For treating Type 2 diabetes, metformin is a top option. And it does its job quite well overall. But there is a lot to learn about metformin’s numerous benefits, potential adverse effects, and appropriate patient populations.
The ability of metformin to aid in weight loss is one of the medication’s hot button issues. Yes, in a certain way, is the answer.
Metformin is typically used to treat diabetes or prediabetes in those who are prescribed it. And treating these diseases frequently involves losing weight. For many people, lowering body weight and lowering blood glucose (sugar) levels simultaneously is desirable.
Does metformin aid in shedding pounds?
Yes. Metformin may help people lose weight. Additionally, it may result in a smaller waist. These important advantages of metformin have been uncovered through extensive research studies. But one thing to consider is how much weight people lose when taking metformin.
How much weight does metformin typically help you lose?
Everybody loses weight differently when taking metformin. However, there is enough information to give a broad picture.
The impact of metformin on weight loss has been the subject of numerous investigations. People lost an average of 4 to 5 pounds while taking it, according to the largest study conducted to far. Similar findings were found in another investigation. After 5 years, participants had dropped an average of just over 6 pounds. A greater amount of weight loss was recorded in a third, shorter-term research. It was discovered that those who used metformin for a little more than 6 months lost an average of 8 pounds.
On metformin’s actual contribution to weight loss, there is still some debate. Some people who take the drug don’t lose much weight at all. In fact, a lot of medical professionals think of metformin as a medicine that has a negligible chance of making you lose weight.
Losing weight and using additional diabetes drugs
Diabetes medications other than metformin can also help people lose weight. In fact, compared to other diabetic drugs such glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists like Ozempic (semaglutide), its effects on weight loss are lower. These drugs can aid in body weight loss of up to 15%.
How can metformin help people lose weight?
There are a number of reasons why metformin may aid in weight loss. These consist of:
reducing the amount of glucose your liver produces, hence reducing the amount of glucose that is turned into fat 2 month metformin weight loss results.
reducing your hunger by modifying specific digestive hormones
altering the gut microbiome, often known as the bacteria and viruses that live there
preventing some of the natural effects of aging, such as the propensity to retain more fat
Metformin stomach side effects including nausea, diarrhea, and bloating may also make you feel like eating less, which could have an impact on your body weight.
Can people without diabetes use metformin without any problems?
Sometimes. Not everyone can lose weight with metformin. Metformin is most effective for reducing body weight and waist size among non-diabetics who have obesity (a BMI of 30 or more). It’s possible that other overweight people won’t experience the same results.
Even though metformin offers a lot of potential advantages, it’s crucial to explore whether it’s right for you with your doctor. Metformin usage for weight loss without a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis is regarded as off-label. In other words, the FDA has not given its approval for this use of the drug.
Is using metformin to lose weight safe?
For people with Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, metformin is regarded as a safe medication. You might experience weight loss if you have either of these illnesses and use metformin to reduce blood glucose. If you combine metformin with a diabetes-friendly diet and consistent exercise, this is very likely to happen.
However, taking metformin alone for weight loss is not generally advised. There are other treatments that are probably more appropriate for usage as drugs for weight loss. You can get assistance from your doctor in determining whether metformin is a safe and effective weight-loss option for you.
The adverse effects of metformin should be aware of
Metformin has several side effects to be aware of, as with many drugs. Although hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a rare occurrence, it is known to induce a number of gut-related problems, including:
- uneasy stomach
These adverse effects could be avoided or reduced by taking metformin with food or switching to an extended-release (ER) formulation.
The action of metformin
Metformin lowers the amount of glucose the liver releases and improves the function of the insulin the body already produces, which lowers blood sugar levels.
Your chance of developing diabetes complications including heart disease, stroke, neuropathy, and even retinopathy significantly decreases as your body becomes more adept at metabolizing glucose.
Those who should not use metformin are?
Not everyone is a candidate for metformin. The kidneys are responsible for removing it from your body. It’s possible that you can’t take it if you have impaired renal function. While metformin itself has no effect on renal health, the medicine may not be effectively excreted from your system if you already have kidney issues. This may have further negative effects.
Additionally, metformin should not be taken by anyone with Type 1 diabetes or certain forms of liver issues. If you want to know if metformin is right for you, go to your doctor.
Two uncommon yet severe side effects of metformin use are lactic acidosis and low vitamin B12 levels. Although there have been reports of further long-term negative effects, it is unclear how likely they are to materialize. A few misconceptions about the impact of metformin on the liver, kidneys, and risk of cancer have also been dispelled.
Can someone who does not have diabetes take metformin for weight loss?
People who do not have diabetes but are nonetheless dealing with prediabetes or insulin resistance may occasionally be administered metformin. In these situations, lowering one’s insulin resistance would also result in weight loss.
If you believe you have increased insulin resistance or reduced insulin sensitivity, consult your doctor.
A doctor may prescribe metformin “off-label” (without FDA permission) for moderate weight loss if you do not have prediabetes or insulin resistance.
Fewer peer-reviewed research have examined the effectiveness of using metformin off-label, but many people have done so and reported success when doing so in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
When all things are taken into account, metformin can result in a minor amount of weight loss in people who regularly take the drug, even if the typical weight loss is only between 4 and 7 pounds per year.
Because of this, metformin is not categorized as a weight-loss treatment, but rather as a prescription therapy that aids in improving blood sugar control in those with insulin resistance.
If you are taking metformin, are overweight or obese, and want to lose weight in a healthy way, talk to your doctor about a diet and exercise routine that are right for you.
Ask your doctor if you can use metformin “off-label” if all you want it to do is help you lose weight.