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Signs Metformin is Working for Diabetes and PCOS

Signs Metformin is Working

Metformin is one of the most commonly used drugs. It is among the first-line medications used to treat diabetes and PCOS. When you take metformin and you start losing weight, your blood glucose goes down, and your stomach is not letting you eat more, these are some of the signs metformin is working for you.

However, if you are taking metformin for ovulation and PCOS, you may not be able to notice significant changes until your cycles become regular and you are able to conceive.

In addition, it is important to note that metformin may not be the only drug for your diabetes and PCOS.

If your blood sugars are off the roof and your cycles remain irregular despite using metformin for some time, you may need to consult your doctor as metformin may not be working for you.

In such situations, your doctor may either switch you to another medication, or you may be asked to continue metformin along with another medicine.

Before you switch, you must know the symptoms and signs that metformin is not working. Here are some signs metformin is working for you and you may need to continue it either as monotherapy or in combination with other medications.

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What is Metformin Used For?

Metformin is a medication commonly used to treat Type 2 Diabetes. Every doctor will most likely prescribe this as the first medication to a diabetic patient.

Metformin is also used to treat Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in addition to diabetes.

In this article, we will discuss the role of metformin in the treatment of Diabetes and PCOS, as well as the signs that indicate metformin is working for Diabetes and PCOS.

Metformin for Type 2 diabetes:

Metformin belongs to the Biguanide drug class. These medications reduce the amount of glucose produced by the liver while also improving insulin sensitivity and thus maintaining normal blood sugar levels.

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How long does Metformin Take to Work?

Lower doses may take longer to produce the desired results. It usually takes 5-6 days to stabilize the sugar levels.

If a low dose does not work, your doctor may increase the dose to lower your glucose levels.

How do you know that metformin is working for Diabetes?

One of the most accurate ways to know if the medication is working properly is regular monitoring of blood glucose levels.

According to The American Diabetes Association (ADA), the blood sugar goals for diabetic patients are:

  • Fasting or pre-meal (1-2 hours before meal): 80-130 mg/Dl
  • Post-prandial or after meal: 180 mg/dL or less
  • HbA1c: less than 7%

Among these, the HbA1c test is the most accurate method to know whether metformin is working or not. This test measures your blood sugar levels for the least 2-3 months.

Metformin is highly effective in controlling sugar levels and you might feel a clear difference over time. Some other signs that metformin is working include:

1: Normal Sugar levels:

The first sign is that your sugar levels are normal. A fasting blood glucose level of less than 100 mg/dl and a post-meal blood glucose level of less than 140 mg/dl.

2. Appetite changes:

In diabetics, an imbalance in glucose levels causes increased hunger. Metformin lowers the risk of hypoglycemia by balancing blood sugar levels and increasing satiety.

3. Controlled urination and decreased thirst:

Frequent urination is another big problem in diabetes. It happens when the body tries to eliminate excess glucose through urine.

Metformin restores normal urination by balancing glucose levels. Excessive thirst, another major symptom of diabetes, is reduced when excessive urination is controlled.

4. Weight loss:

Metformin reduces body fat, which improves insulin sensitivity. So, if your medication is effective, you may notice some changes in your body weight.

5. Better overall health:

Metformin reduces body fat, which improves insulin sensitivity. So, if your medication is effective, you may notice some changes in your body weight.

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Metformin for PCOS:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance disorder that primarily affects women. PCOS is linked to insulin resistance because an imbalance in insulin hormone causes high levels of circulating sugars in the blood, which causes an increase in androgen levels.

Androgens are male hormones, and excessive production of androgens in females results in classic PCOS symptoms such as:

  • Excessive hair growth
  • Infertility
  • Ovulation problems

Metformin improves insulin sensitivity and lowers blood glucose levels, which is why it is used to treat PCOS. Metformin use has been linked to weight loss, lower androgen levels, and improved ovulation.

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Signs that Metformin is Working for PCOS:

Metformin has been linked to several effects in PCOS patients. Some signs that tell metformin is working for PCOS include:

1.   Restored Ovulation:

If you have anovulatory PCOS, metformin usage restores ovulation increasing the chance of pregnancy. It balances the levels of FSH and LH, the two major hormones involved in ovulation.

2.   Weight loss

Most PCOS patients are overweight or obese, if metformin suits you, it will help you lose stubborn weight and get a normal BMI by reducing the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood.

3.   Regular Menstruation:

PCOS patients have irregular menstrual cycles with episodes of spotting. Regular menstruation is a sign that your treatment is effective.

4.   Normal Glucose levels:

Metformin regulates blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of gestational diabetes and miscarriage.

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What should you do if metformin doesn’t work?

If you just started taking metformin, you may need to wait a little longer for it to kick in. Speak with your doctor if you’ve been taking metformin for at least three months.

Your dosage may need to be increased, or you may not be taking the medication correctly.

Inform your doctor if you are not taking your medication on a regular basis due to side effects. They can adjust your dosage, switch you to an extended-release form of metformin, or suggest a different medication.

If you’ve been taking metformin for a long time and notice that your blood glucose or hemoglobin A1C levels are rising, you may need to switch medications or increase your dosage. Diabetes can progress even when you are doing everything possible to control it.

metformin side effects gastrointestinal
Common side effects of metformin


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Normal blood sugar levels, weight loss, and improved insulin sensitivity are the most obvious signs that metformin is working.

If metformin isn’t working for you, you can make healthy lifestyle changes or take another medication in addition to (or instead of) metformin to ensure you meet your blood sugar targets.

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

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