4 Natural Alternatives to Metformin
If you struggle with controlling your blood sugars, I am sure your doctor has told you that you need to be on Metformin, a prescription drug used to control high blood sugars. If you are diabetic this is the first-line of treatment given. Many doctors are even prescribing this as a treatment option for women with PCOS.
While Metformin can be a lifesaver for many, it comes with many unpleasant side effects. These can include:
- stomach upset,
- joint pain,
- a metallic taste in the mouth, and
- a rare and serious complication called lactic acidosis.
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.
There are natural alternatives to Metformin 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.
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 helps with insulin-signaling in the body so there isn’t a build-up of insulin in the body. Ovasitol is the only one has the 40:1 combination that has proven to be successful.
Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum trees. 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.
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. 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.
Now you have four different natural options 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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