Wow! If you can't tell I am a little fired up... I AM! I have listened to 2 podcasts in the past month that completely bash Ozempic (Semaglutide).
Both were fitness professional type
podcasts that I know feel a bit threatened that they will lose business because of the massive popularity and almost "magic pill" effect that the medications offers. BUT!! Both podcasts not only spoke about the medications completely uneducated, they did absolutely no research about basically anything that had to do with the benefits or even how the medication works and were completely wrong in what they said regarding how long the medication has been used and potential side effects. And worst of all, they completely BASHED all of the people who are taking the medication - this is what got me all FIRED UP! (We'll get to that in a minute)
First of all, I want to DEBUNK some of the common misconceptions because I feel that because both podcast spoke of these things it seems to be wide spread information that is not true.
~"This is a new medication and we have no idea if it will kill someone in 5 years!" Semaglutide has been around since 2014 for people with Type 2 Diabetes. In 2020 it became FDA ap
proved for weight loss. So it's not a "new medication." It has been well studied and has overall very low risk and side effect panel. With that said the medication should not be dispensed like CANDY, and I would absolutely agree that it's not that hard to get your hands on it if you're willing to spend some money and many business don't check baseline labs or take a thorough health history (there are ABSOLUTE contraindications for semaglutide). But if you are with an experienced, well educated provider doing their due diligence, the medication is safe and a great option.
~"People have no clue what they are putting into their body and the side effects they may have from it." Well we actually know exactly what is being put in the body - a GLP-1 (glucagon-like-peptide-1) receptor that increases insulin secretion, decreases glucagon secretion and delays gastric emptying making the body feel fuller longer. Many providers actually put this class of medications into the PEPTIDE category, as the mechanism of action stimulates the body's own receptors. PEPTIDES in general are very safe. Common side effects are nausea, constipation, bloating - the list goes on as it does with any drug - but these are the most common side effects seen in my practice. And to be honest, how
I dose this medication with my clients, many have no side effects at all. I'll mention again, choosing your provider wisely definitely helps!
~"As soon as you stop taking the medication, you'll gain ALL of the weight back." Doesn't this actually speak to any type of diet or weight loss medication? When you stop taking the medication, of course you no longer will no longer have the positive effects of the medication, BUT... this is where habits and also a good provider (I think I mentioned this before! LOL) come into play. I obviously can only speak to my practice and my clients, but this is what I am actually most proud of. My clients know and hear me repeat OVER and OVER again... good nutrition, daily activity and implementing a strength training program into their lives is key! This has to be done in order to have long term success!
Saving the best for last now and what really fired me up listening to the podcasts - the way all of the people taking the medication we
re being BASHED! I mean, I know they feel a little threatened and in the end it is their podcast and they can say what they want but here's the OTHER side of all the negativity that they mentioned: What about the person who needs to lose weight so they don't have to go on blood pressure or cholesterol medication? What about the Mom who finished having her babies and doesn't have the time or energy but needs to kick start her weight loss? What about the person who has over 100 lbs to lose and is contemplating weight loss surgery but wants to consider this option first? What about the person who feels they've tried it all without success? This medication could be the answer for all of these scenarios! I personally have clients who, with this medication, have lost the first 20 lbs and now are walking 10,000 steps a day or clients who are texting me and asking how many grams of protein they should be shooting for each day to improve their diet or clients who have started to lose weight and for the first time EVER or in a long time feel comfortable walking in to a gym to start strength training!
So I would definitely encourage those podcasting, blogging, posting to social media about all of the negativity around Ozempic (Semaglutide) to consider the other side. As we are all in the Health industry, I think we owe it to our clients... everyone's on their own journey that most of us know nothing about, but it's our job to meet people where they are and help them along the way!