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The Low Down on Metformin and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

So many women with PCOS are prescribed Metformin (an insulin-sensitizing drug) to manage their Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. And for good reason too. Metformin has been shown to improve many aspects of PCOS, including weight loss, fertility and improved testosterone levels (1). But, it also leads to Vitamin B12 deficiency if used at high doses or for long periods of time. So, here’s what you need to know about Metformin and Vitamin B12 deficiency with PCOS.

What is Metformin?

Metformin-and-Vit-B-deficiency-doctorAs I have already mentioned, Metformin is an insulin sensitizing drug that is often prescribed for women withPCOS. It works by decreasing absorption of glucose through the intestines, lowering the amount of glucose produced by the liver and making the body more sensitive to the insulin that is being produced.

The overall effect of Metformin use for PCOS is lowered testosterone levels, improved ovulation and fertility as well as a more regular menstrual cycle.

This is all sounding good, right? Well, it is good although there are some nasty side effects. A full discussion on Metformin is not going to be dealt with now, though. I really want to hone in on Metformin’s effect of Vitamin B12 levels as this could be affecting you right now.

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Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that is vital for the body’s functioning. It is important for red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA formation. If you are deficient in this important vitamin, it could lead to anaemia and neurological problems. (including memory loss – something that I have seen cropping up more often in PCOS communities). (2)

 

Metformin and Vitamin B12

Right, so this is where it gets interesting. Recent studies have shown that Metformin decreases Vitamin B12 levels, particularly when used long-term and when taken at high doses. Women with PCOS do tend to take Metformin at high doses for a long period of time and are therefore at risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency.

So, if you are taking Metformin, you may be tempted to start taking a Vitamin B12 supplement. Not so fast, though. Metformin lowers Vitamin B12 absorbency because it alters a Calcium-based reaction that allows the body to absorb the vitamin.

So, Calcium supplementation is what you are after, not Vitamin B12 (3).

Calcium

Metformin-and-Vit-B-deficiency-calciumOkay, so now we know we need more Calcium to counteract the Vitamin B12 deficiency caused by Metformin. Before you rush off to stock up on milk and cheese, remember that Dairy is a no-no for women with PCOS. So, where does that leave us? Well, you can get calcium from other dietary sources, or you can take a calcium supplement.

Dietary sources of Calcium

There are so many sources of calcium, apart from dairy. Here is a great table from the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

The thing is though, research suggests you should be taking about 1200mg per day of Calcium to combat the Vitamin B12 deficiency (4). It is going to be difficult to source that amount of Calcium from your diet alone. So, I would recommend taking a Calcium supplement.

Calcium Supplementation

This seems to be quite a controversial subject at the moment but the research does suggest supplementation. So, with that in mind, I would recommend taking a slow release Calcium Citrate as calcium citrate seems to have less side effects than calcium carbonate.

Apart from this Vitamin B12 Deficiency, there are other reasons you may want to reconsider taking Metformin for PCOS.

Summing it Up

So, to sum it up, if you are taking high doses of Metformin to manage your PCOS or have been taking it for a long time, you may be at risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency. You can combat this by taking a Calcium supplement to increase Vitamin B12 absorption. However, before you do start taking any supplements, please speak with your doctor first!

Are you taking Metformin? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with it in general! Leave me a comment below!

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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

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116 Responses

116 Responses

  1. I am taking metformin for almost 2 years and yes I am experiencing memory lose and I dont like it.

  2. Hi I’ve been on metformin now for 2 months. I take a low dose of 500mg once daily. The only side effect that I have from it is constipation …I’ve tried fiber one bars which help a little. It’s really getting aggravating,my doctor recommended stool softeners but I don’t think it will help.

    1. Chia seeds work wonders. I went gluten free and started having problems. Add them to your water, oatmeal, smoothie. But they help clean you out.

