Saturday, April 19, 2008

Metformin: Day 1

So it is the 19th of April, 2008 and I took my first Metformin 500 mg last night.
I had an egg and steak omelet in a tortilla wrap and must say that it probably wasn't the best choice to start a new medication with, but it wasn't too bad. I ended up light headed a little after I took my first dose and subsequently developed a bad case of acid reflux, hertburn and gas (belching).

I took the pill after eating dinner and with a glass of skim milk. It stayed down thankfully, but it was a rough ride. I felt kind of sea sick, but it wasn't unbearable. I have 4 more days of this dose 500 mg, 1 time a day, and then I move onto 500 mg 2x a day for a total of 1000 mg a day. Eventually it will be 1500 mg a day, but that's not for about two weeks.

What is this medicine supposed to do?

Well, one of the main problems with pcos, is that many women with it have something called insulin resistance. My gyn explained it as: I have a high level of estrogen as my ovaries are pumping it out like crazy, and my body, trying to break down the estrogen stores it in fat cells. Either the estrogen or the fat cells (they aren't 100% sure) leads to a higher level of insulin in the blood. This higher amount of insulin causes the polycystic woman to get hungry- a lot! It causes headaches from unstable sugar levels and peaks and lows and the increased hunger adds increased weight -and, you guessed it, more spaces to hold estrogen in the body. Once these fat cells get the estrogen in them, they don't want to let go!! With all of the fatty cells, estrogen and insulin levels, the woman usually stops ovulating on schedule and many times, stop ovulating altoghter. This leads to infertility.
Metformin is supposed to moderate the levels of insulin in the body and counteract the fact that the body has a ton of estrogen and not enough progesterone. It is not 100% conclusive, but they are finding that miraculously, women who take Metformin are starting to Ovulate again! They start to lose weight, their insulen levels normalize and amazingly enough, with the weight loss, the body's natural ability to combat PCOS takes over. Some women can get off of the Metformin and go on to live happy and healthy lives as long as they monitor their weight. Some women never will be able to combat the disease, but the good news is that Metformin will help them until menopause when the ovaries shut down, but at the same time, it keeps these Insulin resistant women from developing Diabetes.

Amazing stuff right? But.... as I stated, it tends to cause gastro-intestinal problems when adjusting to the medicine. I myself am not doing horribly with it, and I am anxious to see how I feel in a few days. Will the nausea get better? Will I have problems with certain foods? Will I start to see weight loss? And will I soon have a period- normally. Will I actually ovulate? We shall see, but so far so good.


Sally said...

What a great idea Stacey!!! I'm sure this will be very helpful to many, many women. I'm glad you finally have a doctor that can help you. I'm looking forward to your posts.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I wish you the very best Stacy! Modern medicine can do real wonders when our bodies sometimes seem to rebel against us.
I take it this is somewhat new. What kinds of suggestions did the dr have for controlling the symptoms after the medications? And what things work for you otherwise. Sometimes 7-up and crackers worked for me other times a nice tea and sitting up.

Stacey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacey said...

Thank you both so much for your kindness.
I am very excited to be taking this medication. My doctor wanted to do a uterine ablation (remove the lining) but I asked for this instead and educated her about it so maybe she will know for the next person who comes along that there are possibilities besides surgery.
I really think I am going to do ok with this. I want to go check your pages now for some good low carb, low sugar recipes.. you have any? Maybe some salmon????... I'm going to go look. :)

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the metformin! I've been on it for about 7 years now. Yes, it has it's GI issues, but it keeps my blood sugar levels and insulin in check. You'll do fine. Good luck! Check out my PCOS blog when you get the chance (

A wildlife gardener said...

I wish you all the best, Stacey, with the new medication :)