Metformin (Glucophage) is a pharmaceutical drug originally developed to treat elevated blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 Diabetes. It is now commonly prescribed for women with PCOS.
Potential side effects of Metformin include:
- Gastrointestinal side effects such as diarrhea, gas and bloating, abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting.
- Decreased Vitamin B12 absorption that can potentially lead to anemia.
- Increased levels of amino acids in the blood, which is a risk factor for atherosclerosis.
- Contraindications in using Metformin include liver disease, alcoholism, compromised renal function, hypoxic conditions, and moderate to severe infections.
There is an alternative to using Metformin.
Metformin (Glucophage) is a pharmaceutical drug often prescribed for women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). It is an insulin-sensitizing biguanide commonly used to treat elevated blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 Diabetes. It is often used as an off-label prescription for PCOS, which means it was originally used only for individuals with Type 2 Diabetes, but is now prescribed for PCOS patients because it has similar actions in both groups.
If you have PCOS, you may have Insulin Resistance. If you have Insulin Resistance the ability of your cells to respond to the action of insulin in transporting glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into muscle and tissue is diminished. Metformin improves the cell’s response to insulin and helps move glucose into the cell. As a result, your body is not required to make as much insulin.1
PCOS and Metformin Studies
PCOS and its symptoms of hyperandrogenism (acne, hirsutism, alopecia), reproductive disorders (irregular menses, anovulation, infertility, polycystic ovaries), and metabolic disturbances (weight gain) have been linked to hyperinsulinemia and Insulin Resistance.2 Therefore, it makes sense for you to address the hyperinsulinemia and Insulin Resistance caused by this condition.
Studies have reported that treatment with Metformin can improve hirsutism, induce ovulation, and normalize menstrual cycles.1 For example, according to one study, which looked at 39 women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and hyperinsulinemia (excess insulin in the blood), treatment with Metformin resulted in a decline of insulin as well as total and free testosterone, leading to significant improvement of clinical manifestations of hyperandrogenism (the excessive production of androgens in women) and an improvement in menstrual cycles.3 However, studies have also shown that weight loss through exercise and changes in diet and lifestyle can be as effective in regulating menstrual cycles and showing improvement in hyperandrogenism.4, 5
Many women who are prescribed Metformin must discontinue its use due to gastrointestinal side effects. The most commonly reported adverse effects you might experience include diarrhea, gas and bloating, abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting.1, 6 Another consideration of Metformin therapy is its adverse effect on vitamin B12 absorption. 30 percent of people receiving long-term Metformin therapy develop B12 malabsorption, which can potentially lead to anemia.
It has also been shown that Metformin can increase homocysteine levels (amino acids found in the blood), which is a risk factor for atherosclerosis or fatty deposits in blood vessels.7
The contraindications in using Metformin include liver disease, alcoholism, compromised renal function, hypoxic conditions, and moderate to severe infections. These conditions can predispose lactic acidosis, a life-threatening complication.1
Insulite Health’s view on the pharmaceutical treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome-including Metformin-is that there is no one drug that will change your condition. The best way to control the disorder is to reduce elevations in the insulin levels that directly affect your testosterone and other hormonal changes that are responsible for causing PCOS. Metformin can impact weight loss, infertility, acne, and other PCOS-related symptoms, however, the results are variable. There are also many side effects of Metformin that can have a negative impact your health.
To address Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Insulin Resistance, the Insulite PCOS System has five key elements. For example, in the Nutritional Supplement Element, the Poly Plus formula is designed to help reduce circulating testosterone, increase sex hormone binding globulin, and support your liver function and hormone metabolism. The other Insulite Nutritional Supplement products are designed help balance insulin secretion, support the cardiovascular system, and prevent insulin and glucose spiking during mealtimes. The Diet and Nutrition Element, and the Movement and Exercise Element are provided along with the Insulite Support Element and the Insulite Awareness Element to enhance your weight loss success which is critical in managing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
The Insulite PCOS System – all five of its elements – has been designed specifically for women like you with PCOS.
The Insulite PCOS System is not intended to be medical treatment, nor is information on this website intended to be a substitute for the advice or care of a health-care practitioner. The Insulite PCOS System is a combination of nutritional supplementation and lifestyle programs intended to help individuals better manage their health and wellbeing. Consult a health-care practitioner before beginning the Insulite PCOS System. Because of ongoing research, clinical experience, and the rapid accumulation of information relating to the subject matter discussed on this website, the website’s users are advised to carefully review and evaluate the information on this website and continue to expand and broaden their knowledge of new information as it becomes available on this website and elsewhere. The use or application of the information contained on this website is at the sole discretion and risk of the user.
Since June 2008, Insulite Laboratories and Insulite Health has supported more than 2.4 million women through the Insulite PCOS System, through this website, through emails providing information and support, through consultations with our Consulting & Advisory Team, through telephone conference calls, through online webinars, through published articles, and most recently, through social media community building and support efforts. Insulite Laboratories and Insulite Health are singularly dedicated to improving the lives of women with PCOS and conditions resulting from Insulin Resistance.