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 different amounts of the drug experience the same weight loss benefits.
Understanding How Metformin Works
When trying to lose weight, PCOS sufferers must often go through a series of trial and error when determining the best PCOS drugs, exercise routines, and meal plans. Metformin won’t work if foods that quickly increase blood sugar are consumed.2 Likewise, it is not guaranteed to contribute to weight loss efforts, even though weight loss is a common side effect.2
The best way to implement new medications is to maintain open lines of communication with healthcare professionals. By understanding what to expect from certain drugs, as well as the proper dosage, women fighting PCOS can improve their recovery efforts.
Potential side effects of Metformin
- 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.
Natural Treatment Options
A natural approach for women suffering Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the Insulite Health all natural PCOS 5-Element System. In particular, the PCOS System offers hormone-balancing effects that have been scientifically calibrated to reverse PCOS symptoms. That means there is hope for women who properly educate themselves and take the precautions necessary to thwart the effects of the disease, and no reason why PCOS has to be interpreted as a devastating diagnosis.
2“How Much Metformin to Lose Weight?” (17 February 2012).