PCOS i.e polycystic ovary syndrome is a reproductive endocrine disorder which is very common in woman. Almost 10% of women of reproductive age are diagnosed with pcod. As PCOD disrupts the natural ovulatory mechanism, it causes irregularity in the menstrual cycle. Metformin is usually prescribed. Let us see the role of Metformin in PCOS (Side effects, Weight loss, and Uses).
Women who suffer from pcos may suffer from other health issues such as coarse body hair, infertility, diabetes, pre-diabetes, head balding and acne. Generally, women who are diagnosed with this disorder are obese. However lean women also suffer from this disorder.
Glucose intolerance in PCOS:
The main metabolic abnormality in polycystic ovary syndrome is insulin resistance. Glucose intolerance and resistance to insulin can ultimately result in type 2 diabetes. Glucose intolerance diagnosis can be performed by undergoing a two- hour glucose tolerance test. If the test results are positive, a 500 mg dosage of metformin can be started to improve insulin sensitivity.
According to statistics, metformin is effective in bringing down the level of bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Metformin is also called Glucophage, glumetza, Glucophage XR or fortamet. Many people who take metformin have shown excellent results in terms of managing sugar levels. In fact, it has helped women with PCOS from suffering from type- 2 diabetes and the possibility of developing type- 2 diabetes. So here is all you need to know about Metformin in PCOS (Side effects, Weight loss, and Uses).
Metformin in PCOS (Side effects, Weight loss, and Uses):
Let us see the role, side effects, and uses of Metformin.
How does Metformin work?
Metformin lowers the level of blood glucose and insulin by-
- Suppressing the glucose production in the liver.
- Increasing the sensitivity of muscle, liver, fat, and cells to insulin production.
- Decreasing your carbohydrate consumption.
Limitations Of Using Metformin In PCOS:
Metformin might not be beneficial for infertility treatment:
As far as fertility is concerned, metformin may not be the sure shot solution. In fact, clomiphene is proved to be more effective next to a proper diet and lifestyle. It is important to take into consideration your doctor’s advice if your main concern is fertility.
Metformin does not guarantee a long- term efficacy:
Metformin is not beneficial as much as following a healthy diet and lifestyle in the long term. It also loses its efficiency in the management of PCOS symptoms.
Metformin doesn’t benefit everyone:
70% of women suffer from PCOS as the insulin resistance results in the increase in testosterone levels.
There are many other reasons that can cause PCOS apart from high levels of testosterone-
- Low levels of estrogen
- Low levels of progesterone
- Use of birth control pills
- High levels of physical activity
- Restrictive Diets
- Irritable bowel syndrome
If you experience any of these reasons then you can take other treatments into consideration which may be effective. It is always best to take a second opinion of a different doctor in case of doubts.
Benefits of using Metformin for PCOS:
- Metformin helps to treat insulin resistance which in turn helps in the regulation of reproductive organs.
- Metformin results in a more regular menstrual cycle.
- It minimizes the risk of OHSS i.e ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome during the course of IVF.
- Metformin can reduce the risk of miscarriage.
- It can help in losing weight in women with PCOS.
- Metformin in combination with drugs like Clomid is a great option for fertility. But take it only when prescribed.
Side effects of using Metformin for PCOS:
While metformin does not cause any major life-threatening issues. But it does have some negative side effects. Some of them are as follows-
- Gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, diarrhea, cramps, discomfort and bloating affect almost 50% of the cases. It is best to take it in the middle of your meal.
- Metformin leads to elevated homocysteine in the long term.
- Homocysteine is a natural by-product as a result of the detox processes in your body. But at high levels, this amino acid can prove to be toxic. It increases the risk of inflammation, cancer, heart disease, and any non- communicable disease.
- Metformin has an impact on thyroid hormone levels. Hence, it is vital to get thyroid levels tested.
- Indian diet plan for PCOS and thyroid.
- Metformin can greatly disturb the hormonal balance.
- Metformin can affect the kidneys and actually damage it due to lactic acidosis. Hence, it is important to monitor kidney function before taking it.
- It can lead to a deficiency in vitamin B12 and also affect folate levels. The higher the dosage of metformin, the stronger is the effect. In severe cases it’s deficiency can also damage memory and cognitive function.
- Metformin can also lead to anxiety, poor memory, depression, low libido and affect the quality of sleep.
Important Guidelines While Taking Metformin:
If you have been prescribed Metformin then it is better to take a multivitamin along with it. Because it can lower vitamin B 12 and folate absorption.
- While taking metformin it can be dangerous to drink alcohol as it can lead to dehydration and develop liver issues.
- If you are scheduled for surgery including dental surgery, it is important to inform your health care provider.
- Do not take metformin before an X-ray procedure.
- Stop taking metformin if you suffer from dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea.
- Have a PCOS- friendly diet.
- Drink plenty of water while you are on metformin.
- Get physically active at least 4 times a week.
- People with lung, liver, heart and kidney disease should not take metformin.
How much metformin should you take? Dosage of Metformin:
Metformin is found in the pharmacy stores in the pill as well as liquid form. Doctors usually recommend a 500 mg in the beginning and depending upon how you are able to tolerate the dose, increase the dosage. However, the target dosage is between the range of 1500 to 2500 mg per day.
Patients taking 500 mg of metformin twice in a day experience mild weight loss, may have less craving for carbohydrates and hypoglycemic reactions post eating. This usually indicates a decrease in hyperinsulinism. An increased dosage of 1500 mg or 2500 mg can be divided with breakfast and dinner.
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Metformin cannot replace the need for a proper modification for lifestyle among overweight obese and overweight PCOS women. However, it may prove superior by supplementing it with lifestyle changes. Eating whole foods and exercising at least 3 times a week can be effective in the treatment of PCOS. Hope now you must have understood the role of Metformin in PCOS.