5 Reasons Why Stopping Metformin For PCOS Is Important

Metformin is an oral anti-diabetic drug. It is generally used for treating type 2 diabetes. 

However, many physicians recommend it for PCOS patients. Because it can help lower insulin resistance and regulate hormones. 

Unfortunately, long-term use of metformin might be harmful to your body. Thus, once your symptoms have returned to normal, you should avoid them soon. Stopping metformin for PCOS is not simple as it seems. 

Indeed, you will experience some side effects when you stop taking metformin.

Stopping metformin for PCOS

In this essay, I’ll go over metformin and its effects on the body. As well as why it’s prescribed for PCOS. Let’s get started.

Why is Metformin used for PCOS?

Metformin has been used for years to regulate insulin levels and hormones. However, this medicine is not currently licensed for treating PCOS. Yet, many health care experts recommend it for lowering PCOS symptoms. 

Basically, this medicine lowers blood sugar levels by regulating insulin in the bloodstream. It thus normalizes metabolic abnormalities resulting from insulin sensitivity.

Essentially, metformin addresses the excess insulin level in PCOS patients. As it is the underlying cause of PCOS. 

Taking it lowers the amounts of sugar that the liver produces. Also, it decreases the amount of sugar absorbed from the intestine. Consequently, it lowers the level of blood sugar (insulin).

When administered on a regular basis for PCOS, metformin lowers blood sugar levels by regulating blood insulin and lowering metabolic effects.

Indeed, metformin may provide PCOS patients with a wide range of health benefits.

Metformin is an effective drug for lowering LDL cholesterol and fat levels. Thus, it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disorders.

The drug can also treat PCOS infertility and pregnancy obstacles. 

Since PCOS can make it hard to conceive for women due to the following factors:

  • Irregular menstrual periods 
  • Ovulation problems 
  • Weak germ cells
  • Poor ovary function

Metformin increases your chances of getting pregnant. By stimulating ovulation and regulating menstruation.

Metformin can help in ovulation

Women with PCOS who take metformin have a far better chance of getting pregnant than those who don’t.

Metformin may lower the risk of miscarriage associated with PCOS. It’s also effective for treating and preventing gestational diabetes (a condition more common in women with PCOS).

Even if not pregnant, obese PCOS ladies may be able to delay or avoid the onset of diabetes.

Also, metformin is described as being an antioxidant. Therefore, it has a wide array of positive effects on the body.

Moreover, it also reduces the risk of cancer, In particular

  • Colorectal
  • Liver
  • Pancreatic
  • Uterine cancer

Metformin use may increase lifespan, especially if it starts earlier in life.

Research suggests that metformin helps improve cognitive function and dementia risk.

How Long Should Metformin be Taken for PCOS?

Although metformin can provide many benefits for females with PCOS. Still, it can result in some side effects when taken as a regular drug.

In light of this, health experts recommend taking 500 mg or one tablet per day. During the first two weeks. By doing this, your body becomes tolerant to metformin.

Two weeks after starting dose, increase to 500 mg or two tablets a day going forward. However, if your symptoms worsen during this time, reduce your daily dosage. 

Otherwise, switch to a daily dosage of 2000-2500 mg. 

During this period of medication, most of your symptoms will be relieved. After that, discuss with your doctor. If you should stop taking it and switch to natural metformin.

Metformin for PCOS

Why Stopping Metformin For PCOS Is Important?

Though, diabetes and PCOS can be managed well with metformin. The dose of metformin can be lowered or even removed if the patient’s symptoms are under control

Some people may avoid long-term use of medication. Even if they do not experience any side effects.

The Food and Drug Administration, United States (FDA) has also restricted its usage. Due to its carcinogenic and nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) contents.

You should only use it with a prescription from a healthcare expert. 

Diabetes, and PCOS, can be effectively managed by changing lifestyles rather than taking anti-diabetic medications like metformin.

Moreover, people can reverse PCOS and Type 2 diabetes by adopting a healthy lifestyle. 

Metformin can be stopped if your doctor thinks you can control your condition by following these health tips:

  • Consuming healthy foods
  • Losing weight
  • Maintaining a regular exercise routine

What are the Worst Side Effects of Metformin?

