Don’t let fear-mongering headlines stop you from learning more about Ozempic and Wegovy
Obesity is a complex and prevalent health issue, impacting millions of Americans and posing significant challenges to physical and mental well-being. But in our society, many do not want to see obesity as a disease (which it is!) but as a choice that’s fully dependent on lifestyle factors. While lifestyle does matter, genetics, metabolic issues, and environmental factors also play a role in obesity and weight management.
Drugs like semaglutide, under brand names Ozempic and Wegovy, are game-changers in the treatment of overweight and obesity, offering hope and renewed possibilities for those who can see health benefits from weight loss.
Semaglutide, known under the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy, belongs to the class of GLP-1 receptor agonists. Ozempic focuses on managing diabetes, while Wegovy is a higher-dose injection specifically designed to address obesity and weight-related concerns. Doctors are able to prescribe semaglutide to patients for weight loss if:
- They have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater
- Or their BMI is 27 or higher and they have at least one weight-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
Generic, compounded semaglutide is also available but not recommended because it is completely unregulated by the FDA.
Benefit 1: Significant Weight Loss
One of the most compelling benefits of semaglutide is its capacity to induce significant weight loss. In a clinical trial for Wegovy, patients achieved 15% weight loss at 68 weeks, compared to a 2% weight loss without the drug. Additionally, 1 out of 3 Wegovy patients saw weight loss of more than 20% over the same period.
Since obesity is linked with so many other diseases, including cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, joint pain, and lower quality of life, these weight loss results are promising for many medical outcomes.
Benefit 2: Reduced Food Noise
Semaglutide’s action on the brain’s appetite center contributes to its effectiveness in weight loss. By promoting a feeling of fullness and reducing hunger, the medication helps individuals make healthier food choices and control their caloric intake.
Anecdotally, many patients report being able to tune into their true hunger signals for the first time thanks to the drug tuning out obsessive food noise.
Benefit 3: Improved Cardiovascular Health
Beyond its primary focus on weight loss, semaglutide has demonstrated potential cardiovascular benefits. Studies have indicated a reduction in cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels in individuals using Ozempic and Wegovy. For those with obesity-related cardiovascular concerns, this added advantage can make a significant difference in their overall health outlook.
Benefit 4: Enhanced Blood Sugar and Glucose Control
One of the primary benefits of semaglutide is its ability to lower blood sugar levels effectively. By stimulating the release of insulin and suppressing glucagon (a hormone that raises blood sugar), Ozempic helps keep blood glucose levels in a healthy range. Clinical trials have shown impressive reductions in HbA1c levels (a marker of long-term blood sugar control) among patients using Ozempic, often achieving target levels that were difficult to attain with other medications alone.
Benefit 5: Convenience and Compliance
Semaglutide’s once-weekly subcutaneous injection regimen enhances convenience and compliance for users. For individuals who find it challenging to adhere to daily medication regimens or frequent doctor visits, Wegovy’s once-weekly dosing is a welcome change that can simplify their weight loss journey.
In Conclusion, the Benefits Outweigh the Risks
Many headlines today focus on the risks of Ozempic and Wegovy, but many are overblown. There are side effects to the drugs, like nausea and constipation, but many patients find that the benefits outweigh the mild discomfort. The class of GLP-1 incretin medications has been studied since 2003 and is safe for most people to take.
Your doctor will screen you for a family history of thyroid cancer before prescribing you the drug, but don’t worry—only a small portion of the population is disqualified because of family history.
If you’re interested in seeing if you qualify for medical weight loss with our resident doctor, Dr. Alexandra Sowa, click here to fill out an application.
The journey to better health is a deeply personal one, and while medical advancements like these drugs offer invaluable support, the commitment to lifestyle changes and overall well-being remains paramount. Our medical practice combines highly personalized medical care with proven lifestyle adjustments to help you reach your goals.