    2. Its weird you should say that because when I take it I have increased bowel movements. Sometimes it’s almost as if I have diarrhea which is why I stop. I’ve been gaining way too much weight so I’m going to pay my doc a visit and get a new prescription

      1. Hi leshea!

        My mother had the same problem and switched to slow release metformin and then was fine. Would talk to your doctor about switching

  3. Just wanted to add another side effect of Metformin is tingling in the feet. I’ve heard Berberine shows promise over taking Metformin. It would be something to research and consider if the side effects of Metformin are too negative.

    1. I had tingling/numbness in the bottom of my feet and in my hands. My B12 was low and my blood sugar was high. I figure it was either one of those. I did supplement with B12 and backed off the metformin and cut back on carbs and that feeling went away. Hope this helps x

  4. Hi,
    I was diagnosed with pcos when I was 15,at this time I saw a specialist and managed to lose alot of weight so I was very much diet controlled. My weight has fluctuated over the years and I put more on than ever a yesr and and half ago due to stress- this is when my doctor put me on metformin.

    I has terrible stomach issues taking it so I would skip doses, my doctor changed me over to extended release and I have finally managed to lose 10kg in about 6 months. I haven’t had any memory issues but find I get lots of bruises easily. My periods have been very regular for the past 3 months except they are still extremely painful. I also tend to get more migranes the 3 days after my period. I have been taking 1500mg a day.

  5. I’m Diane from the Philippines, i have PCOS at the age of 26 and i gain a lot, went to a 4 ob-gyne and the last doctor that i went to she prescribe me to take Althea pills, Orlistat(Lesofat), and a Metformin (humamet) 500mg twice a day.. Yes i was losing weight from 170lbs. Im down to 160lbs. Now..

  6. Hi All was diagnosed with pcos age 19 now I’m 26. Started taking metaformin last week I’m for sure feeling the side effects lite head and constant sickness in stomach. Also same time thyroid tablets (probably isn’t helping side effects). One thing would like to know my doctor didn’t say if I’m meant to continue the pill or not?

    1. I take 1500 mg a day and I struggled for years with stomach issues from metformin. Ive taken it on and off since I was 8 years old I’m now 23 and have consistently been taking it for over a year now. Don’t give up it has helped me so much I went from no period to actually having a regular one and feel so much better. My best advice is to cut out white carbs and ask your doctor if you can take your full daily dose at night right before bed I do and it has worked wonders for me!!

  7. I’ve been taking Metformin for about 4 months and recently had the dosage upped…at first the transition wasn’t so bad but the side effects have kicked in. I’ve always dealt with low energy levels but my memory is declining. I have been taking a calcium supplement (although now I might double my intake after reading this). I also try to take a B12 supplement to help. I’m still noticing memory loss and low energy, especially after the new dosage, but not as bad as it first was (I used to take 3-4 hr naps midday…thank goodness for a part-time job).

  8. Hello, i was diagnosed with pcos Nov 2015 but ive always wondered why i had bad mood swings even from the past.i went to see a doctor when suddenly my period wouldnt stop for almost a month,they did the ultra sound and saw my pearls,yes pcos it is.while i was having heavy period for a month my hair also started falling out more than usual so now my long hair is now short.im taking metformin 3 times a day and it makes me want to vomit,ruins my wntire day coz i feel crappy and dizzy. Im also taking calcium supplement and vit b12 prescribed by my dr. She makes me take all 3 everyday for 6 months.but i feel like nothing is improving,im not overweight but have high cholesterol.

    1. Im from Philippines and having pcos here is not fun. Theres no support group and almost nobody knows what it is except for the doctors & nurses,medical people. I feel alone & im afraid it could get worse in time.

    2. Hi Kim. My sister-in-law is getting relief from her PCOS with some natural products called Plexus. I was not familiar with PCOS before my sister-in-law having it. It effects so many different areas of the body!!! I have endometriosis. I feel lucky though as it has not given me not near as many of the issues like you and others with PCOS have. I just thought I would mention something else that might be worth giving a try. I wish the best!

