3 Things You Need To Know About Metformin
September 30, 2015 by Dr. Brooke in Be Better , Eat Better , pcos 3 Things You Need To Know About Metformin Metformin is recommended by doctors for women with PCOS that want to loose weight or otherwise manage their PCOS and insulin resistance. But there are 3 very important things that you need to know about it including the fact that it's not the only option! Let me first say, I dont hate Metformin for women with PCOS . For some women it really does help spur ovulation, control blood sugar and help with some weight management but.its not without its share of issues. And its definitely not the magic bullet for weight loss although its usually presented that way. How Metformin (or its generic form: Glucophage) Works Metformin is typically given with meals throughout the day, or more commonly now the extended release version is given once with dinner or at bedtime. While only having to pop a pill one time per day is always appealing, this once a day dosing (especially at bedtime) is where I see the most problems with my patients. It lowers both fasting and post meal glucose levels by decreasing the glucose absorption in your intestines after a meal; as well as decreasing the amount of glucose your liver makes for later use. It also does help improve insulin sensitivity by increasing glucose movement into a cell. All sounds good so far right? Not so fast, here are the most common issues I see in women using Metformin: Metformin is notorious for causing sometimes severe digestive issues including stomach pain or upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even a sense of body weakness or metallic taste in the mouth in some. And it is touted as not causing low blood sugar as many older blood sugar lowering drugs did, however I see it every day in my practice that Metformin can m Continue reading >>
Pcos: Insulin And Metformin
Young women with PCOS often have elevated insulin levels and are more likely to develop diabetes. Metformin is a medication often prescribed for women with PCOS to help prevent diabetes. A lifestyle that includes healthy nutrition and daily exercise is the most important part of a PCOS treatment plan. What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made by an organ in the body called the pancreas. The food you eat is broken down into simple sugar (glucose) during digestion. Glucose is absorbed into the blood after you eat. Insulin helps glucose enter the cells of the body to be used as energy. If there’s not enough insulin in the body, or if the body can’t use the insulin, sugar levels in the blood become higher. What is insulin resistance? If your body is resistant to insulin, it means you need high levels of insulin to keep your blood sugar normal. Certain medical conditions such as being overweight or having PCOS can cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance tends to run in families. What can insulin resistance do to me? High insulin levels can cause thickening and darkening of the skin (acanthosis nigricans) on the back of the neck, axilla (under the arms), and groin area. In young women with PCOS, high insulin levels can cause the ovaries to make more androgen hormones such as testosterone. This can cause increased body hair, acne, and irregular or few periods. Having insulin resistance can increase your risk of developing diabetes. How can I lower my insulin levels? You can help lower your insulin levels naturally by eating fewer starches and sugars, and more foods that are high in fiber and low in refined carbohydrates. Low glycemic foods, on the other hand, don’t raise your blood sugar or insulin levels as much as foods that are high in sugar or refined carbohydr Continue reading >>
Metformin For Pcos & Weight Loss
Metformin is used for diabetes prevention in women with PCOS.Photo Credit: milosducati/iStock/Getty Images April Khan is a medical journalist who began writing in 2005. She has contributed to publications such as "BBC Focus." In 2012, Khan received her Doctor of Public Health from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She also holds an Associate of Arts from the Art Institute of Dallas and a Master of Science in international health from University College London. Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition caused by an over-production of the luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland. This over-production causes a hormonal imbalance in estrogen, progesterone and insulin. This results in symptoms such as facial hair growth, weight gain, infertility, ovarian cysts and type 2 diabetes. Although some women dont show these symptoms initially, their physicians may prescribe metformin as a way to prevent diabetes and some may prescribe this medication to treat symptoms of PCOS and aid in weight loss. Metformin is a medication that is usually used to treat type 2 diabetes. Metformin works by controlling the level of glucose in the blood, by minimizing the amount of glucose your blood absorbs from food and the amount your liver produces. Women with PCOS have an increased level of insulin, which puts these women at risk for developing type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. This risk is increased if a woman with this condition becomes overweight or obese. Women with PCOS may gain weight easily due to the increased insulin level and may also find it very difficult to lose this weight. For this reason, women are usually told to go on a low-glycemic index diet, which shuns foods that cause spikes in blood insulin after consuming them. In addition to dieta Continue reading >>
Will Metformin Help Me Lose Weight?
