When it involves Ozempic and Wegovy, everybody appears to have an opinion.
The medication ― the primary of which is meant to deal with diabetes and the second of which is used for weight administration in adults with weight problems or who’re chubby ― have been a hot-button challenge because the starting of the 12 months. Their recognition led to a nationwide scarcity of Ozempic for diabetic sufferers as a result of off-label use for weight reduction.
Semaglutide is the energetic ingredient in each Ozempic and Wegovy, so each medication work roughly in the identical method: By boosting the physique’s ranges of the hormone GLP-1, the medication sluggish digestion within the abdomen, and likewise ship alerts to the mind that you just’re full.
Wegovy, Ozempic and Mounjaro ― producer Eli Lilly’s model of the drug ― can all result in weight reduction, however solely Wegovy is at present accepted by the FDA for continual weight administration points.
GLP-1 drugs are prescribed safely for weight reduction when any individual has a physique mass index of 30 or larger, or 27 or larger with a weight-related medical complication, stated Dr. Rekha Kumar, the chief medical officer on the medically assisted weight reduction program Found and a training endocrinologist in New York City.
Ozempic and Mounjaro are typically prescribed off-label for weight reduction by docs, nurse practitioners or med spas; that’s all completely authorized and never unusual ― you’ve little question heard rumors of celebrities taking the medication to slim down.
“There is also a lot of inappropriate use of medications like Ozempic and Wegovy by people who don’t qualify, which got people talking,” Kumar informed HuffPost.
If you don’t qualify for insurance coverage protection, the medication are going to price you; Mounjaro at present begins at $997 by way of SingleCare. Ozempic costs start at $814, whereas Wegovy begins at $1,212.
The preliminary outrage over celebrities’ use of semaglutides and the nationwide scarcity was again in January. What’s saved the dialog going is one thing else: We stay in a fatphobic society, and Ozempic and Wegovy give us one other alternative to move judgment on these we deem chubby, Kumar stated.
“People feel at liberty to comment on GLP-1 medications like Ozempic or Wegovy for weight loss because they may not understand that obesity is a disease,” she stated. “These medications are a treatment option for people who may not have found effective treatments prior.”
But when the accepted considering is that weight problems is a alternative and consequence of a scarcity of willpower, it permits individuals to type opinions on others’ habits, Kumar stated.
“Those who continue to comment are likely not fully informed about the biological aspects of body weight,” she stated.
That’s not the one false impression about weight and this new class of medication. Below, individuals who’ve really taken Ozempic and Wegovy as prescribed share a number of the most typical mistruths they’ve heard concerning the medication.
Myth 1: People who use semaglutide for weight problems are lazy and simply have to eat much less and train.
Miranda Mossberg, a 35-year-old mother of three from Minnesota, started taking Wegovy in February 2023. Mossberg has polycystic ovarian syndrome that causes her to have insulin resistance: “Unfortunately due to my insulin resistance my body does not process sugars, carbs and nutrients the way it should,” she informed HuffPost.
“I’ve tried everything outside of a very invasive body altering surgery to lose weight,” she stated.
She posts about her progress on TikTok, and infrequently hears from individuals within the feedback who suppose taking GLP-1s like Wegovy is the “lazy” method out or not sustainable.
“I get many comments that say ‘just eat less and move more’ or ‘that sounds miserable, I don’t understand why anyone would take that,’” Mossberg stated.
“This amazing, life-changing medication for people with chronic obesity, insulin resistance or who are prediabetic has quickly become the latest diet fad, and it is so frustrating.”
– Patsy Wieler, 58
Others wrongly assume that just by taking Wegovy “the weight will just magically fall off,” Mossberg stated.
“The truth is, you have to change your lifestyle, which this medication makes easier to do,” she stated. “It turns off that ‘food noise’ that so many have: That constant thought of food, snacks and your next meal. The need to fix your next craving.”
Thanks to Wegovy, Mossberg stated she now not ruminates on her subsequent snack or when she’ll get to have a giant consolation meal.
“I eat better, I drink more water, I work out 5-6 days a week and I overall just feel better,” she stated.
Could she try this with out treatment? “I’m honestly not sure,” she stated. “The working out, absolutely. The water, absolutely. But that food noise is real, and it can be all-consuming. The binge that can happen after a ‘good’ day, and the guilt that follows puts your head in a bad place. It’s a tailspin almost impossible to get out of.”
Myth 2: It’s a fast repair.
Patsy Wieler, 58, was placed on Ozempic for each diabetes and weight problems in May 2019. At the time, she weighed round 346 kilos.
“Although I was morbidly obese, I was an avid hiker, climbing 450m elevation mountains, and consistently walking,” stated Wieler, who lives in Calgary, Canada.
“I even walked a half marathon in February 2017,” she informed HuffPost. “I was active and ate like everyone else but no matter what I did, I just kept getting heavier. At that point in 2019, I was utterly hopeless.”
When Wieler’s physician informed her about Ozempic, she was apprehensive. “I didn’t believe in weight loss medications,” she stated. But her physician satisfied her that weight problems was a continual complicated situation that wanted administration, similar to another continual illness.
“Ozempic brought my chronic hunger under control, significantly lowered my food noise which was constant prior to Ozempic, and has helped me maintain every pound I lost since I have been on it,” stated Wieler, who runs the YouTube channel Big Girl Talking.
Given her expertise, it bothers her to listen to individuals discuss flippantly of Ozempic, as if it’s simply one other fad food regimen or fast repair for these trying to match society’s customary of magnificence.
