August 9, 2022

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Ozempic Is Touted on TikTok as a Weight-Loss Miracle. The Actuality Is Not So Easy

There is a purpose why “fast weight reduction” is searched greater than 12,000 occasions per 30 days on Google. In a society that glamorizes weight loss program tradition — whether or not by labeling meals as “good” or “unhealthy,” or by making “what I eat in a day” movies a viral TikTok development — it is easy to turn into obsessive about the meals you are consuming and the way it impacts the quantity on the size. {The marketplace} is already inundated with dangerous fat burners, fasts, and cleanses, and but it at all times looks like one thing new is being overvalued as a path to quick weight reduction. Not too long ago, as an illustration, TikTok has been touting Ozempic.

Ozempic (the model title for semaglutide) is a drugs made for adults with sort 2 diabetes. It is used to enhance individuals’s blood sugar ranges, and based on the web site, it lowers the danger of coronary heart assault, stroke, or demise in adults with sort 2 diabetes and recognized coronary heart illness.

So how did Ozempic turn into often known as a potential weight reduction drug? It just lately gained numerous buzz on TikTok, the place movies utilizing the tag #ozempic have garnered 55.6 million views. One video about it went viral on TikTok earlier this yr, as an illustration. The creator’s caption learn, “the place has this been all my life — 7 kgs down” in reference to an injectable dosage of Ozempic proven on display.

A number of the feedback on the video embrace:

“6 months on it and nearly 30 kg down xx.”

“34 lbs and now upkeep 🙌🏽 PCOS lifesaver.”

“I have been on it for 3 months misplaced 15kgs :)”

And whilst you could also be pondering “yeah, no approach” — the feedback in regards to the fast weight reduction outcomes may very well be supported by details. In a research the place Ozempic was added to a number of diabetes drugs, adults with sort 2 diabetes weighing 197 kilos misplaced 12 kilos in a single yr on a 1 mg weekly dosage.

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However this is the factor: Ozempic is just not a weight reduction drug, neither is it even permitted for use for weight reduction in sufferers who haven’t got sort 2 diabetes within the US, the web site states. So although TikTok movies in regards to the drug have been reached by many, it is vital to know what precisely Ozempic is, who it may be prescribed to, and the way it could (or could not) help in weight reduction.

What Is Ozempic and How Does Ozempic Work?

In easy phrases, Ozempic is a drugs that will increase the quantity of insulin launched into the physique, says Bayo Curry-Winchell, MD, pressing care medical director and doctor at Carbon Well being and Saint Mary’s Hospital. Insulin, which is a hormone, is significant, and it “permits each meal, snack, or drink you devour to be transformed to a type of vitality your physique wants day by day to perform,” she provides. So as a result of individuals with sort 2 diabetes usually have low or nonexistent ranges of insulin of their bloodstream, Ozempic will enhance the quantity of insulin, permitting the physique to higher course of or break down meals.

“This is a crucial step in controlling the quantity of sugar within the blood (glucose), since, with out [insulin], an individual is left with extra blood sugar (hyperglycemia) that has nowhere to go, which finally would trigger harm or harming to very important organs comparable to your mind, eyes, and kidneys,” says Dr. Curry-Winchell.

As for the way it aids in weight reduction: Daniel Boyer, MD, says that “Ozempic prevents and reduces calorie overdose, a serious contributing issue to weight achieve, by suppressing urge for food and decreasing the choice for meals excessive in fat.” Dr. Curry-Winchell additional explains that Ozempic slows down the method of digesting a meal and targets an space in your mind that controls whether or not you resolve to have extra meals or not.

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Whereas these results will be seen as advantages for individuals with sort 2 diabetes (since weight reduction could assist blood glucose ranges lower to the nondiabetic vary, which might reduce or stop future issues, based on the Nationwide Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Ailments), that does not imply Ozempic can or ought to be utilized by anybody with the intention to drop a few pounds. In spite of everything, weight alone is just not a dependable indicator of well being. Loads of people who find themselves thought of chubby by present measures are metabolically wholesome, and loads of individuals who aren’t thought of chubby are usually not, as demonstrated by analysis in JAMA Inner Drugs. Utilizing prescription medicine for weight reduction when it is not particularly directed by a health care provider and it hasn’t been permitted for such a use will be at finest, pointless, and at worst, harmful.

Who Qualifies for an Ozempic Prescription?

Regardless of what you may even see within the TikTok feedback, Ozempic has solely been permitted by the FDA for managing signs of sort 2 diabetes in adults — not for another circumstances like PCOS, says Dr. Boyer. In actual fact, whereas the drug web site mentions that the medicine will help individuals “lose some weight,” it clarifies that “Ozempic is just not for weight reduction” and is as a substitute “confirmed to decrease blood sugar and A1C.” There isn’t any solution to know whether or not Ozempic is protected or efficient when used strictly for weight reduction. It is one thing that ought to solely be taken when prescribed by a health care provider who’s aware of your individualized well being historical past and wishes, particularly contemplating the not-insignificant potential unintended effects.

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What Are Ozempic Facet Results?

Whereas there isn’t a particular knowledge that dives into the unintended effects of taking Ozempic particularly for weight reduction (as a result of, once more, it could’t be prescribed for weight reduction alone at this level), Ozempic has been linked to some extra extreme well being circumstances. This consists of issues like acute pancreatitis and, if injecting Ozempic, an elevated threat of growing tumors within the thyroid gland, says Dr. Boyer. Dr. Curry-Winchell provides that diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and elevated dangers of growing hypoglycemia is also unintended effects as nicely.

Ought to You Take Ozempic for Weight Loss?

In case you have sort 2 diabetes, Ozempic will be helpful in aiding with weight reduction, says Dr. Curry-Winchell. Nonetheless, that is not its fundamental function, and Dr. Curry-Winchell clarifies that it ought to solely be taken underneath the care of a healthcare supplier to assist monitor your response to the drug and act promptly if the drug must be discontinued.

Dr. Boyer emphasizes that individuals ought to keep away from utilizing a drug to deal with a situation if it hasn’t but been permitted by the FDA to handle or deal with that situation. “Utilizing such medication could result in undisclosed well being issues, together with life-threatening conditions,” provides Dr. Boyer.

The underside line: Ozempic is much from a fast weight reduction repair (there is no such factor), though it might have advantages for individuals with sort 2 diabetes. In the end, when you’re excited about studying extra about Ozempic or receiving a prescription, it is best to talk to a medical skilled about your particular person well being historical past.