Everyone’s talking about the miracle weight loss drug semaglutide how it’s a game changer. What is it? What does it do? Why is it a game changer? These are the questions I ask myself and here’s what I’ve discovered.
Semagluetide belongs to a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. These medications mimic hormones in your gastrointestinal tract and target areas in the brain that regulate appetite and food intake. This can help regulate insulin and reduce blood glucose.
Additionally, it helps the body break down and use fat more efficiently. There are other medications in this class of drugs, including liraglutide, and dulaglutide.According to several studies, people who used semaglutide plus diet and exercise, when compared to people who incorporated lifestyle changes only lost significantly more weight. 15 to 20% of their body weight compared to 2.4%. This type of weight loss can can help prevent heart attack, stroke, improve kidney function, as well as many other health benefits.
According to a New York Times article, published in 2021, by Gina Kolata, the hope is that new treatments will encourage people to think of obesity as a chronic disease like high blood pressure or diabetes. As with other chronic diseases often long-term chronic medication management is necessary. The new GLP-1 mimics are considered safe for long term use.
Unlike other medication‘s such as stimulants which are for short term use only.You can stay on semaglutide, so long as you are tolerating the medication and it is deemed appropriate by your treating provider . There is no specific timeframe when someone should stop taking semaglutide. It is a medication intended for chronic (long-term) use.
Common side effects of nausea, diarrhea constipation, headaches , dizziness, fatigue, and gassiness have been reported. And in this authors opinion are far outweighed by improved insulin resistance, improved postprandial glucose levels, and lipid metabolism.
There is no special diet. Instead, healthy eating guidelines apply like lots of lean proteins, green vegetables, complex carbohydrates, avoiding processed food. Limit sugar and alcohol intake, and of course exercise according to your level of fitness.
Another game changer?
trizepatide( Mounjaro®️) was approved in May 2022 by the FDA for type 2 diabetes management. It is the first of its kind in that it is a dual agonist similar to GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist. GIP & GLP1 are hormones that the body makes which are normally released with meals. Trizepatide is designed to help mimic both natural agonist, GIP & GLP1, so that the molecule can bind to the receptors . The average weight loss is 20% of total body weight. Side effects are similar to semiglutide.
But wait, there’s more!?
naltrexone/bupropion (Contrave®️) first approved by the FDA in September 2014, as the game changer in weight loss and obesity management. It combines to drugs naltrexone, which is in a class of drugs, known as opioid antagonist and bupropion an anti-depressant. It is believed to restore the balance of certain neurotransmitters in your brain. The two medicines work together in separate parts of the brain to reduce appetite and control cravings. An average of 6% weight loss is expected.
Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, constipation, stomach pain, headaches, dizziness, trouble, sleeping, increased, sweating, flushing, dry mouth, strange taste in your mouth. Serious side effects include mental or mood changes such as anxiety, agitation confusion memory loss, uncontrolled movements, ringing in the ears, fainting, severe headaches, fast pounding, irregular heartbeat, or chest pain . Monitoring for suicidal thoughts or tendencies is important during the initiation of this treatment. Be sure to tell your health care provider of all medications you are currently taking and seek help immediately if indicated.
what about growth hormone peptides?
Growth hormone is secreted from the pituitary gland in a pulsatile fashion so it can be low at one time and high at another. The largest peak of growth hormone is during the nighttime about an hour after the onset of sleep, a number of factors affect the secretion of growth hormone, including exercise, diet, age, hormones, and stress . Growth hormone goes to the liver and secretes. Another hormone called insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 peaks at around 20 years of age and rapidly decreases in your 30s.
In the 1990s a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Dr. Daniel Redman noted that higher levels of growth hormone conferred significant benefits and slowed the aging process. IGF-1 improves lean body mass,decreases fat, increases bone density and increases skin thickness. It also plays an important role in lowering markers of inflammation.
Besides improving IGF-1 sermorelin and other peptides, shrink belly, fat, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce plaque in blood vessels, (decrease risk of stroke )and help with cognition. average weight loss can be up to 20% of body fat.
Side effects include nausea, headaches, dizziness, flushing, joint, pain, and fatigue.
In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all! The game changes all the time, the human body is unique. Each person should be evaluated by a healthcare professional, and a plan should be made to support healthy, weight loss.