Weight loss medications affect multiple digestive pathways in the body; they activate hormonal pathways which in turn increases the body’s insulin production. Insulin helps to decrease the amount of glucose or sugar in the bloodstream, helping regulate energy stores and how the body processes food. Some of these medically supervised weight loss medications also decrease glucagon secretion; glucagon is a hormone which triggers the liver to release stored energy (in the form of glycogen) from the liver into the bloodstream. They also decrease the stomach’s emptying time, which in turn results in a prolonged feeling of fulness and less hunger.
Weight loss medications were generally developed by pharmaceutical companies to help people with type II diabetes get better control of their blood sugar. Besides diabetes, they are now also prescribed to help with weight loss.
What are the side effects?
The common side effects of medically supervised weight loss medications include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. These medications should be avoided or used with caution in patients with kidney problems, gastroparesis or stomach emptying problems, severe gastrointestinal disease, history of pancreas inflammation, and diabetic eye disease (also called diabetic retinopathy). Weight loss medications should be avoided in individuals with medullary thyroid carcinoma, a rare type of thyroid cancer; and endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). These medications should be avoided in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
I want to lose weight; how do I get started?
Our medically supervised weight loss program may fit your needs if you are looking to lose 10+ pounds and have struggled to do this on your own. We start your treatment journey by bringing you in to our practice via a virtual or in-person consultation to discuss your medical history, health, and treatment goals. Our expert team of physicians and medical staff reviews your weight, body mass index, and bloodwork before determining a treatment plan. We also connect you with an experienced registered dietician to help support proper nutrition and healthier eating habits. If our physicians determine that you are a good candidate for medically supervised weight loss treatment, we create a custom-tailored dosing regimen using these highly effective weight loss medications; these are administered once a week by our staff in our office, or by you in the comfort of your home after we teach you proper injection and administration techniques. We meet with you to monitor your treatment progress at least monthly, and encourage a minimal treatment duration of 2 months. Once you have achieved your goal weight, our staff crafts a maintenance program with the goal of supporting your weight loss and ultimately come off your weight loss medication or remain on a small maintenance dose.
Ready to get started with your weight loss journey? Call us to schedule your complimentary consultation today!