    3. I also take metformin, and have been for about 8 years now. It made me sick for years, so we finally switched me to the extended release and it is MUCH better. I’m now up to 2000mg a day and have no side effects now. Hope this helps!

  9. I recently read a suggestion that Magnesium is a good alternative to Metformin. Is there research to support this claim?

    1. I’ve done a lot of research on this too but it’s all pretty inconclusive so I take both. I actually take a supplement I put in water its called Natural Vitality Magnesium. It helps reduce inflammation and bloat. My thought process with this has been where one is lacking the other one will compensate and I’ve seen some pretty impressive results so far in my symptoms along with everything else that I’m doing.

  10. HI! I was recently diagnosed with PCOS. My Dr put me on metformin and I could feel it working already. The only issue I am having is I feel foggy headed, and tired like a crazy amount. I can sleep for 9-10 hours, wake up like I barely slept. Then during the day my head is cloudy and I am just oh so tired. Everything else is good, no tummy troubles, and weight is coming off. Is there anything .i
    can do to belt with this fatigue? It’s brutal!

    1. The fatigue is from the b12 deficiency associated with metformin. Supplement with calcium citrate to increase absorption.

  11. After being on Metformin for 11 years, I am definitely experiencing this to the point of bi-weekly b12 injections. Thanks for sharing this inarticulate information!

  12. I am taking Metformin for last 5 months. I want to get pregnant. My menstrual cycle is getting normal since last two months. Can anyone tell me how long does it take to get pregnant with Metformin? It would be very helpful as I am little bit concerned regarding my pregnancy.

    1. I have been on it for 8 months now. It is helping me to have regular periods but still no baby. It all depends on how your hormone levels are doing. Mine were better my last blood test. I get them every 3 months. That is more to do with my recent weight loss compared with taking Metformin. As this blog suggests addressing other ways to deal with PCOS would be better than taking over the counter meds if possible.

    2. Metformin by itself won’t get you pregnant. I have been on metformin since 2011, and I went on clomid in order to get my little girl. We have now been on clomid for over a year trying for one more baby. I take 850 mil. Of metformin a day, and I’m up to 200 mil. A day for 5 days of clomid every month.

    3. I was on metformin for 17mos dropped 20lb conceived my son. I was on metformin for 10 mos. took one month of Clomid with it dropped 15lbs conceived my daughter.

  13. What if you aren’t taking metformin? Should you go for calcium or vitamin b12? I’m confused. Please clear it for me. Thank you!

    1. If you aren’t taking Metformin, the it’s kind of a moot topic for you. If you test your b12 and it’s low, then you have low b12 and would take what is needed to increase that [whether it be b12 injections from doctor or supplement form, depending what your doctor says].

      Calcium is only mentioned because Metformin absorbs up the b12…in other words, taking b12 wouldn’t work. Since you do not take Met, most of this article doesn’t pertain to you in that regard.

  14. I have been sharing these articles so two other women can view them. Both have PCOS. Thankfully with Metformin and Clomid usage, my daughter had two beautiful sons who just make my heart smile.

  15. What is considered long-term use? I’ve been on metformin since January this year and my doctor has mentioned any sort of end date.
    Also, what is considered a “high” dose of metformin?
    Thank you

    1. There are different doses of it. I was originally on a 500 mg pill 3x a day but moved to an 800 mg pill 2x a day. There is also a one time a day pill that is time released. So it depends on the dosage per day I would say.

