Metformin is a relatively safe drug with no major side effects that would help with insulin resistance and weight loss.
Metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, Riomet) is a medication prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes and the prevention of type 2 diabetes in patients who are at risk for type 2 diabetes.
Metformin is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat type 2 diabetes in adults and children over 10 years old, but doctors have used it “off-label” to treat obese adults and kids who don’t have diabetes.
Almost a hundred years ago it was discovered that meformin reduces blood sugar levels , although it wasn’t until the last few decades that it really became popular in treating patients suffering from diabetes Metformin is now the best and most popular drug in the world for treating type 2 diabetes, especially for obese and overweight persons with normally functioning kidneys.
For those who are seriously overweight metformin can be a useful tool to get the process started, but experts recommend that it should be discontinued as soon as the BMI has come below 35. A study a couple of years ago found that regular exercise and a low GI/GL diet were more effective than metformin anyway and without the nasty side effects.
Metformin and weight loss
The overall effect of Metformin helps to decrease glucose levels. But since Metformin is a euglycaemic agent, blood glucose levels don’t fall below normal and hence Hypoglycaemic episodes do not occur. It also has various benefits on lipid metabolism and hence the lowering of circulating fatty acids occurs. It also helps to reduce VLDL which is also involved in causing cardiovascular disease like circulation of fatty acids.
There are various reasons for being overweight one of them is insulin. This form of fat is stored primarily in your belly. As the person eats, the blood sugar level rises. The more the level rises, the more insulin is released in the pancreas. Insulin can make you fat by acting on the brain to stimulate signs of hunger. This leads to the liver manufacturing fat and the fat cells in the belly to fill with fat. The best way to treat this form of obesity is to avoid foods that cause the highest rise in blood sugar. Taking medications that prevent rise of blood sugar levels from is also suggested.
All forms of bakery products, pastas, and foods made from flour, fruit juices and products with added sugar should be avoided. Fruits and root vegetables such as potatoes should be consumed only with meals. The sugar eaten by the body comes to intestines through the bloodstream, and into the liver.
Metformin contains glucophage which reduces sugar release from the liver to reach the blood sugar levels and raise them too high. Hence the body doesn’t need to produce as much insulin that makes you hungry. Hence the liver does not convert sugar to fat. There are various other benefits of Metformin apart from curing diabetes and it is losing weight.
But Metformin is not effective when blood is acidic due to excess lactic acid. There are various researches which show that exercises raises lactic acid but does not cause blood acid levels high enough to reduce benefits of Glucophage.
Mechanisms and studies
Metformin is known to cause modest weight loss in people with prediabetes and with type 2 diabetes. Contributing mechanisms for weight loss are thought to include appetite suppression and slowing of gastric emptying related to stimulation of glucagon-like peptide-1 secretion.
Glucophage is a safe medication that prevents blood sugar levels from rising too high, but you defeat its effects by taking foods that cause rapid rises in blood sugar levels.
So the treatment for this type of obesity is to avoid foods that cause the highest rise in blood sugar and to take medications that prevent your blood sugar levels from rising too high.
Metformin is one of the few oral diabetes medications that does not cause weight gain and often people note a slight weight loss (although this is not its main action and not everyone experiences weight loss).
In general as long as the medication is used temporarily (used to reverse insulin and leptin resistance) then the risk of long term complications and adverse side effects is very low.
Metformin is an extremely effective treatment for type 2 diabetes, because it acts at the source of the problem: it combats insulin resistance. It has been shown to delay and even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in people with impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. And it decreases the risk of diabetes-related death, as well as heart attacks and strokes, in people who already have diabetes. Metformin saves lives.
In addition to this, metformin is used with great effect in the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome, both improving the symptoms of the condition, and increasing by up to eight-fold the probability of ovulation (and so substantially increasing fertility). It also appears to be safe to use during pregnancy, and significantly decreases the risk of women with PCOS developing gestational diabetes.
Metformin normalizes blood glucose levels by blocking hepatic gluconeogenesis and increasing peripheral insulin sensitivity. Since metformin does not increase insulin production, it is rarely associated with hypoglycemia.
