Metformin weight loss is one of the medication-based weight loss methods that doctors support. Metformin used to be known as glucophage. It is an orally administered drug that is highly preferred in the treatment of diabetes in overweight and obese patients. It is highly recommended by doctors for this purpose because, unlike other drugs that are used for diabetes treatment, metformin did not cause weight gain.
In fact, due to its contrary effect on a person’s weight, the medication is also used and is widely known as a weight loss pill. Several studies were conducted whether the medication can really bring about weight loss, but most of the studies were done on patients who had diabetes. Also, doctors only prescribe metformin weight loss treatment plans for those whose need to lose weight is crucial for their health or related to a disease such as diabetes or obesity.
If you want to lose weight simply because you want to look better and to get rid of unwanted body fat, you may want to consider other options such as natural weight loss methods before you check out metformin.
What to Consider before Taking Metformin Weight Loss Pills if You’re Non-Diabetic
- Effects on insulin and blood sugar levels
- Effects on food absorption
- Other positive and negative effects
1. Effects on insulin and blood sugar levels
One of the reasons why metformin is not appropriate for those who only seek aesthetic weight loss is that it affects the body in a more obtrusive way. Metformin works well for people who are diabetic or obese because their bodies produce too much insulin. Insulin can bring about excessive weight by telling your brain that you’re hungry more often and by causing your liver to produce fat. What metformin does is lower the insulin production levels. By doing so, it solves many of the side problems associated with diabetes.
However, if your body doesn’t produce much insulin, this drug can cause your blood sugar to drop. If this happens, such an imbalance can also cause negative reactions in the body and have negative effects on your health. This is why you need to first check with a doctor whether it is safe for your body, based on your insulin and blood sugar levels, to take metformin weight loss pills if you don’t have diabetes.
If it is, then you will indeed have a weaker appetite and won’t feel hungry as frequently as before. This can help you reduce the food you eat. If your main reason for gaining a lot of weight is overeating, then this medication can help address the main problem. However, it won’t bring about full weight loss, so you still need to combine it with lifestyle and diet changes or increased physical activity.
2. Effects on food absorption
Studies on metformin also show that the medication works by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates from the food you eat. Recently, a study conducted on metformin and carbohydrate-based diet plans showed that women who combined these two lost 10% of the weight in under a year and that majority of them were able to maintain their new weight for years afterwards.
But since carbohydrate is also essential to the body, there are some concerns about inhibiting its absorption too much. After all, your body still needs some carbohydrates to function properly. Again, you can consider metformin to lose weight but only if a doctor thinks your body can handle this particular effect on carbohydrates.
There is the same effect on the absorption of vitamin B12. And any doctor will tell you that insufficient supply of vitamin B12 can put your health at risk since this vitamin plays a role in the proper functioning of cells and in the synthesis of DNA. So this is definitely something to consider as your weight loss efforts might end up harming your body instead of improving it.
3. Other positive and negative effects
There is a long list of benefits promised by metformin. Weight loss would likely be placed at the bottom of the list, if the benefits will be arranged based on importance. Weight loss is simply a side effect of what it can do. Other more significant effects that can be considered as positive, aside from its benefits for diabetic patients, include regulation of menstrual cycle, improved fertility, reduced risk of miscarriage, and improved chance of successful vitro fertilization.
There are also some effects that may be considered as negative. First, a certain percentage of patients who take metformin normally experience general fatigue and body pain or weakness, so as a weight loss pill taken for the sake of looking good, it doesn’t necessarily deem safe. Second, metformin has also been linked to gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and vomiting.
Is Metformin as a Weight Loss Pill Good or Bad?
So the question remains about whether metformin is a good or bad weight loss pill. Metformin can be very effective in helping you lose a significant amount of weight, especially in heavy overeating problems and also in obese cases. However, this has to be taken only with strict monitoring by a doctor or nutritionist. You should also have tests done first to see if your body is healthy enough to handle all the possible effects of metformin.
Some of the side effects usually occur during the first couple of weeks of medication, and you and your doctor or nutritionist can decide whether to continue the medication. The medication should also be taken based on a strict schedule and should not be taken in excessive dosages. You have to be patient so you won’t be tempted to take more of the drug than you ought to. In patients who want to lose weight, the effects of metformin can take as long as 5 weeks before being obvious. There are also some drugs that may cause harmful reactions when taken together with metformin, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you take before going on a metformin weight loss treatment.