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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Message Board
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:47 PM   #1
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Alexandra23 HB UserAlexandra23 HB UserAlexandra23 HB UserAlexandra23 HB User
Metformin and Diarrhea

Hi, my first post on this board.

I'm just got diagnosed as having PCOS (almost 2 years no period, tough hair on face, high Free Androgens, Skin Tags, Weight Gain) and prescribed Metformin.

I'm also hypothyroid and on thyroxine about to change medication slightly to taking thyroixine and T3.

I'm having a lot of diarrhea and worried this will stop me absorbing my thryoid medication properly. What is the best thing to take for diarrhea that doesn't affect other medication? And when will it stop (hopefully)?

Thanks.

Also - is there a list anywhere of all PCOS symptoms?

 
Old 01-22-2012, 08:47 PM   #2
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Re: Metformin and Diarrhea

As for symptoms, i believe it is listen in another post on this board, but you seem to have a good chunk of them.

Metformin one problem with it is is does cause diarrhea. When i was first prescribed it 10+ years ago it made my stomach hurt bad. I switched to Glucophage XR (the non generic form of metformin) and the problems went away.

 
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:05 PM   #3
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Re: Metformin and Diarrhea

Thank you I hadn't heard about Glucophage XR. If the side effects don't go away I will ask about it.

I've also got depression, anxiety, mood swings, boil like spots on neck, very bad sleep, constant fatigue and I snore.

I'm trying to work out which PCOS symptoms I have (some can be related to thyroid as well) so that I can watch to see if they improve with Metformin.

I don't really have oily skin (but hypothyroidism dries out the skin).

But I have greasy hair. I didn't when I was growing up but then got really annoyed with how quickly it goes limp and greasy as an adult.

I've had 2 other times in my life when I've have PCOS symptoms but I've just been put on the pill. The first time I had an unsympathetic and uncomfortable encounter with a doctor and a internal scan, it really put me off mentioning any period problems I had for many years.

Last edited by Alexandra23; 01-23-2012 at 02:12 PM.

 
Old 01-23-2012, 04:52 PM   #4
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Re: Metformin and Diarrhea

The glucophage XR is an extended release formula, meaning that for me i can take my 2 500mg tablets in the morning and be good all day. (this has decrease since i lost a lot of weight from 4 tablets a day.) Only recently did i switch back to Metformin, the reason being was just insurance purposes. My health insurance was charging me $75.00 for 1 month supply, and i can get the metformin for $15. I have been lucky to be ok on it.

The pill has done well for me but if you have anxiety and depression some of them can really make it worse. Did you have the anxiety and depression before the pcos?

I have some nights that i can't sleep, several night a week this tends to happen.

As for the hair, i'm unsure if that is a symptom, but maybe try switching up shampoos to one with an oil reducer and see if that helps.

 
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:24 AM   #5
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Re: Metformin and Diarrhea

I'm in the UK so I'm getting my medication on the NHS but this can mean sometimes different medication is harder to get since it's not normally prescribed. So I don't know if Glucophage XR is available in the UK, it might be, but I'd have to wait and see if these side effects resolved themselves over time first.

I've had Depression for many years, coming and going, never fully going though. Having been diagnosed as hypothyroid a year ago and on medication now it may be that is causing some of it. Also, as you say, PCOS can make it worse.

I put on a LOT of weight about a year and a half/ two years ago in a short space of time. I think what happened is my underactive thyroid gave me weight gain, which triggered the PCOS to kick in, which then also helped me gain more weight. Just what a girl needs

I've lost maybe 10 kilos on thyroid medication since I started taking it a year ago and I'm changing my medication this week to try and get more symptom relief. I'm also on Metformin now so maybe I will lose more weight which will help the PCOS.

I never used to have lots of anxiety but I got it badly when my dad was in intensive care for a long time and sadly passed away. Since then it's never gone away. Some people say thyroid problems can be triggered by trauma or extremely stressful situations. This may have happened to me, although I think I had a sluggish thyroid for many, many years this just made it worse. But the extreme anxiety I get, it isn't my nature and I dislike it.

