This web site includes an abundance of research and detailed information on PCOS, its causes, effects, and what you can do to improve your health naturally. In order to provide you easy choices in learning about PCOS and Metformin we've provided "a Short Version" with the key information. For those of you who wish to read more in-depth detail, please read "The Whole Story" below.
We have also included four boxes (links) that provide a pathway to easily navigate a few key pages on this site. Please choose whichever path is most useful to you.
Take these Steps to Health.
Take the PCOS Health Assessment
Introduction to the PCOS Five Step System
What to expect from and when
Sign-up and order the PCOS System
OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
Before you read the Short and/or Long Version on PCOS and Metformin, please know we are committed to help you every step of the way in your quest to better manage your PCOS and its related symptoms. Insulite has developed a comprehensive system to help control PCOS which is the finest available. Equally important is the fact that you can use the Insulite PCOS System without fear of suffering many of the harmful side effects that are so common with pharmaceutical drugs.
"The Short Version"
Metformin (Glucophage) is a pharmaceutical drug originally developed to treat elevated blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It is now commonly prescribed for women with PCOS.
Potential side effects include:
Many women prescribed Metformin must discontinue its use because of gastrointestinal side effects such as diarrhea, gas and bloating, abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting.
Inhibiting Vitamin B12 absorption which can lead potentially lead to anemia.
Increased levels of amino acids in the blood, which is a risk factor for atherosclerosis.
Contraindications in using Metformin include liver disease, alcoholism, compromised renal function, hypoxic conditions, and moderate to severe infections.
There is an alternative to using Metformin.
"The Whole Story"
(Glucophage) is a pharmaceutical drug often prescribed for women
with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). It is an
insulin-sensitizing biguanide commonly used to treat elevated
blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 Diabetes and often used as an off-label prescription for PCOS. This means
it was originally used only for individuals with Type 2 Diabetes
but is now prescribed for PCOS patients because it has similar
actions in both groups.
If you have PCOS, you may be insulin resistant. With this condition,
the ability of your cells to respond to the action of insulin in
transporting glucose (sugar) from the blood stream into muscle
and tissue is diminished. Metformin improves the cell's
response to insulin, and helps move glucose into the cell. As a
result, your body is not required to make as much insulin
PCOS and Metformin Studies
PCOS and its symptoms of hyperandrogenism (acne, hirsutism,
alopecia), reproductive disorders (irregular menses, anovulation,
infertility, polycystic ovaries), and metabolic disturbances
(weight gain) have been linked to hyperinsulinemia and Insulin
Resistance (2). Therefore, it makes sense for you to address the
hyperinsulinemia and Insulin Resistance caused by this
Studies have reported the treatment of Metformin to improve
hirsutism, induce ovulation and normalize menstrual cycles (1).
For example, according to one study, which looked at 39 women
with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and hyperinsulinemia (excess insulin in the blood),
treatment with Metformin for women with PCOS resulted in a
decline of insulin as well as total and free testosterone,
leading to significant improvement of clinical manifestations of
Hyperandrogenism (the excessive production of androgens in
women) and an improvement in menstrual cycles (3). However,
studies have also shown weight loss through exercise and changes
in diet and lifestyle alone to be as effective in regulating
menstrual cycles and showing improvement in hyperandrogenism (4,
Metformin - Side Effects
Many women prescribed Metformin must discontinue its use due to
gastrointestinal side effects. The most commonly reported
adverse effects you may experience include diarrhea, gas and bloating, abdominal
discomfort, nausea, and vomiting (1, 6). Another consideration
of Metformin therapy is its effect on B12 absorption. 30 percent of people receiving long term Metformin therapy develop B12
malabsorption, which could potentially lead to anemia.
It has also been shown that Metformin can
increase homocysteine levels (amino acids found in the blood),
which is a risk factor for atherosclerosis or fatty deposits in
blood vessels (7).
The contraindications in using Metformin include liver disease,
alcoholism, compromised renal function, hypoxic conditions and
moderate to severe infections. These conditions predispose lactic acidosis, a life-threatening
complication that carries a mortality rate of 30 - 50 percent (1).
Insulite Laboratories' view on the pharmaceutical treatment of
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - including Metformin - is that there is no one drug that will change your condition. The best way to control
the disorder is to reduce elevations in insulin which directly
affect your testosterone and other hormonal changes that are
responsible for causing PCOS. Metformin can impact weight loss,
infertility, acne, and other PCOS-related symptoms however, the
results are variable. There are also many side effects
of Metformin that can impact your health.
To address Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Insulin Resistance, the
Insulite PCOS System has several elements. The Poly Plus formula is
designed to reduce circulating testosterone, increase sex
hormone binding globulin, and support your liver function and hormone
metabolism. The other elements are designed help balance insulin
secretion, support the cardiovascular system, and prevent insulin and
glucose spiking during mealtimes. Nutritional and exercise
guidelines are provided along with a support network to enhance your
weight loss success which is critical in managing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
"I have been on the Insulite PCOS System for two months
and I have noticed some very welcome changes!
I am getting better quality sleep, I do not wake and toss and turn and have disturbing [more]
"Thank you for being so informative. I'm always amazed about the
little known facts you make available. I'm doing my best to lose weight and live a healthier life." [more]
JM West Hartford, CT
"I have been on the Insulite PCOS System for six or so weeks and have noticed a considerable
decrease in food cravings; I have lost 15 pounds; I am having fewer migraines; and I have better control o [more]
Metformin: an update - Kirpichnikov D, McFarlane SI, Sowers JR. Ann Intern Med. 2002 Jul 2;137(1):25-33. Review.
Metformin treatment of PCOS during adolescence and the reproductive period - La Marca A, Artensio AC, Stabile G, Volpe A.
Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2005 Jul 1;121(1):3-7
Metformin therapy decreases hyperandrogenism and hyperinsulinemia in women with polycystic ovary syndrome
- Kolodziejczyk B, Duleba AJ, Spaczynski RZ, Pawelczyk L., Fertil Steril. 2000 Jun;73(6):1149-54 .
Combined lifestyle modification and metformin in obese patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.
A randomized, placebo- controlled, double-blind multicentre study - Tang T, Glanville J, Hayden CJ, White D, Barth JH, Balen AH., Hum Reprod. 2005 Sep 30
Should patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome be treated with metformin? A note of cautious optimism
- Homburg R., Hum Reprod. 2002 Apr;17(4):853-6. Review
Metformin in polycystic ovary syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis
- Lord JM, Flight IH, Norman RJ., BMJ. 2003 Oct 25;327(7421):951-3. Review
Homocysteine and steroids levels in metformin treated women with polycystic ovary syndrome
- Vrbikova J, Bicikova M, Tallova J, Hill M, Starka L., Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2002 Apr;110(2):74-6
The Insulite Systems are not intended to be medical treatment, nor is
information on this website intended to be a substitute for the advice or
care of a health-care practitioner. Each Insulite System is a combination
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Written by: This website has been written by the research team at Insulite Health, a division of Insulite Laboratories. The members of the Insulite Health research team are experts in dealing with issues related to Insulin Resistance. Click here to learn more about the research team at Insulite Health.
Published by: This website is published by Insulite Laboratories. For more than a decade, Insulite Laboratories has been an authority on health conditions relating to Insulin Resistance, including PCOS. Find us on Google+
MB, Danbury, CT
"I am thankful to Insulite Labs
for such a wonderful plan for individuals with PCOS. I have been on the
Insulite PCOS System for 10 days and I have already noticed some physical
changes – including reduced acne and body weight". more