The obesity epidemic is one of the greatest threats to global health. According to the World Health Organization, at least 400 million adults are overweight, and more than 100 million are obese. This makes it the largest health problem in the world.
For those seeking a weight loss solution, there are various effective medications available. However, most of these medications come with major side effects. For example, the popular diet pill Xenical comes with a list of dangerous side effects that includes heart problems and liver damage. There is also the risk of developing diabetes with the help of these medications. This is why many people are turning to a different approach and trying to lose weight naturally.
One of the newest additions to the weight loss market is semaglutide. This is a medication that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2017 for the treatment of obesity. It is the combination of a GLP-1 receptor agonist and an inhibitor of the breakdown of amylin, which is the hormone that regulates meals. Together, these ingredients work to stimulate the GLP-1 receptors and inhibit the enzyme that breaks down amylin. This is what gives semaglutide its potential to be an effective weight loss pill without the risk of developing diabetes.
What Is Semaglutide?
Semaglutide is a medication that is administered once-weekly by injection into your arm. It was developed by Norgine and was approved for sale in the U.S.A. in 2017. It is the combination of a GLP-1 receptor agonist and an inhibitor of the breakdown of amylin.
GLP-1 is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body. It is often referred to as the “good” or “happy” hormone because it encourages healthy eating and physical activity. The GLP-1 receptors are located on the surface of various organs and tissues in the body, especially in the pancreas. When activated by GLP-1, these receptors cause the body to secrete insulin. Therefore, stimulating the GLP-1 receptors with the help of medication has the potential to reduce the need for insulin injections in type 2 diabetics. Furthermore, the pancreas plays an important role in maintaining blood sugar levels, so it’s likely that stimulating the GLP-1 receptors will help to lower blood sugar also.
How Does Semaglutide Work?
As mentioned above, semaglutide is a combination of a GLP-1 receptor agonist and an inhibitor of the breakdown of amylin. So, how does it work?
When amylin binds to the GLP-1 receptors, it causes the aforementioned receptors to become active. The activated GLP-1 receptors then send a signal to the pancreas, which triggers the production of insulin. This effect stimulates the insulin receptors located on the surface of cells in the body’s peripheral blood vessels. Thus, the insulin that is released into the blood travels around the body and helps to regulate sugar levels in the blood. This is how semaglutide helps to keep blood sugar levels in check.
Because amylin inhibits the breakdown of amylin, it’s also likely that semaglutide will be effective in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease by preventing the onset of these neurological conditions. There is also some evidence showing that it may be able to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer as well. However, more research is needed to prove this link.
How Much Weight Can I Lose On Semaglutide?
The amount of weight that you can lose on semaglutide will depend on your body mass index (BMI) and how much you want to lose. If you have a high BMI, it may be difficult to obtain a significant weight loss without also developing diabetes. The best thing for those seeking to lose weight is to have a low BMI. In this case, you will be able to easily generate healthy muscle tissue and burn calories effectively. However, keep in mind that you need to adjust your diet and exercise routine to meet the needs of this new body you have created. This is especially important if you are taking this medication regularly because changes to these areas of your life will be needed to maintain the results of your weight loss efforts.
The Side Effects Of Semaglutide
Like most other weight loss medications, semaglutide comes with its share of side effects. However, because it is a newer drug, there aren’t as many long-term studies available to inform us of these unwanted effects. What is known about this medication is that it may cause dry mouth, constipation, and diarrhea.
Additionally, those who experience an allergic reaction to sulfites, which are found in wine and some other foods, may also experience a reaction to semaglutide. In these cases, the allergic reaction can range from mild to severe, so it’s important to avoid these foods while taking this medication. It’s also advisable to consult your doctor if you experience these types of reactions to see if there is a connection.
With any type of medication, there is the risk of experiencing an adverse reaction. However, this chance is extremely small. When taken at recommended dosages and durations, the incidence of these side effects is considered to be very low. Nevertheless, it’s still good practice to learn as much as you can about any medication you are going to take, especially if you are self-diagnosing and/or self-medicating without the help of a physician. By knowing more about the potential side effects of this medication, you will be able to take a more informed decision when you decide to try it.
Overall, semaglutide is a promising weight loss medication. Its combination of a GLP-1 receptor agonist and an inhibitor of the breakdown of amylin mean that it has the potential to combat diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Its efficacy in reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer is also yet to be proven, but it is commonly accepted that weight loss, if managed carefully, can be effective in preventing these diseases.
The main disadvantage of this medication is that, because it is a newer drug, there isn’t as much research on its long-term effects as there is for established medications. Additionally, some patients may develop an allergic reaction to it. Nevertheless, given its current status as a research medication, these side effects are expected to be minor. Nevertheless, it’s still good practice to learn as much as you can about any medication you are going to take, especially if you are self-diagnosing and/or self-medicating without the help of a physician.