Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Community
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Avatar universal

Weight loss and PCOS?

Is there any way medication which people with pcos can take to help them with weight loss?  What i have read suggests that the only way to control it is through diet and exercise.  I'm asking because my friend who has recently been told that it is likely she may have PCOS goes running for an hour a day and never eats heavily but still manages to put on weight easily.  e.g last week she put on over a stone despite exercising and eating well everyday.  There isn't a lot more she can do to control her weight even if the PCOS s confirmed (is curently waiting a scan).

Btw, she has been seeing her doctors for years now about her struggle to lose any weight and also has irregular periods, some acne and problems with regular bad stomachs/tiredness.

Any help much apprecated as she's very depressed about it.
9 Responses
Avatar universal
Metformin and also with the help of diet will help to decrease weight. I take Metformin 500mg 2x a day and at one point lost 60 lbs....due to stress and family problems I have put 15 lbs back on over the last 6 months or so. But if you continue to eat right and take this drug with moderate working out, the weight will drop and stay off.
Avatar universal
With all due respect Msniki412, Metformin"glucophage" is not always the answer and nor does it always help. The question is why did an otherwise healthy women get pcos? and why if she already eats healthy and exercizes normally should she need a medication like glucophage for border line insuline resistance/insuline resistance aka diabetes? why would a healthy woman who like i said before eats well,excersizes routinely be subject to pcos in the first place? "They don't know what causes PCOS" funny how they always seem to know just how to treat what they dont know the cause of! they treat the symptoms and not the root cause and thats the issue. they are not trying to find a cure. why when treatments are so profidable? look the best advice for your friend is to educate herself as much as possible on pcos and related topics so that she can make the best informed decision for herself. initially she will probably want to go the rout that the dr's set for her wich will be glucophage"metformin" to help neutralize the excess testosterone produced by the cysts,birth controll for hormone stability and to regulate her menstrual cycles, diet and excersize to maintain health, controll her insuline levels and ultimately to loose weight because "remember obesity is the number one cause of diabetes and factors into pcos." and not the otherway around! and just in case you could'nt tell the last few sentences I was being sarcastic. Look the gods honest truth this may work for her but she may end up like the thousands of women out there that have tried all of the above and more with no sucess only worsening symptoms and infertility. she should try alt methods and see if she gets anywhere with that. below I am going to paste a reply to a string on this web forum that I posted re another girl with pcos.Please if you have any comments or input please let me know all suggestions are welcomed.

