Struggling with obesity or being overweight does bring certain health risks in your life.
You might not be aware of that now, but the truth is that as years pass and you continue to struggle with being overweight/obese, you are getting closer and closer to the possibility of experiencing diabetes, heart attack, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and many autoimmune diseases.
You might have heard of Metformin and its abilities to cause weight loss, especially when used along with a healthy diet, calorie restrict, and regular exercise routine. That is true – Metformin has been proven effective when used to reduce the body weight of both diabetic and non-diabetic individuals, but is it for anyone to use? And can you lose weight with Metformin without restricting your calorie intake or exercising at all? These are all great questions, and guess what – the following article hides the answers to all these and many other great questions as well.
So follow us, and find out whether or not Metformin is a great weight loss option for you as well.
What is Metformin?
Metformin is a prescription drug, approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is available under a few generic as well as brand-names, with the generic drugs being more available in terms of cost to the patients.
As for now, Metformin is available in the form of an oral tablet, meant to be taken orally. There are two options that your doctor will suggest – an immediate-release form, and an extended-release form of the Metformin drug for oral use. But can you guess why doctors prescribe Metformin?
Why is Metformin used for?
Currently, Metformin is considered to be the first-line drug treatment used to control diabetes type 2, in addition to being used to treat insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and some types of cancer. Metformin is to be taken only in combination with a healthy diet and regular physical activity – at least five days a week, for 30 minutes. Otherwise, it is not considered to be very much effective. Often, Metformin is to be combined with other medications as well in order to control the symptoms of diabetes type 2 better.
Diabetes type 2 is a form of diabetes [i]which in most cases is caused by obesity, lack of physical activity, and a sedentary lifestyle. As you probably know, diabetes type 2 is not a medical condition that is possible to cure. However, with the right choice of treatment drugs and some serious lifestyle changes, it is very possible for the patient to become able to control his/her illness. Luckily for the patients struggling with diabetes type 2, they have Metformin to relay on.
Metformin is not only used to control the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, but it is also used to prevent diabetes type 2 in patients who have a higher risk for developing diabetes type 2 in the years to come.
In a study [ii]published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Metformin has been found effective in reducing the risk of diabetes type 2 for 31% among at-risk prediabetic patients, as compared with placebo. The drug is considered to be more effective in the goal of preventing diabetes type 2 when it is used among patients who are struggling with overweight, obesity, and already high blood sugar levels.
Metformin has also been found effective at protecting [iii]the heart by controlling the blood sugar levels, lowering [iv]the high blood cholesterol levels, improving erectile dysfunction by treating obesity and diabetes type 2, and even slowing down the normal aging process.
How does Metformin work?
Metformin works by causing three effects, which are rather simple and yet highly effective for the case of diabetes type 2, to develop in the human body upon consummation.
The first effect is preventing the liver from creating more sugar than it is necessary or more than the body is able to process. In order to do so, Metformin is adjusting the cellular energy consummation on a daily level. The second effect is increasing the amounts of insulin in the body.
As you probably know until now, the insulin is a hormone which is responsible for removing the extra sugar from the blood which helps regulate your blood sugar levels properly. And the third and final effect is decreasing the levels of a hormone, known as glucagon, which has been found responsible for increasing the blood sugar levels.
Through these three effects, of methods, the use of Metformin is able to efficiently control your blood sugar levels, preventing any spikes from happening whatsoever. However, as we mentioned previously, Metformin is meant to be used in a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise; otherwise, its positive effects should not be expected to develop.
Is it safe to use Metformin?
Throughout the years, there have been several different side-effects being reported by the users of Metformin. Most of these side-effects are not life-threatening and can be easily controlled. The list of potential side-effects includes:
- Muscle weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating and flatulence (gas)
Metformin is known to interact with over 70 different medications, causing mild to more severe side-effects as a result of that interaction. We advise you to report any medication use to your doctor as you discuss the possibility of using Metformin to control your diabetes.
Metformin is considered safe to be used during pregnancy, as no to only mild risks have been noticed to develop as a result of the use of Metformin during pregnancy. As for breastfeeding mothers, Metformin is not recommended to be used, since it has been known that the medication is being extracted in the breast milk, and unfortunately is known to increase the risk of possible birth defects. We advise you to report to your doctor if you are currently breastfeeding before you proceed to use Metformin.
