PCOS and Metformin (14)

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(Originally published on my old blog SECS vs PCOS in April 2012)

Weight: 150.8

Well, I feel like I wasted my spring break.  I had plans to get all of my stuff organized and put away and to get my seedlings transplanted into their ultimate homes.  Did any of this actually occur?  Of course not!  I did go with my fiance and a good friend to a baseball game- it was my friend’s son’s first game (he’s 3)!  It was so fun getting to do something through the eyes of a child.  He clapped and cheered for everything, especially the fireworks.  We also went to a cute coffee shop that allows you to “make” your own ice cream- the joy on his face gobbling up his chocolate brownie concoction was incredible.  We skipped Easter because I never got plans straightened out- holidays are so stressful for me, my family is just, ugh.  We enjoyed the day anyway by taking the pup for a nice walk downtown and through the park to see the waterfall.  I have spent the better part of the last 48 hours or so writing TWO economics papers that are due by 11:30pm tonight.  Yes, I had ALL semester to write them- but April is so far away in January!

I’ve actually finished with time to spare so I thought I would bring something up- today on Facebook via Power Up for PCOS!, a lady posted about being tired all the time and having stomach pain with PCOS.  A lot of ladies offered suggestions ranging from sleep to vitamins to thyroid.  My personal approach was wondering if she takes metformin.  In my experience, metformin left me with NO energy and unmanageable stomach problems…to the point my doctor told me to stop taking it.  I was miserable.  My body felt like it was made of lead and I was throwing up nearly every single night (not to mention the embarrassingly frequent upset tummy trips!).  My experience is not unique; however, this served as a catalyst to take a more natural approach to PCOS.  This means I decided to take charge of what and how I eat and how often I get outside and take a walk.  I haven’t made drastic changes.  Anyone can do what I have done, and that’s why I encourage you to try it!

The more research I put into metformin versus lifestyle changes for PCOS, the angrier I get that many doctors place women on this drug without trying something less invasive.  Metformin is not the only way to manage insulin resistance!  What is worse, many doctors will place women on this drug and NOT strongly suggest lifestyle changes to help control the condition.  I won’t even start of the lack of education regarding alternatives and side effects.  Metformin may be wonderful for some, but ALL of us can benefit from a low carb diet, or rather, being mindful about how foods affect our blood sugar.  ALL of us can benefit from moving around more and building lean muscle mass.  In fact, metformin has been shown to increase efficacy of these changes- but like anything else, it’s NOT a magic bullet.  If you tolerate metformin well, that’s wonderful!  Make sure you take full advantage of its benefits by changing your habits.  If you don’t tolerate it, like me, change your lifestyle anyway- you will be amazed at what YOU can do without drugs!

What has been your personal experience with metformin?  Was it exactly what you needed to get healthier and feel better?  Was it a horrible mistake?  What do you do to manage your insulin resistance?

PCOS Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

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