Weight loss is an integral aspect of improving Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, in women who are overweight. Carrying extra weight can cause the condition’s symptoms to become more severe, and can even increase the level of Insulin Resistance (IR) that a woman experiences.1 IR occurs when the body’s cells become desensitized to insulin, preventing the hormone from turning glucose into energy. This results in high blood sugar and, in some cases, diabetes. For this reason, Metformin, a popular diabetes medication, is often prescribed for PCOS. Aside from regulating blood sugar levels, this pharmaceutical, also known as Glucophage, is thought to contribute to weight loss. How Metformin Encourages PCOS Weight Loss Insulin is a hormone that triggers both hunger and the production of fat cells. Therefore, by reducing insulin, women can reduce the amount of food they eat as well as the amount of fat cells that their bodies produce.2 Metformin’s primary function is to reduce insulin, so it is only natural that this medication contributes to weight loss. How Much Medication Is Necessary? Dosage is determined by several factors; healthcare professionals consider medical history, body type, and severity of symptoms when coming to the proper dosage. Metformin comes in three different sized pills: 500 mg, 850 mg, and 1,000 mg.2 Generally, individuals are prescribed between 850 and 1,000 mg two times per day, with 850 mg three times per day being the maximum amount of the medication safe to consume.2 Typically, doctors will prescribe a low dose to gauge the body’s reaction to the medication.2 If the body needs more, physicians will alter the dosage until the right amount is achieved. Because so many factors contribute to the proper dosage, many women who are prescribed d Continue reading >>
Can Metformin Help With Weight Loss?
Metformin is a drug prescribed to manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. You may have heard that metformin can also help you lose weight. But is it true? The answer is a resounding maybe. Here’s what you should know about what metformin can do for weight loss, as well as why your doctor may prescribe it for you. According to research, metformin can help some people lose weight. However, it’s not clear why metformin may cause weight loss. One theory is that it may prompt you to eat less by reducing your appetite. It may also change the way your body uses and stores fat. Although studies have shown that metformin may help with weight loss, the drug is not a quick-fix solution. According to one long-term study, the weight loss from metformin tends to occur gradually over one to two years. The amount of weight lost also varies from person to person. In the study, the average amount of weight lost after two or more years was four to seven pounds. Taking the drug without following other healthy habits may not lead to weight loss. Individuals who follow a healthy diet and exercise while taking metformin tend to lose the most weight. This may be because metformin is thought to boost how many calories you burn during exercise. If you don’t exercise, you likely won’t have this benefit. In addition, any weight loss you have may only last as long as you take the medication. That means if you stop taking metformin, there’s a good chance you will return to your original weight. And even while you’re still taking the drug, you may slowly gain back any weight you’ve lost. In other words, metformin may not be the magic diet pill some people have been waiting for. It has been shown to reduce weight in some, but not others. One of the benefits of metformin Continue reading >>
Metformin, Weight Loss & Pcos – Does It Actually Work?
Did you know that one of the main reasons you can't lose weight with PCOS is because of your hormones? It's true, and that's why many women (and physicians) turn to using Metformin to try and help with weight loss. But just because it works for some people doesn't mean it will necessarily work for YOU. Find out why metformin helps with weight loss, but more important what works better and how to finally lose weight if you have PCOS. Insulin & PCOS: Why It's so Important One of the most common medications prescribed for PCOS is metformin. But, PCOS is a hormonal condition which results in weight gain, hair growth on the face, infertility, acne and estrogen/progesterone imbalances. So why is metformin, a medication used to lower blood sugar and treat insulin resistance, used to treat estrogen/progesterone imbalances in women? The logic is quite simple: Most of the symptoms of PCOS (all those listed above) stem from insulin resistanc e! In fact many physicians recommend that ALL women with PCOS should be treated for insulin resistance regardless of what their fasting insulin and fasting blood sugar levels are. This means that the root cause of PCOS (at least the majority of it) is insulin resistance, and this is why metformin is so commonly used to treat. Insulin resistance causes a block of glucose uptake in your skeletal muscles which results in a lower metabolism (and weight gain), insulin also directly acts on your ovaries and adrenals increasing androgens like testosterone and DHEA. It's also the action of insulin on your pituitary that results in increased LH production which over stimulates your ovaries resulting in the characteristic "cysts" of PCOS. High levels of DHEA and testosterone lead to acne and hair growth (hirsutism). But one simple question r Continue reading >>
