Human anatomy is all about balance. It is all related. One has to attain the harmony between various facets of the body to keep it disease-free. The balance between your hormones plays the important role here as it drives your metabolism and thereby your blood sugar levels.
The backstory of PCOD is elevated insulin levels. Almost 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance in their body. Which means the blood glucose levels continue to be high. This elevation eventually causes ovaries to produce more testosterone, upsetting the balance of hormones in the body. Excess testosterone leads to hair fall, cystic acne, irregular periods and stubborn weight gain. The weight gain typically happens in the abdominal area.
To help women combat PCOS symptoms they are often prescribed metformin -a drug used to lower sugar levels.
Metformin and PCOS
For those who are new to sugar-inflated world, Metformin is a first-line medication for Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metformin comes from a drug group named Biguanides. It is an insulin-sensitizing drug (ISD) which works by lowering the production of glucose in the liver.
Taking metformin restores the ability of the body to respond to insulin, metabolizing food better and managing blood sugar levels. The human body does not tolerate sugar in the blood for too long and it starts damaging cells. This excess sugar is generally taken by the liver and converted into fat. Metformin seemingly improves liver function. And so women are recommended this drug as an easy way to weight loss.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, this dalliance of metformin and weight loss could be a not-so-great pair up if you carefully look at its side effects: – Side effects of Metfromin for weight loss when used for a longer term – H2
Metformin is not about long-term weight loss
That’s right! Even though metformin assists in losing pounds, the amount you will actually shed is far lower than your expectations. According to a study published in April 2012 Diabetes care, this drug only helps losing 6-8 pounds over one year. This is not a miracle weight loss solution. Only patients with high blood sugar who suffer from difficulty in weight loss can benefit from it. Instead a healthy lifestyle, clean diet and self-control will pay you more than metformin. Besides, the effects of this drug are temporary. You could regain your appetite level once you stop taking it. It is far better to change your diet and follow regular exercise as anatural weight loss treatment.
Despite the impressive safety image of metformin, some PCOS patients refrain from taking it for a major reason. One out of three people taking on this drug experience significant incidents of diarrhea, bloating, nausea and gas. Women with PCOS usually go through cramps and bloating problems during menstruation. This addition of metformin side effects can severely affect quality of your life.
It Affects B12 Absorption In The Body
Studies suggests that nearly 30% people who take metformin on a regular basis reportedly have decreased vitamin B12 absorption over the time. This potentially debilitating side-effect of metformin is not well appreciated even after when the use of this drug has covered a dramatic space. The effects of metformin-induced malabsorption of vitamin B12 increase with the time of its dosage, so physicians usually associate metformin dose with vitamin B12 supplements.
This vitamin is critically important for red blood cells. Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to fatigue, numbness and nerve damage. It also has an association with anemia. Having PCOS, you already deal with low B12 levels so better give it a careful thought before taking this drug.
Well, this is not a classic target of the metformin drug, yet it can reduce your energy levels up to 48%. Metformin impairs the function of mitochondria which produces energy in the cell. Though this study is dose-dependent, you surely don’t want to feel fatigued all the time in the exchange of few pounds.
Compromised Gut Bacteria
Many women have experienced frequent sickness calls after being on metformin for a considerable period. Metformin affects the microbiome bacteria in your intestine. These bacteria are major part of your immune system and weight regulation. When they get affected, the side effects like loose tools and poor digestion are certain. This surely isn’t what you want.
Metformin is Not as Effective as Diet & Lifestyle
After knowing the side effects of metformin you might wonder, can I beat my weight plateau without metformin? The golden answer is- Yes! Munching on more veggies, lowering your carb intake, running for minutes and picking up those dumbbells can improve your androgen levels, blood sugar, and weight loss process with almost twice speed than that of metformin i.e. 58% against 31%. Diet and exercise beats metformin that too without any risks. Regular exercise lit up your endorphins and reduces your stress level. Quality of your life will be more attractive if you hit the diet button. Healthy lifestyle is an incredible investment than packet of tablets. So why not?
Natural Ways Lose Weight in PCOS
Keep the metformin at bay. Here are some easy alternative tips for weight loss for you.
- Sip on cinnamon tea often.
- Have low carbohydrates and more fiber and protein. Eat less of your rice or pasta or roti and more of veggies and fish and chicken.
- Choose a HIIT workout for 4 days a week.
- Intermittent fasting done with medical guidance can dramatically improve your sugar levels and boost weight loss.
- Face the early morning sun. Vitamin D helps preventing PCOS side effects.
- If you need dietary supplements, then you can pick Inositol, Chromium or Berberine in consultation with your physician. These are natural supplements with none of the terrible side effects.
Losing weight through changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle are so much more natural and effective. Choose wisely.