Metformin is an oral hypoglycemic drug which is being used for several different purposes. It is being used now for weight loss in women who have PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome. This is one of the most prevalent causes of infertility in women and affects up to 7% of women of childbearing age.

Metformin works in women with PCOS due to the presence of insulin resistance with this disorder. Insulin resistance is the need for increased amounts of insulin in the body to carry the necessary amounts of sugar and blood glucose that the body needs in order to perform its daily functions. Women who have insulin resistance will have increased insulin levels in their blood stream. They may also have increased blood glucose levels. If increased blood glucose levels are present they are then termed as type II diabetics in addition to insulin resistant.

Metformin was first introduced as a drug for type II diabetics who needed to have their blood glucose levels lowered. Further research into the drug showed that it had more potential in helping with insulin resistance in women who have PCOS or are insulin resistant and cannot lose weight due to that.

Metformin works on the human body in several different ways. Its first action is to decrease the amount of blood glucose that is produced in the liver. Its second function is to reduce hyperglycemic blood levels or increased glucose levels in the blood. Its third function is to lower lipid levels in the bloodstream. Further it helps to activate post receptors which are damaged in both diabetics and those who are insulin resistant. This causes the body to require less insulin to function properly. Its last function is to facilitate weight loss.

Women and men who are insulin resistant or diabetic and have increased insulin levels in their bloodstream are triggered to be hungry more than the average person. Therefore it stands to reason that they would tend to eat more on average. They also require more insulin to transfer the blood glucose to the areas of the body that need it. This in turn deposits fat stores in areas of the body where they would not normally be stored. This is especially true in the abdominal, upper thigh and buttocks regions of the body.

Metformin has been used successfully for women who have PCOS to regulate their insulin levels and to lose weight. These women have also been able to regulate their ovulatory cycles and have had improved fertility rates due to taking Metformin along with other gynecological procedures.

Metformin is being used for other women who have increased fat stores in the abdominal, buttock and upper thigh area who have not responded well to other weight loss programs. They have found various rates of success using this method for weight loss. On average Metformin has performed successfully when the reason for weight gain has been insulin resistance.

Metformin is not without its side effects, however. It can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. It has caused gastrointestinal problems for many women including loose stools, indigestion, flatulence, nausea, and increased acid reflux. It is recommended to take Metformin directly before or with food for that reason. There are extended release and controlled release forms of the drug that do not have such severe side effects according to those who have taken Metformin.

Metformin should not be taken by anyone who has had any type of kidney or liver disease. This drug should only be taken while under the care of a weight loss specialist or other medical specialist who is fully aware of the potential and risks of this drug. As with any type of drug or weight loss program, please do your own research and talk with your physician before starting any program to make sure that the program is safe for you.

Last updated on Dec 2nd, 2009 and filed under Drugs and Medications. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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