The first treatment for type 2 diabetes is metformin. It is one of the most frequently taken medicines to treat diabetes and obesity. In addition to its anti-hyperglycemic effects, researchers believe that metformin is relatively safe to use and provides substantial results. But the drug is only available by prescription, so you should see your doctor and check if it is correct. Although metformin may have various side effects, one of the most prevalent symptoms that everyone is curious to know is whether it leads to weight loss. Surprisingly, the answer is yes!
It may seem like a good idea to consider taking a commonly prescribed medication for type 2 diabetes to lose a few extra pounds. However, the answer to metformin’s weight loss claims is not so simple. With regard to weight loss and metformin, doctors do not support its use solely for this reason, which means that metformin treatment is intended for weight loss only. Whether you have diabetes or not, a combination of diet and exercise remains the healthiest and most consistent way to lose weight.
What is metformin and how does it work?
To control high blood sugar, doctors often prescribe metformin along with a healthy diet and exercise routine. It is a member of the biguanide family of medicines. Metformin reduces the amount of glucose released by the liver and improves insulin efficiency, lowering blood sugar levels. It is suitable for people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes and overweight. However, you cannot use it to treat type 1 diabetes. (The body produces little or no insulin and therefore has difficulty controlling blood sugar.)
Researchers have also discovered a close association between taking metformin and weight loss, even though it is not strictly a weight loss drug. Some studies have demonstrated the benefits of metformin therapy for weight loss in overweight and obese patients. But does it work, and is it a good option for you? The short answer is that taking medication without practicing other healthy habits may not lead to weight loss.
Weight loss is an interesting side effect while taking metformin. It could provide a means for weight loss while controlling elevated sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. These findings have made metformin a desirable research topic for conditions associated with overweight and obesity. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about whether metformin could be a suitable addition to your weight loss journey.
Can metformin help me lose weight?
According to research, after using metformin for a year, the average weight loss ranges from 1.8 kg to 3 kg. So some people can lose weight, but this drug is not a quick fix.
The following reasons could explain the “metformin weight loss” claims.
Improves blood glucose control
As we discussed earlier, metformin helps regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, the amount of glucose that the liver produces and the amount that it absorbs from food decreases. Metformin also improves how your body reacts to insulin, a hormone that naturally regulates blood sugar levels. Weight often drops when insulin sensitivity improves. Therefore, it allows the body to better control and maintain weight.
lack of appetite
Metformin’s ability to reduce appetite is a major factor in weight loss. A typical side effect of this drug is a decrease in hunger, which is caused by an increased sensitivity of the body to insulin and the hormone leptin. Leptin tells your body when to stop eating, so increased sensitivity to this hormone makes you feel less hungry. Over time, even a small decrease in daily calories can lead to significant weight loss. Subtle and subtle changes can have a big impact; This is probably why metformin causes weight loss.
Make healthy lifestyle changes
If you are also making diet modifications and simultaneously increasing physical activity, you may lose weight while taking metformin. These lifestyle modifications may contribute to long-term weight loss. But suppose you are taking metformin but not adopting other healthy habits. In this case, metformin alone may not be enough for weight loss. If you are just starting to take metformin, the following can help speed up the weight loss process:
- Do regular exercise for at least 30 minutes a day
- Reduce added sugar and refined carbohydrates in your diet
Metformin is not a standalone weight loss treatment due to its inconsistent weight loss effects. However, the measure of how well metformin is working depends on your consistency. For example, there is a good chance that you will return to your original weight if you stop taking metformin. But people who exercise tend to lose the most weight because metformin increases the calories burned during exercise.
Although it is not an approved weight loss drug, metformin may lead to a modest weight loss. While some believe this drug reduces hunger, others say it changes how the body regulates blood sugar. In addition to metformin and other medications for type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, doctors often advise patients to make certain dietary and lifestyle modifications. Regardless of these aspects, those who wish to lose weight while taking metformin should also maintain a nutrient-rich diet, monitor calories, and exercise regularly.
how to use
Here is some information regarding the use of metformin in case you want to include it in your daily routine. But most importantly, before making any decisions or modifying your lifestyle, talk to your doctor about using metformin.
Oral forms of metformin include liquid tablets, tablets, and extended-release (long-acting) tablets. The liquid is often taken once or twice daily with meals; Doses range from 5 to 9.5 ml. Two or three times a day, the standard tablet is usually taken with meals. The extended-release tablet is often taken with dinner once daily. For extended-release metformin, doses should not exceed 2500 mg per day for adults and are usually between 500 mg and 1000 mg.
Take metformin exactly as prescribed, both in terms of dosage and frequency. Please do not take more or less than your doctor has advised as the amount required may vary from person to person. We recommend that you follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist for any information you are not sure of. For example, your doctor may prescribe a low dose of metformin and then gradually increase it. Monitor your weight closely so your doctor can determine how effective metformin is.
harmful side effects
Metformin may cause side effects, just like any other medicine. Therefore, use it with caution. If a person takes metformin and experiences any negative symptoms, they should seek medical attention immediately. Typical adverse effects include:
- breathing difficulties
- stomach pain
- Nausea or vomiting
If you have kidney disease, tell your doctor. Most likely, your doctor will advise against taking metformin. Furthermore, if you have had dental surgery or any serious medical procedure, please tell your doctor that you are taking metformin. Consultation is necessary even if you wish to have any x-ray technique that involves injecting dye. This is true, mainly if you currently or have previously consumed large amounts of alcohol, suffer from liver disease, or have heart failure. Before the procedure, you may need to stop taking metformin and wait 48 hours before starting it again.
Precautions and safety tips
- If you are allergic to metformin, or any of the substances in metformin liquid, tablets, or any other medication, tell your doctor and pharmacist before taking metformin. For a list of ingredients, consult the pharmacist or the manufacturer’s patient information.
- In order for your doctor and pharmacist to make sure that metformin will not interfere with your other prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal ingredients, it is essential that you tell them what you also take.
- Diabetes and obesity are not treated with metformin, although you can control them. Therefore, without consulting your doctor, do not stop taking metformin.
- Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. Then, if the next dose is due, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing plan. Do not take a second dose to make up for the missed dose.
- Make sure you stick to all the nutritional and exercise advice your doctor or dietitian gives you. Eating a balanced diet is essential for weight loss.
When you consider all the factors, metformin can lead to a small amount of weight loss in people who take it regularly. However, the average annual weight loss is not very significant. Because of this, metformin is not a weight loss cure or magic diet pill, but a prescription treatment that helps improve blood sugar control in those with insulin resistance. However, suppose you have diabetes or are overweight and want to lose weight healthily. In this case, you can work with your doctor to develop a diet plan and exercise routine and start taking metformin.