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Ozempic – A Miracle Drug?


Have you heard of the trendy medication that has taken Hollywood by a storm? If you are keeping up with the news, you know the medical drug I am talking about! This injectable medication is called Ozempic and it has risen in popularity due to its weight loss benefits. Multiple influencers and celebrities like Elon Musk and Chelsea Handler have raved about it. Ozempic has become such a hot commodity that there is currently a supply shortage across the nation for it.

With all of the hype surrounding this medication, you may be wondering if Ozempic is right for you. After all, it seems as though Ozempic is a miracle drug for weight loss given all of the attention it is getting!

In order to better understand whether you could benefit from taking Ozempic, we have to start at the basics and learn how Ozempic works in our bodies. Let’s take a deeper dive into the Ozempic weight loss craze together!

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is the brand name for a medication called Semaglutide. It was approved by the FDA in 2017 for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, and it belongs to a class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists. GLP-1 is a hormone released from our gut after we eat. Ozempic mimics GLP-1 and acts on its receptors, which are primarily located in four areas of the body: the pancreas, the brain, the liver, and the gastrointestinal tract.

  • In the pancreas, GLP-1 increases the release of insulin, which is a hormone that helps glucose get into our cells to be used for energy.
  • Improving the GOOD cholesterol values (HDL Cholesterol)
  • In the liver, GLP-1 reduces the release of glucose.
  • In the GI tract, GLP-1 slows down the movement of food so that you feel more full.

By mimicking the GLP-1 hormone, Ozempic is able to selectively bind and activate the GLP-1 receptors, producing the above effects.

How is Ozempic administered?

Ozempic is injected once a week under the skin of your upper arm, thighs, or abdomen. It is dosed from 0.25 mg once a week up to a maximum of 2.0 mg once a week. Most patients start on 0.25 mg per week for 4 weeks, and then increase to 0.5 mg per week. For many, this is enough of a dose to see changes. However, it is important to note that it takes about 4-5 weeks for Ozempic to start working and it can take up to 8 weeks or longer for its full effects to be noticed.

What are the benefits of taking Ozempic?

Potential benefits of Ozempic are:

  • Weight loss
  • Reduced appetite
  • Reduced cravings
  • Blood sugar stability

There is also evidence that GLP-1 receptor agonists, such as Ozempic, reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

What are the side effects of Ozempic?

The most common side effects associated with Ozempic are the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation

More serious side effects include:

  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Allergic reaction

Who should NOT take Ozempic?

Though Ozempic is beneficial for many, there are some people who should not take it due to increased risk of harm. These include people with one of the following:

  • Personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer
  • Personal history of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome Type 2
  • Allergic reaction to any of the ingredients found in Ozempic

What is the connection between Ozempic and insulin resistance?

Insulin is a hormone released from your pancreas that helps regulate blood glucose, or sugar, by helping blood sugar get into your cells to be used for energy. If you are constantly eating high carb foods throughout the day, your blood sugar will spike multiple times throughout the day. This causes your pancreas to release more insulin to try to overcome the increasing blood sugar levels. In insulin resistance, your cells stop responding to insulin, which leads to excess sugar in the bloodstream. When excess blood sugar is not metabolized correctly, it can give rise to other conditions such as weight gain, heart disease, and more. Eventually, insulin resistance can lead to Prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic helps patients with insulin resistance eat more sensibly by reducing sugar cravings and appetite for better portion control. However, this medication works best when paired with balancing carbohydrates with adequate protein and fiber intake.

Is Ozempic the same as Metformin?

Ozempic is not the same as Metformin, although both medications help control blood sugar levels. Metformin is an oral pill that is FDA approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. It is also used off-label in the treatment of insulin resistance, prediabetes, gestational diabetes, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It works by decreasing the amount of glucose produced by the liver, lowering sugar absorption in the intestine, and making your cells more susceptible to insulin.

One of the most common side effects of Metformin is diarrhea, though this improves if the medication is taken with food. We caution patients about drinking too much alcohol while on Metformin as this can lead to a buildup of lactic acid in the blood, which is a medical emergency. Metformin can also lead to Vitamin B12 deficiency; therefore, we recommend taking a vitamin B12 supplement while on this medication.

Both Metformin and Ozempic are effective at aiding with glucose metabolism; however, Ozempic has greater weight loss benefits than Metformin. In patients with Type 2 diabetes who have normal kidney function, Metformin continues to be the first-line treatment.

So, should I take Ozempic?

Ozempic is a great medication that is safe and effective under a supervised plan of care. At our clinic, we focus on nutrition based medicine, dietary changes, proper vitamin levels, and energy expenditure. With detailed evaluations of our clients, we are able to identify if the generic Semaglutide is a good fit for our clients to treat insulin resistance, prediabetes, and Type 2 diabetes in combination with our treatment protocols and plans. We also focus on improving sleep and stress, as these two factors can impact blood sugar stability. It is important to take Ozempic in combination with healthy lifestyle practices to ensure that you do not gain the weight back after stopping Ozempic.

If you want to know whether Ozempic is right for you specifically, reach out to us for more information!




Mierlyn Toledo

Mierlyn Toledo

Mierlyn Toledo is a Naples native who graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor in Health Science. She then went on to complete her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at South University. Mierlyn has been a nationally certified physician assistant since 2017. After becoming a PA, she worked at Moffitt Cancer Center and began to note the critical role that nutrition and lifestyle play on cancer prevention and treatment outcome. She then returned to Naples and worked at a family medicine practice where she was introduced to the functional medicine approach. She is passionate about preventative care and helping you achieve your optimal health and wellness. She believes in treating the person, not the disease. Her goal is to make sure you feel empowered in your health decisions, while helping you increase your longevity and improve your quality of life!
Mierlyn Toledo

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