Semaglutide 101

What is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog that was approved in 2020 as a treatment method for improving glycemic control in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Semaglutide shows great promise for patients who are having difficulty losing weight, and even those without Type 2 Diabetes can use this peptide. 

Studies have demonstrated that Semaglutide reduced appetite, improved control of eating, and reduced food cravings in addition to improved glycemic control. The greatest weight loss benefits were observed when Semaglutide is used in combination with lifestyle changes, such as improved diet and consistent exercise.

How does Semaglutide work?

GLP-1 is a hormone produced in the small intestine that stimulates insulin secretion and inhibits glucagon secretion, thereby lowering blood sugar and reducing cravings. It also slows gastric emptying making you full and satisfied for longer. Semaglutide has demonstrated beneficial effects on glycemia, in addition to a host of other benefits.

Reported Benefits:

  • Weight Loss
  • Neuroprotective
  • Improved Fertility
  • Treatment of PCOS
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Cardiovascular Benefits

How should Semaglutide be used?

Semaglutide  is applied as a subcutaneous injection which is most commonly dosed at 0.25mL(0.5mg) to 0.5mL(1mg) once weekly. This dosing may be increased to 1mL(2mg) once weekly after one month of

treatment if needed. This medication is generally well-tolerated and can be dosed continuously without breaking treatment with no diminishing effects.

Side effects/contraindications:

The most commonly reported side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and

constipation. The risk of serious side effects increases in patients with hypoglycemia, kidney problems, and risk of allergic reactions. Contraindications to use of this medication include gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, history of an eating disorder, MENS syndrome, or family/personal history of medullary thyroid cancer. 

Will I gain the weight back after stopping Semaglutide?

The consensus is, when we revert back to our old ways, “Yes, you will gain the weight back.” Luckily with the use of Semaglutide there are some residual effects including appetite suppression and glucose regulation for up to a couple of weeks or months. While on Semaglutide the goal is to learn healthier habits to incorporate with a healthy diet and exercise routine. Some healthy habits that have worked for patients when they feel hungry include; going for a walk, drinking water, practicing yoga, calling a friend, reading a book, finding a new hobby. The more bored you are, the more you will eat. 

The short answer is yes, if and when you revert back to your old ways. Though a benefit of Semaglutide is its residual effects, this is not something to heavily rely on. It is important to adopt all components of a healthy lifestyle.

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