Does Metformin Help You Lose Weight?
In our journey to achieve our health and fitness goals and to get to a healthy weight, we tend to come across many trends that gain popularity in social media or advertising. And in hopes that we might find a tool helpful to potentiate our efforts in the kitchen and the gym we are willing to give it a try, but we obviously want to achieve our goals without causing ourselves more harm than good so we should be threading carefully and always doing our research n the safety and efficacy of said trends.
Today we’ll look into one specific trend regarding a medication that has been claimed to help with weight, and other added health benefits, to shed some light on the real results shown by research regarding its efficacy and even more importantly it’s safety. Join us to delve deeper into the world of Metformin and if it can really help you achieve your goals in a safe controlled manner.
What is metformin and what is it used for?
Metformin is a first-line medication in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It acts mainly by lowering the amount of glucose that is released by the liver into the bloodstream thus helping insulin work better by helping the muscles use the glucose in the blood more efficiently, their insulin sensitivity.
It has been used also as a sort of preventive measure in people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, like overweight, gestational diabetes, or patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
In addition to those, there is ongoing research on the effects of metformin for other benefits like lowering the risk of cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes, lowering the risk of dementia and stroke, slowing aging, preventing age-related diseases, and even increasing lifespan. There’s obviously further research needed but results are promising so far and worth taking note of.
Safety of metformin and side effects
Although the safety profile for metformin is quite good it can still have some mild side effects when taken for prolonged periods of time like nausea, stomach pain, and other gastric symptoms like diarrhea
And there is also the possibility of more serious side effects, although they are quite rare. They include severe allergic reactions or a condition called lactic acidosis. The risk for this is higher among people with significant kidney disease or diminished renal function, so doctors tend to avoid prescribing metformin for this kind of patient.
The regular safe dosages of metformin are 500-1000 mg once a day and not exceeding 2000 mg/day. This is the dosage used for medical conditions like diabetes or PCOS by qualified professionals, so don’t take this dosage as a prescription but as just an informative reference.
Can metformin help with weight loss?
Although there is no clear explanation for the mechanism in which metformin aids in weight loss there is a lot of research showing a positive relationship between the use of this medication and reduced hunger levels throughout the day which will lead to a reduced overall caloric consumption every day and ultimately lead to weight loss. Research shows a decrease in body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and weight in obese patients, which might also be explained by the improvement of insulin sensitivity and metabolism.
These changes were positive even in patients without type 2 diabetes and as expected the biggest results were obtained by patients who used the medication in conjunction with other lifestyle changes like proper nutrition habits and regular physical activity., you know the regular advice of avoiding sugary drinks, drinking more water throughout the day, choosing mostly whole foods, eating more vegetables, eating more protein, limit your processed food intake, etc.
Also, keep in mind that Metformin is usually a prescription medication so it might not be available to you without the advice of your doctor, this is a good thing since you should always count on professional supervision from your physician before starting any form of treatment or intervention that can affect your health.
Metformin Main Takeways
As you can see plenty of research shows Metformin as a safe treatment for several conditions and has the beneficial side effect of aiding in weight management and hunger regulation. However, keep in mind the following points:
Metformin is a prescription medication so should not be taken without the guidance and advice of a qualified health professional.
It has a positive effect on weight management, hunger levels, and others, especially in patients with diabetes, obesity, or PCOS. if you have one of these conditions you can discuss with your doctor if this treatment would be beneficial for you.
If you don’t have any of these specific conditions but are interested in trying this as a tool to help you achieve your weight and health goals, make sure you discuss it with your doctor and follow their guidance
Keep in mind that this is NOT the only way to achieve your goals and that there is no magic pill or treatment to fast-track results. The best results were shown in people who also made other lifestyle, nutrition, and physical activity changes like avoiding sugary drinks, drinking more water throughout the day, choosing mostly whole foods, eating more vegetables, eating more protein, limiting your processed food intake, moving more every day, etc.