Can Eating Eggs Worsen Metformin’s Gastrointestinal Symptoms?

Metformin is a popular medication to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. 

People with type 2 diabetes do not respond to and use sugar like those who do not have diabetes. 

Hence, their blood sugar levels remain high, potentially causing harm such as damage to the eyes, blood vessels, heart, kidneys, and nerves.

Generally, there are no dietary restrictions while taking metformin

However, some people tend to associate eggs and metformin with GI disturbances. 

Read on to find out if you can eat eggs while taking metformin. 

Can you eat eggs while taking metformin?

Yes. As long as you don’t have an allergy or intolerance towards eggs, you can eat eggs while taking metformin. 

Potential side effects of eating eggs while on metformin

Some people may associate eating eggs while on metformin with several GI symptoms or worsening of their existing GI symptoms, such as:

  • Stomach aches or cramps
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting

These GI disturbances are common as metformin’s side effects and as symptoms of egg intolerance. 

Egg intolerance happens when your body cannot digest certain components found in eggs, such as egg whites, egg yolks, or both. 

If you have egg intolerance and you eat eggs while taking metformin, it may lead to worsening of the above symptoms.

Coincidentally, symptoms of egg intolerance are similar to that of metformin’s side effects. This could be the reason why some people have qualms about eating eggs while taking metformin – because they are afraid that it may worsen their GI symptoms.

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Who shouldn’t eat eggs?

You should avoid eggs if you have an intolerance or an allergy to them. 

You should suspect that you may have an allergy to eggs if you develop the following signs and symptoms after consuming eggs:

  • A skin rash, hives, or eczema 
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose and sneezing
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Tightness in your throat and repetitive coughs
  • Dizziness and confusion

If the allergic reaction is severe, you may develop a critical condition called anaphylaxis, which requires emergency medical attention.

If you do not have any allergies or intolerance towards eggs, then there are no problems with eating eggs while taking metformin. In fact, eggs are a great choice of food to include in your diet, especially if you have diabetes.

Positives of consuming eggs while taking metformin

Eggs are a good source of proteins for people taking metformin because they have a zero glycemic index. 

This means it does not impact your blood glucose but is able to pack a punch in terms of providing proteins and other nutrients. 

A meal containing two medium hard-boiled eggs has less than 150 kcal (or 600 kJ), less than 1 g of carbohydrates, and provides more than 10 g of protein. 

Here is a quick breakdown of nutrition that you can get by consuming a medium-sized egg (44 g) in relation to the daily value (DV). Daily value is a reference amount of nutrients to consume or not to exceed each day. 

  • Proteins: 5.5 g (11% of the DV)
  • Fats: 4.2 g (5% of the DV)
  • Carbohydrates: 0.3 g (0.1% of the DV) 
  • Vitamin A (8% of the DV)
  • Vitamin B2 (20% of the DV)
  • Vitamin B5 (15% of the DV)
  • Vitamin B12 (23% of the DV) 

Egg yolks are also high in other nutrients like lutein, choline, and biotin, which are great for your heart, brain, and skin, as well as improve blood glucose control. 

Eggs also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and potassium. If you have diabetes, you should consider including eggs in your diet (as long as you do not have any intolerance or allergies towards eggs).

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Metformin is an FDA-approved first-line medication to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. Some of the side effects while taking metformin include stomach discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. 

Eggs are safe to consume while taking metformin. However, someone who has egg intolerance or allergy may worsen their GI symptoms if they consume eggs while taking metformin. 

Otherwise, eggs are safe to consume with metformin as long as you do not have an intolerance or an allergy to eggs or egg products. In fact, eggs are packed with nutrients and are a good choice for proteins among people with diabetes.

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  1. Deshpande, A. D., Harris-Hayes, M., & Schootman, M. (2008). Epidemiology of diabetes and diabetes-related complications. Physical therapy, 88(11), 1254-1264.
  2. Muthukumar, J., Selvasekaran, P., Lokanadham, M., Chidambaram, R., Food and food products associated with food allergy and food intolerance – An overview, Food Research International (2020). 
  3. Hemmati, M., Babaei, H., & Abdolsalehei, M. (2013). Survey of the effect of biotin on glycemic control and plasma lipid concentrations in type 1 diabetic patients in Kermanshah in Iran (2008-2009). Oman medical journal, 28(3), 195–198. 
  4. Wallace T. C. (2018). A Comprehensive Review of Eggs, Choline, and Lutein on Cognition Across the Life-span. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 37(4), 269–285.
  5. Zhang, Y., Ding, Y., Fan, Y., Xu, Y., Lu, Y., Zhai, L., & Wang, L. (2022). Influence of biotin intervention on glycemic control and lipid profile in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in nutrition, 9, 1046800. 
  6. USDA Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies, 1.0. 2004. Beltsville, MD: Agricultural Research Service, Food Surveys Research Group.

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