How Metformin works for PCOS and fertility
I get a lot of people on consults asking me if they should take Metformin for their PCOS. I’m not a medical doctor so I cannot advice anyone to take or not take any pharmaceutical. What I want to do in this article is show you what Metformin does for PCOS and fertility so that you can make a better educated decision for yourself.
What is Metformin
Metformin is a medication formulated to help diabetes. It’s a diabetes drug that is sometimes used off label for PCOS.
So there’s your first clue. If your doctor suggested Metformin, they’re likely seeing signs of blood sugar issues in your lab work or when they spoke with you. So improving your blood sugar regulation is going to be key to resolving your PCOS for good.
How does Metformin work for PCOS
Metformin works by preventing your liver from mobilizing stored sugar and it increases the cell’s sensitivity to insulin in the peripheral muscles. It deals with insulin resistance.
About 70% of women with PCOS have it because of insulin resistance and it’s effect on our sex hormones. So lets look at how that scenario plays out in the body and what metformin does.
Lets work backward. You have PCOS. The backbone characteristic of PCOS is high androgens, male sex hormones. This is the primary issue causing you to not ovulate, to grow chin hair, all of that.
We know that testosterone production increases when the body is insulin resistant.
One of the factors in developing insulin resistance is simply having too much insulin in the blood for too long. Hormones are messengers, their job is to communicate. It’s like if you have a kid brother saying your name over and over and over, eventually you tune them out. You become resistant to their message. That’s what happens to your cells when they can’t store any more glucose but they’re still getting messages from insulin to take more glucose in.
Why is there too much insulin in the blood for too long? Because of the way we’ve been taught to eat. Most of us grew up eating tons of sugar, mostly refined carbohydrates, that includes crackers, whole grain bread, and we eat all the time.
So metformin comes in and works on the insulin resistance. It prevents your liver from mobilizing stored sugar and it increases the cell’s sensitivity to insulin in the peripheral muscles.
And in women who respond well to metformin, that stops the hormonal cascade that ends in PCOS.
If you didn’t respond well to Metformin it’s likely that your hormone imbalance has a different root cause.
Address the root cause of your PCOS
The problem is, the root cause of your insulin resistance is still there. The reason I wanted to write this article is because women are told that metformin will fix their PCOS.
But if you stop the metformin, this domino effect that leads to PCOS is still there. It’s going to keep happening.
And since the root cause of your diet was never addressed, you’re going to keep developing nutrient deficiencies. You’re going to keep getting bloating, stomach pains, irregular bowel movement. Your spouse is probably eating the same way you do so they’re likely having health issues, and your passing on your habits and food beliefs to your children when you do have them.
Do you have a medication mentality?
It’s medications like Metformin that perpetuate the belief that something is wrong with your body. It says your body isn’t doing what it’s supposed to, so we’re going to go in on a chemical level and change your body’s biochemistry.
But what if insulin resistance is a perfectly normal response to an overconsumption of food? Isn’t that how animals put on weight for the winter? Isn’t that a 100% completely normal and necessary response by the body? So what if the problem isn’t your body, what if the problem is your environment. What if your environment has created a perpetual harvest season and winter never comes? Of course, you’re insulin resistant. Of course, you’re gaining weight. Of course, you menstrual cycle has changed.
It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you, it means your in the wrong habitat. That’s all. And you have 100% control over your habitat.
Your PCOS. Your choice.
You get to decide how you want to address your PCOS. My job is just to give you information so that you can be confident in the decision you make. Some women decide to use metformin or fertility drugs and that’s awesome. Some women decide to use nutritional therapy and that’s awesome. Some women do both, and that’s awesome. It 100% is your decision. I just want to make sure that you really like your reason. If you do want to mange your PCOS holistically and use nutritional therapy to heal your hormones reach out to me. We’ll do a call together to talk about what’s going on for you and how I can help you regain your fertility and reverse your PCOS naturally.