Metformin has strong side effects and it can impact hormones and thyroid glands

(Last Updated On: January 7, 2017)

Metformin effects on hormones: How metformin can lower thyroid stimulating hormone


 

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etformin is an oral medication and the first line of defense for diabetes and pre-diabetes. Metformin is for people with type II diabetes and is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other oral medications. Metformin is not used to treat type I diabetes. Metformin side effects are usually mild and may include:

  • muscle pain or weakness.
  • numbness or cold feeling in arms and legs.
  • trouble breathing.
  • feeling dizzy, light-headed, tired, or very weak.
  • stomach pain, nausea with vomiting.
  • slow or uneven heart rate.

If you have a history of liver and heart disease you should not use metformin. If you need any kind of x-ray or CT scan which involves the use of injectable die you should stop taking metformin temporarily. Even though is rare, some people can develop a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking metformin which is more likely to occur if you have kidney disease, congestive heart failure, severe infection, dehydration, or if you use excess alcohol. Metformin should not be given to a child younger than 10 years old. Extended-release metformin (Glucophage XR) should not be given to a child younger than 17 years old. One recent study have also shown a direct relationship between metformin use and low levels of thyroid stimulation hormone (TSH). This is a more serious metformin side effect.

Metformin side effects in thyroid stumulating hormone

New research have shown a clear association between metformin use and low levels of TSH among patients with an already under active thyroid. New studies also point out that low levels of TSH may be associated with heart problems and broken bones. The study concludes that there is a 55% risk for low TSH levels in patients with underactive thyroid compared to patients with normal thyroids.

Dr. Laurent Azoulay, with the department of oncology at McGill University in Montreal, said the longitudinal study on metformin side effects confirm that the use of metformin is associated with TSH level reductions in patients with treated hypothyroisism.



A question asked by Dr. Gerald Bernstein, director of the diabetes management program at the Friedman Diabetes Institute at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, in New York City: does the suppressed TSH have clinical significance?

The answer is clear. Significant changes were noted in patients with underlying thyroid deficiencies. Metformin side effects are clinically relevant since millions have diabetes type II and 10-15% of these diabetics have also hypothyroidism. Many of them are treating their diabetes with metformin. These findings indicate that a 6-12 month reevaluation should be performed after starting metformin treatment. Low TSH levels if left untreated can lead to severe life-threatening depression, heart failure, and coma.

 


Video

Watch this video to educate yourself about the potential side effects of popular diabetes drug Metformin and natural alternatives available to you.

 

References

Image credit: Flickr.com

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In Category: DIABETES

Marcos Taquechel

Marcos is an RN. Thanks for stopping by and reading my posts. I hope you are able to get something useful out of this blog. Take good care of yourself and don't worry about anything until you have something to worry about.

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