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Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that has been FDA-approved for weight loss.  Let’s look at what is occurring in your body and how it is helping with weight loss.  The areas that we will focus on include the pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, heart, brain, liver, and even our metabolism.  

  • In the pancreas, it affects insulin production, which is released in response to increased blood sugar when food is ingested and improves insulin sensitivity throughout the body.  Insulin’s job is to remove sugar from the blood and move it into the cell to use for energy.  When the body is insulin resistant, the insulin cannot effectively remove the glucose from the blood and put it into our cells. 
  • In the gastrointestinal tract, it helps curb hunger by allowing food to stay into the stomach longer, letting you feel fuller longer.  It also slows down gastric motility increases intestinal mucous production and decreases acid production.  This can cause nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. 
  • In the heart, some people do experience an increased heart rate. 
  • In the brain, it controls the hunger and satisfaction center called the hypothalamus and alters the food reward system and it is known to change the way food tastes. 
  • It impacts the metabolism by breaking down stored fat for energy and increases the use of stored fat for energy. 
  • In the liver, there will be less circulating blood sugar for the insulin to move into the cells.

Semaglutide does have side effects that are very common and for most patients is controllable with diet modifications, natural medications that are recommended, and over-the-counter medications.   The overall results will vary by individual.