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General Fitness

Metformin vs. Lifestyle Changes for PCOS: Which Is the Better Option?

By:
Team Elda
Published:
January 30, 2024

So you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, and your doctor has recommended Metformin as a treatment option. But what exactly is Metformin, and how does it work? And more importantly, are there other ways to manage your PCOS symptoms naturally? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered!

In this blog, I’ll break down the science behind Metformin and explore some healthier alternatives to help you feel your best and perhaps reverse your PCOS symptoms.

So grab a cup of tea, and let’s get started!

How does Metformin work?

Okay, so let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how Metformin works.

Metformin is commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes and PCOS by regulating your menstrual cycle. It relies on some special helpers in the body called Organic Cation Transporters (OCTs) and Multidrug and Toxin Extruders (MATEs) to do their job. Think of them like little taxis that carry the Metformin from one place to another; the place is your body.

The medicine works by decreasing the amount of glucose (sugar) your liver produces and improves your body’s response to insulin (a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels).

How does metformin work?
How does metformin work?

But wait, there’s more! Metformin also reduces androgen (male hormones) levels in your body, which can help ease pesky symptoms of PCOS like acne and unwanted hair growth.

What are the prescribed dosage of Metformin and the time frame?

The prescribed dosage of Metformin and the time frame can vary depending on the individual’s medical history, health condition, and response to treatment.

The dosage of Metformin is usually low and gradually increases over time to minimize the risk of side effects. Typically, the starting dose of Metformin for adults is 500 milligrams (mg) once daily, taken with a meal. This dose may be increased gradually to a maximum of 2,000 mg daily, taken in divided doses with meals.

The time frame for taking Metformin may also vary depending on the individual’s condition and response to treatment. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions regarding the dosage and duration of treatment with Metformin. Taking Metformin for as long as the healthcare provider directs to effectively manage the condition is usually recommended.

How does Metformin interact with other medications?

When taking Metformin, it’s crucial to keep in mind that it may interact with other medications, including:

Medications that affect kidney function: Metformin is eliminated from the body through the kidneys. Taking other medications that affect kidney function can interfere with how your body clears Metformin from your system. This can lead to a dangerous buildup of the drug in your body.

Medications that lower blood sugar levels: Metformin is used to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Suppose you’re taking other medications that also lower blood sugar levels. In that case, it can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels), which can be dangerous.

Medications that cause gastrointestinal side effects: Metformin can cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and diarrhoea. Suppose a person takes other medications that can also cause these side effects. In that case, it can exacerbate these symptoms and make them more severe.

How to overcome irregular periods naturally?

While Metformin can effectively regulate insulin resistance, it doesn’t address the root cause, your lifestyle, that led to insulin resistance in the first place.

If you were to stop your Metformin medication, there are chances that PCOS would revert back. Therefore, addressing the root cause of PCOS is crucial for long-term health. If you carefully see the above image, you will understand that the root cause starts at “Sugar” not “Insulin Resistance”.

Here are some lifestyle changes you SHOULD make to start addressing the root cause of your PCOS:

  • Eating a mindful & balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein
  • Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise, pilates, yoga, walking and stretching
  • Practising mindfulness and being aware of what’s happening in your body & menstrual cycle (find a detailed blog on this here: Break down of your menstrual cycle)
  • Managing stress through practices such as meditation or yoga
  • Getting enough sleep

Making these lifestyle changes can help manage and regulate menstrual cycles and alleviate other symptoms of PCOS. It is important to remember that PCOS majorly results from unhealthy lifestyle habits.

Please note: Every person’s body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It is essential to consult with your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet or exercise routine.

Conclusion

So, if you or someone you know has PCOS, Metformin can be a helpful medication to manage the symptoms. But it’s important to remember that it can interact with other medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any other medications you’re taking.

And here’s the thing — lifestyle changes like eating healthy and exercising can also make a big difference in managing PCOS symptoms. So, don’t forget about that! Taking care of your body and being aware of potential medication interactions can improve your quality of life and make you feel better overall.

Please note that the information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. It is always important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before changing your health routine. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability concerning the blog or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in the blog for any purpose. Therefore, any reliance on such information is strictly at your own risk.

Is Metformin a sure-shot solution to managing your irregular periods? Let us understand how it works in this blog.