Recently diagnosed and confused about insulin resistance

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

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Recently diagnosed and confused about insulin resistance

Postby fannyanna » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:56 pm

Well as the title says I have recently been diagnosed with PCOS (although not officially tested). This all stemmed from a visit to the Docs as Hubby and I are trying for a baby but I hadn't had a period for 8 months.

Anyway the doc prescribed me Metformin and I had a period within the first week of being on the tablets. My period was due again on Friday but I'm still waiting. Sorry if that was TMI.

Anyway I have a couple of questions....

Firstly I don't quite undertand how medication aimed at treating diabetes can help to regulate cycles???

The other thing I don't quite understand is the actual insulin resistance. Does this mean I don't produce any? Produce too much? Produce it but it doesn't work?

Also does insulin resistance or PCOS cause fatigue? I feel tired a lot of the time and whilst I'm sure my weight does not help I have always suffered from this (and not always been so heavy). I've been to the Doc in the past about this and have always been dismissed (as I was with feeling faint and jittery) and am now wondering whether this is linked to the PCOS.

I'd be really grateful for any advice x
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Postby Hols969 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:41 pm

Faint and shakey could be insulin resistance. We are at an increased risk of becoming diabetic though. I think you produce too much insulin - my mum is diabetic (Im adopted tho) and it make me laugh when sometimes because she feels unwell if she didnt inject in time, she has a choc bar instead.

I also think there are 2 different types of tests there can be done, one is not eating from 8pm the night before and having a blood test the next morning and there is another where you are tested and then you have some sort of sugary drink and tested again an hour later as this shows how your body deals with sugar (Im sure it has a name but Im not sure what it is) - this is the better one of the two but rarely done by a GP.

There is no medical evidence in the UK that metformin does help pcos ladies and our Verity experts think it is given out a bit too freely and should only be given out for diabetes patients, saying that tho there are ladies who have lost weight on it which has helped to regulate their periods. There are other ladies who have not lost weight and has regulated their periods as well so there are differing opinions as to if it really helps.
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Postby fannyanna » Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:59 pm

Thanks for your response.

For me the Metformin has definately helped with my periods. I hadn't had one for at least 8 months. Started taking Metformin and 4 days later I had a period. Had a slightly longer cycle than I should have (33 days rather than 28) and then got another period again. This is pretty amazing for me and unless it's just a huge coincidence I believe it's down to the Metformin :-)
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Postby TinaD » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:48 pm

Hi, i was diagnosed with Insulin Resistance 2yrs ago and approx PCOS 10yrs ago.

Like Holly said, there are two tests for IR the ordinary fasting blood test and the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. The OGTT is another fasting blood test, but they also give you a sugary drink and test you again to see how you react to the glucose.

I had the ordinary fasting blood test for several years with symptoms, but the gps kept saying the tests were normal, but I continued to feel unwell.

After joining Verity and learning about the OGGT I had this test done which confirmed IR and showed up impaired fasting glycaemia, impaired glucose tolerance and reactive hypoglycaemia. Bit confusing as the dizziness and shakiness can happen with any of them, so its hard to know without checking blood sugar levels. You do have to fight for the test as the gps don't always offer it.

I have found that following the advice from Verity has been the best thing to improve the symptoms of PCOS and IR, especially following a low GL/GI diet and increasing exercise and other lifestyle changes. There is lots of information from Verity who are so supportive and the discussion board is great to ask questions and share experiences.

The fatigue is a problem for me too, but I still can't make up my mind if it is the PCOS or the IR. When the fatigue passes I am actually quite active, it doesn't make sense.

Good luck and let us know how you get on and any tips re:fatigue you find along the way would be great.

All the best
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Postby Titch2004 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:28 pm

Hi Fannyanna -

I hope you;re feeling a bit better now. I have had PCOS and IR for 5 years now. My Mum and my Sister are both suffers. My aunt also has it but won't admit it and go and see the dr for help.

PCOS and IR are interlinked syndromes. They don't know whether PCOS causes IR or IR causes PCOS. The increased insulin levels caused by IR inhibits your hormones. This in turn can alter your hormine cycle as it is based on negative feedback. I am a firm believer the Metformin can help all PCOS ladies as by regulating your insulin you can regulate your hormines thus regulating your cycle. This is also helped massively by diet. By eating at the right times and the right foods you can stabilise your insulin.

The way my RE described how metformin works it is as follows -
imagine all the cells in your body are closed and locked and need a key to open them to let the energy from your blood in.
The insulin produced is the key to oen these locks but in people with IR and PCOS the lock is the wrong shape so the insulin key can't open the lock to let the energy in. This causes your blood sugar to rise and it just contines to rise as does your insulin production.
The Met sensitises the cells and changes the shape of the lock to allow the insulin to open the cells and let the energy in.
By doing this the fall in the levels of insulin which were inhibitiong correct production of hormones allows your body to start working better again.

I hope this simplified version helps.

I have lost 3.5 stone now on a low GI diet and Metformin.

Good luck xxx
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