Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Diet update

I will be starting the Glucophage tomorrow. Glucophage was originally designed as a drug for diabetics. It has gained in popularity as a fertility drug since it counteracts the insulin resistance caused by PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).

Insulin resistance is a condition where excess amounts of insulin are required to get glucose to move into cells. In a healthy person, insulin is released by the pancreas and then "eats" a hole in the wall of muscle cells. Glucose is released by the liver and enters the cells through the hole that the insulin made. A person with insulin resistance produces the same amount of insulin as a healthy person but the muscle cell walls resist being "eaten" by the insulin. So it takes more insulin to eat through the cell. This means that the pancreas will begin to over-produce insulin in order to compensate. The liver will then begin to convert the glucose that is not being absorbed into the muscled cells into fat and distributing it throughout the body.

PCOS can cause many problems including irregular periods, irregular ovulation, weight gain, acne, an increased chance of miscarriage, an increased chance of pre-eclampsia, and an increased chance of gestational diabetes. Glucophage can help to correct most, if not all, of these problems. The first changes that I should see will be clearer skin and the ability to lose weight more easily. After that I should see a return of regular periods. With weight loss and a balanced endocrine system will come other health benefits.

Glucophage works in three ways. First, it will make the muscle cells more receptive to insulin, thus reducing the amount of insulin the body need to transport glucose. This will reduce the overall amount of insulin the body is producing. Second, it reduces the amount of glucose that is being produced by the liver. This means that there will be no excess glucose to be converted into fat and stored in the body. Third, it decreases the absorption of carbohydrates through the intestines. This means less sugar will be absorbed into the body.

I am hoping that I will start to see results quickly. I'm still losing about .5 pound a week but it would be great to see a more substantial loss. I would also love for my skin to look like I'm not 13 any more. Tomorrow is my week 7 weigh-in. We'll see if there is big difference between tomorrow and week 8.

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