If metformin is prescribed, you can expect to take it long-term. As long as you do not encounter any problems or changes in your health.

Metformin is generally well tolerated by most people. The majority of the side effects from metformin occur when it is taken for the first time. 

Metformin can, however, cause some serious side effects. That should be taken seriously and treated soon. 

If you notice any of the following symptoms. Consult a healthcare professional instantly.

Digestive Issues

When you start consuming metformin. You will surely experience stomach and intestinal problems. As metformin reduces the rate at which bile salts are absorbed from the intestines. Thus, it could interfere with bacteria’s activity in the colon.

Metformin side effects include the following gastric illnesses:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastritis
  • Intense stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach cramps

Fortunately, these side effects are temporary and can be relieved, once your body has adjusted to metformin.

In any case, if your symptoms worsen over time, you should see your doctor. If not, you’ll develop chronic stomach problems.

Side effect of Metformin

A health professional will probably change your medicine. Or prescribe an extended-release version of metformin (XR).

Hypoglycemia

Only taking metformin together with food cannot cause hypoglycemia. However, fasting, or taking it with other diabetes drugs, will lower blood sugar levels. Moreover, alcohol can also lower blood glucose levels.

When experiencing any of these symptoms, find medical help right away:

  • Weaknesses
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Bloating
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Fainting
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Shaking
  • Confusion

To avoid hypoglycemia, tell your doctor if you take any other medicine with metformin.

Moreover, take your drug as recommended by your doctor. By following a proper diet and exercising. 

Lactic Acidosis

Metformin can cause Lactic Acidosis. Which can be dangerous and life-threatening. Certainly, it is a rare side effect that occurs mainly in drug users and kidney patients.

In this condition, the blood becomes toxic with lactic acid. 

Essentially, it occurs in people with acute, or chronic renal damage. Also, it attacks binge drinkers, particularly alcoholics. 

Lactic Acidosis manifests itself in these ways:

  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps or leg cramps
  • Stomach pain
  • Generally feeling uneasy
  • An abdominal ache or discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness

Though the condition is rare, it is fatal. 

Avoiding alcohol while taking metformin can help to avoid side effects. Further, let your doctor know what chemical drugs you’re taking. 

Therefore, he can prescribe you medication more effectively. 

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

When metformin is used continuously, it may cause anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency. Deficiencies in vitamin B12 can result in serious health problems. To illustrate, 

  • Malnutrition
  • Anemia
  • Tingling of the arms and legs
  • Brain infection that can lead to neuropathy
  • Mood swings
  • Dementia

When you are lacking vitamin B12, your body will show the following symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Heart Palpitations 
  • Pale skin
  • Constipation
  • Skin dryness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Stomach gas
  • Nerve disorders 
  • Lack of muscle strength
  • Visual impairment

When you’re on PCOS or diabetic drugs, it’s crucial to eat a natural, nutritional diet and take vitamins. As these will help you maintain your daily nutritional intake. 

Additionally, be sure to check your B12 levels regularly. Keeping health problems at bay. 

Anemia

Patients with PCOS may also experience anemia due to metformin. This condition is primarily caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. 

Here are a few signs of anemia

  • Fatigue
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Inflammation of the tongue
  • Headaches

If you have any of the following symptoms while taking metformin, then you should contact your doctor right away.

More Common Side Effects Of Metformin

Some symptoms of metformin can be short-term and go away on their own. Following is a list of unusual metformin effects:

  • Belching
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Burning heart
  • Indigestion
  • Mouth taste metallic
  • Passing of gas
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Flu-like illness
  • Joint pain
  • Irritation
  • Rashes
  • Stomach ache
  • Weight loss
  • Abnormal stools pattern
  • Yellowing of the nails or toenails
  • Sneezing

Does Metformin Cause Weight Loss?

Metformin is sometimes linked with weight loss. While it can help PCOS ladies to lose weight by adjusting the way they store fat. Despite this, it is not recommended as weight control pills.

However, PCOS patients can manage their weight by keto diet, and exercise. 