    2. The max dosage recommended by any doctor in the US is is 2000mg daily. Or 2 – 1000 MG tabs (one pill twice daily). I have read about DR’s prescriping 2500mg in rare extreme cases where 2000mg was ineffective. My Dr won’t prescribe me anything higher than 2000mg. It takes time to see results and for your testosterone levels to recede because that’s the main goal of using Metformin. Everyone is different. End dates are subjective. Metformin isn’t really a temporary treatment for insulin resistance/high testosterine in women with PCOS. You’d need to get your hormones tested/blood levels checked again and talk to your DR about what the long term treatment goals are. You are your best advocate so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

    3. The max u can take is 1000.my four times a day.but that varies.being a nurse practitioner I found the more u stress with babies and try to conceive the worse.my coworker went threw off and after 2 years she had another without trying go figure hope this helps because I have been their and it is hard.all I can say to anyone if u want a child have one sooner than latter our twenties R the best forvur thirties. And fertility clinic and treatments R $$ so best of luck

  16. I’m not one to post, comment or grumble online but I feel compelled to say rude…Rude…RUDE! Tarryn has been posting useful, meaningful, and helpful information for those of us suffering with PCOS. Definitely NOT TOO LAZY to post everyday. *Yes, by the way, it is TOO!*

    Thank you Tarryn for not just posting BS daily to be popular on social media and Google. I’ve learned so much from you, much more than from any doctor I’ve been under the care of for PCOS. You are a blessing to us!

  17. Ugh, Metformin — I have a love/hate relationship with the drug. I have opposite side effects and cannot take it without a full dose of Miralax daily. If I don’t take it, my GI tract gets backed up so bad I nearly vomit.

    Also, I get extremely fatigued. When I first started taking it, I felt as though I was drunk and slept for 19 hours in one day! I can feel myself getting more fatigued even 1/2 after I take a dose.

    My A1C level is fine and my doctor isn’t sure I’m Insulin Resistant. What I’m wondering is if you’re not insulin resistant, and you take (as in my case) 1,500 mg of metformin / day, can you actually make yourself more fatigued?

    1. Sarah, what was the end result with your issue? I was put on Metformin a little after you posted this. Only,had tummy issues for the first few weeks. After a few weeks I had 2, 31 day cycles (before they were anywhere from 28 to 49 days. And I stopped getting sleepy after I ate! After the 2 short and consistent cycles I started a work out program, 30 minute a day, and decrease my sugar and carb intake (processed and natural) I could barely get through the workout (which wasn’t a problem doing it before the medication). My muscles just wouldnt cooperate. Anyway, after I started all of this my cycles were thrown off again, my exhausted became exponentially worse, as well as constipation, anxiety and overall sadness. Within 6 weeks I gained 12 lbs. I was taking vitamin b12 supplements as well as Vitamin D (didn’t realize the link to calcium until reading this article) I was wondering if maybe either I got use to the metformin dose and need it increased, or based on my sugar, calorie and carb intake my overall blood sugar was just too low. My Dr won’t give me a straight answer. Only said metformin doesn’t cause weight gain and tested my thyroid level, which all came back normal. I just don’t know what to do or think and no one will help me!

  18. Metformin has been horrible for me. The first 6 months I was throwing up everyday, sometimes more than one time a day. I would get very dizzy and that didn’t help with the vomiting. I would get hot flashes and would sweat horribly(this still happens to me but its not as bad as it was before). I was literally taking a shower in my sweat. I developed this random face rash when I get nervous that I never had before. I am extremely embarrassed by it because it happens at random times, mainly when I’m nervous, my cheeks develop this odd red rash on the sides of my face but then disappear after a while. I have been on Metformin for more than a year now and no hair growth yet, just a lot of side effect. Doctors told me to be patient and that after 6 months I would be okay, but its difficult when your suffering this much and do not see any results. My hair is still falling out badly, not really getting my menstrual cycle(can’t remember the last time, maybe 3-4 months ago?), upset stomach, side effects are all embarrassing and rough,started getting a migraines, etc.

