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Old 12-06-2009, 03:51 PM   #1
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Metformin for PCOS (without diabetes)?

I have PCOS but no diabetes. My blood sugar is always normal and I'm not overweight. I've read that metformin can lower blood sugar and I obviously don't need this since I don't have diabetes. Now I'm worried that it will mess with my blood sugar levels. Is it really ok for someone without diabetes to take metformin? I just want to ovulate more regularly, and the Dr. said that this will help my ovaries and pancreas work more efficiently. I should've asked more about it before taking it, but this doctor is quieter and doesn't go into detail much like my family doctor - that always gets me off guard! I do trust him and feel like he knows what he's doing, but the reading I did on metformin was more along the lines of treating PCOS, not about diabetes. Now I'm reading on the pamphlet info how it affects insulin levels and I guess it has me a little bothered. It won't affect me in that way since I don't have diabetes, right? From what I gather, it may help in that women with PCOS are more vulnerable to diabetes. Right?

 
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:59 PM   #2
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Re: Metformin for PCOS (without diabetes)?

That is correct. A lot of women that have PCOS have what is insulin resistance. The Metformin helps with this. It won't hurt you since you don't have diabetes.

I am in the same boat as you. I don't have diabetes and my sugar levels have always been fine on blood tests. I'm on Metformin as well. I was worried that since my levels were always fine that the Metformin would lower them and I would faint or something due to hypoglycemia. That never did happen and I've been on Metformin for 2 1/2 years now.

I think that since women with PCOS have a higher chance to develop diabetes, the Metformin also helps to prevent that.

 
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:23 AM   #3
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Re: Metformin for PCOS (without diabetes)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweety2002 View Post
I think that since women with PCOS have a higher chance to develop diabetes, the Metformin also helps to prevent that.
Wow, I never knew that. I'm a Type II diabetic and I think I probably have PCOS. I've been having the symptoms of it since I was a teenager.

Since you guys are on the Metformin for the PCOS, have you had any side effects from the medication even though neither of you are diabetics?

 
Old 12-10-2009, 09:23 PM   #4
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Re: Metformin for PCOS (without diabetes)?

I don't have any side effects from the Metformin now, but I did when I first started it. I was put on 500 mg tablets 3 times a day. I started taking the full dose right off the bat and I got tummy upset. I then talked to my endocrinologist and he told me that I could build up to the full dose. I took one pill a day for a week, then I added a second pill a day for the second week, then the third pill the third week. This lessens the side effects as your body gets used to it slowly.

 
Old 12-11-2009, 02:31 AM   #5
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Re: Metformin for PCOS (without diabetes)?

I have been taking metformin for 5 years, and I don't have diabetes. I started out with 500mg once a day then went up to 2x a day. When I went up, I had horrible side effects, so my dr backed me down to once a day and had me come back in. She then put me on 750mg XR which has been working great. Just recently, within the past 3 or 4 months, I have been having some hypoglycemia episodes. I am going next week to my PCP to have some lab work done, to see what the deal is. I am praying it isn't diabetes, as I have no insurance and don't know how I can afford everything associated with it.

 
Old 12-11-2009, 08:31 AM   #6
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Re: Metformin for PCOS (without diabetes)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssjup81 View Post
Wow, I never knew that. I'm a Type II diabetic and I think I probably have PCOS. I've been having the symptoms of it since I was a teenager.

Since you guys are on the Metformin for the PCOS, have you had any side effects from the medication even though neither of you are diabetics?
I've been taking it for a week (500mg). I've had no side effects. I go up to my full dosage today (1000mg), and I'm a little nervous about that. My doctor warned me about diahrea (spelling?) - I guess stomach issues are the main side effect with 1/3 of women getting nausea, diahrea, loss of appetite. So far so good, so I hope I'm in the majority that doesn't experience this.

 
Old 12-11-2009, 09:08 AM   #7
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Re: Metformin for PCOS (without diabetes)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweety2002 View Post
That is correct. A lot of women that have PCOS have what is insulin resistance. The Metformin helps with this. It won't hurt you since you don't have diabetes.

I am in the same boat as you. I don't have diabetes and my sugar levels have always been fine on blood tests. I'm on Metformin as well. I was worried that since my levels were always fine that the Metformin would lower them and I would faint or something due to hypoglycemia. That never did happen and I've been on Metformin for 2 1/2 years now.

