Semaglutide: The Drug That Can Help You Lose Weight
Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of adults in the US are obese due to the growing number of lifestyle and food habit changes.
People are eating more processed and fast foods and not getting enough exercise. This has led to an increase in obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
The good news is that there are treatments that can assist people in losing weight. Semaglutide is one of the most effective treatments. Semaglutide is an FDA-approved medication for the treatment of obesity.
This blog post looks at obesity, semaglutide, and how it can help you lose weight. Without further ado, let’s get started.
What is Obesity?
Obesity is a chronic medical condition in which excess body fat accumulates to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and increased health problems.
Body mass index (BMI) is used as a measure of obesity. BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese, while a BMI of 40 or more is considered severely obese.
Causes of Obesity
Various factors can cause obesity, some of which are;
- An Unhealthy Diet: A diet high in calories, fat, and sugar can lead to obesity.
- Lack of Physical Activity: A sedentary lifestyle with little or no exercise can cause obesity.
- Genetics: Obesity can run in families. This may be due to shared eating habits and a genetic predisposition to gaining weight.
- Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome, can cause obesity.
- Medications: Some medications, such as steroids and some antidepressants, can cause weight gain.
- Overeating: Eating more food than the body needs can lead to obesity.
- Pregnancy: Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy are more likely to be obese.
- Sleep Disorders: Sleep disorders like sleep apnea can cause weight gain.
- Psychological Factors: Some psychological factors, such as stress and emotional eating, can lead to obesity.
Complications from Obesity
Obesity can lead to several health complications, including;
- Type II diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea
- Cancer: endometrial, breast, and colon cancer.
Semaglutide: The Drug That Can Help You Lose Weight
Semaglutide is a once-weekly injectable medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. It was approved by the FDA in 2017 and is currently marketed under the brand name Ozempic.
Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, which means it works by mimicking the effects of a hormone called GLP-1. GLP-1 is secreted by the intestine in response to food intake and helps to regulate glucose levels by promoting insulin secretion and slowing gastric emptying.
Semaglutide was initially developed as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, but it has also been shown to be effective in treating obesity. In clinical trials, semaglutide has been shown to reduce body weight and improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.
How Semaglutide Can Help You With Weight Loss
Semaglutide helps with weight loss by:
Reducing Hunger and Promoting Satiety (a feeling of fullness).
Semaglutide reduces hunger by inhibiting the release of a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is secreted by the stomach and increases hunger. Semaglutide also promotes satiety by increasing levels of another hormone called peptide YY (PYY).
PYY is secreted by the intestine in response to food intake and increases the feeling of fullness.
Reducing Calorie Intake
This treatment is also effective in reducing calorie intake. In one study, semaglutide was shown to reduce calorie intake by an average of 18% compared to placebo. The reduced calorie intake is due to reduced hunger and increased satiety.
Increasing Energy Expenditure (EE)
Energy expenditure is one of the most crucial weight determinants (EE). Simply put, this is the number of calories you burn daily. Age, gender, muscle mass, and activity level are all factors that influence your EE.
Many people have difficulty losing weight because their EE is too low. Semaglutide can help with this. It can increase EE in those who use it. Compared to a placebo, semaglutide increased EE by an average of 100 calories per day.
It is believed that the increased EE is due to an increase in brown adipose tissue (BAT). BAT is a tissue type that burns calories rather than stores them as fat.
Reducing Fat Mass
One of the most common concerns for people who are looking to lose weight is how to reduce the amount of fat mass they have. This can be difficult, as many factors such as age, genetics, and sex contribute to fat mass.
However, semaglutide can help. Semaglutide has been shown to reduce fat mass in those who use it. Semaglutide was shown to reduce fat mass by an average of 15% compared to placebo.
How to Use Semaglutide for Weight Loss
To use Semaglutide treatment, you must first get a prescription from your doctor. Semaglutide is available as a once-weekly injection. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose and increase it gradually over time to minimize side effects. 0.25mg is the starting dose, with the maximum being 0.75mg.
To inject semaglutide, you will use a prefilled pen. Your doctor will help you choose the right size needle for your injection site. It is essential to inject the medication into the fatty tissue below the skin.
Also, it is essential not to inject into a vein or muscle. Doing so can cause serious side effects. Once you have injected the medication, you should dispose of the needle in a puncture-resistant container.
How Effective is Semaglutide for Weight Loss?
Semaglutide is a very effective weight loss medication. In clinical trials, semaglutide has been shown to help people lose weight and keep it off.
One study found that taking 2.4 mg of semaglutide weekly helped people lose an average of 15% of their body weight, compared to 2.4% with placebo. This is a significant weight loss, which is why some call semaglutide a game changer.
However, if treatment is discontinued, weight regain is common. Therefore, speaking with your doctor about maintaining weight loss after treatment with semaglutide has ended is essential.
Common Side Effects of Semaglutide
The most common side effects of semaglutide include:
This is the most common side effect of semaglutide. About 20% of people that take the treatment experience vomiting, but it is usually temporary and goes away with time.
Also, diarrhea is a common side effect of semaglutide. However, it is usually mild and goes away with time.
Headaches are a common side effect of many medications, including semaglutide. If you experience headaches, speak with your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dose or give you tips on how to manage them.
Dizziness is another common side effect of semaglutide. If you experience dizziness, drink plenty of fluids and avoid driving or operating machinery until the feeling disappears.
Fatigue is a common side effect of many medications, including semaglutide. If you experience fatigue, speak with your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dose or give you tips on how to manage it.
These are the most common side effects of semaglutide. However, there are other potential side effects.
Semaglutide Risks and Precautions
There are a few risks and precautions to be aware of with semaglutide. These include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss
You must speak with your doctor about these risks and precautions before starting semaglutide. They will be able to help you weigh the risks and benefits of this medication and make the best decision for your health.
Cost of Semaglutide
The cost of semaglutide will vary depending on your insurance coverage. However, the average cost is around $750 to $1000 per month. If you do not have insurance or your insurance does not cover semaglutide, there are assistance programs available to help with the cost.
Semaglutide is a very effective weight loss medication. However, it is also expensive. If you are considering starting semaglutide, be sure to speak with your doctor about the cost and whether or not it is right for you.
Semaglutide Treatment With Joy Wellness Partners
At Joy Wellness Partners, we are passionate about helping our patients achieve their wellness goals. If you are struggling to lose weight, our team can help. We offer semaglutide treatment and other weight loss treatments that can help you finally reach your goal weight.
Schedule a consultation with our team today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
The past decade has seen a steady increase in the number of people struggling with obesity. In response, the pharmaceutical industry has developed several weight loss drugs to help people lose weight.
However, most of these drugs come with several side effects that can be unpleasant or even dangerous. Semaglutide is a new weight loss drug that appears to be much more effective than existing drugs, with few side effects.
Given the growing obesity epidemic, semaglutide could play a vital role in helping people lose weight and improve their health.