Semaglutide...Does it Work, and is it Healthy?
If you haven't heard of Semaglutide yet, it's only a matter of time before you do. It's being sold at all of the weight loss clinics, the Kardashians promoted it, and even Jamie from hit podcast "The Joe Rogan Experience" discussed how he almost decided to use it for weight loss. Today, I will tell you what the drug is, whether it's effective or not, whether it's safe or not, and then my personal commentary, for anyone who cares. :-)
What is it?
Semaglutide is an appetite suppressant. People say it more or less achieves the same effect as a gastric sleeve does, preventing you from eating more by suppressing your appetite but without an invasive surgery. It also doesn't seem to be very expensive. It's commonly used with patients who have type-2 diabetes. It works by increasing insulin release, lowering the amount of glucagon released, and ultimately suppressing people's appetites.
Is it effective and safe?
This study took 1,961 people for 68 weeks, and randomly assigned them to either once weekly semaglutide shots, or once weekly placebo shots. On week 68, the placebo group lost 2.4% overall bodyweight whilst the semaglutide group lost 14.9%.
Another very similar 52-week study had similar findings. The most common side effect mentioned by both studies was nausea, and the first study mentioned diarrhea as a side effect as well.
Those would be short term side effects while using the peptide, but are there more long term effects to be concerned with? Laboratory animals developed tumors, so medicineplus.gov issues a warning for this. There's a long list on this page of potential side effects that are concerning to me, such as rapid heartbeats, dizziness, and vision problems, but these aren't common.
My Thoughts on Semaglutide
Although the peptide seems to be effective, I would issue a warning to anyone considering this that it won't fix your problems. Taking an appetite suppressant for a year may help you lose weight, but it won't fix the issue that caused the weight gain to begin with, so once you quit, you could gain all of your weight back.
I would ask you first if you're trying other, more important things first. Are you drinking at least 64 oz of water per day? Are you drinking soda/juices? Are you exercising at least 2-3 times per week?
These are the easiest things you can do to lose weight, have more energy, and feel better. If you aren't even doing those 3 things, I would suggest you implement that before any consideration of medicinal weight loss.
I would suggest you try following a diet first. I would suggest you run your bloodwork first to see if you have a thyroid issue, or a hormonal imbalance first.
If you just can't get it together, maybe you should consider Semaglutide. But you need to remember there's no magic drug to fix your problems. Using semaglutide is like using duct tape to fix a water leak. The problem is still there once you take the tape off.