Understanding GLP-1 Agonists: How Semaglutide Promotes Weight Loss

Jan 08, 2024
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GLP-1 agonists are routinely used to help manage diabetes, but more recently, they’ve gained recognition as effective weight-loss medications, too. Here’s how GLP-1 agonists work and how they might help you drop those unwanted pounds.

You may not know what a GLP-1 agonist is. But if you’re trying to lose weight, you’re probably at least a little familiar with semaglutide, the diabetes drug that’s recently gained attention for its role in helping people lose weight. 

Marketed under the brand names Wegovy®, Ozempic®, and Rybelsus®, semaglutide medications are known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. These medicines mimic the GLP-1 hormone that’s released during digestion.

In Bellmore, New York, the team at Micari Aesthetics uses semaglutide injections to help women and men lose excess pounds and improve their overall wellness. Let’s look at how semaglutide works for weight loss, so you can decide if it’s a good choice for you.

Basics about GLP-1 agonists

Agonists are medications or chemicals that stimulate a specific response in your body. Glucagon is a chemical that’s released by your pancreas to help stimulate glucose production in your liver

Working with insulin (another hormone produced by the pancreas), glucagon helps manage blood sugar (glucose) levels, maintaining them within a healthy range. It’s this aspect of GLP-1 agonists that makes them effective medicines for managing diabetes.

Optimal glucose levels support metabolic activity, helping your body use calories more effectively. At the same time, GLP-1 agonists slow down the digestive process, causing you to feel full longer so you consume fewer calories. As a result, GLP-1 agonists like semaglutide can be very effective in helping people lose weight.

Semaglutide therapy: What to expect

Before recommending semaglutide for weight loss, our team evaluates your health and your weight-loss needs during a weight-loss consultation visit. During this visit, we determine if you’re a good candidate for semaglutide treatment. 

In addition to a physical exam, we order blood work and check your BMI (body mass index). Semaglutide is considered appropriate for people with a BMI of 30 or more, as well as people with a BMI of 27 or more and weight-related medical issues, like high cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes.

Semaglutide is administered via a series of weekly injections given in our office over 3-6 months. During each visit, we monitor your progress and adjust your dose to reduce potential side effects, which can include headache, fatigue, and nausea. Side effects typically subside after a few weeks.

Injections are administered in your arm, belly, or thigh, with locations rotating to avoid bruising and soreness. Your dosing can also change over time, with adjustments made to suit your specific individual needs.

Maintaining your results

Semaglutide medicines can help you lose weight, but it’s up to you to keep it off. During and after treatment, you should stick to a healthy eating plan and get regular exercise to prevent gaining those pounds back.

Losing weight can give your confidence a major boost, and it can also reduce your risks of serious health problems, like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. To learn more about GLP-1 agonists and whether semaglutide injections are right for you, call 631-910-7599 or request an appointment online with the team at Micari Aesthetics today.