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Old 09-14-2009, 07:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lansing, MI
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Default Metformin and High Cholesterol

Hi there I was just diagnosed last week as having PCOS and I have an appointment with my gyno to discuss possible treatment plans this week. I'm one of those people who has high cholesterol, although whether it's only from the PCOS or also from a family history of it.

What I was wondering was this: does Metformin have the ability to reverse the high cholesterol caused by PCOS, or does it only address the IR and ovulation issues? Has anyone here had the high cholesterol problem as well? What did you do to control it?
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:20 AM   #2
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Location: New Brunswick, Canada
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Yes it can!

Insulin Resistance often creates elevated insulin levels in your body. This extra insulin is not being used in the cells, and is "floating around", causing trouble! Elevated insulin levels trigger the ovaries to get out of balance in their hormone production, triggering many of the PCOS symptoms. Excess insulin is also directly connected to high blood pressure and triglycerides (cholesterol). Because there's a genetic link to the tendency to get IR (and therefore elevated insulin levels), it could very well be that the members of your family who have high cholesterol might also have IR (perhaps hidden).

Metformin helps your body use insulin more effectively, therefore reducing the extra that's "floating around", which then helps to improve PCOS symptoms, including high cholesterol levels. It's a good way to tackle the underlying issue that's behind everything (the IR), especially when combined with a low-GI-type diet and exercise.

My endocrinologist has also recommended taking fish oil capsules, and even said they were just as effective as some medications at improving cholesterol levels. Increasing the fibre in your diet can help, too, epecially soluble fibre, like in oats. Just beware of some of those packets of instant oatmeal! They can be so chock-full of added sugars and everything is so processed, it can be just as bad as a "sugar-cereal"!

Take care, and HTH!!!
Registered Massage Therapist
2200-hour program in Canada
Focus on women's health and managing chronic health issues

DS (1992)
Diagnosed PCOS 1994
Cannot tolerate BCP
No treatment for 12 years
Now, Metformin 1,500 mg/day, Fish Oil, D3, good multi
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:21 PM   #3
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Location: Lansing, MI
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Wow, thank you for that useful bit of information! I'm really happy to hear that these things may all be connected, because at 23 having my cholesterol as elevated as it is... it's quite shocking and disconcerting!

I saw my gyno again today and asked him about referring me to an endocrinologist, and he thankfully wasn't offended by the question. He's hopefully going to get me going with that in about a week or so, so I'll finally be able to see someone who specializes in this sort of thing My gyno was pretty much ready to prescribe me the XR version of Metformin just by me mentioning it, but I really wanted to talk to an endo first to see what he thinks in relation to me personally. I'm hoping he'll clear me as well and I can give it a go!

Thanks again for the help!
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