    1. I have been taking Metformin for a little over a year. I was very sick and nausea and IBS was awful. I had my thyroid removed shortly after and side effects were worse and I would wake with kidney pain. Turned out I somehow missed that I was supposed to be supplementing vitamin D (2000 daily). Once I started doing that the nausea and kidney issues decreased dramatically. I still have some issues here or there but not as bad or often. If you haven’t already get your thyroid checked by a endocrinologist so they can check everything. It could make a huge difference. The hair falling out sounds like thyroid. Hope this helps

      1. Ive seen an endocrinologist and he said theres nothing I can do about the nausea. I started taking 1200 mg of calcium a day and it helped a little. I just don’t feel right or healthy(im in my early 20’s). I’ve also gone to a few doctors and they all said my thyroid was okay. I dont know why I am experiencing so much hair lose though. Its very scary. Perhaps I went too long without being properly treated? I have no idea. Have you had your kidneys checked? It sounds like you should.

    2. That’s interesting you mentioned the rash thing when nervous or stressed right? This has been happening to me too I’ve been on metformin since October so 3 months.. I never used to get these rashes on my chest before. Did you ever find out what this is and why it Happens? Is it a side effect of metformin?

  19. I have been on metformin for over a year now. At the initial stage it made me weak and made my saliva sweet. I now have painless flows and the heavy cloths i used to have prior to taking metformin has stopped. My flow is not regular yet but I am hopeful.

  20. Hi, I’ve been taking metformin now maybe about 2 months thankfully ive had no side affects. Can you recommend a brand for the calcium supplements?

  21. I am a Metformin user have been for the past 15years or so off and on but more on than off … numerous side effects, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea the list goes on.
    However it regularizes my period when I’m on it and suits me fine in a way I should say.

  22. thank you for your info guyz, hoping i will have the chance to get pregnant with PCOS, kindah frustrating but with your inspiring stories hopefully i will get pregnant soon.

  23. Hey Tarryn! Thanks for the useful information. Could you maybe share the source about where you got the information from? I would like to take a look at the scientific study about this 🙂 thanks!

  24. Please note that the body can absorb about 5oo units of calcium every two hours. Any more is wasted. You need to take calcium two hours apart.

  25. When I was first diagnoed with PCOS they prescribed Metformin, I began feeling very lethargic and my symptoms got worse. After running some tests the medicine was actually interfering with my liver function. My levels were extremely elevated and they took me off the medicine instantly and things returned to normal. There really is no quick fix for pcos unfortunately. 🙁

  26. Can any of you tell me if there is a benefit to taking Metaformin for weight issues related to PCOS? I am 45 and was diagnosed with PCOS at 30. I am very fortunate to have finally managed 2 successful pregnancies with IVF after many, many dreadful and dangerous years of trying, complete with hospitalization for life-threatening ovarian hyper-stimulation. (I feel for all of you who are in the middle of it!) I am now trying to combat a stubborn body that does not respond to usual efforts to keep weight under control. I do recognize – in the greater scheme of all things PCOS – this is a small issue compared with infertility. But, it would be nice to get some control over a body that has dictated its terms to to me, rather than the other way around, for the better part of my adult life!

    1. I was put on metformin for weight issues related to what at the time was just high testosterone caused by insulin resistance and vice versa. Then I found out I had PCOS a year later. My T levels are down and i’ve lost a good amount of weight. Basically it’s used to combat insulin resistance. The insulin resistance causes weight gain because it increases testosterone. Nasty side effects are extra hair in unsightly areas, weight gain around the middle and thighs as well as hair loss on the scalp. The idea is that the metformin and larger than normal muscle mass. This means that you could work out really hard but you’d gain more muscle and your body would hang onto the fat anyway. it’s a lose lose situation without the Metformin for some women. The metformin can help reduce the insulin resistance which then reduces the level of testosterone in the body and reduces some of the other symptoms associated with PCOS

    2. Yes I tried everything to loose weight and it would t budge! Started on metformin 3 a day and started loosing 1.5kgs a week…. now down 30kgs 😁

  27. I have PCOS. I was diagnosed back in 2004. I take 500mg of metformin three times a day. I just found out that my B12 is high876 pmol/L. I was taking B12 supplements as well as a multivitamin. I just stopped taking them today. I can find no information about having high B12 while on metformin. Are you aware of anything?

