Weight loss is a challenging and frustrating journey for many. In recent years, several weight loss medications have emerged as potential allies in the fight against obesity as a chronic disease.
These weight loss medications are prescribed by doctors to people who want to lose weight and feel better in their bodies. Our medically supervised weight loss program can help people who have a hard time losing weight with just food and exercise alone.
These injectables are revolutionary weight loss medications. Originally developed to manage blood sugar levels in diabetics, these medications also has the significant added benefit of effective and sustainable weight loss. How?
These medications are hormone receptor agonists, meaning this hormone works to increase insulin production and slow gastric (stomach) emptying. Treated patient feel full sooner and longer, and note decreased urges to overeat and chronic “food chatter.”
In clinical studies, these medications have been shown to be effective at reducing body weight and improving other markers of health in people with obesity or overweight. Some studies show the weight loss efficacy of these injectables is comparable to that of bariatric or weight loss surgery–which is an impressive finding! In one study, people taking one of these medications lost an average of 14% of their body weight over 68 weeks, compared to an average weight loss of 2% in people taking a placebo. These injectables have also been shown to improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar control in people with obesity or overweight.
These injectables may be a useful tool for people who have tried diet and exercise but still haven’t been able to lose weight, especially if they have other weight-related health conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. However, these medications must be accompanied with significant diet and lifestyle changes to be effective.
The most common side effects of these injectable medications include nausea, diarrhea, belching, constipation, and abdominal pain. Some people may also experience changes in appetite or taste, and report decreased cravings for sugar and alcohol. There is a small chance of developing pancreatitis with their use. Less than 5% of study participants elected not to continue with treatment due to side effects, highlighting the small chance of significant side-effects for most patients. More studies have shown stomach discomfort like belching and nausea can be mitigated through small increases in dosage. We encourage patients to follow a healthy diet with smaller meals, less fatty and greasy foods, more protein, and plenty of water to manage the side-effects of these medications.
These medications both work to suppress hunger and weight loss independently of your diet and exercise regiment. However, lots of patients report more effective and faster weight loss when combining these medications with a high-protein diet. These medications are most effective when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
These medications are typically administered as a once weekly injection. As part of your medically supervised weight loss program at Aviva Plastic Surgery, we administer the first 3-4 injections in our office, while teaching you proper administration techniques. We then will provide guidance on how and when to take your injectable dose; and check in with you monthly alongside your self-administered dosing at home. Some patients choose to come to the office weekly for their medication if they do not feel comfortable giving themselves shots.
Most patients note weight loss within 2 weeks of starting medications like these. Every patient is different when it comes to weight loss, and weight loss timelines can vary based on individual factors like genetics, metabolism, hormones, diet, and exercise regimen. Because of this and because the injectable weight loss medications take a few weeks to reach a steady state in your body, we recommend an initial trial of 2 months for both of these injectable medications. We have seen patients lose up to 15 pounds in one month, while other individuals lose 1-2 pounds every 2 weeks. We recommend people aim for a 2 pound loss over a week; we monitor your progress weekly and monthly, and adjust medication dosing as necessary.
No, these medications have a unique mechanism of action, targeting specific hormone receptors located in the pancreas and brain to reduce hunger. These medications are not stimulants, and work in a revolutionary way to help suppress the desire to overeat that is often present It’s essential to understand the differences between medications and consult a doctor to find the best fit.
The cost of a these medications will depend on your individual needs. Therefore, first, our doctors assess and evaluate your personal weight loss needs in a consultation appointment. Our staff will advise you on the cost and address any questions or concerns.
“Obesity, or excess weight, is a chronic problem for many, and may be associated with other medical problems like high blood pressure and heart disease,” says our Dr. Inessa Fishman. “We have an entered an exciting time in medicine with the injectable weight loss medications because they help treat obesity in new and very effective ways.”
While they are not quick fixes for most individuals, these are medications which help start and support loss of excess weight for patients struggling with weight loss because of genetic and hormone factors. For best results, these injectable medications should be combined with a healthy diet and sustainable and ongoing diet changes, regular exercise, and controlled and supervised weight loss. “Health and wellness are ongoing, not a quick sprint,” says Dr. Fishman, noting that our goal is to partner with you during your health and weight loss journey, and support you with continuing education, advice, and monitoring.
Are you ready to get started with your weight loss journey? Contact us to schedule your appointment!
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