Is Metformin suitable to be used as a medication to help you lose weight? Are there any dangers or side effects, what dosage should I use? Are there any alternatives?
Is Metformin Good for Weight Loss?
Metformin is a medication for treating type 2 diabetes. It may also help with weight loss but a lot of the studies that evaluate the value of Metformin as a weight loss aid are inconclusive.
At best, the medication may support modest improvements in the results obtainable through diet and exercise. It may also help counteract the effects of other medications that can cause weight gain.
However, when people lose weight with Metformin, it’s a side effect. The medication is not designed to help people who need to get rid of excess body fat. It’s for people who need help to get their blood sugar and insulin levels under control.
There other examples of medications that have been designed to treat one ailment or condition that have been found to cause weight loss. Antidepressants have been found to help people lose weight with Bupropion (Wellbutrin) being a prime example.
An alarmingly high percentage of the world population is struggling with obesity so whenever there is so much as a hint of anything new that may aid weight loss, it generates a lot of interest. In this case, though, the potential of the medication has been blown out of proportion.
Metformin’s possible ability to help the overweight or obese is worthy of further study. Nothing more. When it comes to delivering reasonable weight loss results any good diet pill will be able to leave the medication eating its dust.
What Is Metformin?
Metformin is a medicine for type 2 diabetics. It’s a pill you take it orally every day.
Metformin is the generic form of the drug. It was discovered in 1922. During the early 1950s, the French physician Jean Sterne began conducting human studies, and, in 1957, it became available as a type 2 diabetes medication in France.
Several decades later, in 1994, Metformin became available in the United States. By 2018, it was the fourth most commonly prescribed medication in the US.
In addition to its generic name, Metformin is also distributed under several brand names including Fortamet, Glumetza, Glucophage, and Riomet.
As an anti-diabetic, Metformin’s reputation is first-rate. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) considers it the best first-line diabetes drug for people aged ten years and older.
Metformin is also prescribed for several off-label purposes including treating gestational diabetes (diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
The drug is also notable for being the ADA-recommended antidiabetic for pre-diabetes and it’s currently being studied for its possible antiaging, anticancer, and neuroprotective effects. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30085525/) (diabetes prevention program outcomes)
Metformin as a Weight Loss Aid
As you would expect from a diabetes medication, the main thing Metformin does is lower blood sugar levels. It achieves this in three ways.
- Reducing glucose production in the liver
- Reducing glucose absorption in the intestines
- Increasing insulin sensitivity
Researchers originally thought Metformin may support weight loss by controlling blood sugar and insulin levels. There’s also speculation it may function as an appetite suppressant. However, researchers admit there is a need for further study that delves into the various pathways that may be involved. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30874963/)
If Metformin can reduce appetite, it will help dieters to eat lower volumes of food without feeling hunger.
That’s a useful virtue but all of the top over-the-counter diet pills can do this too. They also do an awful lot more such as increasing metabolism and boosting energy levels.
What the Research Shows
Although the studies to date are interesting, the collective data doesn’t suggest there’s a lot to get excited about.
Early research, limited to diabetics, shows people taking the medication lost a little more weight than those taking the placebo or alternative antidiabetics.
Other study results show people taking Metformin neither lost weight nor gained it. Some Metformin alternatives can cause weight gain, though, so remaining stuck in a rut could be preferable.
There are additional ways in which Metformin might be beneficial
Some people using antipsychotic medications can develop metabolic syndrome. Weight gain is one of the symptoms. Research suggests Metformin may be useful as a companion drug and counteractive measure.
The results of a meta-analysis of 12 studies, involving 743 patients, show patients who used Metformin alongside their antipsychotics achieved significant reductions in BMI compared to the placebo group (antipsychotic medication + placebo).
Based on the data, the researchers concluded Metformin is effective in treating antipsychotic-induced weight gain in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
They suggest there is sufficient evidence to begin using Metformin in patients with antipsychotic-induced weight gain. (https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-016-1049-5)
Things You Need to Know Before Using Metformin
Metformin is not designed for weight loss. It’s primarily a diabetes treatment. Any weight loss that occurs while using the drug is a side effect.
