Semaglutide

March 21, 2022

Semaglutide is an injectable peptide approved by the FDA in 2014 to use as treatment for type 2 Diabetes and weight management in obese patients. Over the years it has been discovered that Semaglutide has excellent weight loss benefits when combined with a diet and exercise program. This peptide has quickly become one of the most sought after options for weight loss due to the incredible results patients have seen, some even reporting that Semaglutide helped them lose up to 18% of their starting body weight!

What is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor agonist, that stimulates the production of insulin in the pancreas, which is secreted into the bloodstream to reduce blood sugar levels. Insulin activates cell membranes to absorb the sugar that is being transported throughout the body in blood vessels. The cells then metabolize the sugar into usable energy required for the body to function optimally. By reducing the amount of excess sugar in the blood, blood pressure is reduced, energy levels can increase, and metabolism speeds up to improve weight loss and reduce the number of fat cells in the body.

How does it improve weight loss?

Semaglutide’s influence on insulin is great for overall health but its weight loss specific interactions are even more incredible! This peptide also affects a patient’s food intake and appetite levels in a way that can boost a person’s weight loss results substantially. It slows the rate of digestion of food, which increases the length of time between meals that a person feels full, which can reduce the desire to snack and eat excess amounts of food every day. It also works in the brain to help block the hormone that stimulates hunger! Its appetite suppressing effects are achieved without causing stimulant-like side effects like other appetite suppressant medications that contain stimulant ingredients. This is extremely helpful for patients who would like an aid to their weight loss program but are unable to take any stimulant medications due to pre-existing conditions. Semaglutide’s weight loss results are only effective when combined with a diet and exercise program, weight loss is relatively unaffected when diet and exercise habits are not changed.

Benefits of Semaglutide (GLP-1) for weight loss include:

  • When added to a diet and exercise program, patients can lose 15% - 18% of their body weight!
  • Appetite suppressant effects without the side effects of other stimulant-containing suppressants
  • Increased satiety - the feeling of fullness after consuming food
  • Reduces blood sugar levels can reduce the number of fat cells in the body and improve overall health
Are there any side effects of taking this peptide?

There are some potential side effects and limitations about who can take this GLP-1 receptor agonist. As with most types of peptides, the influence on hormone production can cause some patients to feel flushed, clammy, hot, and/or sweaty but these symptoms typically decrease as the body adjusts to the dose.

Common side effects include:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Hypoglycemia (lower blood sugar levels than normal)
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Indigestion
  • Abdominal distention (bloating)
  • Eructation (burping/belching)
  • Flatulence from gas buildup

Most, if any, of the nausea, vomiting, constipation, and/or diarrhea typically occurs when the patient initially starts taking this peptide or when their dose is adjusted, but these symptoms typically subside once the body adjusts. 

If a patient does experience these, it is recommended to make the following dietary adjustments to reduce these symptoms:

  • Eat smaller meal portions
  • Eat meals slower
  • Drink plenty of water and/or ice cold liquids to soothe the stomach
  • Avoid greasy, fried foods
  • Avoid foods high in sugar like candy and sweets

The gastrointestinal symptoms may be the result of the slowed digestion rate of foods. The increase in the length of time food is digested means that food is broken down more than normal. As the gut flora (which is the healthy bacteria in the stomach and intestines that breaks down food) works on breaking down the food in the digestive tract, there are small amounts of gas that gets released. So the slower the digestion rate, the longer gut flora breaks down food, thus increasing the amount of gas released into the digestive tract, resulting in bloating, burping, etc.

To reduce these symptoms, it is best to avoid foods that are often linked to intestinal gas, such as:

  • Beans and lentils
  • Certain vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cabbage
  • Foods or drinks that contain lactose (dairy) and fructose (found in onions, artichokes, soft drinks, etc.)

In some cases, these gastrointestinal symptoms can cause Gastroenteritis, which is the inflammation of the intestines, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, AKA chronic acid reflux. Both of these can be treated by drinking plenty of water daily, and medications if necessary.

Semaglutide does have a black box warning to ensure providers and patients are aware of the risk of developing cancerous thyroid tumors. In animal studies done before FDA approval in 2014, there were cases where rodents developed benign and malignant tumors on their thyroid glands that resulted in thyroid cancers, including Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (MTC). It was not determined if this GLP-1 receptor agonist will cause these symptoms in humans but for safety precautions, patients with a personal or family history of thyroid tumors, MTC, or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome, type 2 (MEN2) should not use Semaglutide or any other type of GLP-1 receptor agonist. 

How can I start taking Semaglutide?

Since Semaglutide for weight loss works best when added to an existing comprehensive weight loss program, Recharge Clinic is offering this peptide exclusively in addition to one of our many weight loss programs. It is safe to use in combination with all of our vitamin injections, appetite suppressants, including ones with stimulant effects like Phentermine, thyroid medications, and other weight loss supplements that we offer.

  1. The starting dose is 0.5mg, injected subcutaneously once a week, for four weeks.
  2. Dose may be increased by 0.5mg every four weeks if needed.
  3. The max dose is 2.0mg once per week, for four weeks.
  4. Patients must start out on the lowest dose but may slowly increase if necessary, but not required if a patient experiences good results at their current, lower dose.
  5. There is no limit to the length of time a patient may receive this peptide, as long as they remain in one of the weight loss programs.

If you are interested in adding this safe, beneficial peptide to your current weight loss program or if you’re interested in starting one of our programs and receiving this injection, be sure to ask your weight loss coach about it the next time you’re here or give us a call to schedule a free consultation to get started!

Created by: Bailey

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