a “no-brainer”.   I offer the option so that you can make your own choice.

These are side effects listed by one manufacturer:

You may experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) while you are taking this medication. symptoms of hypoglycemia:

  • shakiness
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • sweating
  • nervousness or irritability
  • sudden changes in behavior or mood
  • headache
  • numbness or tingling around the mouth
  • weakness
  • pale skin
  • hunger
  • clumsy or jerky movements

If hypoglycemia is not treated, severe symptoms may develop. Be sure that your family, friends, and other people who spend time with you know that if you have any of the following symptoms, they should get medical treatment for you immediately:

  • confusion
  • seizures
  • loss of consciousness

all your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar):

  • extreme thirst
  • frequent urination
  • extreme hunger
  • weakness
  • blurred vision

Here is Bloomberg’s report on the story:
Pre-Diabetics Can Stave Off Disease With New Diet, Drugs, Researcher Show
By Oliver Renick – Jun 28, 2011

If you want to see the science and learn more about the option of carb restriction for pre-diabetes and diabetes, visit the Diabetes section on the Nutrition & Metabolism Society’s website. Read what the experts in the field (Dr. R.K. Bernstein, Dr. Richard. Feinman, Dr. Eric Westman, Dr. MaryVernon, Dr. Robert Su and so many more) have to say.


“What was so upsetting was I didn’t really know anything about diabetes except that Ella Fitzgerald lost her legs and later died from it.”
– Della Reese

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