Although for anyone who is overweight, weight loss is an attractive idea, it’s not the only side effect the medication can present.
Metformin can contribute to lactic acidosis. This is a potentially life-threatening condition that puts extra strain on the liver by affecting its ability to remove excess lactic acid from the blood.
Symptoms of lactic acidosis may include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Muscle pain
- Stomach pain
- Lack of appetite
- Deep, rapid breathing
- Fast/slow heartbeat
- Feeling lightheaded
- Flushing of the skin
- Feeling cold (especially in the hands or feet)
Metformin side effects (not associated with lactic acidosis) may include:
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Intestinal gas
Metformin can also present interaction issues if you use it alongside certain other medications. In addition to this, it’s also unsuitable for people who have certain medical conditions.
So, before accepting a Metformin prescription, it’s important to make sure the prescribing doctor is up to date on your full medical status and any medications you are using. Including those prescribed by a dentist or during a visit to the emergency room.
Should You Use Metformin to Lose Weight?
Although Metformin may help some people to make modest improvements on the weight loss results they are attaining via diet and exercise, it’s a pretty poor option for most people.
Let’s not forget, weight loss is a possible side effect of this medication, not a primary goal. It’s also important to remember weight loss is not the only side effect it can cause.
For the average person seeking weight loss support, the benefits Metformin may provide do not outweigh the risks.
Some of the side effects, such as headaches and heartburn are unpleasant but, although nobody is likely to relish such reactions, they are not dangerous.
Unfortunately, breathing difficulties and lactic acidosis are a different matter. Nobody should be willing to risk side effects like these just to lose a few extra pounds.
It’s also worth bearing in mind the way some of the side effects may affect the quality of life.
Although few people using Metformin are likely to experience extreme tiredness, some people will. A reaction like this can make it extremely difficult to perform at work or at home. In a work environment, anything that may affect productivity may have the potential to affect employment status.
Even minor side effects, such as nausea and dizziness, can bring unnecessary misery and affect your ability to work.
Metformin is a medication best suited to treating type 2 diabetes. If the side effects become an issue or become too pronounced, the prescribing doctor may be able to offer a suitable alternative.
Unfortunately, the alternatives may have side effects of their own. Most medications do. Sometimes it’s just a case of going with the lesser of two evils.
Why You May Want to Choose a Natural Alternative Instead
Many natural weight loss aids can provide levels of fat loss that are far superior to Metformin. The best of them can do this without presenting risks of any side effects at all.
Because they were developed specifically to support weight loss, all the best over-the-counter diet pills also offer dieters a much greater level of support.
At the time of writing, one of the best options is PhenQ – a phentermine alternative that works in a similar way to Adipex.
Not only has it already helped more than 190,000 people to lose weight; PhenQ also has a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Like all the best diet pills, PhenQ is a powerful appetite suppressant that stamps on hunger, making it easier for you to he happy with smaller portions of food. It also provides ingredients to curb the cravings that often terrorize dieters between meals.
PhenQ provides several metabolism-boosting ingredients as well. One of them is a high-quality red pepper extract. The other is a-Laceys Reset. It’s an exciting proprietary ingredient other manufacturers fail to take advantage of.
Working alongside the other ingredients, these natural metabolism enhancers help you to burn extra calories and fat all through the day.
Whereas Metformin can cause tiredness, PhenQ fights it by providing ingredients that invigorate the body, waylaying diet-related fatigue and making it easier to add exercise to your daily routine.
With a guaranteed alternative as good as PhenQ, it’s hard to understand why anybody would want to consider using Metformin instead. It’s a little like trying to hammer square pegs into round holes instead of carefully selecting your pegs to get the correct fit.
According to studies and clinical data it is possible to lose body fat and reduce overall body weight using as weight loss aid
This depends entirely on the dosage and from person form person. Studies have shown that over a year it is possible to lose up to 25% of total weight in the first year.
It is safe for its intended use – a diabetes medication. For use as a medication to lose weight you should make an appointment with your doctor prior to using.