  28. I’ve had horrible gastro side effects with Metformin, even starting at very low doses and trying to build up to the regular daily dose. The more Metformin in my system, the sicker I get. I’ve just found out about transdermal Metformin, a version of Metformin that’s compounded into a cream and passes through the skin, therefore bypassing the gut, therefore no gastro side effects.

    Taryn, do you know anything about how effective or not this would be? All I know so far is that even though Metformin is a cheap drug (USA), topic Metformin seems like it’s pretty expensive. BUT DOES IT WORK?

  29. I have been restarted on metformin after having refused to take it due to the side effects. So far no luck, periods are still highly irregular, bleeding every other day for a week or two. Your info really helps and has inspired me to make changes I never would have thought of. Thank you.

    1. I took mine through my pregnancy. I was advised to since I’m insulin resistant. I think it was supposed to help with gestational diabetes (which I did not get praise the Lord)!

    2. I was told to continue Metformin until 12 weeks pregnant. I did this without any issue however my son was born weighing just 4lb 11oz. Completely healthy and gorgeous, just very small. I can’t help but wonder if this was something to do with the Metformin. I can’t find anything about it online so if you hear anything it would be helpful to know for if I get pregnant again.

      1. Hi Beth, I also took Metformin until 12 weeks pregnant. I don’t think that would be the reason for your son being only 4lb 11oz. My son was 9lb 8oz. and I didn’t have any pregnancy complications. So maybe your son was just little! 🙂

    3. I had read that you need to stop taking metformin when pregnant around 20 weeks so it doesn’t interfere with you glucose test, but I didn’t want to risk another miscarriage so kept taking until 30 weeks, and all was fine. Talk to your midwife

  30. I have taken Metformin as a pre treatment to IVF. Once getting a positive test I was told to stop the tablets and we ended up miscarrying at 10 weeks and then I was diagnosed as anemic. Was this a factor? It won’t be investigated as this was a first miscarriage. The supplements I was taking only had 170mg of Calcium. I have been prescribed the tablets again which I don’t seem to suffer side effects from except I suffer less migraines while on these tablets too. My current multivitamins have a slightly higher 240mg of Calcium. Your article will encourage me to find out more about adding additional calcium supplements as I’m still slightly anemic and about to take Metformin again. Thank you.

  31. I have been using metformin for 2 years not constantly, no side affects if I stay away from greasy foods. Has soon has I take them sore breast and in about a week or two periods but still no kids

  32. I am 40 and was diagnosed with pcos when I was 30. I started metformin in February 2004 along with a low carb diet and exercise. I was successfully pregnant in June 04. After having my daughter I stopped the metformin and exercise. 3 years later I started metformin/exercise again that January and pregnant again by June.

    1. Wow, that’s amazing. Did you do anything during your pregnancies to keep good health and avoid any complications??

  33. My daughter Sara has suffered for years with.PCOS but we never new mucn
    about this. Doctors never really told us the problems. Sara has just got married but her weight
    and moods have just got worse. I really want to help her but really do not know were to star.
    Every family member around her this year is having a baby and last year I her mum Theresa lost so.much weight on weightwatchers but Sara found it so hard. Please can you help.me to help her as this is my wish for this year. Thank you so much.

    Theresa.

    I would like to work so hard with Sara this year and also hope this will help others to.
    Thank you

    1. Metformin was a life saver for me. I took it as prescribed by my dr. As part of a new years resolution to get healthy, I started in January 2004 I exercised 3x per week and stayed on a low carb diet. My periods were immediately regular and I was pregnant my the end of June. My daughter is now 10 years old. I have 3 kids. Before metformin I didn’t think I could ever conceive. Good luck to your daughter.

      1. Sheila, do you feel that there could be long term effects with the Metformin? Since it is hard for our livers to process Rx drugs. I would like to know your thoughts?

      2. Sheila, do you ever worry about long term affects of Metformin? Like if it could be bad for your liver? Just wanting to know your thoughts on this… Do you take spironolactone too??