“I want to scream this from the rooftops: Ozempic is not a weight loss drug! Ozempic is not the ‘skinny shot’ or any other inane label it has been given,” she stated.
“This amazing, life-changing medication for people with chronic obesity, insulin resistance or who are prediabetic has quickly become the latest diet fad, and it is so frustrating and upsetting because it is minimizing its incredible efficacy for those of us who suffer from diabetes or obesity,” she stated.
Watching individuals like Bravo host Andy Cohen “congratulating” celebrities who’ve misplaced weight possible as a result of Ozempic doesn’t sit effectively with Wieler.
“Those of us who suffer from obesity have so many complicated issues we have to deal with on a daily basis,” she stated. “As someone who has suffered from obesity for 40 years, watching everyone celebrate our medication as an easy way to become skinny again leaves me feeling unseen, misunderstood and alone.”
Myth 3: Access to Ozempic isn’t an issue.
Anthony, a 36-year-old from Philadelphia has been on Ozempic to deal with his Type 2 diabetes for 2 years. (He requested to make use of his first title just for the sake of privateness.)
“My experiences with this medication have been really good,” he stated. “My results have been weight loss and appetite control with a well-balanced diet and exercise.”
When Ozempic grew to become a well-liked subject of debate on TikTok again in January, Anthony skilled the provision scarcity firsthand. He’s fearful that the elevated use of the drug among the many “healthy overweight” (or simply these trying to lose simply 5 or 10 kilos) will trigger one other scarcity and impression those that want it probably the most.
“Those on it for diabetes have already had difficulty obtaining the medication for ourselves because of insurance and the high cost,” he stated. “If you don’t need it, don’t deplete the inventory for the rest of us.”
Myth 4: It’s a perfect treatment for anybody who needs to drop a few pounds.
Not everybody who makes use of Ozempic has an excellent expertise. Laura Burns, a 41-year-old from Houston, took Ozempic for about six months to handle her diabetes. Despite telling her physician about issues she had as a result of outdated consuming dysfunction behaviors, Burns’ physician stated it was one of the best remedy for her well being situation.
“I felt that she actually mostly cared about me losing weight, and told me so, even though I told her it was not a priority of mine,” stated Burns, a physique liberation activist and creator of “Big and Bold: Yoga for the Plus-size Woman.”
The half a 12 months Burns was on Ozempic was “incredibly challenging,” she informed HuffPost.
“While it did ultimately help me bring my A1C down to below diabetic levels, taking Ozempic caused weight loss even on the lowest dose,” she stated. “Coupled with the loss of appetite and reemergence of my old disordered eating and exercise issues, the drug created a perfect storm for me to lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time.”
“For me, the medication worked for my diabetes, but at what cost?”
– Laura Burns, 41
Burns needs that prescribing docs would communicate concerning the negative effects the medication may cause, together with nausea, vomiting, constipation, gasoline and heartburn. More severe, long-term reactions like thyroid tumors, pancreatitis, gallbladder issues and kidney points have additionally been reported. (Earlier this month, a private damage legislation agency filed a lawsuit in opposition to Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Co., the producers of Ozempic and Mounjaro, claiming the medication may cause gastroparesis, a paralysis of the abdomen.)
Burns additionally needs docs would give some consideration to how medication like Ozempic could have an effect on physique picture points for many who’ve had consuming issues.
“Everyone’s experience on these medications is different, and I often hear sweeping generalizations about the experience, efficacy, and side effects of taking them,” Burns stated.
“For me, the medication worked for my diabetes, but at what cost?” she stated. “I am still dealing with working through ED issues that I had already dealt with and living free from their influence.”
Myth 5: Semaglutide is a simple method out.
Mila Clarke, a well being coach and founding father of Hangry Woman and the Glucose Guide app, started taking Ozempic in late 2020 for blood sugar administration. (Clarke has latent autoimmune diabetes, a slow-progressing type of Type 1 diabetes sometimes recognized in maturity.)
Nine months in, she’s seen progress in each her blood sugar and weight administration. “I see it as an awesome addition to diabetes management because it’s a once-weekly injection, it’s easy to inject, doesn’t hurt, and it relieves some of the burden of diabetes.”
While it might be simple to inject, it’s not an “easy” drug to take, as many imagine. “The side effects are sometimes completely insane: I know I dealt with tachycardia (fast heartbeat),” Clarke stated. “Oftentimes, I felt dizzy or faint in the very beginning, with some nausea, too.”
Clarke stated she’s heard individuals say issues like, “How does it feel to spend a thousand dollars to take the easy way out?” however that doesn’t mesh along with her experiences.
“When you hear that, it’s kind of like, well, that’s not what I’m doing. I’m working really hard alongside that as well,” she stated.
Clarke thinks that false impression is tied to a much bigger one about individuals residing with weight problems on the whole.
“People with diabetes or obesity care about their health,” she stated. “We’re not in a position where we write our health off,” she stated. “Actually, we’re some of the most health-conscious people on earth, especially with diabetes.”
Type 1 diabetes requires fixed care, Clarke stated: You’re continually measuring your meals, continually taking good care of your blood sugar, monitoring your blood sugar, carrying gadgets in your physique, and going out in public to maintain up appearances, even once you don’t really feel effectively.
“That’s why I think people should have more grace about all this,” she stated. “In general, don’t comment on someone’s health when it’s none of your business. If someone is taking these drugs to help their health, your opinion is not needed about it.”