Insulin Resistance Pcos Diet Weight Loss Exercise Facts
1. Insulin resistance affects women of all sizes. First, it’s important to know that insulin resistance is not exclusive to PCOS. It’s associated with numerous diseases, like type-2 diabetes and Hepatitis C, as well as other endocrine issues, genetic predispositions, and lifestyle and environmental factors. In many of these cases, insulin resistance is correlated with increased body weight (as is often the case in type-2 diabetes). Add to that the fact that PCOS is also often correlated with weight gain, and it would be easy to assume that thin women don’t have this symptom. But that’s simply not the case. “Really, it is not necessarily a fat person's disease or a thin person's,” says Dianne Budd, MD, a San Francisco-based endocrinologist. “There really is no ‘classic’ person [with PCOS].” While an estimated half of women (or slightly more) with PCOS are deemed “overweight” or “obese,” that leaves millions of women who are not. These women have what’s often referred to as “lean PCOS,” and because of that, they and their symptoms are frequently overlooked. But numerous studies indicate that PCOS-related insulin resistance occurs in women of all weights. It’s possible that this is because the insulin resistance that happens with PCOS is caused by something different than that which occurs in, say, type-2 diabetes (more on that later). Regardless, it’s important that all women with PCOS be screened for insulin resistance. 3. Exercise helps, in more ways than one. Exercise improves everyone’s insulin sensitivity, whether or not they have insulin resistance. That’s one of the reasons why consistent, balanced activity is good for us. The benefits kick in right away, as well. One workout increases insulin sensitivity for up to 16 hour Continue reading >>
6 Reasons Why Metformin Might Not Be Safe For Pcos
Have you been prescribed metformin for PCOS and are wondering what the side affects are? Metformin is often described as a ‘safe’ drug, but read on to find out why this might not be the case. When I was diagnosed with PCOS, the first thing I asked my GP was what I could take to ‘fix’ it. She gently explained that there was no pill or surgery that could cure my condition. However, there was a drug that could help with the elevated insulin levels caused by it. Metformin, she claimed, was a safe drug with no major side effects that would help with insulin resistance and weight loss. Sign me up. At first, I thought metformin was the wonder drug. I lost about 5kg in 4 months, more than I had ever been able to lose previously. I was ecstatic. I had a quick look online to see whether there were any side effects and initially found that diarrhea, loose stools, fatigue, and muscle soreness were commonly experienced. But I thought that it was small price to pay for finally being able to lose some weight. However, when I investigated further I found that that there are some much more sinister side effects of metformin that aren’t so widely publicised. These include: – Depleting our bodies of essential nutrients. – Increasing the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect by up to 9 times. – Reducing energy levels by almost 50%. – Killing beneficial gut bacteria. This article is not intended to be a case against metformin for PCOS. There is no doubt that metformin helps to reduce weight, lowers blood glucose levels, and promotes ovulation. My concern is the lack of studies about the safety of long-term use of metformin for PCOS, especially in utero. Drugs can help with the associated symptoms of a disease, but they cannot fix the root cause of it. Metformin i Continue reading >>
Exercise Up A Storm But Still Fat - How?! (pcos?)
