Semaglutide – Mechanism, Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects (Comprehensive Guide – 2023)

Jan 10, 2023

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Semaglutide – Mechanism, Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects (Comprehensive Guide – 2023)

What is semaglutide?

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) medication that’s commonly prescribed to treat type II diabetes. This drug is extremely effective at lowering blood sugar and promoting weight loss. In June 2021, Semaglutide injection (Wegovy) was FDA approved for chronic weight management for adults with obesity and have a BMI>30 or those overweight with BMI>27 along with history of high blood pressure, Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, or high cholesterol.

While there are numerous GLP-1 medications on the market, semaglutide is one of the most popular options due to its success with weight loss. This drug also has a relatively longer half-life, which is why you will only need one injection per week.

How does semaglutide work?

Semaglutide and other GLP-1 medications target numerous metabolic pathways in the body.

Here is a breakdown of some of these mechanisms:

Slow down gastric emptying – Slowing down gastric emptying will prevent glucose spikes after meals. Today, we have plenty of research that connects glucose spikes to obesity.

Induce satiety – Semaglutide induces feelings of fullness by suppressing the hunger response. Reducing your appetite is crucial to limit food cravings and promote weight loss.

Increase insulin production – Semaglutide might help the pancreas secrete more insulin. This might be useful for prediabetic and diabetic individuals, which tend to have subnormal insulin secretion.

Prevent gluconeogenesisGluconeogenesis refers to synthesizing new glucose molecules by the liver. Reducing the rate of this process prevents weight gain.

Taking semaglutide as part of a comprehensive weight loss plan

While semaglutide carries some great benefits when it comes to weight loss, it works better with lifestyle modification and the providers here at Memorial Health Urgent Care and Infusions can help discuss a weight loss plan and goal on your first consultation.

Benefits of weekly Semaglutide injections include:

  • Facilitates weight loss of up to 15% or more of your body weight
  • Reduces Appetite
  • Reduces Food Cravings
  • Reduces Hunger
  • Improves control of insulin resistance and blood sugar
  • Increases Satiety
  • Alters Food Preferences

One study found that semaglutide is significantly more effective when patients incorporate other lifestyle measures, such as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. Unfortunately, we all know that this is easier said than done. In a double blinded study, participants who took semaglutide lost at least 5% of their body weight while some lost >15% of their body weight compared to placebo

The sad thing is that most people blame themselves when their weight loss efforts fail. In reality, gaining weight shortly after losing it may not be entirely your fault. In physiology, there is a concept known as homeostasis, which describes the body’s tendency to go back to baseline. After decades of specific eating and exercise habits, it can be extremely difficult to wake up one day and decide to change everything. In fact, studies repeatedly emphasized that up to 80% of people gain weight 5 years after losing it. This has nothing to do with your personal traits.

For instance, the hunger response will remain active for many months even after weight loss. This is why Semaglutide is beneficial. By blocking the signals of hunger response, you will have better control over your eating pattern.

Takeaway message

Semaglutide is a fantastic medication with an array of health benefits that include most organ systems. Learning more about this product is essential to help patients with obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

We hope that this article managed to highlight the different aspects of semaglutide and how this drug can help millions of people.

Here at Memorial Health Urgent Care and Infusions, we can help you on your path to better health, call us for an in person or virtual appointment today.

If you have any questions or would like to start your weight loss journey, feel free to contact us or book an appointment online