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  1. #1
    Registered User omglookitsagoat's Avatar
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    Default normal insulin levels - should I take metformin?

    I'm not over-weight and have normal insulin levels. I take ocella and spirinolactone for high testosterone levels. I heard some doctors prescribe metformin to women with pcos even when they don't have high insulin or weight problems. Would taking metformin reduce the risk of eventually developing problems with insulin or weight?

    Ironically, one of the side effects of metformin is weight gain: diarrhea; headache; indigestion; mild weight gain; nausea; stomach upset.

  2. #2
    JAM jam7914's Avatar
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    I am not overweight either and have normal insulin levels. My doctor put me on Metformin (started July 2009) to help regulate hormones in hopes of regulating my cycle (has not worked). I've actually lost weight since taking the Metformin (5'4", was 128 lbs and now 119). I had some side effects for the first couple of weeks (diarrhea, mild nausea) but haven't had any problems since then.
    I'm not sure if Met reduces risk of developing problems.

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    Registered User pcosia's Avatar
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    I am also not overweight and have normal insulin levels and my doctor also wants to put me on Metformin (coupled with Clomid). It seems that some insulin resistance can still exist even if the glucose test came out normal. Are you TTC? If so, metformin might help make your ovaries more sensitive and facilitate follicle growth.

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    TTC#1 Hopeful13's Avatar
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    Hello, I'm new to this site but have been reading up on PCOS for a long time, My OB has been thinking I have PCOS, but it's hard to tell.. I believe I ovulate every month, I have periods usually every 30-32 days and I've gotten +OPKs as well, but now I'm wondering if it's been anovulatory bleeding this whole time. When my OB did the blood work it showed I had higher testosterone levels, my prolactin levels were a little high as well but my insulin was in a normal range (8)... He hasn't technically diagnosed me w/PCOS yet, I guess we are waiting this cycle out to see how Clomid works for me... again I'm very confused b/c I thought I was ovulating this whole time.. Can anyone help break this down for me please?? Thanks so much and Good Luck to all you ladies TTC!!!

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    TTC#1 Hopeful13's Avatar
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    Sorry, I forgot to mention I'm also courious to know if metformin would help me and my hormone levels.. I'm so confused now as to if I'm actually ovulating every month or not.. I can't wait to go back to the Dr!

  6. #6
    Registered User omglookitsagoat's Avatar
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    idk good luck though.

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    Registered User OctoberOrchid's Avatar
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    Am I correct that you can be IR and still have a normal fasting glucose? Mine came back normal, but is there a specific test for insulin levels?

    I was also prescribed Metformin though all my blood work came back normal. I'm waiting to see an RE to see if maybe he'll do more tests so I can see what is out of balance.

  8. #8
    Registered User omglookitsagoat's Avatar
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    I would be interested in hearing the results of the metformin treatment. Could you please inform me on the status when you've been taking it long enough for it to have an effect?

  9. #9
    Amyttc1 Gracie07's Avatar
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    I was told I wasn't IR and was given a choice to go on met....I decided no and at 22 was diagnosed with type II diabetes. Do yourself the MASSIVE favour and take it. It was told if I had of then I wouldn't have gotten diabetes so young :-/
    Amy (23) Hidden Content DH Gordon (28)

    Diagnosed: 2009 Pcos & 2010 diabetic
    Cocktail: Metformin 500mgx3, fish oil tablets, celery & juniper tablets, low GI diet & exercise
    , Prenatal vits
    Clomid in June 2011

    Hoping for a 2012 miracle!


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    Registered User valerino539's Avatar
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    I was told by my last Dr that metformin would not help me at all because I had normal insulin levels. Hmm, now I'm wondering? I have an appt in a couple months with a new practice so I will be sure to ask. Also, I'll be curious to see if my insulin levels have changed in 2 years...

  11. #11
    Registered User OctoberOrchid's Avatar
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    omglookitsagoat, (Love your name, btw, too funny!)- I'm going to talk to my RE about it and also about if dietary modifications (low carb) would have the same effect. If I decide to go on it, I will keep you posted and see if it makes a difference.

    I was confused about taking it too, also since I'm not IR, nor do I have high testosterone levels- and in theory the Metformin is supposed to work, because it should reduce your insulin levels and therefore reduce your testosterone levels which should help you ovulate. Anyways, for those thin Cysters, there is a different mechanism at causing PCOS. If you google: Jarret Fertility group, there's a PDF download on their site that's about PCOS which explains how even if you are of normal weight and have normal blood work, you can still have PCOS because of relative hyperandrogensim. The PDF explains it well. I'm wondering if that's the case with me. I'm hoping he tests my estrogen levels, because I have a feeling they are low.

    Also for thin PCOSers, Clomid usually doesn't work, because it is an anti-estrogen, and apparently thin PCOSers have low estrogen. The PDF is pretty helpful in understanding the mechanism of how Metformin can work for PCOSers.

  12. #12
    Registered User omglookitsagoat's Avatar
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    Thanks. I'll try to find it and read it some time. btw, it's useful to use a site for bookmarking that lets you access your bookmarks from any computer. I used delicious.com all the time and it's awesome.

  13. #13
    Registered User anoushka's Avatar
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    Hi guys this is a super confusing issue. I have always had normal OGTT tests and insulin levels but I have a very strong family history of type 2 diabetes. There have been a couple of clinical trials that show that Metformin works for even thin cysters. But then others find that it doesnt help thin women without IR. In fact one of the ESHRE meetings on PCOS (2008) suggests against Metformin for thin cysters without IR.

    Life style modifications that improve glucose tolerance maybe the best compromise (I am not a medical opinion, Im in grad school and trying my best to sort through tons of published articles). In fact a healthy diet and exercise has been shown to prevent insulin resistance from developing into full blown type 2 diabetes. Again if you have elevated androgens then treatment options may differ. We are all so different it must be hard for REs and docs to figure out what might work in the first go.
    113lbs, 5' 2"
    Mildly elevated testosterone and not IR
    Started Metformin in July, 2011.

  14. #14
    Registered User omglookitsagoat's Avatar
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    I read that pdf on the site suggested by OctoberChild and it said that the only reason it can help thin women without IR is because as a side effect, it increases the levels of an enzyme that stimulates aromatase, which increases the rate that testosterone is converted to estrogen in the ovaries. However, there are many different types of estrogens and I don't know what type it stimulates the conversion to or if this is the right type of estrogen. Also, since it doesn't necessarily help by increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing glucose levels, I don't know if this effect is good or bad on someone who doesn't test positive or IR.

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    Registered User Miss Mia's Avatar
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    I too have normal insulin levels but a strong family history of type 2 diabetes. I'm on 500mg ER Metformin/daily as a PREVENTATIVE and I have no plans of discontinuing it. It has helped maintain my weight and regulate my hormone levels.

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