Here at Flo Living headquarters I speak with many women suffering with PCOS who have either been offered Metformin and decided against it or have tried Metformin and it’s not worked for them. If you have a diagnosis of PCOS it’s very likely that at some point your doctor has suggested Metformin.
I personally was what would be considered the “perfect” candidate for this treatment when I was in my 20s and suffering with PCOS – overweight, struggling with acne and a complete lack of periods. However, I never tried it myself – instead I created a protocol for myself that became Flo Living. I’ve since helped many women manage their PCOS successfully with this protocol, just as I did my own diagnosis.
That said, I speak with women so often about the Metformin option that I want to share my perspective with you. Although I do not dismiss the option completely, I do have some caveats and concerns.
What is Metformin?
Metformin is a first-line medication for those suffering with type 2 diabetes. It is also presented as a treatment for PCOS sufferers who are also overweight or obese. Not all PCOS sufferers have weight gain as a symptom, it depends on the kind of PCOS. Women with the kind of PCOS that causes weight gain are usually insulin resistant. Metformin reduces overall insulin levels. Insulin resistance is when the cells of your body become resistant to the hormone insulin, preventing glucose from entering your cells to be used for energy, and instead causing soaring levels of sugar blood stream bringing about diabetes, pre-diabetes or insulin-resistant PCOS.
The connection between insulin and PCOS is blood sugar regulation. We hear about this most commonly with diabetes, but it’s also very important with PCOS. An unstable, constantly spiking and crashing, blood sugar prevents ovulation – this causes symptoms and conditions like infertility, depression, anxiety, acne, and weight gain. For PCOS suffers, Metformin is often prescribed alongside the birth control pill to manage symptoms. Both only mask symptoms as band-aid solutions and do not address the root cause.
Should I take Metformin?
Most of the research studies that have examined Metformin as a treatment for PCOS show differing and conflicting results. This is probably because Metformin is given to women with a PCOS diagnosis regardless of the kind of PCOS they have and regardless of whether they’ve been properly diagnosed (some women are diagnosed with PCOS when they actually have a different condition – you need both a blood test and ultrasound to confirm). Insulin resistant PCOS is very, very common, but it’s not what every woman has. Women with insulin resistant PCOS will also have been told they are pre-diabetic or borderline diabetic and be overweight or obese.
What can you expect if you take Metformin?
Metformin is not a miracle medication (unfortunately there are NO miracle drugs). If you take it you will not instantly see an end to your symptoms and drop all the weight you have gained. If you have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic and you want to move away from this diagnosis as quickly as possible, then you could decide to take Metformin. This might be the case if you are hoping to get pregnant. Entering pregnancy with insulin resistant PCOS and pre-diabetes will unfortunately set you up for increased risk for gestational diabetes, increased pregnancy weight gain and the worsened health risks that go along with that, having a bigger baby, and therefore higher likelihood of needing a C-section to deliver your baby.
Guidelines if you choose to take Metformin
I only recommend you take Metformin within these guidelines –
- Take Metformin as a short term triage for a pre-diabetes diagnosis.
- Start taking Metformin already knowing your exit plan from this treatment.
- Simultaneously change your diet and lifestyle to improve insulin resistance (including strictly managing your blood sugar levels and sugar intake, and increasing exercise to lose weight). You may lose some weight if you do both, and you should lose your pre-diabetic status within this timeframe.
- Start the Flo Living protocol so that when you go off Metformin you do not slide back to your previous lifestyle habits, regain the weight, and go back to the pre-diabetic state. The Flo Living protocol will alleviate symptoms of PCOS long term and support regular ovulation and regular periods. It will also prevent sugar cravings, manage your blood sugar levels, and help you to lose the weight.
It’s important to note that I have worked with many women for whom Metformin has not worked at all. They’ve taken it, experienced the side effects, and seen no improvement in their condition – the PCOS or the symptoms of PCOS.
The side effects of Metformin
Even if Metformin does not work for you, it can still cause side effects. The most common side effects are stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Metformin is not recommended for women with liver disease which is a real problem as many PCOS sufferers have what is known as “fatty liver” – not liver disease, but has similar aspects.
Research has also connected Metformin with brain and cognitive impairment.
Women’s success stories post-Metformin with the Flo Living protocol
As I said, I’ve helped many women who have tried Metformin and found it did not help them as they hoped to then come off, manage their PCOS, lose weight, reverse their pre-diabetes, and get pregnant.
“Both doctors immediately recommended prescription drugs as an antidote to resolve this issue and prescribed Metformin. Within two days of taking it, I developed severe symptoms and side effects that impacted my GI tract and well being. I knew I needed a change and was willing to seek alternate therapies. I attended a Flo Living seminar. After applying the principles that I learned, I have had my period ever since AND…drum roll…my hormonal level are completely balanced and my diagnosis of PCOS was reversed!” – Judith
“I’ve had acid reflux, heal pain, irregular periods, and basically I’m a sugar addict. I have also had a hard time dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression. This program has taught me how to eat and helped me get off medication. I was on Metformin for PCOS, which I’ve stopped taking since starting my program, and I got my period this morning for the second month in a row! Sometimes I’d gone for years without getting my period, so this is incredible. I’ve lost almost 2 sizes – my old size 22s don’t fit at all. I’m now wearing a 20 and soon it will be an 18, since the 20s are a bit big. I signed up for the 3 month program and just decided to extend it for another 2 months since I really want to stay on track and learn more.” – Micki
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, have you tried Metformin?
Second, have you recently been diagnosed as pre-diabetic?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
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