  34. Hi, I was diagnosed with PCOS about a month ago and I have been recommended by my doctor to start taking merformin but I am scared to try a pill that will make me fertile and possibly have negative side effects. I have only had 2 periods and am 22 years old and also have struggled with my weight for years. I’ve also recently became very lethargic and achy and was wondering if merformin helps with more than just regulating periods. Would it help with my weight loss and achy body? Thanks

    1. It helped me get pregnant. The best option with weight loss is a low carb diet. It will make you feel so much better too.

  35. I’ve definitely been experiencing this and had some bloodwork done recently showing low B-12. I started taking both b-12 and calcium and have noticed a difference in my energy. Its been very helpful. Thanks for the article! Super helpful.

    1. Hi, are you still taking metformin? Or did you stop that?
      Can you update me on how you’re feeling now? I am 17 and started taking metformin at 16. My hair started thinning and falling out, so I started taking b12 supplements and calcium…should I stop taking metformin? Or can I continue taking it with the calcium and b12?

      1. Hi Iman,
        Did you get any luck with your hair. I have lost a huge chunk at the crown. I have been advised to apply Minoxdril twice. It has arrested the fall, but am not sure if it will rejuvinate my lost hair.
        Have been taking Metformin 850 mg twice daily. Diagnosed with PCOS since 3 years now. No baby. Life seems so pathetically distressing with a lot of pressure.

  36. Hi Tarryn,

    I’ve heard that one of the side effects of Metformin is Kidney related issues. My mum has kidney failure and I don’t want to walk myself down that road knowing that taking Metformin could lead to that. Do you know anything about this?

  37. Hi I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 16. At the time it wasn’t as bad but I kept gaining weight.when I was 22 my doctor put me on metformin and I was taking b12 too. I exercised and ate right and I lost almost 50 pounds. Then for some reason I stopped taking it and stopped doing everything I was doing and gained all the weight I had lost, back.. Plus more. So now that I’m almost 24 I decided to start metformin again and do things right. I will say it is very hard but worth it. We have to work harder when it comes
    To weightloss which sucks but the metformin really does help. I will say though, the side effects can be intense at times but your body will adjust and once you start feeling better and seeing a change you will love it.This website is awesome and I’m learning so much more about PCOS.I’m so glad I’m not alone.

  38. I was taking metformin but i stopped because it was making me sick all the time so i stopped. But now that i stopped taking the pills am doing fine now.i am constantly feeling bloated and i have been working out and my belly is still fat. so is there anything i could do to relieve these symptoms

  39. I am so thankful for you site. I just started taking Metformin. I am in my third week and I am taking it 1,500mg per day. I wanted to know when do you think the B12 deficiency. do you think at three weeks it’s to early for me to start taking a calcium supplement?

    Thanks

  40. Wow, I never realized my B12 deficiency was related to my long term usage of Metformin, This is making me question things even more and now I will go out and buy those Calcium supplements to go alongside my B12 supplements.

  41. Hi i just been diagnosed with pcos and thank you to your website i have found a lot of help where to start and is been great so far! I have cut all diary and sugars and white foods is only been one week and i have already lost 3 kilos. the first 3 days were hard! Step one was to clean my pantry and start fresh and drink plenty of water.

  42. Hi,
    Great post! My PCOS specialist specifically told me not to take calcium supplements as part of my PCOS management (and I’m on metformin), there was nothing in my bloods to suggest a B12 defficiency and she said there are risks with people over supplementing with calcium and how this effects the kidneys (kidney stones etc). A lot of supplements these days are “plus calcium” so when I needed vitamin D supplements, I was advised to avoid the ones with added calcium. We should all be sure if we need additional calcium before supplementing.

