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Metformin- too thin

Discussion in 'PCOS Community' started by joan, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. joan

    joan Guest

    Hello everyone,

    Does anyone have experience with being underweight, insulin resist. and having PCOS. One doctor reports that my body weight is too low to produce enough estrogen and the other states that I can't gain weight or will worsen my insulin problem. Please any thin PCOS people who have this problem, please help. Addtionnally, will metfromin cause me to loose more weight? Will it help with my hairloss? My sugar levels are all over the place right now and I am scared.
  2. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    I have PCOS
    I am 28, 5.6 and 105 lbs (thinner, 100lbs, when not treated weirdly enough)...to some doctor this is considered underweight but for me it's the right weight.

    Your weight has nothing to do with your ability to produce estrogens, this is big BS, unless you have an eating disorder, if your normal weight is low it's good if it's YOUR weight.

    Plus PCOS usually are estrogen dominant.
  3. joan

    joan Guest

    I am 5'8 and 119 lbs. My GTT shows that my insulin levels sky rocket after drinking glucose. In addition, my levels have been high after eating most anything. Are you IR?
  4. joan

    joan Guest

    oh - and my estrogen is low - in range but at the near bottom all of a sudden. this PCOS actaully came on all of a sudden as did my IR. I have been under a lot of stress from loosing my hair and such but I didn't know you could progress so quickly.
  5. How do you get someone to accuractely test you for IR? and cortisol levels for that matter. I just had a blood test and they didn't even ask what I'd eaten or care what time of the day it was. :crazy:
  6. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    Yeah I am surprised about that insulin test to, usually docs tell you unless you are diabetic already or have real symptoms of IR, IR tests are not reliable and you have to stay at the hospital for a couple of days i think for that?

    Maybe other ladies can confirm?

    I know I am prolly IR, because my dad is and i started to develop severe Acanthosis negrican before starting my treatment.

    As for the estrogen things I am rather on the higher range...it's not comment for women to run low on estrogens these days, even men store more estrogens than they should!
    Usually it's the production of progesterone that is impaired by PCOS.
    Do you or did you have your periods? estrogens are a big part of the red flow, if you know what I mean!
  7. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    Ok i found an interesting article that discusses 2 different patterns of PCOS:

    irregular or no period, low estrogens
    vs sometimes regular, or frequent heavy periods "high" estrogens (my case...all of a sudden at 23 i had these long heavy exhausting periods...and of course anemia)

    you might wanna check it up

  8. GoddessJoyce

    GoddessJoyce Guest

    Today most docs do not do insulin levels. They use a test called a1c hemoglobin levels. This is the amount of glucose attached to your hemoglobin over the past 3months. A level greater than 6.1 is considered IR.
    I hope this helps
  9. kimm

    kimm Guest

    When I started Metformin, I was still not testing as insulin resistant and was definitely not overweight.

    I've been on it several years and in my case it HAS helped my hormones (lowering testosterone) and also has not effected my weight one way or another. I should note that I'm on an extended release version that is easier on my stomach so that probably would be one reason why it hasn't contributed to any loss of weight.

    I feel like a drug pusher here because I'm always posting my positive experience on this medication here. I realize that not everyone will have the same reaction, but I did want to put it out there since pcos seems even harder to get proper treatment with when you are of a normal or lower weight.
  10. Hi Kimm!

    I think I may have already asked you this so I apologize if I'm repeating myself! But how did you know you were PCOS if you didn't test IR and you're thin etc? I don't really trust the hormone tests because I'm on BC so that would suppress the "real" results... but I'm not willing to go off the BC just to get tested because every time I mess up my BC -- even just for a couple of weeks - I get a horrible TE that takes forever to rebound from. I'm going through one now.
  11. kimm

    kimm Guest

    I had signs of high androgens for a while, but they weren't showing up in tests.

    It wasn't until I went on a high androgen bcp by accident, that my hair shot off my head and when I panicked and got another blood test, it showed my testosterone as being off the chart!

    Since then, mine usually tests within range, but the mid to upper part of that range isn't good for ME. So I actually have to argue with new doctors about this sometimes. The original diagnosis seemed to help and after my second child I finally got an internal ultrasound of my ovaries and it showed that I have the pcos "cysts".