Hello All,  I am a 24yo healthy female with the exception of this "PCOS" I was diagnosed some time ago and since then I have been on a series of birth control; all forms i.e...the patch,nuva-ring,depo-provera, and just about every pill you can think of. Not only did they not work but they caused the worst side effects and I am not allergic to anything. I have been controlling my diet for some time now watching my carb intake and was on glucophage for a while with no results. I have irregular periods sometimes a year on and a year off and extremely they are usually heavy and painful. I have hirsutism"abnormal,male like hair growth" which is so embarrasing and of course fertility issues.I have been steadily packing on the weight for a few years now and cannot loose for the life of me. my tsh,t3,t4 always come back in normal range. Since iam no longer on birth controll i have elevated testosterone levels. I have done excersize programs and yes its good and all but it's not painless to cary around 220 lbs! The doctors all they say is loose weight and that pcos while linked to obesity is not the cause. I do not beleive that at all. however their solution is always birth control,diet,glucophage(metformin) and good luck"if you loose the weight your symptoms will subside and your risk of type 2 diabetes will be gone and as for fertility well... come back when you are serious about getting pregnant and we will dicuss some pills that will help with that ok...we will cross that bridge when we get there." does anybody elese see anything wrong with this picture? i have been to so many doctors and np's and it's always the same.  I have spent hours upon hours online doing research and have not found much. Not only am I a sufferer of pcos but I have also been in the med feild for years and am studiying to be a doctor and it just does'nt add up!  this is becoming an epidemic people! everywhere I look there is some one either with pcos or talking about it or knows someone who suffers from it. So hear this I have found many bariateric patients that have had significant weight loss with pcos have not been cured or even shown greatly improved symptoms and most definately not shown any improvement in the fertility department; not to say that their are not some but the majority dont show a significant change. Now with that being said I myself am considering bariatric aka weight loss surgery but as a tool to help me loose the weight that I have been unable to loose on my own but this is not even a cure not by a long shot However,  it is something to consider. Now for every one that is reading this, think about this, what is causing the pcos? is it the chemicals in our food or in the water? is it our life styles? do so many women of different ages cultural backgrounds,health histories, and basic demographics really have so much in common as to indicate that weight is the main common factor and diet the solution?when so many women including my self report never having "serious" weight issues untill after the onset of the pcos.
no one knows! so educate your selves and try to make the most informed decisions for yourselves if what your doctors are saying does not make sense call them on it and dont stop looking for a cure ladies I know I won't.
please forgive all of the misspellings and grammatical errors
Avatar universal
Ok....I'm not going to go fully into this whole thing. But my question to you is, if Metformin and birth control pills...if they are working for some ladies with the help of losing the weight and reversing the side affects of pcos...why is it bad for us to take those drugs??? I'm sorry you are having a really hard time with your pcos, I am not a doctor so I don't have ebery answer for you. But we are all different. I was lucky enough to find a REALLY good doctor, who has helped me so much. Thanks to his words, I have lost weight...not as much as I want, but that is no fault of his. Yes I do take Metformin everyday for now almost 3 years, 2x a day and yes I'm on birth control (for protection, more then anything)...but it's working! And to me thats all that counts. My symptoms are going away, and I feel 100% better then I did before I started treatment.

And niamh2739, I answered what the poster wanted. They asked if there were any drugs that will help...and so I said yes. Her friend is putting weight on easily...so there has to be some type of insulin resistance going on...in which case she would need Metformin to help with that.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the replies. She has also gained another few lbs in the last few days and is experiencing bad stomach pains.   In all her weight has risen by 33lbs in a matter of weeks.

I don't know why the cause matters if she can't help it.  I'm sure that she just wants something that can help and put a stop to this.  The exercise and very low calorie diet (with very few carbs) is not helping at all.

Unfortunately no diagnosis has been made at the moment as she is waiting for a scan (we are in the UK and waiting lists are long).  It could be months before diagnosis happens and then the same time again for a treatment plan (if one is given apart from the usual exercise and diet) and there is no guarantee that her weight won't keep going up.

Is there anything she could do or try in the meantime? Any other advice will be very appreciated.
Avatar universal
Make sure her Thyroid gets checked. Putting that much weight on is a serious problem, and it could be something else then PCOS.
489000 tn?1364305827
Here is my background:  

I had to go to a RE to get help.  I got pg after ttc for a year and a half.  I have PCOS.

My RE and GYN didn't want me on metaformin since both said it may or may not help. My blood glucose levels were always fine.  The ultrasound showed that I had pcos.  

I had to take provera to start my af since i wasn't ov at all and so I wasn't getting a true period that wou.ld make my uterine lining shed.  I had 3 rounds of iui with injections and clomid.  I felt so "balanced" on those meds.

Currently, I don't take any meds for pcos.  I am working out mainly as a means to "control" my pcos.  I was advised that losing even 10% of my weight would be one of the best things I could do for myself. I also try to eat healthier and take more charge of my health than I have lately.

Your friend may want to try charting her cycles.  I found charting to be so enlightening even if it wasn't the easiet routine to embrace.  The book I absolutely recommened for anyone woman to read is "Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health" by Toni Weschler.  It is like an owner's manual for a woman's body.  The author isn't very keen on white coat medicine but if you take her with a grain a salt, she imparts very important information whether you are ttc or having any other issues.

Tell your friend I hope she finds out what is going on.  Not knowing is very hard. I also agree that she should have her thyroid checked. That was one of the things I was checked for, too.

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