Can I request Metformin?

Why we all seem to carry it all around the waist...

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Can I request Metformin?

Postby madmalteaser » Fri May 28, 2010 3:17 pm

After reading a lot of information on here about the use of Metformin with PCOS and (hopefully) aiding weight loss, I want to broach the subject with my gynae when I see him next month.

Since being diagnosed with PCOS my weight has gone up and up and I have struggled to lose any of it. When I first changed jobs from a sedentary office job to a more active outdoors job I lost about 1 1/2 stone but this has now plateaued and I don't seem to be getting anywhere.

I've been on a variety of different diets, I'm seeing a dietician (who hasn't put me on a specific diet but has basically re-iterated the healthy eating plan) and am currently meeting with a group every 2 weeks (again, telling me stuff I already know) and so far nothing, no weight loss at all. My gynae seems to think that most of my problems are down to my weight (the painful periods, hairiness etc) and wanted me to lose 10% of my weight by the time I see him in June. It just hasn't happened and I don't know what else to do. Hence why I want to give Metformin a try.

So, am I within my rights to ask to be put on Metformin? Any tips about what I should be asking, any other information I might need to get from him etc?
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Postby wanderlustlost » Fri May 28, 2010 3:33 pm

I first asked my doctor to put me on Metformin. He asked me a series of questions about my eating habits and what symptoms I was experiencing but he didn't have any problems prescribing it.

Some doctors get weird if you suggest treatment to them. I find those people very hard to deal with though.

For me my consultant agreed Metformin could help because I was always lethargic, I was having hypoglycemic-like symptoms a few hours after each meal, I was putting on a lot of weight, I was always hungry even if I'd just eaten, I craved starchy foods in huge quantities but I felt very unwell if I ate too much sugar or starch.

Talk to your doctor about how you're feeling and tell him you're unhappy with your symptoms.

Are you on any other medication for PCOS? I was already on Dianette at the time for a few months when I asked for Metformin so the Dr. was able to look at the progress I'd made while on Dianette and was able to decide that Metformin could help with the symptoms the Dianette wasn't alleviating.

That said it's different for every woman with PCOS. Still though, if you don't feel your doctor is listening to you there is nothing stopping you from fighting for it. I don't know the figures but don't most women with PCOS benefit from Metformin in one form/dosage or another?

When I first sought treatment here in the UK for PCOS after moving from America (where I had been diagnosed and had started treatment) my GP was adamant that I didn't have PCOS. He said I knew nothing about it and that I should stop reading books because they put ideas into my head. This is despite CLASSIC symptoms. He eventually ordered tests after I nagged him enough but he ordered the wrong tests and then proceeded to tell me he was right and I didn't have PCOS! I demanded a second opinion and was referred to my current consultant at a North London hospital. He laughed at the GP for not listening to me and told me that I was right to fight my corner. He said that patients know a lot more about their own bodies than some docs give them credit for. He had the right tests done and sent the results (positive of course) to my GP with a letter.

If you feel you aren't getting the care you need you do have a right to fight for it!
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Postby madmalteaser » Fri May 28, 2010 3:48 pm

It's not that I don't feel I'm being given the care I need (although over the years that has certainly been the case a lot of the time), but simply dieting and exercise are not helping me lose weight which says to me that something has to give.

Years ago now I was seeing an endochrinologist and he had talked about putting me on Metformin but it never happened. I know I need to lose weight, I've been well aware of that fact since I was 19 and I have tried so many different things on my own and can say, with some confidence, it's not working!!! That's why I'd like to see if it Metformin will help. I'm not saying it will help, it may not be as good for me as it has for other people, but I would like the opportunity to try.

I'm currently on Mercilon contraceptive pill (won't put me back on Dianette because of a long distant history of migraines) and Cyproterone Acetate to aid the facial hair, which doesn't seem to have as much effect as when I first started taking it. I also take a variety of painkillers for painful AF as well as Tranexamic Acid for very heavy AF. To date, most of these are not working. My gynae seems to think losing weight will solve all these problems, so some help losing weight would be appreciated!
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Postby wanderlustlost » Fri May 28, 2010 3:59 pm

I am not a doctor so I can't say for sure...but it does sound to me like Metformin was worth a shot.
Nothing I did to shift my weight worked at all until I was on Metformin and then it seemed like while it was still a struggle it did make it easier.

I think you're right though...something does have to give. I never found that regular low-calorie diets and exercise worked for me before I went on Metformin.

I do the low-GI thing and that combined with medication seems to be helping but it's still a struggle.

I guess there's no magic bullet and it's a lot of trial and error.

I brought up the stuff about not receiving the care you need because I've had experience where doctors got offended when I made suggestions! Like "I've done all this school and you're only a typing monkey for the local council so I'm cleverer and no you CAN'T have that drug/treatment/referral cos I know better than you!"

Good luck with your doctor...I hope it goes well! :)
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Postby madmalteaser » Fri May 28, 2010 4:02 pm

Heheheh thanks. Well I do have a little something hidden under my hat if the doc goes down that route. I'll tell them I'm also in training as a Student Paramedic, so not entirely stupid and ignorant either!!! That usually shuts my GP up when I remind him of my job and it's the only thing that shuts the nurse up whenever I go for a pill check and she tuts at my blood pressure (white coat syndrome!).
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Postby Annoldie » Fri May 28, 2010 4:28 pm

Hi, you could ask your GP to check you out for Insulin Resistance - they should really do that before prescribing Metformin anyway. If you do have IR then treatment with Metformin might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes later - along with losing weight. Ann
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Postby madmalteaser » Fri May 28, 2010 4:39 pm

To date my GP has been most unhelpful so I'm more inclined to ask my gynae. My GP didn't even want to refer me back to a gynae even with all the problems I was having and actually told me, in reference to the amount of pain I was experiencing, that I would just have to "put up with it".

So I think I'll ask the gynae....
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Postby wanderlustlost » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:31 pm

Definitely ask the gynae...

And Annoldie- Shouldn't they be testing PCOS-ers for insulin resistance as a matter of course?
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Postby Annoldie » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:39 pm

Well I'm not sure about that one, there are a few pros and cons. Have a look at what Doobycat says on the Medications thread.
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