You may have heard of Ozempic, Wegovy, Trulicity, or Mounjaro. Are these really "magical" weight loss medications?
Just search weight loss on social media, and you'll find a barrage of information related to injectable medications, also known as semaglutide and tirzepatide. You'll even find testimonials of people losing 20 pounds in 3 months. So, is this medication as good as they say?
These injectables have been prescribed safely for the diabetic population for years, and weight loss was a known "side effect" of using this medication. In 2021, the FDA approved GLPs for treatment of overweight and obesity, which opened a world of possibilities for people struggling to lose weight despite regular diet and exercise. Did you know that once weekly injectables are approved to treat obesity in anyone over the age of 12?
One study in NEJM looked at about 1961 adults in a 68-week study. The results showed that over the 68-week cycle, participants that were given semaglutide lost anywhere from 5-20% of their body weight. Participants noticed decrease in waist circumference, decrease in blood pressure, decrease A1C, decrease fasting glucose, and decrease cholesterol levels.
How can I get a prescription?
Short answer - you can get this from your primary provider, but it will cost you.
Long answer - insurance companies control everything. Your primary might not be able to prescribe these medications without having to jump through many hoops, like prior authorizations or having to try (& fail) other treatment. Even when GLP1As were approved for treatment of diabetes, I would have a hard time getting them approved for members that were on the verge of having to use insulin! You will want to find yourself a weight loss provider that can help with sending prescriptions to compounding pharmacies, which avoid the middle man (insurance companies) altogether.
TLDR - find a weight loss expert. That's where Apex Health DPC comes in!
The only impossible journey is one you never begin"
What is included in a weight loss program?
You will want to find a knowledgeable and empathetic practitioner. Often times, people that want to lose weight have tried everything in their arsenal. Some clients tell me they are working out for an hour a day, including weight training, and still cannot lose weight. It is vital to ensure your practitioner evaluates your blood work to optimize all abnormal findings. Find weight loss practitioners and interview them to learn their technique. Make sure your personalities match, as you will be forming a close relationship with them.
A weight loss program is anywhere from 3-6 months in length. Not only does this include medications, but includes evaluation of your sleep, stress, mental health, nutritional status, and lifestyle. Weight loss is not just about using an injectable medication, but includes nutrition counseling, exercise recommendations, and lab optimization. For example, thyroid levels that are not in the optimal range can hinder your weight loss efforts.
Will I have to stay on medications my whole life?
At the start of your weight loss program, you'll want to discuss clear goals, and set realistic expectations. Ideally, with a weight loss program, you will have gained a healthier relationship with food, increased energy, healthy exercise habits, decreased weight, and gained confidence!
With weekly injectable medications, I've successfully weaned diabetic patients off medications, to where they are only taking a once weekly or one pill versus a plethora of pills (& trust me, there are a LOT of medications to treat diabetes). With careful nutrition counseling and exercise, I've even had some reverse their diabetes while using medications like Ozempic. With that being said, you can stop using this medication once your goals are achieved!
Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try"
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