Losing weight is an ongoing struggle for many people. Being overweight can lead to a host of medical problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, trouble breathing, higher risk of cardiovascular events, and more. There are hundreds of weight-loss products, exercise regimens, fad diets, and extreme treatments, like bariatric surgery, that all claim to be the fastest and least burdensome way to lose those extra pounds and improve overall health. Most of these supposed miracle weight-loss methods do not work in the long-term, even with added physical activity and other lifestyle changes. However, there are new drug treatments that actually live up to their claims and could be a game-changer.
There has recently been an influx of new weight-loss drugs hitting the market that are gaining in popularity. Of all the medicines available, the one that has proven to be highly effective for weight loss is semaglutide.
What exactly is this groundbreaking weight-loss product? Semaglutide is an anti-obesity and anti-diabetic medication. It was originally developed for diabetic patients, but was soon discovered to work for long-term weight-loss maintenance. There’s a strong chance you have heard of it already: it has been all over social media and many well-known people are believed to be using it.
What Is Semaglutide?
Sold under the brand names of Ozempic®, Wegovy™, and RYBELSUS®, semaglutide is a new and highly promising tool in the fight against adult obesity. Once-weekly semaglutide is an injection that is typically prescribed for people with severe obesity and other weight-related issues like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and so on.
One of the reasons why semaglutide is making huge waves in the health community is because it is the first weight-loss drug that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2014. It was approved in June 2021 for chronic weight control in patients that meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or higher; or
- BMI of 27 kg/m2 or higher and at least one weight-related disease
Semaglutide was developed in 2012 by Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company based in Denmark. They actually created it to treat type 2 diabetes and control blood sugar levels in obese patients; the accompanying weight-loss was kind of a happy side effect. Its brand names, Ozempic® and Wegovy™ are in the form of injections to be taken once a week, while RYBELSUS® tablets are to be taken once daily before breakfast.
Dosage schedule for patients taking Ozempic® is first 4 weeks on 0.25 mg and next 4 weeks on 0.5 mg. If this doesn’t show desired results after four weeks, the next scheduled dose can be increased to 2 mg. Wegovy™ comes in five strengths (0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 1.7 mg, and 2.4 mg) and the patients are recommended to start out with the smallest dosage for first 4 weeks. From there, they should keep upping the dose every 4 weeks.
RYBELSUS® tablets are also available in different strengths (3 mg, 7 mg, and 14 mg) and again, you’re supposed to start with the smallest dose. One pill should be taken daily on an empty stomach and at least 30 minutes before any meal, beverages, or other medicines, both over-the-counter and prescription.
How Does Semaglutide Work?
There is a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) used to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes. GLP-1 is a hormone naturally produced by the body after a meal. Once your body creates GLP-1, it is circulated throughout the receptors in your brain, heart, intestines, pancreas, and more. It plays a huge role in helping you feel satisfied after eating.
Unfortunately, the natural GLP-1 in your body doesn’t last very long, which is why people often feel peckish or hungry a couple of hours after they’ve eaten.
Also, GLP-1 is an “incretin” hormone, meaning it stimulates the secretion of insulin and helps in reducing blood glucose levels. In people suffering from diabetes, their natural GLP-1 levels are just not enough to control insulin and glucose levels.
Semaglutide is a derivative of GLP-1, or to put it simply, it mimics the GLP-1 produced by your body. However, since it is made in a lab and structurally modified, semaglutide lasts much longer than naturally-occurring GLP-1, which is why it can be injected only once a week.
This modification prevents semaglutide from being broken down by the digestive enzymes, so the digestive process (gastric emptying) is delayed, suppressing your appetite and making you feel fuller for longer (even if you’ve only eaten a tiny meal). Through a complex effect on your nerves that control food preference and energy expenditure, semaglutide injections (or tablets) lead you to consume fewer calories.
Benefits of Semaglutide as Reported by Patients
Weight loss pills are not a new concept, but most of them have only ever been modestly effective – some are actually super deadly due to amphetamines and other harmful substances. Semaglutide has opened a new door to clinically-proven treatment for millions of adults struggling with obesity and body weight management. This one-of-a-kind new drug treatment offers benefits such as:
- Reduced body fat, blood pressure, lipids, oxidative stress, and inflammation in the body.
- Reduced blood sugar without increasing hypoglycemia.
- Suppressed appetite.
- Increased secretion of insulin.
- Management of out-of-control glucagon levels (due to overeating and fasting).
- Enhanced feelings of “fullness” in the brain and stomach (so you don’t feel hungry).
- A slowed-down digestive function (so you feel fuller for longer).
In a clinical trial of 175 patients who were either overweight or obese, all trial participants achieved (on average) almost 6% of weight loss within 3 months and 11% within 6 months following a course of semaglutide. Plus, the weight lost was not regained even after the patients stopped taking the drug. Each participant was given a 1.7 mg or 2.4 mg semaglutide injection every week for 3 to 6 months.
Patients receiving semaglutide also experienced greater improvements in chronic weight management and cardiovascular disease risk factors like high/low blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, increased waist circumference, and high BMI than participants who were given a placebo.
Special Precautions to Keep in Mind
Before you start a semaglutide weight loss program, tell your doctor about the following:
- If you’ve ever had kidney disease, gallbladder disease, diabetic retinopathy, or pancreatitis (if so, you might not be a good candidate for semaglutide).
- If you are taking or planning to take any prescription or non-prescription medications, herbal products, vitamins, and dietary supplements (to prevent drug interactions).
- If you show an allergic reaction to any prescription drugs (or any ingredients in the semaglutide medicine).
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding (semaglutide can be toxic in these cases).
- If you’re planning to get pregnant (you’ll likely be asked to stop taking semaglutide for at least two months before a planned pregnancy).
- If you’ve recently developed a fever or infection, you’re injured, or you’ve experienced too much stress (these conditions can affect your blood sugar and thus, the amount of semaglutide your body needs will change).
- If you have started experiencing any negative changes in your mental health (like anxiety, depression) after starting semaglutide drug treatment and you have a medical history of suicidal thoughts.
- If you have trouble swallowing tablets (in this case, you’ll be given semaglutide injections).
Choose the Safe, Effective, and Personalized Semaglutide Weight Loss Program at Atlanta Medical Institute
The belief that you need to practice willpower and self-discipline to lose weight is such a big misconception! We know today that there are several factors that contribute to excess weight – genetics, underlying medical conditions, environment, lifestyle interventions, mental health, and so on. We also know that in simplest terms, losing body weight comes down to fewer calories in or a reduced calorie diet. By taking RYBELSUS® tablets every morning or Ozempic®/Wegovy™ injections every week, you may be able to drastically reduce the total amount of food you consume. This is especially helpful if you naturally have a big appetite or you suffer from binge eating or emotional eating disorder.
At Atlanta Medical Institute, located in Sandy Springs in Atlanta, GA, we have helped thousands of people get amazing results with the use of semaglutide. Now it’s your turn! Our semaglutide weight loss program has been carefully designed to offer you the best possible results with little to no side effects or adverse events.
One way we have done this is by increasing the efficacy of semaglutide injections with a free accompanying Vitamin B12 shot, which helps stimulate your metabolism and skyrocket your energy levels. The addition of Vitamin B12 also reduces the incidence of stomach upset or nausea.
Schedule a consultation today with a healthcare professional to see if semaglutide might be a healthy option for you. You can also give us a call at (404) 264-9553.