Some of the greatest discoveries in human history happened by complete accident and Semaglutide for weight loss is of no exception and it was recently approved by the FDA in June of 2021 for treatment and management of Obesity.

Many of the world’s most famous products were originally intended for something completely different than what they are known for today. Coca-Cola started out as a cure for morphine addiction; it contained alcohol and coca leaf extract-the same ingredient that makes cocaine. Listerine started out as an anti-septic used in surgeries before it was re-branded as a cure for bad breath. Viagra was designed to lower blood pressure but due to the unexpected side effects in men, it was later re-branded as a solution for erectile dysfunction. Wegovy, or Semaglutide, as a weight loss drug is no exception.

 

What is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide first began public circulation as a drug called Ozempic. You might recognize the name from the earworm jingle featured in TV commercials reminding you of its name (Oh-Oh-Oh, Ozempic). It was originally approved in 2020 as a stand-alone treatment for diabetes but the developers of this drug soon found out that it has a unique side effect… weight loss. This unintended (but useful) side effect led to multiple randomized, placebo-controlled, trials for obesity. The studies showed that the same drug used for diabetes, at a slightly higher dose, achieved around a 17% reduction of total body weight. This resulted in nearly 9x more weight lost than with the placebo AND was almost on par with the weight loss levels achieved through gastric bypass surgery. This led to the creation of Wegovy (Semaglutide), who has officially been approved by the FDA in June of 2021 for obesity!

 

How does it work?

Wegovy is a once-weekly injection in the abdomen given over the course of a 12-to-18-month period. Doses start very low, then gradually increase over several months before reaching the standard dosage levels after the fifth month, all under your doctor’s supervision.

In the body, it works as a protein that mimics a gut hormone which gets naturally secreted after eating. In clinical studies it has been shown to:

  • Enhance satiety (the feeling of being full after eating)
  • Delay gastric emptying
  • Increase insulin and insulin sensitivity
  • Decrease glucagon (a hormone that increases your blood sugar levels)
  • Reduce high glucose levels

In addition to those key benefits there are also a handful of indirect effects of weight loss which result in the reduction of triglycerides, decrease LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) levels, improvement in blood pressure, along with increasing in HDL (the “good” cholesterol) levels.

 

What are the possible side effects?

The most common side effects of Semaglutide are fatigue, nausea, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and constipation-all of which the CIM team are more than prepared to tackle should side effects present themselves. In our uniquely tailored protocol, we include a set of B12 and lipotropic injections (nutrient factors that help with the breakdown of fat and support a healthy liver) which not only helps with potential fatigue, but also boosts the efficiency of the Semaglutide.

 

What is the cost?

For Semaglutide, the indications needed to qualify for insurance coverage is that a potential candidate has a BMI of at least >30 (or >27 with a weight related medical condition such as hypertension, diabetes or hyperlipidemia), however, even with a qualifying candidate Semaglutide may not be covered by all insurances and the out-of-pocket is around $1,500 per month. So be sure to check with your insurance provider to know whether or not they cover it, even if you meet indicatory requirements.

At Connect Integrative Medicine, we work with you and can help lower your cost of Semaglutide to as low as $500 per month as well as helping prevent or reduce some of the common side effects with natural means, just ask us about our Concierge program for more details on savings, services, and other added benefits!

 

Last Thoughts on Semaglutide…

Far and away the most common question we get is “Will I regain the weight if I stop the injections before finishing my Semaglutide course?” and the answer is well… that depends on you. As inexact as that sounds, everyone is different. No two bodies are alike, and no two minds have the same relationship with food and exercise. A major part of the weight loss journey is lifestyle changes to not just lose that weight, but keep it off long term. If you stop half-way to the finish line and maintain a steady diet of unhealthy foods with minimal exercise you’re going to put on some pounds.

Semaglutide helps with or will do a LOT of the heavy lifting, especially when it comes to keeping your body’s hunger/fullness-levels in check, but long term (even after finishing a full course) you’ll need to continue to eat, treat, and exercise according to the body you want to have. If you think Semaglutide might just be the thing to help you get the ball rolling, or even more, then don’t hesitate to ask us about it, your body will thank you.

We at Connect Integrative Medicine are here to help you meet your weight loss goals and reach your optimal health.  Let us Connect so together we can Thrive.

 

References:

  • Eric J. Topol. The New Obesity Breakthrough Drug – Medscape – Dec 14 2022.
  • Will Heilper. 11 famous products that were originally intended for a completely different purpose – Insider – April 1 2016.

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