In studies of adults with type 2 diabetes, people taking the combination of empagliflozin and metformin lost 2-3% of their body weight, on average.
It is an oral biguanide insulin-sensitizing agent that inhibits hepatic glucose production, enhances the effects of insulin on glucose uptake in skeletal muscles and adipocytes, and decreases intestinal absorption of glucose ( Hundal et al., 1992 ; Klip et al., 1992 ; Wiernsperger and Bailey, 1999 ; Hardie, 2013 ).
Metformin is also known to induce weight stabilization or small weight losses in diabetic and nondiabetic adults ( UKPDS Group, 1998 ; Glueck et al., 2001 ; Kay et al., 2001 ; Seifarth et al., 2013 ).
In addition, metformin enhances leptin sensitivity in high fat-fed obese rats ( Kim et al., 2006 ) and induces weight loss (metformin at 300 mg/kg caused a ~6% weight loss relative to vehicle by day 7 of treatment) in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice ( Kim et al., 2013a ).
In one study, treatment with metformin over 16 weeks, along with weekly diet and exercise counseling, was associated with significantly more weight loss (2.0 kg) than placebo in overweight adult outpatients with chronic schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
In the subgroup of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), some trials showed benefit of up to six percent in weight reduction over placebo;15 however, when a systematic review of the literature was performed, of the 13 randomized, controlled trials in women with PCOS, none showed an overall beneficial effect of metformin on weight loss.16 Regardless, it appears benefit is greater if more than 1500mg daily of metformin is used and if the duration of treatment is greater than eight weeks.
Metformin is often used to treat type 2 diabetes , but it can also lower insulin and blood sugar levels in women with PCOS.
Other potential side effects include feeling tired or weak, muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain, feeling cold, dizziness or lightheadedness, and a slow or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, allergic reactions, and symptoms of low or high blood sugar, including dizziness, confusion, seizures, and so on. Plus, though rare, Metformin can cause lactic acidosis, a potentially deadly condition, and heart failure.
- I tried metformin I have drawers of the stuff but I couldnt handle the side effects I took chromium instead did the same thing for me.
- Eating little and often and cutting out sugar all together worked for me lost weight quickly.. In fact I am gonna go on the weightwatches PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) diet as I need support to help me loose weight.
- I was very let down and didn’t know what to do. Glad that My Doctor has found out what is wrong with has prescribed me Metformin 1x 500mg per day.I started taking the medicine on Jan 1st 2012 and i have lost 2.5kgs in one week.
- I was a conscious/healthy eater before I started Metformin and though the medication has helped considerably, it hasn’t been in the way of weight loss.
- I have been on Metformin for 6 months taking 250 mg a day and zero weight loss… very disappointing.
- I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and was put on metformin 500mg 2 times a day three weeks ago and have lost 12 lbs already.
- I have been taking metformin 1000 mg twice a day for 8 years… I haven’t noticed any weight loss.
- I was also advised to follow a low GI diet, which i followed for the first 6 months (it got a little harder as the months went on….i have such a sweet tooth!) I lost most of the weight in the first 6 months (9kgs) and then the rest slowly disappeared.
- I followed this for 6 months (along with exercise) and lost about 25 pounds and my insulin serum level got a lot closer to a normal level.
- I think it can help you lose weight, but it’s probably more about unlocking the door to weightloss (since insulin resistance kept it locked) and motivation, than about walking you through the door to weightloss.
- In the last 9 months i have lost 3 stone and although i am still on metformin its more to do with following a combination of weight watchers and low GI diet.
- I was also advised to use the Low GI diet and it is well worth it.. it’s worked for me in the past and working for me again.. well that and a load of exercise.. it’s also helping with enrergy…. the Low Gi Diet is really helping with the tiredness and also depression…..
I kept having diarrhea on the med so eventually I stopped taking it… here it is 8yrs later my A1c went up my Doctor put me on it again I’m not really on a diet I cut back only a little and I am not eating as much as I used to I have osteoarthritis in my knees so I’m in pain a lot so I hardly exercise at all and I have lost only 11 pounds in 4 months but it still gives me diarrhea like crazy… so I’m thinking, me going to the bathroom is what is helping me lose the weight but the process is very slow.