Sep 272011

What is PCOS and Why is Metformin Used to Treat It?

PCOS is short for polycystic ovarian syndrome and this is a primary factor when it comes to female infertility. A lot of women are being diagnosed with PCOS but aren’t receiving a good explanation regarding this syndrome. This article will help you understand about the things going on in your body if you are suffering from PCOS and it will give you an idea of the treatment you may need.

PCOS is a condition that is affects the menstrual cycle of a woman, her hormones, appearance and the chances of bearing children without treatment of infertility.

PCOS Symptoms

Women who suffer from PCOS will have elevated levels of male hormones in their body. Different symptoms can be caused by this. Weight gain, excess hair on the face and other body parts, dark patches on skin, acne, and skin tags are among the physical symptoms of PCOS.

Ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and sleep apnea are some other symptoms.

PCOS, Diabetes and Insulin Resistance

When PCOS is discovered, most doctors prescribe the clients with Metformin (Glucophage). Metformin is a leading ant diabetic drug .It affects how insulin manages sugar in your body. Also, this can minimize testosterone production. Metformin enables control of insulin resistance. In addition, having a healthy diet and exercise, one can reduce insulin resistance. Consult your doctor if you are concerned of getting diabetes especially if you already have PCOS.

Treatments for PCOS

Metformin or Glucophage is one drug that doctors commonly prescribe to be able to regulate the resistance of insulin in one’s body.

The doctor may also prescribe other medications such as fertility medications including Clomid. The physician may also suggest other fertility drugs and treatments if you like to get pregnant yet Clomid is not working for you. Since there is an association with this on insulin resistance, lifestyle modifications should include exercise and monitoring caloric consumption.


Other health issues you may need to know about if you are diagnosed with PCOS

*More than half of women suffering from PCOS will get diabetes.

*A woman affected by PCOS will have 4-7 times greater chance of experiencing heart attack compared to one of the same age who doesn’t have PCOS.

*A woman who is suffering from PCOS is at high risk for high blood pressure.


 September 27, 2011  No Responses »
Sep 252011

Metformin, Diabates, Vitamin b12 Deficiency and you!

At present, there is an increasing concern about the risk of getting a vitamin B12 deficiency among those who are taking Metformin. Cobalamin and cyanocobalamin are the other names of vitamin B12 that plays significant roles in the human body like maintaining the healthiness of blood cells and the nervous system.

Also, studies show that vitamin B12 can aid in the prevention of heart disease and also probably Alzheimer’s, but studies are still going on for the latter. Vitamin B12 is mainly obtained from animal products like beef, eggs, seafood and dairy products; hence, vegetarians are at a higher risk of suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency. Often, old people are also at a risk of b12 deficiency due to the absorption problems in the gastrointestinal tract.

Anemia, memory loss, neuropathy, confusion and also dementia are some symptoms of the lack of B12.

Along with insulin and other antidiabetic pills, Metformin is usually the first drug to be used for patients newly diagnosed with diabetes. If you have diabetes and taking a daily dose of Metformin for a year or so then you should check your Vitamin B12 levels. There is an association of taking metformin with the risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency. However, this doesn’t mean that you should quit taking your Metformin, at least not without consulting your doctor first!.

Metformin does an excellent job when it comes to managing type 2 diabetes. Moreover, the safety record of this medication is great.

Decreased absorption however may have occurred leading to lower B12 level. A contributing factor is calcium malabsorption. Studies show that taking supplemental calcium can help in reducing the induced malabsorption of B12. It is not understood how common this happens. However, more researches are being conducted regarding its medical or clinical significance.

When taking Metformin, it is suggested that you have your B12 levels checked!

When taking Metformin, it is suggested that you have your B12 or cobalamin level checked annually. When you have a low B12 level then you should consult your physician about B12 supplementation. It is enough to have a quality supplement taken either orally or in the form of injections. You may also consider taking a B-complex. This supplement may include the B complex vitamins such as B1, B2 ,B3 and B6 (Pyridoxine) which are required for good absorption of vitamin B12. A quality B-complex supplement should also contain folic acid.

If your health care provider suggests calcium supplementation, then you should be taking a certified pure or quality coral calcium supplement. Certified pure suggests that the methods are proper in getting calcium from coral as well as the danger of heavy metals including mercury, lead, and aluminum is eliminated.