    My sister and mom also have it. My sister is super thin, but had lots of trouble conceiving two of her three kids. My mom didn't seem to have trouble conceiving and was never actually diagnosed, but she has severe thinning and is also extremely overweight, so I'm guessing I inherited it from her.

    If you do a search on my posts, I talk about some of what I went through these last couple years it's a loooot of reading though. I'm pretty chatty! :)
  12. Thanks for the info, I do remember reading some of your older posts back when I first joined the boards and I remember being very encouraged by the fact you had gotten your thinning/shedding under control! The same thing happened to me when I went on a high androgen pill -- hair just started pouring off my head. But I guess that could be Androgenetic Alopecia also if all that means is sensitive to T. Agh. I wish there was an answer! I have no idea what to take/do.
  13. joan

    joan Guest

    Hi everyone,

    sorry it has been a while since I posted and missed all of your responses. I have been very very very depressed and have really high anxiety, so life has been hard for me lately. I can not believe that i got PCOS at the late age of 40. I don't understand. I never had any problems before this and now all of sudden I have a ton.

    I still have my periods monthly, although they are much lighter now. My estrogen has fallen throughout this journey over the past year because I have lost 30 pounds (not even trying) and am now underweight. I think it has been from stress and not getting enough calories per day.

    Anyway, I have peach fuzz on my face. hands, arms - I have never had this before. I was also developing dark hairs on my face, stomach, thighs - again - never a problem before. I have also lost about 70 -80 percent of my hair.

    My hormones levels are strange and I can't find a doctor to really pinpoint what is going on. When all this first started it appeared that everything was in balance - my estrogen/test/DHEAS. However, after tons of tests it was discovered that my androstiendione was a bit high, my cortisol was high in my urine, and my testosterone and DHEAS levels mid cycle go up. My DHEAS actually went above normal ranges and my T went up to 55 from a 35. My free T has gone up too - this may be from my weightloss, I don't know.

    Anyway, I have been told that I have IR because my insulin levels skyrocket during the GTT. They take my insulin levels at the start and at 1 hour and 2 hours. My levels go from a 9 - 93- 144 just to keep my sugar down. However, no one is really doing anything with this as I am so thin. Perhaps I shouldn't do anything. But my suagr does goes high sometimes as I test it at home now.

    I have been told to take birthcontrol but worry about this due to my age. In addition, I have been told that once you go off the pill the symptoms come back worse. I am scared to start BC because my depression and anxiety are already bad. In addition, if this makes me gain weight or loose more hair, or break out, etc - I would not want to stay on it. I don't know what to do. I am so scared and don't feel like myself anymore. I don't feel like I look good and my emotions are a mess. Additionally, I can't focus on anything anymore. I feel like my life has been taken away from me in a very brief period of time.

    I am on 50mg spironlactone. It helps with the darker hair but I think the white hair has gotten worse and I don't know if it is making my hairloss worse. It raises your cortisol, so I don't know....

    If anyone has any stories to share - especially about metformin, BC and being too thin with low estrogen- I am all ears. I need someone to talk too. No one understands how hard this can be.. Thanks
  14. aries

    aries Guest

    I have been told to take birth control but worry about this due to my age. In addition, I have been told that once you go off the pill the symptoms come back worse.

    Since coming off the pill, my hair has been destroyed. I understand not knowing what to do. I'm 45 and was told by one doctor to go back on birth control, but another doctor said NO! I have two Grandmother's that died of stroke and I suffer from migraines and high blood pressure. Even though I know birth control will help me, I just don't want to take the risk. I washed my hair today and just cried. I have lost a good 60% of the already thin hair I had after coming off the pill. I would say a total of 70% all together. I don't even feel female anymore. By the way, running into my kids friends and being 45 with acne, is crazy. Their skin is better than mine :dunno:
  15. Kristi

    Kristi Guest

    I am in the same boat as Aries. I was much better when I was on the pill. My PCOS revealed itself after going off the pill two years ago. I know the pill would help me as well, but I am scared to do it. I also have high blood pressure and I have poor circulation from my diabetes and sleep apnea. I have been slowly losing weight and will evaluate again once I reach my desired weight if I think it would be safe or not. I am 39 with acne also. My poor 13 year old daughter has severe acne (even for her age), so I am worried that she may have PCOS as well.