Exercise up a storm but still fat - HOW?! (pcos?) Click here to read our frequently asked Fitness and Exercise questions. I realize that this is an older post. But, here are my two cents. Since PCOS is related potentially to insulin resistance, I (as a non-doctor, non-nutritionist) suggest that you watch your carbs. Pick up a good book about it like, "Protein Power" by the Eades or go on the Atkins website. I have wonky blood-sugar issues and resisted low-carbing for years. Now that I am actually doing it, I feel amazing. I have tons of energy and I am dropping weight (like 4 pounds this week)! You can eat amazing things while watching your carbs. I eat a ton of salads with lean protein, Greek yogurt with blueberries, peanuts and string cheese, coffe with half 'n half. There are a lot of great combinations! Good luck to you and I hope that you gain some insights that help you work with your body! I was diagnosed w pcos 8 years ago. I have had it since puberty, but it went undiagnosed bc I never had the fertility issues that typically come with pcos. Pre diagnosis I was 242 pound at 5 foot 5. It seemed the better I ate and more I exercised the more weight I gained. I remember weeks where I gained 5 pounds, after exercising 6 days. And when I say exercise I mean hard core exercise, I get a high out of pushing my body to the edge. I finally found a doctor to listen to me and believe my health habits. He diagnosed me with pcos and prescribed metformin. I began losing weight immediately. I kept working my butt of (literally) at the gym 6 days a week for 3 hours a day and eating well. After 10 months I went from 242lbs to 124 lbs and ran my first marathon. It is now 8 years later, I have run 5 full marathons and had another baby, and have my weight in check at 136. My body l Continue reading >>
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (pcos) And Weight Gain
Most women at some point have to contend with weight gain. But for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), losing weight can become a constant struggle. PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder in women of childbearing age and can lead to issues with fertility. Women who have PCOS have higher levels of male hormones and are also less sensitive to insulin or are "insulin-resistant." Many are overweight or obese. As a result, these women can be at a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and uterine cancer. If you have PCOS, certain lifestyle changes can help you shed pounds and reduce the disease's severity. Why does polycystic ovary syndrome cause weight gain? PCOS makes it more difficult for the body to use the hormone insulin, which normally helps convert sugars and starches from foods into energy. This condition -- called insulin resistance -- can cause insulin and sugar -- glucose -- to build up in the bloodstream. High insulin levels increase the production of male hormones called androgens. High androgen levels lead to symptoms such as body hair growth, acne, irregular periods -- and weight gain. Because the weight gain is triggered by male hormones, it is typically in the abdomen. That is where men tend to carry weight. So, instead of having a pear shape, women with PCOS have more of an apple shape. Abdominal fat is the most dangerous kind of fat. That’s because it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and other health conditions. What are the risks associated with PCOS-related weight gain? No matter what the cause, weight gain can be detrimental to your health. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop many of the problems associated with weight gain and insulin resistance, including: Endometrial cancer Many of these condit Continue reading >>
Metformin Weight Loss – Does It Work?
Metformin weight loss claims are something that are often talked about by health professionals to be one of the benefits of commencing metformin therapy, but are they true? At myheart.net we’ve helped millions of people through our articles and answers. Now our authors are keeping readers up to date with cutting edge heart disease information through twitter. Follow Dr Ahmed on Twitter @MustafaAhmedMD Metformin is possibly one of the most important treatments in Type II Diabetes, so the question of metformin weight loss is of the utmost importance, as if true it could provide a means to lose weight as well as control high sugar levels found in diabetes. What is Metformin? Metformin is an oral hypoglycemic medication – meaning it reduces levels of sugar, or more specifically glucose in the blood. It is so effective that the American Diabetes Association says that unless there is a strong reason not to, metformin should be commenced at the onset of Type II Diabetes. Metformin comes in tablet form and the dose is gradually increased until the maximum dose required is achieved. How Does Metformin Work & Why Would it Cause Weight Loss? Metformin works by three major mechanisms – each of which could explain the “metformin weight loss” claims. These are: Decrease sugar production by the liver – the liver can actually make sugars from other substances, but metformin inhibits an enzyme in the pathway resulting in less sugar being released into the blood. Increase in the amount of sugar utilization in the muscles and the liver – Given that the muscles are a major “sink” for excess sugar, by driving sugar into them metformin is able to reduce the amount of sugar in the blood. Preventing the breakdown of fats (lipolysis) – this in turn reduces the amount of fatt Continue reading >>
Overweight In Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. An Update On Evidence Based Advice On Diet, Exercise And Metformin Use For Weight Loss.
