is there any purpoted mechanism? does it have effects beyond just that?
if i take 100mg, i can pretty much eat as much carbs as i want that meal, without any impact. it seems to inhibit the enzyme that breaks down carbs into glucose. so essentially your carbs become like an indigestible fiber, hence the gas. i personally find that if i am eating carbs with protein/fat i dont get much side effects, as opposed to if i pig out on pure carbs. i only take it if i am going to have a meal with a lot of carbs. what i like about it is that you take it with the first byte, so no preplanning, and that its very short acting. as opposed to metformin which needs to be take earlier, and does not help nearly as much
i highly recommend a cgm, at least for one 14 day cycle. unless you are very dialed in, its difficult to know exactly when to check after a meal to catch the spike, and to also see how long it take to come back down. after wearing one for a few weeks, you learn a lot about how your body handles food.
I completely agree. The CGM is a great tool for understanding how your body is reasponding to carbs, and especially with Acarbose or an SGLT2 medicine.
Are the CGMs prescription-only?
I recently did 100mg with beans and it didn’t prevent the increase to ~125. 125 isn’t terrible (that’s why I stay tf away from bread but not beans), but is an expected increase for beans.
I think most of them are right now. But its easy to get a prescription (e.g. AgelessRX:
But you pay a premium for the ease of access.
I got mine from a friend who has diabetes (the Freestyle Libre sensor that works with an app you can download to your phone). But a bunch of companies are coming out with non-prescription CGMs - I hope they are cheaper, as right now they seem to cost about $50 per sensor at Costco (for two weeks monitoring). I find it valuable - but not THAT valuable. So I just do it periodically when I’m trying new medications.
Thanks! I just ordered a 2-week cgm from them.
It does require a script
You can get through these guys
There are other online sites that “prescribe” as well and mail them to you
does acarbose make you feel full longer?
I don’t notice that effect at all.
Yeah, I didn’t notice that yet either…
Interesting. I would not have thought that beans would raise blood sugar to 125. I take 500mg Metformin bid, and would like to use acarbose when necessary. How did you obtain yours?
Surprised, and disappointed, that acarbose does not prolong satiety, since it “extends” the level of blood sugar.
I searched for CGM’s and could not find any that were not extremely expensive. It’s not the CGM itself, but the other costs associated with it, such as strips and the service.
My understanding is that acarbose extends the digestion time of carbs, which will extend the time of release of sugars into the blood. In a non-(pre)diabetic person, this should both reduce blood sugar spikes and decrease the AUC of blood sugars. Correct?
That entirely depends on insulin sensitivity as a function of time (and it DOES change per unit of time).
It decreases HbA1c in some studies.
it seems to inhibit the enzyme that breaks down carbs into glucose, which kind of turns the carbs into insoluble fiber (yes, you do get the fiber like side effects)
If I take 100mg, i can pretty much eat as much carbs as i want for a short period of time, with no movement on my glucose monitor.
It doesnt make you feel full for longer, but it does get rid of the glucose high which is usually followed by the crash and then cravings, so it is somewhat helpfull.
I use it only when I decide to have a heavy carb cheat meal to minimize the damage
Seems like Acarbose may be coming back:
This paper argues for increased use of acarbose as an antidiabetic drug due to its positive effects on GLP-1 and cardiovascular protection.
The following are the advantages of acarbose: It is one of the rare agents that has been shown to prevent diabetes in the pre-diabetic period; the rate of hypoglycemia is low; its annual cost is lower than that of new antidiabetic drugs; it has weight-loss properties, or at least is weight neutral; it has a positive effect on the lipid profile by lowering the triglyceride level; and there is increasing evidence to show that it reduces the risk factors of cardiovascular disease.
Here we show that another drug that extends lifespan and delays normative aging in mice, acarbose, also suppresses symptoms of disease and improves survival of Ndufs4-/- mice. Unlike rapamycin, acarbose rescues disease phenotypes independently of mTOR inhibition. Furthermore, rapamycin and acarbose have additive effects in delaying neurological symptoms and increasing maximum lifespan in Ndufs4-/- mice. We find that acarbose remodels the intestinal microbiome and alters the production of short chain fatty acids.
Supplementation with tributyrin, a source of butyric acid, recapitulates some effects of acarbose on lifespan and disease progression. This study provides the first evidence that alteration of the gut microbiome may impact severe mitochondrial disease and provides further support for the model that biological aging and severe mitochondrial disorders share underlying common mechanisms.