    I also believe that I showed signs of PCOS when I was younger and really thin. I had the acne and episodes of low blood sugar. I just never realized back then that there was an actual condition that was causing this. My fasting insulin level was 126.2 (September 2010) and the normal range is under 25, so my IR is pretty severe. I am now diabetic as well. I take the extended release version of Metformin also and I did lose a little weight initially, but mostly I think it helps me keep the weight off. I try to eat a low carb diet now as well. I can say that I believe I have some teeny tiny new growth coming in, but I also had a very minor TE after being on the Metformin for 3 months, so mostly I think it is regrowth from that. My RE is going to check my fasting insulin levels again soon and may increase my dosage. Currently I take 1500 mg ER each night with dinner.
  16. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    Your high cortisol level tells me that something else than PCOS might be going on...you should explore that route.

    I find it crazy that no doctor can give you a proper treatment...PCOS is usually easy to treat (at leat for symptoms like unwanted hair, irregular periods and acne, hair loss is a bit trickier).

    If you have pcos and nothing else (IR as being part of PCOS) than you have options: birth control and/or spironolactone and/or metformin

    You should also change your diet and replace white rice/pasta by whole grains...
  17. Chickadee

    Chickadee Guest

    I agree with Dying Curls: the high cortisol could mean that something else is going on here. (The peach fuzz is a tell-tale sign.) Please be aware, also, that high cortisol can negatively affect the thyroid even when lab results appear normal.

    Truly, I would get a second opinion re: the PCOS. Given your age, you're likely perimenopausal, and clearly you're estrogen deficient. If you have no contraindications, and your doctor has recommended oral contraceptives, there's really no need to be fearful of taking OCs. Indeed, you need estrogen, but supplementing with HRT at your age will be tricky (b/c hormone production is very erratic during the perimenopausal years). If you decide that Ocs really aren't for you, you could try estrogen supplementation (such as Estrogel or Vivelle patch) during the week of your period. Ask your doctor about this.
  18. joan

    joan Guest

    Thanks for responding everyone. I have been to several doctors - all with various opinions....you hve nothing wrong with you, your skin is sensitive to androgens, you have PCOS and insulin resistance, you have depression. I don't know what the heck they think - one person says one things than another one says another. I have polycysitic ovaries which I believe just occurred. GREAT! anyway - this thing hit me like a ton of bricks.

    My cortisol was looked into. They also did a dex. test where they give you a steroid to see if it lowers your levels. It did so they stop looking into it. However, my anxiety is so severe i can hardly function anymore. One doctor mentioned late onset CAH but then others say I don't have it. My hydorprogesterone is lsightly high and my dheas has gone high. So, I don't know. What I do know is that I am loosing a lot of hair. I did not know people lost hair this fast - one year and WOW - it is so depressing. Additionally, my body hair has gotten long everwehere. Not dark everywhere but long. it is so strange. I HATE THIS. I really wish we would all get well, grow our scalp hair back and be happy. Does anyone else struggle with anxiety and depression now?
  19. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    you either have late onset of Congenital adrenal hyperplaisa or pcos,
    given your symptoms and such you def have something and need a treatment if you want to get rid of / improve your symptoms.

    You have to understand that hormone fluctuate even in healthy people (however for those they stay in the normal range), anything above the normal range is something to examine.

    You maybe have suffered from pcos or CAD all your life (it's genetic) but had a mild form until now, maybe becaus eyou were on birth control ect...

    I know that for late onset of CAD birth control usually dont do much, whereas antiandrogenic birth control usually improves birth control (maybe not hair loss, but your skin will def improve on birth control within days, same for fatigue headache ans maybe unwanted hair),spironolactone works well too in the case of pcos and sometimes isn't of any use in late onset of CAD (this is another type of treatment)...

    my cousin has late onset of CAD, they first thought she had pcos was treated for pcos without success and tried treatment for late onset of cad and it worked, yet they werent sure how to start at first.

    unless you are against any kind of pharmaceutical therapy, i advise you to try spironolactone and birth control asap if you want to help your hair/skin/etc...then you will run tests again and those tests will show if it works or not and you ll be able to see what treatment is best for you.
    Dont wait another six months.
  20. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    oh yeah and depression does not cause hair loss but is often caused by it...so of course you're gonna be depressed if you have hair loss duh!

    docs are really genius sometimes....

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