 September 25, 2011  No Responses »
Sep 192011

Metformin and Alcohol – The Risks of Metformin and Drinking Alcohol

Too much consumption of alcohol while taking a type 2 diabetes Metformin medication is highly discouraged. A person who drinks alcohol exposes himself to a potentially fatal condition known as lactic acidosis. It occurs when lactic acid accumulates in the body and it is difficult for the body to neutralize it rapidly. The patient may show symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, low BP, or high pulse rate when this condition attacks. Seek immediate medical attention when lactic acidosis is diagnosed.

How Metformin Reacts to Alcohol

If your doctor gives you a Metformin medication, you must clarify to him if the medicine can adversely react to alcohol intake. In other words, the doctor must tell you if your body can tolerate the mixture of alcohol and Metformin. It is a general notion that an insignificant amount of alcohol is not harmful while you take Metformin. Occasionally drinking red wine is believed to have health benefits.  However, put in mind the reason why you are under Metformin medication is to control your blood sugar in low levels. When you use too much alcohol in cooking, the food contains the alcohol sugars even if the spirit has evaporated. If you were advised by your nutritionist to go on a calorie diet, you should seriously consider this.

The Side Effects

Too much alcohol intake can damage your liver in the long run. Cirrhosis is the usual indication which negatively influences the ability of the liver to neutralize sugars in the body. If this combined with Metformin, the risk of lactic acidosis is significantly higher. It cannot be said however that lactic acidosis is solely induced by Metformin. Other health issues should be considered. And if any issue is found and you did not disclosed this to your doctor upon his prescription, then you only made the problem worse.

If a patient is being treated with Metformin, it is expected that there are no side effects if he drinks moderately. Some people believe blood sugar levels may go down due to alcohol. Although there’s a grain of truth to that, lower levels can induce hypoglycaemia in which case the patient should be rushed to the hospital.

So the overall thoughts of combining metformin and alcohol is that provided moderation is practiced, then the occasional alcoholic drink will not be harmful,  but excessive alcohol intake must be avoided when on the treatment. Practicing restraint will ensure your health will remain good and the treatment will work as it is supposed to.

Hence, in general, the combination of Metformin and alcohol is relatively safe provided drinking is done moderately while too much alcohol consumption is not recommended when under medication. Abstinence will make your medication work and guarantee your health will improve.

 September 19, 2011  No Responses »
Sep 172011

Metformin, defined

Metformin is an orally-administered medicine intended to treat diabetes by controlling sugar levels in blood.

It is a treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes which is non-insulin dependent. It is occasionally administered in conjunction with insulin or other medicines. Metformin is not intended to treat type 1 diabetes.

Metformin may serve other purposes not found in this medication guide.

The tablet is now regarded as the most recommended antidiabetic prescription medicine in the world. In 2010, almost 50 million Metfromin prescriptions were issued in the United States only because of its curative formulations.

Important information about metformin

People with allergic reactions to Metformin are not allowed to this kind of treatment.  The same is true if your diabetes is in ketoacidosis state, in which case insulin treatment is necessary.

It’s important to notify your doctor about your liver condition or if in case you have a heart disease history, before you take Metformin.

Lactic acidosis may be occur while taking Metformin. The condition can be life threatening if initial symptoms are not remedied in due time. Hospital attention must be sought if a few of these mild symptoms appear like numbness, dizziness and vomiting, unstable blood pressure, stress, stomach and muscle pains and difficulty in breathing.

A few tests were conducted to document how Metformin affects or treats type 2 diabetes. The medicine was proven to lower hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and fasting blood sugar. As a test, HbA1c is conducted to gauge continuing control of blood sugar in diabetes patients. People with no diabetes have about at least 6 percent HbA1c levels which are just normal; diabetes patients have greater levels in this regard.

Reminder prior to taking Metformin

As previously mentioned, a fatal condition known as lactic acidosis may be induced on few people while medicating with Metformin. You are more prone to this condition if you have major organ diseases, or when you get dehydrated, or when you drink too much alcohol. Consult a doctor about your personal risk.

You won’t be allowed to undergo Metformin medication if you have allergies to the said medicine. Similarly, you would rather see a doctor for insulin treatment rather than take the drug if you have ketoacidosis.

In order to ascertain if taking Metformin is safe for you, disclose your medical history to your doctor.