Overweight in polycystic ovary syndrome. An update on evidence based advice on diet, exercise and metformin use for weight loss. Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark. [email protected] Minerva Endocrinol. 2013 Mar;38(1):59-76. AIM: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in premenopausal women affecting 5-10%. Nearly 50% are overweight or obese, which result in a more severe phenotype of PCOS. Weight loss is therefore considered the first line treatment in overweight women with PCOS. The aim of this study was to appoint evidence based and clinically applicable advises on weight loss in overweight women with PCOS. METHODS: A review of the existing literature on weight loss through lifestyle modification and/or metformin treatment in overweight women with PCOS. The primary outcome was weight loss. The clinical manifestations of hyperandrogenism and menstrual cyclicity were secondary outcomes. Metabolic parameters were not included in the present review. RESULTS: Weight loss is most effectively achieved through a 12-1500 kcal/day diet, which results in a clinically relevant weight loss. The type of diet has no implications for degree of weight loss. Physical activity has no significant additive effect on weight loss. Metformin combined with a low calorie diet has subtle additive effect on weight loss and level of androgens when compared to diet alone. CONCLUSION: Weight loss through life style changes, preferably a low calorie diet, should be the first line treatment in overweight/obese women with PCOS. Metformin can be considered as an additional treatment but has subtle additive effect. Continue reading >>
Metformin And Pcos: Everything You Need To Know
Metformin is a type of medication used to treat Type 2 Diabetes. Because there is a strong link between diabetes and PCOS, metformin is now commonly proscribed to treat PCOS. But should it be? What is the real relationship between metformin and PCOS? Can Metformin used for PCOS help lessen PCOS symptoms? Metformin used for PCOS: The Science PCOS is an infertility condition that often causes acne, facial hair growth, balding, low sex drive, weight gain, difficulty with weight loss, and mental health disturbances such as depression and anxiety in approximately 15% of women. It is also associated with a myriad of health conditions, spanning from diabetes to hypothyroidism and to heart disease. PCOS is, in short, not a condition to sneeze at. PCOS is a condition of hormone imbalance. With PCOS, male sex hormones such as testosterone and DHEA-S rise relative to the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. (…Roughly speaking – it’s complicated. For a full-blown account of the science of PCOS and how it affects you, see here.) Elevated testosterone is very often the primary culprit in causing PCOS. (But not always! For one of my most thorough accounts of other things that can cause PCOS, see here.) Insulin causes testosterone levels to rise because insulin tells the ovaries to produce testosterone. Basically, elevated insulin causes elevated testosterone, which causes PCOS. This is where metformin comes into play. Metformin lowers blood sugar levels below what they would otherwise be after a meal. This is because it intervenes with the liver’s interaction with and production of glucose. Insulin is the body’s way of dealing with blood sugar. If blood sugar is lower, then insulin will be lower, and thus testosterone will be lower. Metformin decreases blood sugar, Continue reading >>
No Exercise, No Diet, Can You Still Lose On Metformin?
no exercise, no diet, can you still lose on metformin? If this is your first visit, be sure tocheck out the FAQ by clicking thelink above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages,select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. no exercise, no diet, can you still lose on metformin? I tend to lose some weight when first upping my metformin dose - endro's orders - I would never misuse meds. But sometimes I wonder if it's really the metformin helping me lose or a blood sugar side effect. I'm not good at testing- need to get in the habit - she only wants me to do it twice a week but it hurts on fingers. Do you think the metformin helped me lose even though I'm eating horrible, and not exercising? thanks. I lost 20 lbs and did nothing but take Met. Of course, I could have lost alot more if I would have done those things, but the Met alone did the trick for me. Kristen(23), DH(27), DS#1(1), DS#2(Brand New) Nickolas Landry born November 9, 2007 (7 lbs 9 oz and 20 inches long) Cameron Michael born April 30, 2009 (8 lbs 15 oz and 19 inches long) I tend to lose some weight when first upping my metformin dose - endro's orders - I would never misuse meds. But sometimes I wonder if it's really the metformin helping me lose or a blood sugar side effect. I'm not good at testing- need to get in the habit - she only wants me to do it twice a week but it hurts on fingers. Do you think the metformin helped me lose even though I'm eating horrible, and not exercising? thanks. Flute--what dose are you on? i just started met 500mg two days ago, so far no side effects, i am trying to eat better, but my son and i are really sick so no exercise for me right now! Yes, I lost weight just taking met. I wasn' Continue reading >>
The Effects Of Metformin With Lifestyle Therapy In Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Randomized Double Blind Study
The Effects of Metformin with Lifestyle Therapy in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Randomized Double Blind Study 1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 3 Department of Public Health Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 4 Department of Pathology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 5 Department of Kinesiology, Penn State College of Health and Human Development, University Park, PA 6 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia Corresponding author and reprint requests: Richard S. Legro, M.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, 500 University Drive, Hershey PA, 17033. [email protected] Tel: (717) 531-8478 Fax: (717) 531-0701 The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Fertil Steril See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. To determine if the combination of lifestyle(caloric restriction and exercise) and metformin(MET) would be superior to placebo and lifestyle(PBO) in improving PCOS phenotype. Double-blind randomized 6 month trial of MET vs PBO Subjects collected urines daily for ovulation monitoring, had monthly monitoring of hormones/weight, and determination of body composition by DXA, glucose tolerance, and quality of life at baseline and completion. Dropout rates were high. There was no significant difference in ovulation rates. Testosterone levels were significantly lower compared to baseline in the MET group at 3 mos but not at 6 mos. There were no differences in weight loss between groups, but MET showed a significant decline at 6 mos c Continue reading >>