What is Ozempic?
Ozempic is a drug that can assist your pancreas to produce more insulin which helps people manage their blood sugar level which is particularly useful for those living with type 2 diabetes or people that have ‘pre-diabetes’. Medical professionals know Ozempic by the drug class termed glucagon-like peptide-1 agonist (GLP1a). GLP1 is a hormone naturally produced in our gut, and Ozemic mimics.
GLP1 is a hormone that helps regulate our appetite by telling our brain when we are full. This is the main reason that people who are not diabetic choose to use this drug, because by reducing their appetite they can better manage their weight. But, technically, Ozempic can only be prescribed for 2 years meaning that the benefits are only going to be temporary.
When the drug is stopped, the weight will likely pile back on and the initial benefits will be lost.
Is Ozempic a “quick fix”?
Ozempic does work, however, it generally takes a couple of months before the appetite reduction leads to significant weight loss. So, while it's not an “instant” fix it does produce a noticeable weight loss over 8 weeks.
As we know, there are so many other ways to lose weight (and improve the outlook for people with pre-diabetes and type2 diabetes) without the need for medications like Ozempic, however, these all require a lot more discipline and dietary modifications.
How is Ozempic administered?
Ozempic is administered as an injectable pen each week. This will be typically injected into your abdomen, and like any injection it is not completely painless, but the pain of the injection is fairly minimal.
The benefits of a reduced appetite
Ozempic will likely help to minimize your appetite which will help you lose weight because you will be consuming less calories. However it is recommended that patients maintain or start a daily fitness routine in order to additionally expend more calories, otherwise fewer calories will be burned, and thus weight loss will be reduced.
The disadvantages of reduced appetite
A reduction in appetite has potential downsides as well. If a diet is already short on nutrients (which is NOT the same as calories) it is possible to end up with significant nutrient deficiencies. Sadly the majority of North Americans are currently getting 60% of their energy from ultra-processed foods which are often calorie dense but contain less micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, protein) which are vital for maintenance and repair of our cells.
Therefore a reduction in food intake comes with a potential reduction in the essential nutrients the body needs. So while Ozempic is designed to help lose weight it is not a risk-free or healthy weight-loss strategy.
You will lose weight
Studies show that within a couple of months after starting Ozempic patients will lose weight however, when losing weight there are positive and negative ways to lose excess weight.
Successful weight loss means losing excess fat. By contrast an unhealthy weight loss is when muscle is lost.
Muscle is our main metabolic determinant, and the more muscle one has, the better one's metabolism, aka how we burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
Unfortunately Ozempic has been shown to reduce muscle mass
Dr Peter Attia who is a world leading authority on longevity spoke about Ozempic and he commented that 2/3 of the weight lost by people using the drug is loss of muscle mass. This statistic illustrates how dangerous Ozempic actually is long-term.
Peter Attia’s Instagram:
Is Ozempic an insulin shot?
Ozempic is not an insulin shot: if patients have been prescribed insulin they will still need to continue with their insulin injections on top of Ozempic.
Ozempic is a Glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP1) receptor antagonist. Mimicking your body’s naturally occurring hormone Glucagon-like-peptide-1 which is released when we eat, thereby regulating blood sugar and appetite.
What are the side effects of Ozempic?
Most common side effects of Ozempic are:
Some of the more serious complications of Ozempic are:
Pancreatitis and long term digestion complications
Vision issues - blurred vision and worsening diabetic retinopathy
While this drug will help with short term weight loss, the side effects and long-term health problems that Ozempic can cause are significant. I urge you to weigh the pros and cons before starting this medication.