Methods of Storing Metformin

The medicine should be kept at dry and room temperature. Keep the tablets in an airtight bottle.

Keep the drug and other medicines beyond children’s reach.


If I Missed A Dose of Metformin, What Should I Do?

If you missed a dose in medication’s schedule, take your next dosage as soon as possible. If the time for your dose is so close to the next, don’t take the missed dose and go on with the standard schedule. Never take two doses at the same time.

 September 17, 2011  No Responses »
Sep 152011

What you need to know about Metformin HCl

One of the more often approved medications in treating diabetes is Metformin HCl (Glucophage®).  It is prescribed to type 2 diabetes patients to decrease their levels of blood sugar. Metformin hydrochloride is the abbreviated form of Metformin HCl.

The effects of the medicine are as follows:

1) Restricts the quantity of sugar the body absorbs from a diet;

2) Lowers the amount of sugar produced by the liver;

3) Aids the body to react to its insulin by making insulin receptors more receptive. The blood sugar level diminishes with these results.

Today, Metformin HCl is a leader in the most preferred brand of medications for diabetes treatments. An on-going inquiry of the tablet is being conducted, and new benefits are still spotted. Because of this the number of ailments treatable by Metformin is getting bigger. Side effects of Metformin are also being studied and an on-going research is aimed at minimizing them.

The fact the Metformin HCl is included in WHO’s list of essential medications support the drug’s reputation and popularity. Metformin HCl is perfectly safe for humans and nearly found with no side effects with proper dosage. A Metformin treatment is prescribed by your medical professional basing it on the condition of your health and the severity of your diabetes.

The dosage of Metformin HCl is usually once to thrice a day. It’s available in a few types and potencies such as tablets, syrup, or two distinct types for long treatment.

As compared to other diabetes treatment, with Metformin HCl, the patient is unlikely to suffer from hypoglycaemia (a serious condition where blood sugar is very low) because it doesn’t cause an increase of insulin in the body.

Metformin Dosage Information

Your health practitioner may prescribe a specific dosage for you based on a few aspects such as:

  • The way you control your diabetes.
  • Your other health conditions.
  • You may need extra medications.

Generally, you are not supposed to change your dose without consulting your medical practitioner.

 September 15, 2011  No Responses »
Sep 142011

Is Hair Loss a Side Effect of Metformin?

Although Metformin has a few potential side effects, it is very unlikely that hair loss counts as one. According to lab tests conducted prior to Metformin’s approval, hair loss wasn’t declared a common side effect of the medicine.

But remember that even if lab tests did not detect hair loss as a side effect, it does not mean that Metformin is not responsible for your problem somehow.

No clinical finding has been done yet to show that Metformin causes hair loss. Hair loss is more probable to occur to women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) who are taking Metformin though the hair loss is not caused by taking Metformin but by the disorder.

Problems on unnecessary hair growth or hair loss may become severe. Women in particular will be greatly affected at least psychologically. Such hair problems on women lead to anxiety and lost self-confidence.

Treatments and operations are available to deal with hair loss or excess hair growth. When you happen to be suffering from PCOS and hair problems, see your doctor and ask what alternative is best for you.

Lab experiments are put forward to deduce numerous variables so as to examine how the drug works and to identify its potential adverse effects. The moment it was approved, more and more people began to take the tablet in longer dosage. In general circumstances, it usually leads to other reported side effects.

What often happens when a drug was once approved, it doesn’t undergo future tests and trials. It denotes that there are specific side effects that can be pinpointed but hardly ever reported. Thus, it’s not easy for a particular individual to assert with certainty that a specific effect is not caused by a medicine, although the side effect was not found during the tests.

Put in mind that when you notice a change in your hair growth while under Metformin medication, consult your doctor. Your medical practitioner has a few things to do that depends on how grave is your hair loss. If the symptoms keep on bothering you, or if your doctor assumes that Metformin is the cause of the hair loss, he may prescribe you with another medication for your treatment.

 September 14, 2011  No Responses »
Sep 102011

A List of Metformin Side Effects and Warning Signs

Metformin is the only prescription drug which is classified as a Biguanide. It is used in managing Type II diabetes when the body’s high blood sugar levels are not properly controlled through exercise and diet, and in some cases, some patients use Metformin along with other anti-diabetic drugs like glyburide and insulin. Metformin helps in reducing the amount of sugar or glucose that is produced by the liver so as for the body to have normal levels. The drug also helps to increase sensitivity to insulin, making the body to use it in an effective way which is especially helpful in cases of insulin resistance.

