Obesity, weight-loss, appetite and Ozempic: Your Questions Answered

What is Obesity?

‘Obesity’ is a term we’ve all heard, but you may not know that ‘obese’ is an actual medical definition based around your Body Mass Index (BMI). There are lots of BMI calculators available online (click for link), many of which will work with imperial measurements too. If your BMI is above 30 you are clinically ‘obese’, if your BMI is above 25 you are clinically ‘overweight’. Carrying excess body-weight is linked to at least 60 health conditions including a number that are potentially life-threatening; coronary heart disease, stroke,
type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

Why Is It So Difficult to Lose Weight?

Our appetite has evolved over millions of years to eat whenever food is available and in the modern world food is always available. Exercise alone is often not enough to lose weight and the amount of exercise needed to burn off calories from overeating is surprising. Consider a full English breakfast from a well-known pub chain which has two fried eggs, bacon, two sausages, baked beans, three hash browns, mushroom and two slices of buttered toast. This substantial meal contains about 1,400 calories which means that you’d have to walk 14 miles in 4.5 hours to burn this off. That would mean walking from our Brimstage clinic down to Neston, up to Heswall and onto Hoylake via West Kirby; pretty much the full length of The Wirral. Reducing your BMI will reduce the risk of obesity related health conditions and is one of the best things you can do to live a long, happy and healthy life.

How Does Ozempic Reduce Appetite?

When we eat, as our stomach stretches our body releases a hormone called GLP-1 which tells us we are full. However, as everyone knows, this feeling doesn’t last very long. The body breaks down GLP-1 very quickly which explains why after about ten minutes of feeling full you always seem to have room for dessert. Appetite suppressants can be used to help reduce our calorie intake and lose weight. There are a number of drugs which mimic the GLP-1 hormone that were originally developed to treat diabetes. These weight-loss medicines last a lot longer in the body that the lifespan of ‘natural’ GLP-1 which is measured in minutes. Liraglutide (sold under the brand name Saxenda®) lasts for thirteen hours whereas semaglutide (sold under the brand names Ozempic® and Wegovy®) lasts for seven days. The difference between Ozempic and Wegovy is that Ozempic is available up to 1 mg semaglutide whereas

Wegovy is available up to 2.4 mg semaglutide. As one would expect, Wegovy is more effective for weight loss than Ozempic, due to its higher dosage, but one can still attain and maintain a healthy BMI with Ozempic (as I did!)

How can I get Ozempic?

Ozempic and Wegovy are a prescription only medications so you cannot legally obtain it without it being prescribed by a healthcare professional who has been certified by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to do so.

How is Ozempic Used?

Ozempic and Wegovy are dispensed as an easy-to-use injector pen similar to those used by diabetics to self-administer insulin. The pen is pre-loaded with the medication and simply requires the user to turn the dial to the desired dosage and then inject it into the skin around your stomach once a week. The needle is tiny and about half of the time you won’t even feel it go in.

What will happen to me if I start using Ozempic?

From my own personal experience with Ozempic, the first thing I noticed was that I simply wasn’t hungry. I can best describe it as feeling like ‘injectable will power’. There was nothing stopping me from eating, I just didn’t want to. I also noticed that I drank less alcohol; maybe my body no longer craved the calories hidden in alcohol? I lost one stone in the first month and another stone over the next six months. It continued to creep down and my weight has now reached a plateau. I started my weight loss journey at 15 st 10 lbs, a mere fraction under ‘obese’ and I am now sitting on a ’healthy’ weight of 13 st 2 lbs.My weight did go up slightly over Christmas, but that’s hardly unexpected!

Are there any side effects from taking Ozempic?

As with any medicine, there are a number of side effects that have been associated with Ozempic in a small number of patients. Nausea, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhoea and vomiting have been reported in some users. I personally experienced some mild nausea and lightheadedness, although this soon passed. I also noticed on a few occasions that I was producing ‘sulphurous belches’ which although unpleasant didn’t last for too long and were alleviated by taking probiotics. It is worth noting that some of these problems may be due to changes in your dietary habits and reduced calorie intake rather than a direct side effect from the drug itself. As Ozempic is a prescribed drug, it important that your weight-loss treatment provider writes to your GP and monitors the progress of your weight-loss journey.

Cosmetic Perfection are delighted to announce that we have received our CQC registration and can now offer weight-loss treatments. These treatments are offered with commensurate follow-on support to help you achieve and maintain a health weight. We can also provide probiotics should you also experience some of the side effects mentioned above. Please get in touch to make a weight-loss appointment. It is important to remember that injectable weight-loss treatments, such as GLP-1 analogs, should be used in conjunction with life-style changes such as improving your diet and increasing the amount of exercise you undertake.

Dr Chris Hope,
CQQ Manager,
Cosmetic Perfection

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