Lots of different meds for a variety of different things related to PCOS over the years... a lot of it depends on your symptoms and on the Dr's experience.
At 19, I'm going to make 2 assumptions... a) you're not actively trying to get pregnant, and b) you're not completely decided against (or finished with) the idea of having babies in the future.
So if regulating your periods is number 1, then the birth control pill is probably your fist "go to" option. If your doc has one that is mainly progesterone-based, then it is less likely to cause the weight gain issues most PCOS girls have on "the pill". Its usually best to get your cycle on a regular 28-day cycle on the pill before trying to get your system adjusted to a longer "cycle" where you only have four periods a year or something.
Metformin CAN help with regulating your blood sugar/helping with the insulin resistance that makes losing weight easier, but it also can make you nauseous, and if taken in large doses over a long time can lead to a B12 deficiency, which often leads to neuropathy (tingling and numbness) usually in your legs. It just makes it harder to absorb B12 through food, so people with this problem often get B12 shots. Some people don't get the nausea if they take the extended release metformin. A lot of docs prescribe metformin to PCOS gals because they think fixing the weight fixes the problem, but that's not always true. If you don't get the underlying hormonal imbalance in order, then the insulin resistance is not going to go away, and what you get (with enough meds over a long enough time and dietary changes regardless) is skinny girls with PCOS who have trouble with their periods or trouble getting pregnant.
There's also "anti-androgen" medications for some symptoms related to unusual hair growth, usually on the chin and neck. Androgens are hormones in the "male" group like testosterone. A lot of PCOS gals have too much testosterone in their systems, and it throws their periods and metabolism totally out of whack. Spironolactone is one of these meds, they take about six months to start showing any real change, but one of the side effects is that it totally kills your sex drive. Also totally unsafe to take while trying to conceive.
If your periods are really heavy when you do get them, check your iron levels (blood test). A lot of us with PCOS are anemic, and it just feels like you're depressed and have no energy and want to sleep all the time but always wake up tired. An iron supplement will help, but it will likely make you constipated, so add fiber to your diet too.
Also have your thyroid checked before you do anything else. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a condition that is extremely common and underdiagnosed. It requires a very easy, cheap but specific blood test for ANTI-THYROID HORMONE. Just ask for it. Many of the symptoms of PCOS are the same as Hashi's, and Hashi's is WAY easier to treat! Normal levels are ZERO. If you have ANY Anti-thyroid hormones present, you have Hashi's. Even if the rest of your typical thyroid blood tests come back "normal", they don't normally test for this unless they feel a lumpy thyroid, but by then they're scaring you about how it might be cancer, blah blah blah. Just ask for the TEST, doesn't even require special handling or a long time to process or to be sent to some special lab in the Yucatan or something, they just don't want to order it as part of a normal panel.
By now, you've probably already made a bunch of decisions and are likely already on meds of some variety one way or another. It's never too late to boost your weightloss progress with a low carb southbeach style food plan. PCOS girls ROCK IT if they stick to it. No cheating, unless you're prepared to deal with three days of cravings and sugar withdrawal all over again!
Note to self: Please be patient with me, God isn't finished with me yet.
I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 14. I am currently 19. I have not done any treatment, but my menstrual cycle have been getting farther and farther apart. I realize this isn't something I can ignore. So yeah, just looking to see whether or not medications helped others :)
Fitness Minutes: (55) Posts: 13 9/5/12 1:54 P
I am still going to talk to my doctor, I am just wondering what others use and how it has worked for them so when I go on Friday and mu doctor starts discussing medication, I can have an idea of what each is. I am basically lookingfor a review. If I am going to take a medication, I want to know if it is worth it from people who have actually taken it rather than my doctor who does not hace PCOS. Thanks :)
Fitness Minutes: (153,425) Posts: 20,262 9/5/12 11:02 A
I have only started having signs of pcos for the last year which seems odd since I have eaten such a clean diet for the last 6 years. I even did low carbs when this all started last year. It didn't help. My glucose tests are also spot on, but I still have all the symptoms of pcos. I gained 50 pounds just this last year for no apparant reason. If you look at myt profile page you can see what I looked like before that. I've been checked out my different doctors. Thyroid is OK, etc.... I was even on thyroid meds for a while. Definitely NOT my thyroid. lol
I currently take the metformin for PCOS. I have another check up in October. I am off the bc because my husband and I are trying for a baby. What exactly are you looking for with what other people take? A lot of us are on metformin because with PCOS we have insulin resistance, it helps with regulating blood sugar and weight loss. Definitely talk to your doctor about what he thinks you need based on your symptoms. Also welcome to the team!
That really is something you and your doctor need to decide together.
My Dr. wanted to put me on metformin. However, I really want to address this without medication and he has now agreed. My PCP said that a lot of people in our part of the country are on this because it is a diabetes treatment and would have been something I take for the rest of my life. Not appealling to me.
I am using diet. Changed the balance of protein, fat, and carbs (really limit the carbs). I have changed my exercise routines, weightlifting is out, more slow/less intense cardio is in. And, I am really working on stress relief.
Wishing you the best as you make this decision
Edited by: HEALTHYDAISY at: 9/5/2012 (05:49)
Pounds lost: 26.0
Fitness Minutes: (55) Posts: 13 9/5/12 4:49 A
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