Metformin: worth it? and what to expect
Hello all. I got my Doctor to give me a prescription for Metformin. I have read about its possible age-reversing effects, but I have also read about some possible significant side effects, including GI problems like nausea and diarrhea, stomach pains or damage, and muscle weakness. I have a friend who is Type I diabetic, and he hated the drug. What is everyone's thoughts? Is there a better anti-aging drug to try? Against this, what benefits could I expect? I'm not particularly overweight, though I'd love to lose some more belly fat (who wouldn't!?).
For me it was a surprise benefit that I'm much more 'in control' after a meal now. Example; the other day I ate lunch which consisted of a raw cabbage salad with tomato dressing, a lentil soup and banana. Healthy stuff, but still after lunch my energy rather crashed, until I realized I forgot to take my Metformin. It appears to be regulating my energy so much better with regards to meals.
LifeExtension has a protocol for starting it (250mg/1 wk, 500 next, 1000 next, then 1500) which worked for me - no side effects.
I've been experimenting with metformin for about 4 weeks now. I usually take 500 mg, once per day. It seems to reliably make me less hungry. But other than that, I haven't noticed any effects. I haven't seen any weight loss yet.
I tried taking a second, 500 mg tablet in a day (so 1,000 mg total), and I was nauseous for the next 16 hours, and woke up the next morning with a headache. I'm not sure what that was about. I may try it again after a while, but I'm taking my time.
I've been taking it for years (for anti-cancer, not diabetic purposes) and honestly can't attribute any symptoms to it apart from occasional low blood sugar episodes, but that's probably exacerbated by my low-carb diet. Conversely, I can't proclaim observable benefits – I take it as a hedge based on what studies have shown.
By the way, if you travel internationally enough, you can come back with a number of months' worth of supplies cheaply and without a prescription. Countries like Costa Rica and Portugal don't require one.
I take 500mg of the ER two times a day (1gm total). There are some studies on the NIH website that show the ER is more effective for heath extension bio markers over the standard release version. I started the first month on just 500 ER before I doubled the dose, and I noticed I had a significant amount of gas when I first started and when I upped the dose, but my body adjusted after a week or two and I don’t have any side effects now. Also, my pharmacy mixed up the prescription once and gave me the standard release instead of the ER, which I had to take for 2 days before I got it fixed and I noticed it immediately caused me to have a lot of gas, so i think the ER is a lot easier on the GI system.
I havent noticed any effects of taking metformin, I haven’t lost any weight, and even though I’m not diabetic I do check my fasting glucose level 1-2 times a week and I haven’t noticed any change in my fasting glucose level either. However, the studies and data of people taking metformin long term are very compelling for overall reduction in cancer, heart disease, and all cause mortality. Considering it’s so cheap, $5 cash price at most pharmacies (and free with good insurance), it seems like a safe and cost effective bet.
For those who asked about ways to get it without a prescription, it seems far easier to call around and find a local Dr. who is up on the current research, my own family Dr. refused to write me a prescription, but a few phone calls and I found a Dr. who “gets it” and was taking it himself. I’m always wary of drugs manufactured in China and India, which is what you’ll get over the counter in foreign countries, but this stuff is so cheap I feel better getting it from a US pharmacy and verifying it was manufactured in the US.
I have taken 1000mg/day of Metformin on and off, mostly on, for 13 years or so. Currently off as I wanted to find a lifestyle to maintain optimal glucose without medication, and will likely start again soon to see what happens when combining that with Metformin again.
I do experience some side effects to the GI in the first weeks of restarting it. They are however mild and I can still work and have fun. For me, very high carb or high fat meals provoke the GI issues with Met, but I also have more of an appetite for fresh, crisp foods like salad when starting. I'd recommend moderation with fat and carbs in the first weeks and with alcohol in general. I prefer taking my dose with my first meal.
I do notice some weight loss with Metformin, especially in the beginning when I had insulin resistance and weight loss was otherwise extemely difficult. My guess is that weight loss depends not only on the amount of body fat when starting but also on the initial glucose levels. What amount of excess weight are you carrying primarily due to insulin resistance?
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FDA will not regulate it, not enough money in it.
Better than any pills
I’ve been taking 850 mg metformin 2x per day for 5 years now. Not diabetic, took after diagnosis of prostate cancer at age 62. Doctors said PC was too low grade to treat so I researched and settled on metformin.
5 years later feel great. I had been treated for Ulcerative Colitis for a decade and now no longer have symptoms and am off meds for that.
my PC has not progressed either.