I think that since women with PCOS have a higher chance to develop diabetes, the Metformin also helps to prevent that.
Thanks for the reassurance, Sweety2002! I always thought PCOS was a result of diabetes (this was before I really started reading about it). Women gaining too much weight, diabetes occurs, hormone levels get thrown off... PCOS. It was startling for me, always having been underweight with no blood sugar issues, no family history of diabetes. My grandma is diabetic, but didn't get it until her 70's.

My theory is that, when I was 18, I began a stressful retail job - it was in the household chemicals/paper goods section at Wal-mart. Though it was obviously not open chemicals I was dealing with, there was still that detergent smell throughout that area. Cleaning chemicals are full of xenoestrogens, and I worry that that combined with me losing a lot of weight during the job is what caused a hormone imbalance that led to PCOS. I was underweight to begin with, then got very underweight to the point of having to quit the job so I could rest and get my appetite back. That is around the time my periods started skipping. I actually had very heavy periods at age 12-14, but didn't think much of it cause my mom always complained of her's being heavy. But I don't think it was normal when the average blood loss for a period is a pint. I lost a pint a day easily (sorry for the TMI). They started thinning out, then I would skip once in a while. The skipping got more frequent in my 20's, though I only skipped one or two at a time. This year (age 28) I began missing two at a time quite frequently, and I'd get strange symptoms on months I'd skip - weight gain in tummy, acne, pelvic pain - which pointed me to PCOS.

I think it's possible my hormones were off-kilter for along time, but it just wasn't realized. My doctor put me on the pill a couple of times when I complained of the skipping, which probably threw things off more because I never stayed on the pill for long (I just don't like bc). I guess I'm confused about how diabetes weighs in... if PCOS is not a result of diabetes, like it isn't in my case, is it the hormonal imbalance I experience putting me at an increased risk? I asked my doctor if a PCOS diagnosis is really that important (I haven't been formally diagnosed since I can't get the testing done as I've been on birth control which throws off accuracy of results) - is it important to know because of diabetes risk? He said no, but he did say before that the metformin would help my ovaries and pancreas work better, so there must be some component there. Metformin also lowers male hormone levels, which is why I thought it was suggested to me, as with PCOS, I probably have an excess. **That is what I want to get clear: what will metformin do to help me ovulate regularly, and if it doesn't work, then does that mean I don't have PCOS, and there is some other issue?** I also was afraid that metformin could possibly make things worse since I'm not diabetic, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

My doctor seems convinced that I have it (PCOS), and I'm pretty sure that I do, but my ultrasound was inconclusive, and I just don't really have any symptoms of PCOS aside from skipping periods. It is true that the several follicles seen on my US were probably cysts, but I don't seem to be a textbook PCOS case, so do you think metformin will work on me?

Sorry for this long speal: I've been having a lot of thoughts lately, things I should've brought up in my appt.

 
Old 12-11-2009, 09:48 AM   #8
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Re: Metformin for PCOS (without diabetes)?

dancersmom: Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar, right? I posted this same topic on another forum, and one of the answerers said that metformin can cause a temporary dip in blood sugar, so it's a good idea to keep sweet snacks handy after taking it. Have you tried this?

Also I wanted to ask you if you're ovulating on the 750mg? And what does XR mean? I think all metformin doses are XR, right? I started out on 500mg and was fine on that, but the day before yesterday, moved up to 1000mg. I got a little nauseous and really tired. I worried because my appetite was zilch that day and yesterday. I'm underweight and don't want to have a loss of appetite. So I took it down to 750mg (1 and 1/2 tablets).

Oops, I just read that I'm not supposed to break these in 1/2. Guess that I'll just have to suffer through the 1000mg for now and hope my body gets used to it!

Last edited by partlycloudy; 12-13-2009 at 12:04 PM.

 
Old 06-10-2010, 07:47 AM   #9
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Re: Metformin for PCOS (without diabetes)?

Wow.. I can relate to the tummy pains and I also started to feel really dizzy. I called on my doctor for some advise on it because I am don't usually take pills and was told to continue to take the dosage which was three time a day but make sure I ate. I did that but the dizziness continued so I cut it down to 1 pill per day and after the second week I added another and the third week another. Your body really has to get used to the pills. I am not diabetic so my body had to get used to it.

Thanks for the posts you guys send, it is good to learn from each other. I just joined this site today but it has been very helpful.

 
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