Obesity is a growing concern in the whole world. With the changing lifestyle, everyone is at risk of gaining weight and becoming obese. Since obesity is a complex phenomenon that can be associated with numerous factors such as lifestyle, genetics, and environmental influences, conventional methods such as exercise and dieting often fall short when it comes to addressing severe obesity issues.
Due to these concerns, weight loss clinics are at the forefront of fighting these weight gain-related problems. Over the years, many medications have been introduced to manage and fight obesity. Since the treatment of obesity helps in managing many underlying chronic issues, the research and improvements made in this sector are phenomenal.
Recently, an injectable drug belonging to the family of semaglutide was approved by the FDA in 2021. It is the only drug that was able to bypass the severe safety regulations set up by the FDA for public safety. This was the only medication approved solely for the treatment of obesity.
Let’s dive deep into the insights of how semaglutide works and how its benefits outweigh the side effects.
What Is Semaglutide?
The never-ending journey of finding a drug to safely and effectively treat obesity has reached a new forefront. Semaglutide is a form of injectable drug initially designed to treat diabetes, that can now be administered for the treatment of chronic weight management.
Semaglutide is a generic name for a family of hormones. It is only approved for weight loss under the brand name Wegovy. But similar medicines belonging to the same family, such as Ozembic and the oral version Rybelsus, are approved by the FDA for treating chronic diabetes.
Although the primary focus of these medications was to treat type-2 diabetes, weight loss was a well-known side effect that had an impact on a majority of people during trials. Thus, the possibility of using these medications to manage chronic weight gain was explored. This gave birth to the Wegovy injection, solely developed for the purpose of treating obesity.
How Does Semaglutide Help You Loss Weight?
Semaglutide has a number of effects on the human body, including:
- Increasing the insulin secretion, thus Improving the effective glucose intake by various cells
- Reducing the glucose production by the pancreas, thereby masking glucagon production.
- Considerably deteriorating and the speed of emptying stomach, thus making you feel full for a longer time. Hence automatically reducing the food intake due to hunger.
- Boosts Metabolic activity.
In more medical terms, semaglutide belongs to the class of medications addressed as glucagon-1-peptide receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA). These mimic the action of GLP-1 hormones released as a response to eating. Semaglutide has been found to be more effective in treating type-2 diabetes and chronic weight gain conditions.
The typical usage of it involves injecting 2.4mg once a week. The duration of injection can vary depending upon the intensity of your conditions.
Common Side Effects Of Semaglutide Injections
Like any medicine, Semaglutide injections have their side effects. The most common side effects that can affect a considerable amount of the population include:
- Gastric Issues
Less common side effects associated with the medication include:
- Allergic Reaction
- Gallbladder Issues
The majority of these side effects mildly affect you and go away on your own without creating further issues.
Pros And Cons Of Using Semaglutide Injections
These weight loss injections come with a long list of benefits and potential disadvantages. Knowing them in detail will help you weigh their pros and cons and make an informed decision regarding the treatment plan.
- Proven Effectiveness: Recent studies conducted by various medical journals and medical associations illustrated that the use of such injections led to an average weight loss of 15% among individuals. At the same time, changes in lifestyle and dieting led to 2.5%.
- Appetite Suppression: Since the injection involves mimicking GLP-1 hormones, it effectively reduces appetite and makes you feel full for a longer time.
- Non-Surgical Option: In the olden days, gastric bypass was the only reliable treatment for obesity. The introduction of semaglutide injections offered a safe, reliable, and less risky non-surgical option.
- Improved Metabolic Health: Due to the action of hormones, semaglutide not only causes weight gain but also improves metabolic activity and thus improves your metabolic health. Improvement in metabolic health is very well associated with reduction of risk of cardiovascular diseases and improved glycemic control.
- Improved Blood Sugar Control: All these medications were originally designed to control insulin secretion and thus manage the blood sugar level. So, using these medications to manage weight can also help you to improve the control exerted on blood sugar levels. Thereby improving your health.
- Long List Of Potential Side Effects: The potential side effects that can cause an imbalance in your daily life are quite long. Thus, due care is needed while using these injections.
- Injections: Since the more common form advised for weight control is injections, it can be inconvenient to some. Since it is necessary to use these injections once a week, due to the busy life schedules, it might be inconvenient for some.
- Cost: A single shot of these injections starts as low as $200 in clinics. Although the cheapest options are available online, it is advisable to seek medical help in case you have any concerns. Thus, it might be costlier for some to afford.
- Not A Standalone Solution: Using these injections alone cannot create a major change, but managing your diet regularly and investing time to exercise along with semaglutide injections can help you manage your obesity.
- Long-Term Implications Are Unknown: Although diabetes injections have been on the market for some time, the use of such medications to manage weight has only been popular for some time.
Thus, the long-term problems and implications of using such medications are relatively unknown. More research needs to be done to know in detail about the different aspects and effects of long-term use.
Obesity is a heterogeneous, complex, and chronic condition with many underlying issues. Obesity might cause serious problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic problems. Thus, treating obesity helps in treating the majority of these underlying issues.
Although being obese can affect your confidence, before considering these injections and dieting, it is advisable to consult with a medical expert and nutritionist before making any changes. This can help you safely and effectively manage your weight, improve your self-confidence, and have a great life ahead.