Q. I am suffering from such severe diarrhea I am sometimes afraid to leave the house. I also have bad gas and bouts of abdominal pain. I suspect the metformin I take for diabetes, but my doctor says my symptoms are not from my medicine.
The Prevacid I take for my heartburn isn’t helping enough to justify the expense. I am also experiencing pain and tingling in my toes.
I need a remedy like cinnamon to help me control my blood sugar and foods that will help with my gas and heartburn. Please send me some information.
A. Metformin (Glucophage) can cause diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, flatulence and stomachache. Acid-suppressing drugs like lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec) or esomeprazole (Nexium) won’t solve the problem completely and may interfere with absorption of vitamin B12.
Metformin is also linked to reduced levels of vitamin B12. Because this vitamin is crucial for nerve function, deficiency can contribute to numbness, tingling or pain of the toes, feet or fingers, trouble walking, memory problems, depression, confusion and burning tongue.
Cinnamon shouldn’t be substituted for your diabetes drug, but it may be helpful. Another reader reports: “I have had type 2 diabetes for 12 years and started taking two cinnamon capsules with my supper about three months ago. My pre-breakfast blood glucose reading that used to average 155 mg/dl is now averaging 120. Cinnamon works!
“I also eat oatmeal with ground flax seed and oat bran for breakfast and my cholesterol is perfect. I take metformin, glyburide and Actos.”
Learn more about ways to control blood sugar naturally in our book, Best Choices from The People’s Pharmacy. It has recommendations on foods to help control blood sugar, cholesterol and heartburn.