If you think you haven’t heard or read about semaglutides recently, you may be more familiar with their other names — Ozempic and Wegovy. In fact, the so-called “miracle weight loss drugs” have been so popular lately that they’ve been experiencing a supply shortage for months. Most recently, the FDA has warned against off-brand versions of the popular drugs, as they may not contain the same ingredients as the prescription products and may not be safe or effective. Agency officials have received reports of problems after patients used versions of semaglutide, which have been compounded or mixed in pharmacies.
When you get your hands on the right kind of semaglutides, however, they have proven effective in making significant weight loss happen. In this post, we’ll look at how semaglutides help people lose weight and other things you may need to know:
What are semaglutides?
Semaglutide is an antidiabetic medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and used as an anti-obesity medication for long-term weight management. Today, there are multiple specific brand names for this medication. In 2021, Wegovy — which contains semaglutide — earned its FDA approval for chronic weight management in adults who are obese or overweight with at least one weight-related condition (high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol). Applied weekly via injection, Wegovy is generally prescribed in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for more effectiveness. Since then, other specific semaglutide brands have come out and are more commonly known in the mainstream for their use in medical weight loss interventions.
Semaglutides as GLP-1 agonists
So, how do semaglutides help people lose weight? GLP-1 is a hormone naturally produced by your body (in your intestinal tract) after eating. When consuming carbohydrates, GLP-1 boosts the amount of insulin the body makes to bring your blood sugar back to normal. While naturally created in the body, however, GLP-1 typically lasts only about two to three minutes upon release.
Fortunately, drug forms of GLP-1 exist. These are called GLP-1 agonists, and one such example is semaglutide. GLP-1 for weight loss can last up to 14 hours in your body by activating receptors in the pancreas to regulate insulin and control blood sugar. This makes the user feel less hungry, have fewer cravings and thoughts of food, and feel more full after a meal and between meals. GLP-1 agonists may also raise your resting metabolism, making you burn more calories even at rest. Upon prescription, most patients will be prescribed low doses, which will be escalated following a fixed schedule to ensure your body continues to get its effects.
Why semaglutides are all the rage today
Aside from weight-related health reasons, people may also seek medication to achieve their ideal body type. Based on our previous post on Kibbe, different people may find different body shapes and bone structures appealing. Certain body types can also help you with your style, helping you dress for your height or curves. Those struggling with obesity or being overweight, though, can find this a challenge. Fortunately, semaglutide has been found to be an effective method that can influence body shape. Part of the hype around semaglutides today is due to the influence that Hollywood celebrities have. Some are open — and others less so — about their use of weight loss medication, which has helped drive the demand and contributed to the shortage of supply.
Semaglutide side effects
Finally, if your doctor thinks you meet the medical requirements for taking semaglutides — obese or overweight, with a weight-related health condition — you should still take the time to understand the drug’s side effects. Like all other medications, semaglutides have side effects ranging from common to more severe ones. Common side effects include nausea, constipation, vomiting, heartburn, gas, headache, and dizziness.
However, it’s also important to take into account what happens if you stop taking weight loss drugs like Ozempic. Firstly, you would regain your appetite, likely leading to weight gain. Additionally, rapid weight loss can change the skin and reduce the fat volume in your body, including in your face. This can cause your face to look gaunt and dehydrated.
Ultimately, while FDA-approved semaglutides may be effective for weight loss, it’s important to consider whether or not you truly, medically need them. To make the safest and most informed decision regarding semaglutide and your body goals, guidance from a healthcare expert is your best bet.
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