There are no shortcuts or magic bullets on any weight loss journey. Maintaining a healthy weight for life comes down to good dietary choices, lifestyle choices, exercise, balanced hormones, motivation and a positive mindset. Anyone can do it if they bring JOY and motivation with them. Obesity is a serious medical condition, and there is an important supporting role for medication along the way. We were never designed to live in a world with food on demand, in temperature controlled environments and sitting in front of devices.
One medication that has recently been receiving a lot of attention is Semaglutide. The FDA approved the drug branded as Wegovy for weight loss in 2021. Since then, it has seen a surge in interest and popularity. The only reason Semaglutide can be made in compounding pharmacies at this time is due to the fact that it is on the FDA shortage list. The Semagluitde is slightly different than the patented branded forms but clinically we have seen excellent results.
After taking time to deeply learn about Semaglutide, study the FDA data, review the research studies completed by Novonordisk and clincially observe the results of my patients, I created a successful Semaglutide wellness program which uses Semaglutide as a tool to help dial in a lifestyle diet to lose and maintain weight loss.
What is Semaglutide?
Semaglutide was initially developed to help patients with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. It is a human-based glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist. Semaglutide was patented by Novonordisk and used as an ingredient in the pharmaceutical Ozempic which is currently FDA approved for type 2 diabetes. In 2021, another drug known as Wegovy also using Semaglutide as the active ingredient hit the market and was FDA approved for weight loss with a BMI over 30 or over 27 + a co-morbid condition. It is known to give the brain a message of feeling full; delay gastric emptying and promote insulin secretion.
How Does Semaglutide Work for Weight Loss ?
Semaglutide slows down the emptying of the stomach by binding to the receptors in the stomach lining. The slower emptying sends a signal of fullness to the brain, helping to reduce food intake and decrease appetite. When testing was conducted while developing this type 2 diabetes medication, many patients noticed they were losing weight as well as treating their condition. As of June 2021, the FDA approved Semaglutide for long-term weight management under the branded name Wegovy for those with a BMI over 30 or over 27 + a co-morbid condition. As of June 2021, the FDA approved Semaglutide for long-term weight management.
The FDA approval was granted after four 68-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. More than 2,600 patients received Semaglutide for up to 68 weeks in these four studies, and more than 1,500 patients received a placebo. In the largest study, individuals who received Semaglutide lost an average of 12.4% of their initial body weight compared to individuals who received a placebo. In another study of adults with type 2 diabetes, individuals who received Semaglutide lost 6.2% of their initial body weight compared to those who received a placebo.1
Semaglutide Warnings & Side Effects
Semaglutide is not recommended for people with a personal or family history of meduallrythyroid cancer, those who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking the medication, or those who are prescribed insulin because the combination may increase the risk of hypoglycemia. It is also important to be sure bowels are moving and patients stay hydrated. It’s important to take Semaglutide under the supervision of a medical weight loss doctor.
- Common side effects include: constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, gallstones, and pancreatitis.
- Possible side effects include: abdominal pain, fatigue, dyspepsia, gas, stomach inflammation, acid reflux, and dizziness.
As when starting any new medication or health program, it’s essential to speak with your healthcare provider before taking Semaglutide. And, it’s important to take Semaglutide under the supervision of a medical weight loss doctor. Your doctor will monitor your labs, make dosage adjustments if needed, and provide guidance and support throughout the process.
Semaglutide as a Tool on Your Medical Weight Loss Program
We are now prescribing Semaglutide to some patients on our medical weight loss program. We use Semaglutide as a “tool” to help with the behavioural aspect of eating. This allows you to work on creating a lifestyle diet that can become the “gift that keeps on giving.” This is the goal of our program and we have seen incredible results.