I get Mood Swings, that are not in my nature too. I just wondered if it was PCOS related and the Metformin would help.

Depression, Underactive thyroid, PCOS, they all make each other worse but now that I'm getting more help and medication they will all improve together!

Thanks for listening and replying. It really helps to have someone to discuss this with.

 
Old 01-24-2012, 03:25 PM   #6
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Re: Metformin and Diarrhea

Yes and underactive thyroid is a main cause of weight gain. I hear that taking omega 3 fish oil is suppose to help your thyroid (a few people in my family are low thyroid and i have been taking the omega 3 supplement and keeping my fingers crossed for myself, so far so good lol)

Anxiety and depression are never easy, but if you just need someone to vent or talk to feel free i'll gladly listen. Maybe it will help you.

Yeah don't let the PCOS get you down, i have had it for many years with only minor issues from it (2 cases where cysts burst causing the most abdominal pain ever) Once you have it under control, you will realize that things will start looking up.

Word of advice with the metformin, make sure you take it with food. Since it messes with your glucose levels.

Glad to help

 
Old 01-28-2012, 11:58 PM   #7
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Re: Metformin and Diarrhea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandra23 View Post
Hi, my first post on this board.

I'm just got diagnosed as having PCOS (almost 2 years no period, tough hair on face, high Free Androgens, Skin Tags, Weight Gain) and prescribed Metformin.

I'm also hypothyroid and on thyroxine about to change medication slightly to taking thyroixine and T3.

I'm having a lot of diarrhea and worried this will stop me absorbing my thryoid medication properly. What is the best thing to take for diarrhea that doesn't affect other medication? And when will it stop (hopefully)?

Thanks.

Also - is there a list anywhere of all PCOS symptoms?
Previous poster was right about there being lists of PCOS symptoms throughout this message board but I will rattle off what I know anyway.

-irregular or absent menstrual cycles
-heavy bleeding and periods that last several days
-increased libido
-rapid and significant weight gain, particularly abdominal obesity
-increased muscle mass
-male pattern baldness (triangle shaped indents of hairline above right and left temples)
-loss of head hair in general
-increased male pattern hair growth (moustache, chin hairs, sideburns, hair around nipples, increased pubic hair)
-swollen ankles, general edema (water retention)
-acne or worsening of acne
-infertility (PCOS is a leading cause of infertility)

In other words, you turn into a fat, bald guy with acne!

I have had PCOS for many years now and I never took Metformin but I have IBS-- irritable bowel syndrome. I have chronic diarrhea which has now improved by about 80%. I take psyllium fibre/fiber capsules. These are easily found in any grocery store or pharmacy here in Canada, so I'm sure they are available in the States and the UK, too. It is important to note that it is psyllium fibre contained in capsules that you want to get, not the loose husk powder that you mix with water. This is almost impossible to swallow and you will likely gag on it and worse, have it lodge in your throat-- very dangerous!

The capsules are usually available in 500 mg or 525 mg capsules. You take four, once a day at the same time of day. If that doesn't help within a few days, increase to five capsules. If you take more than that you may get constipated. Most importantly, you must swallow only one capsule at a time with at least two large swallows of water to make sure the capsule does not open in your throat. Then follow that whole glass of liquid with another. Never swallow psyllium fibre capsules with very warm or hot liquids. This will cause the capsule gelatin to dissolve almost immediately. I found that out the hard way-- felt like I was choking and had a stretched esophagus for about six months.

I know this may sound like a risky solution to diarrhea but as long as you swallow with lots of water and not a hot drink, it's very easy. Yes, the bottle will say psyllium is for irregularity and is a "natural source laxative". So this should actually be for constipation and not diarrhea and will therefore make the diarrhea worse? I had the same question for the naturopathic doctor who recommended it and she said that despite what the label says, psyllium fibre absorbs water in the digestive tract and will therefore reduce water in the stool. And she was right. If I forget to take it, I know, because I have severe diarrhea again.

Everybody is different though so this may not work for you or it may just make your diarrhea worse. I hope you try it, though.

 
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