Semaglutide and Weight Loss
Semaglutide belongs in a class of medications called GLP-1 receptor agonist (glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists). GLP-1 is a hormone that our body naturally produces in response to the presence of food in the stomach, which circulates through several receptors in the pancreas, intestines, heart, brain, along with others however, these organs play a role in weight loss. When given via injection it will circulate like other natural hormones do and affect the same organs the same way.
Semaglutide does not work on the central nervous system like other weight loss medications. It increases insulin secretion, but when used at higher doses it acts on centers in the brain and suppresses appetite. Semaglutide was initially developed for diabetic (type 2) patients at lower doses. Through research, they found that it was very effective in lowering blood sugar with the added benefit of weight loss.
Semaglutide acts in the brain specifically the hypothalamus which regulates mood, blood pressure, and sleep, along with other functions. But specifically, research has found that the sensation of hunger and fullness is controlled by the hypothalamus. Semaglutide also slows down the motility of the gastrointestinal tract which will keep the food in your stomach longer keeping you feeling full. Other benefits discovered over time have included that some patients do not have cravings anymore due to how the medication works in the brain.
How fast does it work? It depends on multiple facts, and everyone is different of course. However, knowing that the dose initially starts lower and increases as tolerated over time will contribute to how you lose weight as with any weight loss medication it is possible to out-eat it, so initially, you may see little weight loss. However, you could see anywhere from a healthy 0.5 to 2.0 pounds a week or more with several factors being involved including initial weight, health conditions, foods, and activities.
The average weight loss achieved is approximately 15% of the initial body weight over 68 weeks. These numbers can be higher depending on the individual. Semaglutide like all other weight loss medications is a tool to assist in weight loss but with changes in the way you eat and your lifestyle, the results can be higher and maintained afterward. Semaglutide is given once a week and will be eliminated from the body.