What Is Metformin Used For Other Than Diabetes?

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What Is Metformin Used For Other Than Diabetes

Let’s Find Out What Is Metformin Used For Other Than Diabetes?

Metformin is an FDA-approved drug used to treat type-2 diabetes in a large population. Because it has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, it is often the first medicine prescribed to diabetics.

Metformin is part of the bisbiguanide drug family. It works by decreasing glucose production from the liver and increasing the insulin sensitivity of muscle cells. In the liver, metformin decreases glucose production by inhibiting the enzyme gluconeogenesis. It also reduces glucose absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and increases the uptake and utilization of glucose by muscle cells.

But managing diabetes is not the only use of metformin. This article will discuss what else metformin is used for besides treating diabetes.

What is metformin used for other than diabetes?

You might be surprised to learn that metformin can help with conditions other than type-2 diabetes. Metformin can help you with weight loss, fertility-related issues, and cardiovascular problems. Let us go over some of these uses.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Women suffering from PCOS often experience menstrual irregularity, high levels of androgens (including testosterone), and the formation of cysts on their ovaries. It is a significant contributor to many health problems, including infertility, and it has been linked to the onset of type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

As metformin has been shown to help with insulin resistance, a common issue in women with PCOS, it is sometimes used to treat those who suffer from the condition. Some women with PCOS may find that this helps regulate their menstrual cycles, decreases their androgen production, and boosts their fertility.

Weight Loss

When talking about what is metformin used for other than diabetes, weight loss is an everyday use. Despite our incomplete understanding of the mechanism, some research suggests that metformin may have a negligible effect on weight loss for some people. It may aid weight loss by decreasing sugar production in the liver, thereby reducing insulin resistance. It may also increase glucose utilization by muscle cells and reduce glucose absorption from the digestive tract, which results in reduced calorie intake.

Metformin also helps with weight loss by suppressing appetite and providing a sense of fullness. However, it is essential to note that metformin is not a weight loss medication and should not be used solely for this purpose.

Cardiovascular prevention

Metformin’s cardioprotective effects have been demonstrated in people with and without type-2 diabetes. Reducing insulin resistance and lowering blood sugar levels may reduce the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. It may also indirectly affect the cardiovascular system, such as lowering inflammation and enhancing cholesterol levels.

Although more studies are needed to confirm these results, preliminary research suggests that metformin may protect high-risk individuals from developing cardiovascular disease.

Cancer

Metformin has been studied for its potential use in preventing and treating cancer, particularly breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancers. Although the exact mechanism is unknown, this effect can be attributed to the low glucose levels produced by metformin. Since cancer cells need glucose to survive, using metformin can help slow down the growth of cancer cells.

Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition defined by dark, thickened patches of skin that typically appear in the body’s folds, such as the neck and armpits. It can indicate an underlying health problem and is often linked to insulin resistance.

Metformin’s ability to improve resistance could lessen the thickness and darkness of the affected skin. Acanthosis nigricans symptoms like itching and inflammation may also improve.

Arthritis

Metformin’s potential anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing effects suggest it could be helpful in the treatment of some forms of arthritis.

Prediabetes

Another point to talk about when mentioning what is metformin used for other than diabetes is its effectiveness in prediabetes. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are elevated, but they are not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type-2 diabetes. People with prediabetes may be able to delay or even avoid developing diabetes if they take metformin.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which excess fat accumulation occurs in the liver, leading to inflammation and scarring. By decreasing insulin resistance, metformin may help reduce fat accumulation in the liver and improve liver function. It may also help lower the number of triglycerides in the blood and lower the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which are linked to high triglyceride levels.

Aging

Some research suggests that metformin may slow the aging process, though the underlying mechanism is still unclear.

While additional research is needed to confirm these results, preliminary research suggests that metformin may increase longevity in specific populations. Metformin has also been linked to a decrease in the likelihood of developing age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and an increase in cognitive function.

FAQs

What are the common side effects of metformin?

Some common side effects are feeling sick, diarrhea, stomach pain, losing your appetite, feeling hot, getting a headache, or having heartburn.

Can people with kidney or liver issues take metformin? 

People with severe kidney problems should not use it, and people with mild to moderate kidney problems should be careful when taking it.

What is metformin used for other than diabetes and weight loss?

Metformin is also used to aid in preventing cancer and cardiac problems and slow the effects of aging.

Conclusion

When it comes to treating type-2 diabetes, metformin is by far the most popular option. Even though the drug was first made to treat diabetes, it has since been shown that it could also help with several other health problems.

It’s important to note that while metformin has shown efficacy in these conditions, more research is needed to confirm its safety and efficacy for these uses. Metformin has benefits, and risks should be discussed with a healthcare provider before starting treatment. Metformin is not a replacement for other effective therapies for these conditions and should only be taken under medical supervision.

So next time someone asks you what is metformin used for other than diabetes, you have a cool list to show off your new-found knowledge.

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