Can metformin help in weight loss?

Metformin is a drug that controls the blood sugar levels of people with type 2 diabetes. You might have heard that metformin can help you lose weight but does it really help you. One of the research stated that metformin can help out to lose weight but how does the drug do that is unknown. According to one theory, this drug cuts down your appetite and changes the way in which your body stores and uses the fats. 

According to another study, weight loss from metformin takes place gradually over time. It takes a year or two to see changes. The amount of weight the person loses varies from person to person. The average amount of weight lost after 2 or more years was around 4 – 7 pounds. But for the effectiveness of this drug is seen when you combine it with other healthy habits like following a balanced diet and maintaining a proper exercise routine.

If you follow this combination then you will be able to lose the maximum weight. This happens because metformin is considered to boost the number of calories you burn during exercise. So, if you do not exercise then you will not be able to lose the maximum possible amount of weight. 

You need to take metformin regularly. If you stop taking it then there are chances that you will get back your original weight and the efforts that you made till now will go in vain. There are also chances that even while you are taking it, you can slowly gain back the weight. So, this drug helps some people to lose weight but is not effective for everyone. 

One benefit of metformin is that if it is not helping you to lose weight then it will also not cause weight gain. This is not true with some drugs that are prescribed for treating type 2 diabetes. 

Does the doctor prescribe metformin for weight loss?

If you have the condition of type 2 diabetes or prediabetes and have obesity then your doctor may prescribe this drug to help you to control your blood sugar levels and lower your risk of diabetes. He may see if it helps you to lose weight. In some cases, your doctor will prescribe metformin to lose weight even though you do not have diabetes or pre-diabetes. But this is done off-label. This means that it is not approved by the FDA and so there is less information about its effectiveness. 

How much dosage is required for losing weight?

Your doctor will decide what is the right dosage for you depending on your weight. He will prescribe this drug at a low dosage in the beginning and then slowly increase the dose in a few weeks. This will help to keep the side effects at its minimum. 

What other factors can cause weight loss?

It is not necessary that metformin is the only reason behind losing weight. Even while you are taking metformin there are chances that the drug is not working on you for losing weight but there is some other factor like some health condition that is contributing to your weight loss. 

The conditions that might be causing the weight loss are:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • stress
  • cancers
  • AIDS
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Parkinson’s disease

There are other medications that can cause weight loss. Chemotherapy drugs may reduce your appetite which causes weight loss. There are certain medications for thyroid that boost your metabolism and make you lose weight. These drugs are liothyronine, levothyroxine, and liotrix. Other drugs are amphetamine and methylphenidate.

You may lose weight because of some digestive system issues like:

  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • diarrhea
  • infection of the stomach or intestine
  • surgery in the intestine or stomach

What if I am worried about losing too much weight?

Metformin is a safe drug. Though it has some side effects, they usually go away with time. You will gradually lose weight while taking metformin but it will be minimal. If you have been losing excessive weight then you should talk to your doctor. he will help you to figure out the cause behind it. You should also reach out to your doctor in case you lose appetite or energy.