What is Ozempic, and what are the pros and cons of taking it for weight loss?
A few months ago a new client came to me and told me she was prescribed a weight loss drug by her doctor, called Mounjara. This was because her doctor determined her to be pre diabetic with over 50lbs to lose. On this drug, she lost 30lbs, without dieting or exercise, but needed to get on a maintenance plan with a fitness routine to tone up, so she contacted me for guidance.
Mounjaro is also known as Ozempic. On Instagram, people refer to it as the Kim Kardashian weight loss drug because of her rumored use showing a dramatic decrease in body fat this year. Unfortunately with any trend, there is abuse, replacing healthy habits with laziness and pharmaceuticals, though legitimate need for obese patients may make the side effects a personal decision. Since then, a few more clients have asked about this drug so I decided to write this post to help identify this medication.
So, let’s dive into what Ozempic does.
Ozempic is a prescription medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. The active ingredient in Ozempic is semaglutide, which belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Ozempic is given by injection once a week and works by lowering blood sugar levels, increasing insulin sensitivity, and reducing appetite. (FYI- you can also achieve low insulin levels following a low GI diet minimizing gluten, sugar, starch and alcohol which I preach in numerous posts but those already with considerable body fat may need medical intervention in conjunction with this.)
Pros of taking Ozempic:
Effective blood sugar control: Ozempic has been shown to effectively lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Weight loss: Ozempic has been associated with weight loss in some people, which can be beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese.
Once-weekly dosing: Ozempic is given by injection once a week, which may be more convenient for some people than medications that require more frequent dosing.
Potential cardiovascular benefits: Some studies suggest that Ozempic may reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke in people with type 2 diabetes.
Cons of taking Ozempic:
Side effects: Common side effects of Ozempic include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. These side effects may be more common when starting the medication and may decrease over time.
Cost: Ozempic can be expensive, especially for people without insurance coverage.
Injection site reactions: Injection site reactions such as redness, itching, and swelling can occur with Ozempic.
Pancreatitis: Rarely, Ozempic can cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), which can be serious and require hospitalization.
Thyroid problems: Ozempic may cause thyroid tumors including thyroid cancer (shown in test rats).
Loss of appetite: This easily leads to loss of muscle mass, which leads to a reduced strength level and a slower metabolism. By the time you hit your weight loss goal, unless you do an end run with strength training and incorporating a high protein diet, you run the likely risk of looking “skinny fat” in the end.
As with any medication, the decision to take Ozempic should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider, who can weigh the potential benefits and risks of the medication based on an individual's specific medical history and needs.
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