  43. Hi! I have just found your website and even just after maybe 20 min of reading so much of what is going on with my body the last 8 yrs is making since. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was in high school and am now almost 24 and my husband and I are wanting to start a family. We tried earlier this year without success and when I talked to my OBGYN a month a ago her suggestion was to lose weight. I have struggled with my weight for 10+ years and nothing seems to work. I found your website so inspiring and helpful. I am looking forward to getting my PCOS under more control and hopefully with in the next year adding an new addition to our family. Thank you so much.

  44. Thank you so much. I’ve had PCOS since I was 16. I also have type 2 diabetes since I was 18 and I’m now 27. Trying to lose weight is so difficult. Trying to conceive is worse. I never knew that dairy had a negative effect on PCOS. My Dr has told me so little and I was literally told just to lose weight and it would go away.

  45. I believe metformin helped me get pregnant but unfortunately my pregnancy ended in a miss carriage. I’m an licensed massage therapist and have to be in the room with clients for an hour at a time. The problem I had with metformin was how often it had me in the bathroom. Is there a way to not be running to the bathroom when on metformin? I would love to take it again but I can not be in and out of sessions because I have to use the bathroom.

    1. Hi Heather, I had same problem when 10 years ago I was diagnosed with the PCOS and was taking Metformin. My doctor put me on Glucophage xr which is the extent release tablet twice a day. It worked profectly. It is expensive than metformin but works and I was taking it during my pregnancy till month 5. all worked will. it has been 4 years since I had my daughter and I never took it back. I am perfectly fine and even my cycle is on time. no problem at all thanks god. try to get glucophage and good luck.

      1. Hi I also have pcos and I was wondering if that type of medicine needs to be prescribed by a doctor or is it an over the counter medicine?

    2. check into getting the metformin extended release. my daughter was constantly sick by taking the regular metformin for over a year dr changed her to extended release, a couple of months ago. and tummy troubles went completely away.

    3. Hi Heather! I don’t know what your diet is (no judgement here!) but I find that if I take my Metformin and still eat things like sweets and soda…it has me running to the bathroom all the time! I don’t know if maybe watching what you eat with it would help? (I know we aren’t supposed to be eating that junk anyways!) It’s just something I noticed when I take it. The first few weeks of starting Metformin are the worst too. I think it takes time for the body to adjust or something.

  46. Hi Tarryn,

    I was just diagnosed with PCOS. My doctor was going to put me on Metformin but I have elevated liver enzymes as well. Is there anything you would recommened?

  47. Hi Tarryn,

    I was just with my endocrinologist yesterday discussing just that…vitamin b12 deficiency. she ordered blood tests to see if I am or not deficient. What I forgot to mention to her though is SEVERE MEMORY LOSS I’ve been experiencing lately. I didn’t know that can be caused by deficiency of b12. I do have calcium supplements so I’ll start taking those should my tests say that.

  48. Hi Tarryn

    I am looking around iherb to find a Calcium Citrate suppliment, but I am not sure what is good and what’s not, so I was wondering if you could recommend a brand or a type of supplement that is better than the others? I do not want to take too many pills a day, I don’t need any other minerals or vitamins (apart from maybe vit-D), and I read somewhere that magnesium prohibits the uptake of calcuim – is that correct? If it is, it would not be good to take suppliments of these combined, right?

    If you don’t want to name any brands in public, please send me a message on facebook, i am one of the likers on your site 🙂

    Thank you in advance!

  49. Hi. I think your website is so informative. I live with pcos and I was reading your info on metformin. I tried it for several months & I feel it is what got me pregnant. I tried everything else including 1,000 dollar injections which never worked. We did iui & it also didn’t work the 3 times we did it. I wish more doctors felt the same way about metformin as my old gynecologist. A lot don’t believe in it. I’d live to get back on it. Anywho thank you for the info.
    Taryn-35 years old diagnosed with pcos for 5 years.

    1. It is true. Metformin helps with getting pregnant. I remember being told that kids are not going to happen for me. After being diagnosed with Diabetes after my PCOS diagnosis, I was put on Metformin. THREE kids later….

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