Unless you are completely hanging out with folks who don't care about their weight, or you never ever read health headlines, you've no doubt heard about the newest wonder weight loss drug: Ozempic. Also sold under the name brands Wegovy and Rebelsus, this new anti-diabetic drug is all I seem to hear about. I literally get no less than three people a week asking me about this. And we aren't talking about obese clients or friends. These are all average or even fit people who are entranced by the potential to get an edge on their body comp.
Why is everyone so excited about it?
Celebrities from Elon Musk to Kim Kardashian are walking the red carpet in newly svelt physiques, all rumored to be the result of using Ozempic/Wegovy as a weight-loss aid. Even though this drug, now in short supply for those who need it, is actually only supposed to be prescribed to those with type-2 diabetes, obesity, uncontrolled hemoglobin-A1C, and/or high risk for cardiovascular disease due to their weight and blood sugar. (1). For those who do not fit the above criteria, getting access only requires a quick Google search and a credit card. I just did this and was able to find an online consult guaranteeing my ability to get it ASAP. But you'll have to pony up to get it without insurance, to the tune of $1400/month. (2)
What is Ozempic, and how does it work?
The drug itself is called Semaglutide and was developed to treat diabetes. By mimicking incretin (a hormone released after eating), it increases insulin production. We normally secrete insulin in response to meals to bring down blood sugar. In addition, it appears that Semaglutide strengthens pancreatic beta cells, which produce and secrete insulin. The effect of this weekly injection is that hunger and appetite are suppressed, digestion is slowed in the stomach, and body fat is reduced. (3)
And while it's not meant to be taken long-term, that's not to say there aren't long-term ramifications. Aside from the known additional risks of thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, and diabetic retinopathy (to name a few gems), there are also common side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. (5) Gee, I can't imagine why these people aren't hungry and are losing weight! Does anyone remember Olestra?
My favorite side-effect is a very unique one: Ozempic Face. Turns out that while fat on our bellies and butts isn't desirable, it sure is on our faces! As wealthy folks start injecting themselves with the magic weight-loss drug, they can't tell it where to work. They end up losing fat everywhere. These people are then running to the plastic surgeon's office for filler to fix their newly sunken faces! (6) I mean, what are we talking about here?!?!
Are you still curious if it's right for you?
Well, it may be. If you are struggling to manage type 2 diabetes and obesity with just diet and lifestyle, it might be worth a conversation with your doctor. But ask yourself, have you really given it your all? Have you dialed in all the aspects of your health you can, such as:
Nourish: Are you eating only nutrient-dense foods and avoiding processed foods with empty calories?
Move: Are you lifting weights and putting on muscle? Are you doing too much or not enough cardio?
Explore: Have you tried monitoring your blood sugar or ketones to see how specific meals are impacting you?
Enhance: Have you considered natural supplements to bring blood sugar in check, things like berberine, cinnamon, and apple cider vinegar?
If you haven't exhausted all of the above, don't make injections your next step. Email me. Let's find a path for you to get healthier and fitter and be able to maintain it for the rest of your life!