Does metformin cause weight loss?

Does metformin cause weight loss?
Does metformin cause weight loss?

Metformin is not a weight loss drug, but researchers have found a link between the drug and weight loss. A long-term study published in the journal Diabetes Care conducted by the Diabetes Prevention Program concluded that the drug could act as a treatment for body weight gain, although more studies are needed.


What is metformin? How does it work?

Why does metformin cause weight loss?

Is weight loss possible using metformin?

Can people without diabetes take metformin?

What is metformin? How does it work?

Metformin is the first-line drug in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and it works primarily by decreasing the amount of glucose released by the liver.

It also helps a hormone called insulin work better by helping your muscles use glucose more efficiently.

When insulin works better and insulin sensitivity improves  a person’s insulin levels are lower than they would otherwise.

There is no cure for type 2 diabetes, but the right combination of medications and a healthy lifestyle can stabilize blood sugar levels, which is of course the ultimate goal of any diabetes treatment.

Because the drug helps your body properly metabolize glucose from the breakdown of food and restores your ability to respond to insulin, not only will you feel better, but you can also avoid complications of high blood sugar, such as heart disease, kidney and nerve damage, and eye damage.

Why does metformin cause weight loss?

The relationship between metformin and weight is unclear, but several theories offer possible explanations for weight fluctuations. Reduced hunger is a documented side effect of metformin, according to the Mayo Clinic.

For example, metformin may affect hunger signals.

In one small study, 12 obese women with type 2 diabetes who were not randomly taking insulin were given two dose levels of metformin, 850 mg or 1,700 mg, or a placebo three times a day for three days, with Ca participating.

Participants received a meal test on the third day and assessed their hunger level before eating.

The researchers found that the metformin group's hunger levels were significantly lower, especially after the participants took the 1,700 mg dose compared to when they took the lower dose of metformin or a placebo.

If you are taking metformin, it may not seem like you are eating less with this medicine.

But the number of calories you currently consume at breakfast, lunch and dinner may be less than you normally eat.

This slight change in appetite may be responsible for the gradual decrease in weight.

Is weight loss possible using metformin?

Although metformin can help you shed pounds, the amount you lose may be much less than expected. On average, weight loss after one year of taking the drug is just 6 pounds, according to the Diabetes Care Study.

So while metformin is often given to people with high insulin levels who find it difficult to lose weight, it is not a miracle weight loss solution.

In other words, don't expect a drastic change in weight if you eat excessively and lead a serene life.

You should follow a reasonable weight loss plan with healthy eating and physical activity to see any significant change in weight.

If someone is not following healthy habits, taking metformin will not lead to weight loss, she says.

It is important to eat a healthy diet low in refined sugars and carbohydrates if you are prone to high insulin levels so that the maximum benefit is obtained from the medication.

Keep in mind that although the number on the scale may decrease while you are taking this medication, this weight loss may be temporary.

You can regain the weight once you stop taking the medication and your appetite returns to normal, hence the importance of sticking to a healthy lifestyle.

If you're considering taking metformin with a weight loss medication, ask your doctor for recommendations. This combination can help you lose and maintain extra weight, although there is little clinical trial data to support this claim.

Can people without diabetes take metformin?

A review published in December 2018 in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology examining the effectiveness of metformin for weight loss in overweight and obese people without diabetes concluded that the drug can significantly reduce BMI in both adolescents and adults.

But because this drug is only available by prescription and is not approved for weight loss by the Federal Drug Administration, your doctor will likely first recommend some of these traditional weight loss strategies:

  • Avoid sugary drinks.
  • Drink water before meals to fill your stomach so you eat less.
  • Exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week.
  • Prepare whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and grains.
  • Reduce your intake of processed foods.
  • Eat a high-protein, low-carb, low-fat diet.

If you do not have type 2 diabetes, your doctor may approve this medication if you are obese and are struggling to lose weight.

But again, metformin is not a substitute for healthy eating and regular exercise, which are key to sustainable weight loss.

These habits also encourage weight loss if you have type 2 diabetes but cannot take metformin.

For patients with diabetes who cannot take metformin due to chronic kidney disease or other concerns, diet and lifestyle modifications will remain of paramount importance whether or not they are prescribed alternative medications.

Controlling carbohydrate intake, increasing physical activity, and managing stress is the cornerstone to better glycemic control.

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