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Paleo and Metformin for PCOS not unheard of?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 19, 2013 at 3:15 AM

Hi there! On my journey with PCOS that's going on 11 years, I've been on combo birth control and aldactone, lapsed into being untreated for 7 years and went back to being on medicine after going to the ER more than I should've for cysts. I was put on 1000mg of metformin and combo birth control which was increased to 2000mg in August after switching docs for the third time. I had a lapse in taking it again and gained 20 lbs to put me at 190 lbs as of New Year's day. I started eating clean after that, as well as working out... I lost 5 pounds but haven't lost any more. I've more or less maintained, with the edema, fatigue, headaches and acne appearing. I started back on the metformin this past week at my current dosage, but eating gluten and select dairy makes me feel sick and eating more than 30g of fruit sugar does the same. It's high time I go Paleo.

With all that being said, is it not unheard of to be on metformin and be Paleo?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 03, 2013
at 08:07 AM

NAC is likely a better option.

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6 Answers

1
16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

on April 03, 2013
at 12:16 AM

If you take Metformin (as I did, and did terribly on it since I eat very low carb, and now regret) you should look into the fact that it depletes B vitamins which is serious.

I would rather mess with vitamin supplements like calcium d-glucarate and passion flower extract than take Metformin again personally.

Do your research and if your body feels sick on it, listen to it and stop. Medicine shouldn't cause you to feel ill.

One example: ADA: Deficiency in Vitamin B12 with Metformin Linked to Neuropathy

1
3e5dc94a5dbb0c3b05ef311c85f3e8bc

(10)

on April 02, 2013
at 10:51 PM

Metformin works very well with a paleo diet. I have been on metformin for diabetes for a couple of years but found that prior to paleo my blood glucose levels were always spiking. I also have hypothyroid problems which caused my metabolism to slow down so I put on a huge amount of weight eating a standard diet. Since going paleo on my food habits, especially cutting out refined and processed food, gluten and going lower carb I have no more raised blood sugar levels. I get higher levels of energy and no stomach upsets or sickness. I also have a cyst which has shrunk and causes no bother since taking metformin. Metformin is not a medication to take with dairy or sit around on for too long due to potential build up of lactic acid in the blood stream and muscles. Prior to paleo eating and a good exercise plan I was constantly getting pains in the backs of the legs, arms and gut due to high thicker blood sugars causing lack of oxygen in the blood stream and way too much gluten. I get none of those problems now except if I ate, example, cow milk Yoghurt with other lactic carriers and a plate of something full of sugar and grain. When Metformin is combined with a non refined very low or non dairy diet, low carb, low or no gluten diet, it works extremely well, both for reduction in blood glucose and helping to control PCOs and other hormone induced cysts. I take the extended release version and have lost over 30 lbs in weight but only since changing my eating habits and have way more energy for exercise than I ever did in my teens which was a long time ago.

1
F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on March 19, 2013
at 06:37 AM

Not unheard of....

http://robbwolf.com/2012/03/09/paleo-diet-inflammation-metformin/

http://primaltoad.com/pcos/

http://primaltoad.com/pcos/

I think Primal / Paleo has a lot of benefits to offer. I think the bulk of these benefits come from the increased protein and not so much the "low carb" component of Paleo but from the "slow carb" nature of the parts of the Paleo diet. Slow carb keeps your blood sugar & insulin response from getting out of hand.

The elimination of "fast carbs" is key. The refined carbs of bread, pasta, wheat, grains, sugar, potatoes are the culprits. My wife suffered greatly from a debilitating auto-immune issue. Her MD (a strong alternative medicine type) insisted she give up... bread, wheat, eggs, dairy. She lived on wild salmon, spinach & supplements & fish oil. It took MANY months but she recovered her health & energy. This was nearly 7 years ago.

It took me over 6 years to make the correlation between her Dr's "no refined carbs" / "no allergens" and the overall beneficial results of a "slow carb" / Paleo diet.

Refined carbs are the problem. Lose the wheat, dairy, sugar & fruit. :(

Cheers. Good luck.

1
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on March 19, 2013
at 06:33 AM

I'm paleo and on Met. They are not mutually exclusive. People like me with PCOS may have significant metabolic impairment, and diet is not always enough.

I'm VLC at this time, too, but my metabolism is pretty resistant after years of damage from poor diet. In any case, I feel awesome on VLC paleo and Met is helping, too.

0
705e66484ed64fe8e188123de398413e

on April 02, 2013
at 07:27 PM

After hearing the way Robb Wolf was talking about Metformin in his presentation at PaleoFX, I want to take some myself. Sounds like a good drug for protecting from metabolic damage caused by modern diets.

Similar slides are up here: http://www.slideshare.net/ancestralhealth/ahs-2012

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 03, 2013
at 08:07 AM

NAC is likely a better option.

0
1f83546ea1d503575f562e7146fe7709

(78)

on March 19, 2013
at 01:19 PM

I'm new to Paleo but not to low carb. I started Metformin XR 750mg once per day with my main meal around three weeks ago in an attempt to improve my (self diagnosed) insulin resistance and fatigue. For me it has had an incredible effect on my appetite (it's effectively gone) and I can see I'm losing fat really quite quickly. The scales show a weight decrease also of around 1kg a week. I don't pay attention to that normally but I've had a few medical appointments recently and here they weigh you EVERY time!

From what I read it seems Metformin could be a very useful drug in improving insulin related problems so while it may not be Paleo it seems a pretty useful tool that's relatively safe for many people. I read quite a lot before starting, including the articles on the LEF website, and that convinced me. I was wary of medication as I don't take anything else but I needed something where all my diet and lifestyle changes didn't seem to be enough.

For what it's worth I'm taking the extended release version and have had none of the gastro problems that people often complain about with the regular version.

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