Ok Strong! Women, there’s a new kid in town: a weight loss drug called Semaglutide that actually works, and that’s not just a gimmick used by internet influencers either because even the medical research community agrees. It’s so tempting to try it too! Afterall, there are valid, beneficial reasons to use this medication, but is taking the drug to lose up to 50 lbs. worth it?
Semaglutide, sold under the names like Ozempic and Rybelsus, has been routinely prescribed for Type 2 Diabetes for years. It is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor or agonist (GLP1R) which is found not only in the pancreas where insulin is released, but also the liver and intestines, as well as the brain. The various locations of GLP1 receptors in the body are what contribute to the seemingly unrelated health benefits of taking Semaglutide.
It lowers blood glucose and Hemoglobin A1c levels by stimulating insulin production in the pancreas, while also blocking the liver from releasing glucose. The liver and muscles store large amounts of glucose for energy when needed. When they are full, glucose is stored in the fat cells. Lowering glucose levels is essential in treating diabetes, but also helpful for weight loss- if there is less glucose in the blood stream, there’s less to store away as fat.
But what if you eat a 'not so healthy' diet, wouldn’t the excess calories still be stored away as fat? Well,
Semaglutide also encourages the muscles to store glucose, and
It affects the receptors in the brain that slow the emptying of the stomach and decreases appetite. By staying fuller longer, and not feeling hungry as often, you eat less and lose weight. This could be why other diabetic medications that do not act as GLP1 receptors can lower blood glucose levels but do not trigger weight loss.
Semaglutide also has shown positive results in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and, although research is in the early stages, it has been shown to possibly improve memory and learning (which explains the recent headlines on Ozempic potentially playing a role in treating Alzheimer's Disease and dementia).
So, it’s time to break open the champagne and dig out the size 6 jeans in the closet, right? Not so fast.
Semaglutide is effective but it does have its side effects. The normal side effects for anyone taking the drug are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, and headaches (sounds like fun!). It is also important to keep in mind that is has been developed for use in those with Type 2 Diabetes who have a blunted response to processing glucose. Semaglutide enhances the body’s response to glucose since it isn’t doing the job well on its own. Therefore, for someone without diabetes or obesity, who takes the drug to lose up to 50 lbs, the effects are magnified causing rapid weight loss (a.k.a. Ozempic butt or face).
Plus, rapid weight loss has its own side effects, such as muscle loss and potential bone loss. Once the drug is no longer used, you can probably guess what happens next- the size 6 jeans go back in the far recesses of the closet.
So, let's review, someone without diabetes has successfully and quickly lost weight with Semaglutide- but has no energy to enjoy life, no strength to participate in it, and may even have lost hair or bone mass. But at least she lost weight, for a little while anyway. Doesn’t sound like such a miracle to me.
Coming next week: Since Semaglutide mimics what our bodies do anyway, how can we eat and exercise to get it’s benefits naturally? Sign up for my newsletter at healthypennyswellness.com to receive the latest blogs, news, and fun!
If you would like to geek-out on Semaglutide information, check out the National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551568/
Who are Strong! Women? Women who have enough life experience to be skeptical of the latest diet or exercise fad, would like weight loss to be a side effect of healthy living, and desire to enjoy adventures in life with all the strength and stamina to get there. Are you a Strong! Woman? Join us at healthypennyswellness.com.