4 Natural Alternatives to Metformin
A common PCOS symptom is high blood sugar and insulin resistance.
The popular prescription drug metformin, a potent drug used to control high blood sugars and as a first line of defense for diabetes, is usually the the recommended treatment for PCOS.
But is metformin the best PCOS treatment option?
If you struggle with controlling your blood sugars, I am sure your doctor has told you that you need to be on metformin. But before you fill that RX, you should become educated on your options.
While metformin can be a lifesaver for many, it comes with many unpleasant side effects.
These can include:
a metallic taste in the mouth, and
a rare and serious complication called lactic acidosis.
*It is also important to mention that metformin causes a B12 deficiency. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause cognitive impairment, nerve problems, and anemia. The body needs B12 for neurological functioning and to make red blood cells and DNA.
If you are using metformin or are going to be taking it, make sure you are taking a B12 supplement as well and that your doctor is monitoring your levels.
If you doctor is not talking to about this, you need to advocate for yourself and tell them that you want them to screen you for B12 deficiencies while you are on the medication.
It is important to weigh the pros and cons when deciding on starting a new medication and to determine if the benefits outweigh the risks. Personally, I always like to try natural methods first and then move to prescriptions if all else fails.
Most women do not like being on metformin because of the intense gastrointestinal effects. They can interfere with your everyday activities. And that’s no fun!
If you are looking to explore natural alternatives to metformin, you have come to the right place. There are supplements that have been proven to show positive results without the harsh side effects.
Here are four natural alternatives that you should research and discuss with your healthcare provider.
Berberine is an herbal supplement that is a yellow-colored alkaloid compound.
It is found in several plants including barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric.
Berberine has been found to be a natural remedy for treating diabetes and insulin resistance. It lowers blood glucose levels, increases insulin sensitivity, and slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates.
Studies have shown that berberine is as effective as Metformin in controlling blood sugar levels.
In fact in this study, it lowered fasting blood sugar by 20%, from 7.0 to 5.6 mmol/L (126 to 101 mg/dL).
Researchers looked at 14 major studies and concluded that berberine is as effective as oral diabetes drugs, including metformin, glipizide and rosiglitazone.
Berberine can be just as effective as prescription drugs.
There are even some other potential benefits from using berberine including weight loss, it reduces cholestrol and triglyceride levels which can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Berberine is a very strong supplement and when you are using it you should be closely monitored.
If you have a medical condition or are on any medications, then it is recommended that you speak to your doctor before using berberine.
Inositol is a member of the B-vitamins.
There are nine types of inositol but the types you want to know about are myo and d-chiro inositol.
When they are used in a 40:1 ratio of myo to d-chiro they are effective in reducing insulin resistance, improving egg quality, and restoring ovulation.
Inositol works by helping with insulin-signaling in the body. Inositol helps the cells take in glucose from the blood. You don’t want excess glucose to be hanging around in the blood. This leads to insulin resistance and eventually diabetes if not properly addressed.
When compared to metformin, studies show that myo + d-chiro inositol yielded significantly better results in weight reduction, resumption of spontaneous ovulation, and spontaneous pregnancy compared with metformin in polycystic ovarian patients.
Ovasitol is the only one has the 40:1 combination that has proven to be successful. For a discount on Ovasitol use the Provider Referral Code (PRC) 206109. This is the best price available, anywhere!
The benefits of Ovasitol for PCOS:
regulates menstrual cycle
improves the way the body uses insulin
improves egg quality
support normal lipid levels
reduces the risk of gestational diabetes
decreases testosterone level
promotes regular ovulation
Ovasitol is the only independently tested and certified inositol supplement. Ovasitol has been verified for content accuracy and purity through NSF International, a not-for-profit organization that is the world leader in standards development and product certification for public health and safety.
Ovasitol is a unflavored powder that can be mixed into any hot or cold beverage. You usually take it twice a day with food. The best time to take it would be in the morning with breakfast and in the evening with dinner.
It will take about 3 months of consistent use to start seeing the benefits. It is sold as 90-day supply. So you be able to determine if you are seeing results after one purchase of it.
I currently am using Ovasitol. It is super convenient to take and it offers so many benefits. I find that I have much more energy, I am not craving sweets as much, and my skin is clear. I have not had an side effects while taking it, it is very gentle on the stomach. Overall, I think Ovasitol lives up to the hype.
Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum trees. It has been used as a form of medicine for thousands of years.
Cinnamon, specifically the type Ceylon, is found to lower fasting blood sugars by increasing insulin sensitivity and aiding insulin’s ability to move blood sugar into the cells.
Ceylon cinnamon also slows the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine which decreases blood sugar spikes after meals.
Ceylon cinnamon is the one you want to take because it has more antioxidants and has low amounts of coumarin in it. Cassia cinnamon, which is more commonly found in stores and homes, contains higher amounts of coumarin which can be toxic to the liver.
Yes, Ceylon is more expensive and harder to find but you don’t want to risk your health in hopes of saving a few dollars!
RELATED: 7 Best supplements for PCOS
4. N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
N-Acetyl Cysteine is an amino acid.
NAC increases the levels of glutathione which is the body’s major antioxidant. Antioxidants help repair and protect cells from damage. You want to reduce free radicals in the body.
NAC has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. This study compared Metformin to NAC in women with PCOS and found that they had comparable effects.
NAC does have an unpleasant smell, but you don’t taste it. So don’t worry if you order a bottle and it smells like rotten eggs (that is normal).
NAC is not recommend for individuals who are taking blood thinning medications or who have bleeding disorders because NAC can slow blood clotting.
Now you have four different natural alternatives to Metformin that you can try to lower your blood sugars. You can try them out and see which one works for you and produces the best results.
*Please note that you should talk with your doctor before stopping any current medications. You should also discuss taking these supplements and the proper dosage with your doctor. These supplements, while well-tolerated, can have side effects and you should be monitored.
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