Metformin has produced good results in diabetic patients as it helps in reducing the blood insulin levels from the reduction in the absorption of carbohydrates through the intestines. It reduces the rate at which the liver produces glucose and increases the sensitivity of the muscle cells to insulin. All is not about good news. There are different Metformin side effects that people have experienced from time to time, and they vary from individual to another because of different body factors.

Some of the most common Metformin side effects are:

  • Abnormal stools
  • Changes in taste
  • Muscle pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Nail problems
  • Flu-like symptoms such as muscle pain, fever, chills, and weakness
  • Feelings of a rapidly or forcefully beating heart (heart palpitations).
  • Flushing (a skin reddening, commonly on the face)
  • Increased sweating
  • Increased thirst

Other side effects may include are:

1. Signs of allergic reaction, including unexplained skin itching, rash, wheezing, or difficulty in breathing, hives, or unexplained swelling.

2. Metformin can cause electrolyte disturbances which make the body to function in an acidic environment. This is regarded as Lactic Acidosis, which can be sudden and severe. Lactic acidosis takes place when there is increased level of lactic acid in the body of the diabetes patient when the drug is used in inhibiting the process of hepatic gluconeogenesis (the process that produces glucose). It also reduces the intake of lactate by the liver. The problem can easily be experienced when an individual who is having kidney problems or impaired renal functions takes the drug. The drug and lactate will then build up to cause lactic acidosis, but the incidence is just 10 in every 100,000 people, a significantly lower number, which may cause people to be worried.

3.Metformin may also cause the reduction in the absorption of Vitamin B12. Around 7 out of 100 patients are likely to experience a reduced level of Vitamin B12, but the good thing is that the doctor can easily monitor the levels to know whether or not Vitamin B12 injections would be necessary.

4. Metformin can also cause impaired kidney and liver functions. This always happens when the patient takes an overdose of the drug, causing the weakness of the liver for excess dealing with the drug. The same thing will also happen to the kidney. In extreme cases, it is possible for the kidney and liver to stop working completely, leading to a lot of complications in the patient.

5. The drug is also capable of affecting the level of certain hormones in the body. For instance, and overdose may lead to a reduction in the blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormones, especially if the individual has a history of suffering from hypothyroidism. It can also cause a reduction of the blood level in testosterone and luteinizing hormones found in men.


Side effects in Women

Metformin is also used to treat (PCOS) or Polycystic ovary syndrome. The use of Metformin should be discontinued immediately when pregnancy is confirmed whether the use is in clomiphene resistant women or as first-line treatment. There is no evidence of human fetal teratogenicity with the drug’s use. For instance, in women, Metformin has been used to treat non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus mellitus (NIDDM), with no increase in the occurrence of major congenital anomalies.

In the case of infertile women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), the drug should be used after the doctor has carried out a careful analysis and synthesis of the information obtained from a detailed physical examination, history and the results of series of investigations undergone by the couple. The history should, among other things, pay attention to type of infertility (primary or secondary), the duration of infertility, menstrual history (dyspareunia, dysmenorrhoea, discharge), medical and surgical history, sexual history (coital frequency), social history and drug history (smoking, alcohol, occupation).

One of the most common Metformin side effects is the weight loss. It has been discovered that the drug can lead to a loss of appetite in the patient, thus making the weight loss goal a reality for the patient and the people already interested in losing weight. A major goal of diabetic patients is a weight loss, since the major symptom of Type II diabetes is excess weight.

The weight loss aspect of Metformin does not mean that the drug should be taken by everyone who wants to lose few pounds. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the drug to be used by diabetic patients, and not just by anybody who is interested in losing weight. The drug will also not be effective if the patient eats foods that cause an increase in blood glucose level. The reason for this is that the rapid increase forces the body in creating insulin before the drug can have any effect.

Regardless of the side effects of Metformin, it’s still a widely used, effective and a leading antidiabetic drug. If you are concerned about these side effects or they became more severe over time make sure to discuss it with your Doctor. Also, remember not to lower or increase your Metformin dosage as a result without consulting your doctor first.

 September 10, 2011  No Responses »