How Long Does Metformin Side Effects Last?

The side effects of metformin seem to kick in with the first dosage. Usually, they are short-term and leave on their own. 

But there are also long-term side effects. Such as lactic acidosis and a B12 deficiency. Which may cause long-term consequences. Therefore, they need proper attention and medication to recover. 

It is essential to visit your doctor when you are consuming metformin for PCOS. As a precaution to avoid any severe issues.

Risks of Stopping Metformin

If you quit metformin without preparing your body for side effects. Surely you are in danger of health problems. 

Stunningly, these health risks are caused by an uncontrolled high sugar level. That can have adverse effects on human health.

On the other hand, it is possible to reduce these risks. With a healthy lifestyle, and a proper diet.

When you stop using metformin without medical supervision, you run the risk of:

  • Uncontrolled Diabetes
  • Nerve damage or neuropathy
  • Kidney damage
  • Sexual Problems
  • Heart Disease

Stopping Metformin Safely

You should consult your doctor if you wish to stop metformin without side effects. Your doctor will do a blood sugar test and provide instruction based on the results.

An expert doctor can help you choose a diet and exercise regimen that is right for you. Also, they can monitor and support your progress. As well as help you to set realistic goals.

Metformin certainly can be stopped safely if your blood sugar level is managed. 

Here are a few tips for managing metformin side effects:

  • Healthy Eating
  • Exercise regularly
  • Controlling weight
  • Keep Hydrated

Besides these, several natural metformin alternatives can also promote health.

Natural Metformin Supplements

Although, metformin is not found in any natural supplement. However, certain natural diets can help in reducing the symptoms of insulin sensitivity.

Here are a few options you can consider when stopping metformin:

  • Berberine
  • Astaxanthin
  • Red yeast rice
  • Cinnamon
  • Curcumin
  • Spirulina
  • Rhodiola Rosea

Change Your Lifestyle to Stop Using Metformin:

Indeed, it is possible to get rid of metformin by healthy life-changing.

Here are some changes you might want to make:

  • Getting more physical activity
  • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
  • Consuming less or no alcoholic beverages
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Tobacco use in any form must be stopped
  • Consuming low-glycemic carbs
Exercise helps in lowering the side effects of metformin.

FAQs:

How do metformin help PCOS and weight loss? 

Metformin helps to lower the blood androgen level. Thus reducing insulin level in the bloodstream that is beneficial for PCOS. Moreover, it also results in loss of appetite that can lead to weight loss.

How much metformin should I take for PCOS? 

Usually, the doctor recommended taking 500 mg for the first week. Then 1000 for the next week. Gradually increase this uptake to 2000 to 2500 mg depends on symptoms and body tolerance. 

How does metformin help with infertility?

Basically, metformin is given to control insulin levels. But it also induces ovulation and raises the expectancy of fertilization. Indeed, PCOS women who use metformin are more likely to get pregnant. 

Can people with type 2 diabetes stop taking metformin?

Certainly, metformin may be safely discontinued. Through a long-term lifestyle modification that controls type 2 diabetes. However, you should discuss stopping its use with your healthcare provider.

Is metformin The best treatment for PCOS?

Women with non-obese PCOS who use metformin can ovulate normally. Additionally, it increases fertility chances. 

However, a healthy lifestyle and a natural diet can be more effective for PCOS patients.

What is a good replacement for metformin?

Berberine can be an effective alternative to metformin. Since, it lowers and maintains blood insulin levels. Aside from being quite nutritious, it is also widely available.

Live Better by Eating, Moving, and Living!

Stopping metformin for PCOS can be helpful. If you practice good health through diet and lifestyle.

Indeed, good nutrition and exercise are the keys to a long, healthy life.

Therefore, it is up to you! Whether to take medicines all your life or to live a healthy lifestyle. 

Eat well, Move well, Live well!

Aneeza Pervez

My name is Aneeza Pervez. I am a medical content writer. I enjoy travelling, writing, reading, composing, and singing. As a health advocate, I educate people about how to be healthy through my content. Health is wealth, so do your best to keep it!

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