I love talking about peptide therapy benefits, and today’s article will continue our conversation about the best peptides for weight loss, focusing on semaglutide.
First, read Part 1 of Supercharging Your Weight Loss Routine about my personal story using peptides for weight loss, what semaglutide is and how it may support weight loss.
Today’s article will build upon peptides and weight loss. I’ll cover:
Let’s dive in!
Semaglutide is the name of the GLP-1 receptor agonist developed for prescription use and is available under the brand names:
The Wegovy injection is the first brand name of semaglutide peptide for weight loss. It was approved by the FDA in 2021. This medication is injected once weekly in a 2.4 milligram dose.
The FDA criteria for using Wegovy for weight loss are:
Ozempic is a semiglutide medication approved for treating type 2 diabetes, a chronic metabolic disease. It’s available in 0.5 mg or 1 mg doses. It may improve blood sugar balance and reduce hemoglobin A1C values along with diet and exercise.
Heart disease is a major complication of diabetes, and semiglutide helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with diabetes. Weight loss is another desired effect of the medication.
Ozempic for weight loss is an off-label use, meaning that your provider would prescribe the medication for a use (weight loss) other than the approved use of the medication (diabetes).
As of May 2023, Ozempic and Wegovy are on the FDAs drug shortage list because of increased demand.
Rybelsus is a third prescription option for semaglutide. Instead of an injection, this medication comes as a tablet. It is designed for people with type 2 diabetes and has the same benefits and risks as the other available brands.
Rybelsus for weight loss is also an off-label use.
I’ve seen few side effects from personal experience with semaglutide and using it in my practice. The most common semaglutide side effects are GI symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea. We can often adjust the dose or use functional medicine tools to manage side effects.
Still, it’s important to recognize that semaglutide is a medication and may not be a good fit for everyone. It’s possible to have an allergic reaction to the semaglutide or other ingredients in the drug. In addition, the FDA recommends avoiding semaglutide medications if you have a history of thyroid cancer, gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2).
Please discuss your medical history and the pros and cons of semaglutide with your healthcare provider.
In addition, weight and obesity are complex. Many factors contribute to weight gain and make weight loss difficult. From a functional medicine perspective, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s important to uncover your individual root causes and address underlying factors such as thyroid health, adrenal health, sleep, stress, toxin exposures, and more.
Peptides work best in addition to lifestyle change. The same is true for weight loss. Changing diet and exercise behaviors address root cause contributors and build habits that support health as you age. For example, an anti-inflammatory diet helps reduce inflammation that may inhibit weight loss. Or strength training helps preserve muscle mass with weight loss, allowing for more beneficial body composition. The team here at The Fork Functional Medicine can help you personalize your lifestyle approach.
For many people, maintaining weight in a healthy range will mean reduced risk of chronic disease and improved quality of life. Peptides like semaglutide can be incredibly supportive when they are a good fit.
If you’re ready to learn more and see if you are a good candidate for peptide therapy, please reach out, as we’d love to start the conversation with you.
Coming soon, please check out more in my peptide series where I will cover:
These articles will provide a foundational understanding of peptides in the body.
Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Calanna S, et al. Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity. N Engl J Med. 2021;384(11):989-1002.
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