Metformin is not recommended to be used among patients who are struggling with hypersensitivity, chronic heart failure, severe renal disease, septicemia, etc.
Generally, Metformin is considered safe to be used, when the patient respects and follows the instructions given by his/her doctor. Please avoid any increase or decrease in the dosage on your own, without consulting your doctor beforehand.
Can weight loss be achieved with Metformin?
For a long time now, the question about whether or not Metformin can be used to achieve weight loss in both diabetics and healthy individuals has been troubling many. And the answer that we have to offer will bring a smile to your face, guaranteed. Yes, Metformin has been reported being able to achieve weight loss, through several different methods, although the science behind it is yet to be explained. And yes, Metformin is able to deliver the weight loss effects in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients[v].
In a study published [vi]in Nutrition & Diabetes, Metformin has been reported to cause a weight loss of 5% among diabetic patients struggling with diabetes type 2.
For starters, by improving the insulin sensitivity in your body, Metformin is acting to keep your blood sugar levels as normal as possible, which will reduce the feelings of hunger in addition to reducing the frequent cravings for carbs which we all know are caused by sudden ups and downs in your blood sugar levels. As expected, when you have Metformin to help you reduce your hunger, and control your carb intake, by controlling your blood sugar levels, you are able to stick to your chosen diet plan and lose those extra body pounds a little bit easier, don’t you think?
Another method of action is the impact on your glucose levels. By decreasing the glucose levels in the body, Metformin is able to reduce the possibility of excess sugars being stored in the form of fat tissues around the body, especially around your abdomen, which is a problem area for a lot of women, especially. So if you are trying to get rid of that belly fat, you might want to consider taking Metformin, following a healthy diet plan and doing your abs exercises on a daily level. Your belly will be flat in no time.
But the thing is that Metformin is only able to cause weight loss in individuals who are struggling with either of the following conditions – pre-diabetes, diabetes type 2, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), etc.
If you are a healthy individual whose BMI (Body Mass Index) is not high enough for you to be classified as either overweight or obese, then you should not expect any major effects from Metformin. In a case such as that one, you will most likely experience no weight loss effects, or even experience negative side-effects from the use of Metformin. We highly recommend you to consult your doctor about the use of Metformin to lose weight and use it only, if your doctor approves of it.
Metformin is declared as one of the best prescription drugs used to control your blood sugar levels, which is highly important for pre-diabetic and diabetic patients. This prescription drug, approved by the FDA, is not only used to control your diabetes, but it is also used to achieve weight loss in pre-diabetic and diabetic patients, in addition to obese and overweight individuals.
What are you supposed to do?
Consult your doctor about whether or not you are qualified to use Metformin and if you are, find the best weight loss plan and workout routine to accompany you in the days that follow. Join the numerous satisfied patients who have had their positive experience with Metformin. It might not be a magical pill, but it sure does deliver results when used according to the instructions.
[i] Olokoba AB, Obateru OA, Olokoba LB, (July 2002) Type 2 diabetes mellitus: a review on current trends, Oman Medical Journal 27(4): 269–273
[ii] Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group, (February 2002) Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin, The New England Journal of Medicine 346:393-403
[iii] Ekeruo IA, Solhpour A, Taegtmeyer H, (December 2013) Metformin in diabetic patients with health failure: safe and effective?, Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports 1; 7(6): 417–422
[iv] Pentikainen PJ, Voutilainen E, Aro A, Uusitupa M, Penttila I, Vapaatalo H, (1990), Cholesterol-lowering effect of metformin in combined hyperlipidemia: placebo-controlled double-blind trial, Annals of medicine 22(5):307-12
[v] Seifarth C, Schehler B, Schneider HJ, (January 2013) Effectiveness of Metformin on weight loss on non-diabetic individuals with obesity, Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes 121(1):27-31
[vi] Firouzjaei A, Li CG, Wang N, Liu WX, Zhu BM, (May 2016), Comparative evaluation of the therapeutic effect of Metformin monotherapy with Metformin and acupuncture combined therapy on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients, Nutrition & Diabetes 2;6:e209