What is Metformin?
Metformin, also known as Glucophage, is a medication that regulates the levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Metformin accomplishes its task through three methods.
First, it causes the liver to produce less glucose. Second, metformin helps your stomach to absorb less glucose from the food that you eat. Finally, metformin improves the efficiency of the insulin that the body produces, which reduces the amount of glucose that is in your blood.
Metformin is often prescribed for people with Type II diabetes.
How Long Does it Take for Metformin to Work?
How long it takes Metformin to work depends on why you are taking it. If you are taking it to regulate your blood sugar, then metformin may work within a few days or a few weeks at the most.
If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), metformin can help to reduce the amount of insulin in your the body. When your insulin levels are under control, you may then experience regular ovulation. If you are trying to get pregnant, regular ovulation is imperative.
If you experience fertility related issues due to PCOS, metformin can help within three to six months. Metformin does not cause a risk of having a many or twin pregnancy. If metformin does not help restore regular ovulation, your fertility doctor may prescribe Clomid, as well.
If your doctor prescribes metformin for your PCOS, metformin can work within 4 to 8 weeks. Insulin stabilization may balance other hormones in a woman’s body and reduce other symptoms of PCOS.
Some women use metformin as a tool for weight loss. If this is the case, weight loss can occur somewhere between 1 and five weeks starting metformin. Some studies suggest that metformin may also be useful in weight loss for women who do not have diabetes or have PCOS. More research on this point will prove or disprove this hypothesis.
Metformin Side Effects
Metformin is generally tolerated well by patients. Some of the common side effects are GI related and can include nausea, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea.
If you experience these side effects, ask your doctor about the extended release version as it is gentler on you your tummy and digestive system. To reduce the side effects, take your metformin with food. You will want to avoid eating high carb foods and sugary treats as they both can make the side effects worse.
Are There Any Natural Alternatives to Metformin?
Studies have shown that there is a supplement available that works as well as or even better than Metformin for many women with PCOS. If you don't want to take pharmaceuticals or experience metformin side effects, you might want to give Myo-Inositol a try. While you can take Myo-Inositol with metformin, you need to work with your doctor to get the dosage of metformin correct.
Myo-Inositol helps restore ovulation and improve menstrual regularity, which results in higher pregnancy rates. Studies show myo-inositol the pregnancy rates are significantly better than metformin alone. It also helps improve insulin issues and the other metabolic aspects of PCOS.
If you decide to give Myo-Inositol a try, be sure to continue eating healthy and exercising. Your improved lifestyle and Myo-Inositol improves your chances of getting pregnant. Whenever you have a medical condition like PCOS, it is always recommended that you discuss your plans with your doctor.
Le Donne M, Alibrandi A, Giarrusso R, Lo Monaco I, Muraca U. [Diet, metformin and inositol in overweight and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome: effects on body composition]. Minerva Ginecol. 2012 Feb;64(1):23-9. PubMed PMID: 22334228.
Regidor, P. A., & Schindler, A. E. (2016). Myoinositol as a Safe and Alternative Approach in the Treatment of Infertile PCOS Women: A German Observational Study. International journal of endocrinology, 2016, 9537632. doi:10.1155/2016/9537632
Nagaria, Tripti, Arpita Mohapatra, & Jyoti Jaiswal. "Effect of Myoinositol and Metformin in combination on clinical and hormonal profile in patients of polycystic ovarian syndrome." International Journal of Reproduction, Contraception, Obstetrics, and Gynecology [Online], 8.2 (2019): 702-709. Web. 7 May. 2019
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