In 2021, we covered weight gain during the lockdown in an article called “Battling Obesity – Lockdown“, which spoke about COVID-19 and the unforeseen challenges that affected our health and fitness.
As our routines were disturbed and gyms closed, the virus’s unseen toll manifested as significant body weight changes for countless people.
The isolation, combined with disrupted eating habits, a decline in physical activity, and increased stress, led to a pandemic within the pandemic – a widespread struggle with weight management.
Many are grappling with these weight-related issues two years later, highlighting the need for a new, more thoughtful approach to post-pandemic health and wellness issues.
Ozempic – A new weight loss treatment offered in the clinic
Ozempic, also known as semaglutide, is a medication used to manage type 2 diabetes.
It’s classified as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. This means it works by mimicking the functions of the body’s natural GLP-1 hormone, which includes stimulating insulin secretion, reducing glucose production in the liver, and slowing gastric emptying to control blood sugar levels.
In addition to its role in managing diabetes, Ozempic has also been used to aid in weight loss.
Ozempic and weight loss
Ozempic aids in weight loss primarily through its effect on appetite and gastric emptying.
- Appetite regulation: Ozempic is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. GLP-1 is a hormone released in the intestine during meals, and it signals the brain to induce feelings of fullness or satiety. When Ozempic mimics this hormone, it enhances the sensation of being full, which can lead to reduced calorie intake.
- Slowing gastric emptying: GLP-1 also slows down the stomach’s rate of emptying after eating. This means that food stays in the stomach longer, which can contribute to feeling full for a longer period of time after eating. As a result, this can help reduce overall food intake.
In addition, Ozempic may also affect metabolism and calorie burning. Still, these effects are less understood and likely play a minor role compared to their effects on appetite and gastric emptying.
Studies on Ozempic
In 2021, Ozempic was studied for its effects on weight loss, particularly in people with obesity, and has shown promising results.
One notable study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2021 examined the use of semaglutide in people with overweight or obesity without diabetes.
The trial found that participants who received this treatment lost significantly more weight than those who received a placebo, with a difference of about 15% in total body weight.
In June 2021, the FDA expanded the approval of Ozempic specifically for chronic weight management of obesity in those over the age of 18 or are overweight with at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, type 2 diabetes; this is in addition to increased physical activity and a reduced calorie diet.
However, it’s important to note that while the drug has been shown to be effective in promoting weight loss, it’s not without side effects.
Side effects of Ozempic
This weight loss treatment’s side effects are no different from other weight loss treatments that can be bought over the counter but must be monitored by a professional health care provider. Common side effects of Ozempic may include:
- Abdominal pain
- A feeling of indigestion
- Decreased appetite
These side effects are often temporary and, as your body adjusts to the medication, may subside. You should contact your healthcare provider if they persist or worsen.
While Ozempic can help with weight loss, it is also important to note that it is not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise. Its use should be part of a broader plan to improve health and manage conditions like type 2 diabetes.
This medication should be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional, as it may have side effects or interactions with other medicines.