Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Metformin Misstep

Metformin sucks. For those of you who have never heard of this medication, you'll just have to take my word for it. It's a diabetes medication that reduces blood sugar levels. I don't have diabetes, but with the Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome, I am insulin resistant. Metformin is prescribed for a lot of women with PCOS to manage blood sugar levels. Researching up on it, I know that it has some amazing benefits for dealing with the symptoms of PCOS. The problem is, as I said earlier, Metformin SUCKS.

I was first prescribed it by my regular general doctor a few years ago. She put me on 250 mg a day and it made me so sick, I was miserable for weeks. Almost 3 months, honestly. Then, she bumped it up to 500 mg a day and the hell started all over again. You can imagine my shock and dread when I went to see the doctor at the fertility clinic and he prescribed 2,000 mg a day of Glumetza, which is another, nongeneric form of Metformin. I almost died. 2,000 mg? You've got to be kidding me!

If you just google "Metformin side-effects", you would probably get pages and pages about what this drug does to your body. It's extremely unpleasant. I'm about to get a little graphic, so if you get disgusted easily, just skip over the next part, haha. Here's what metformin does to me. First of all, it gives me a terrible stomach ache. It puts me in a constant state of feeling nauseated. I have only thrown up a few times, but it's just miserable feeling like I could throw up at any moment. Then, there's the diarrhea. Literally, I have had days where I cannot leave the house because I'm on the toilet all day. It's disgusting and miserable and totally steals my dignity. I get awful headaches, have to drink a ton of water to stay hydrated, and am pretty much miserable all day every day.

Now, even after saying all that, I will admit that it does get better. After a few months, it gets better. At least until I eat a few bites of sugar. Then, it all starts over again. All it takes is a single cookie or even too much ketchup and I'm in the bathroom for hours with awful stomach cramps and misery.

So, after going through months of getting used to it, why would someone ever stop taking it? I have no idea, but that's exactly what I did. Multiple times. It seems like every time I get through the worst of it and start to get used to it, I just stop taking it. It's like a part of me just gets so tired of not being able to eat anything I want and not knowing when I'm going to wake up feeling awful. I just can't take it anymore and I rebel. I stop taking it. I binge on sweets and fried foods. Then, I reach a point where I know I have to start taking it again and the hell starts all over.

A couple months ago, I went home to Georgia. I knew we were going to the beach and I wanted to be able to eat when we went to dinner. I wanted to drink and have fun. So I stopped taking the Metformin and haven't taken it since. I don't know why, but food is a huge part of my happiness. It's so hard for me to live without it. I know that sounds awful and shallow, but it's the honest truth. On the other hand, taking the metformin means a healthier body. It means a better chance of getting pregnant, and more importantly, it greatly reduces the chance of miscarriage in women with PCOS. It's a medicine I HAVE to be on. Plain and simple. I'm just not looking forward to going through the side-effects all over again.

I know this has been a total whiny post today, but I just needed to get this off my chest. I wish there was some other way to get healthy besides taking this drug, but I trust my doctor and he firmly believes I need to be on it. I'm planning to start back tomorrow with 1,000 mg a day for a few weeks until (hopefully), my stomach starts to get used to it again. Then, I'll go back up to the 2,000 mgs and stay on it until I'm 12 weeks pregnant. I can only hope that in the end, it makes a real difference.


  1. Ah yes... the lovely side effects of metformin.
    I've been on it for hmm.. I dunno how long and it still gives me diarrhea. THANKFULLY not all the time like it used to, but I still get it maybe once or twice a week. It's not nearly as bad as it used to be. Just like yourself where I couldn't go anywhere and had to endure public restrooms often.
    Sigh, the things we put our bodies through...

  2. THanks for commenting Lisa! I think that's my first ever comment on this blog, so it's awesome to know I'm not alone. Sucks about the metformin, doesn't it? Ugh. This time, though, I'm vowing to get on it and stay on it. No cheating! Hopefully it will get better. Thanks again for commenting.