Are You Fat? There’s a Drug for That
It turns out losing weight is simple—just take a dangerous drug for the rest of your life!
According to the CDC, over 40 percent of the US adult population is obese. This has huge implications for health, as obesity is linked with diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. You may have heard about a new drug, semaglutide (trade names Ozempic and Weogovy), that is being heralded as the next best thing in weight loss. This is an injectable drug approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes but seems to be widely used for its ability to cause weight loss. There’s a catch: to keep the weight off, you need to keep taking the drug for the rest of your life! This is the opposite of what we should be doing, which is addressing the root cause of obesity with lifestyle, nutrition, and targeted supplementation.
Ozempic is a once-weekly injection that helps control blood sugar. The drug mimics a hormone called GLP-1 that helps regulate hunger and feelings of fullness. Ozempic stimulates the pancreas to release insulin and blocks a hormone that causes the liver to release sugar; it also slows down how quickly food leaves your stomach. Basically, you can eat less and not be bothered by hunger or cravings. A 2021 study found that people taking the drug lost about 15 percent of their initial body weight over 68 weeks—double what older weight loss drugs achieved.
The problem is that, to maintain the weight loss, you need to keep taking the drug. Another 2021 study found that people on Ozempic regained the weight when the drug was stopped. And did we mention that the drug costs $1,349 a month? The drug also has many common side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, constipation, headache, dizziness, tiredness, kidney problems, cancerous thyroid tumors, pancreatitis, and diabetic retinopathy.
So, to sum up, you can shed those unwanted pounds…if you want to pay $1,359 a month for the rest of your life, while potentially dealing with a long list of nasty side effects.
The problem with Ozempic and other quick-fix solutions to weight loss is that they do not fix the underlying problems that cause weight gain, such as exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Natural medicine has a lot to offer in terms of blood sugar management and weight loss. Chromium has been found to lower blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Other supplements have positive effects on blood sugar, including magnesium, berberine, cinnamon, and alpha lipoic acid. Cinnamon has been found to lower A1c by 0.67 to 0.92 percent; berberine lowered A1c by 0.71 percent; a study found that each 50-mg increase in magnesium intake produced a 3 percent decrease in fasting blood sugar.
Then there’s weight loss. A major problem we’ve noted for a long time is that we are a profoundly overweight country, but many of us are also not getting the nutrients we need for our metabolic systems to operate correctly. We’re eating too many calories and too few nutrients—the Western Diet in a nutshell. A ketogenic diet (high fat, adequate protein, low carb) has been shown to help manage type II diabetes and facilitate weight loss.
Fixing gut health can also be crucial. A poor diet depletes microbe diversity in your gut which can have profound effects on your weight. In fact, studies have shown that taking the gut bacteria from a thin mouse and putting it into a fat mouse can cause the fat mouse to lose dramatic amounts of weight without any changes in diet. Foods that are inflammatory (refined carbohydrates like bread, pastries, fried foods, soda, etc.) trigger insulin resistance and diabetes. A healthy microbiome can be cultivated by eating whole, unprocessed foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables, fats high in omega-3 fatty acids (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.
Finally, limiting exposures to environmental contaminants is also important. The thousands of chemicals we are exposed to in the modern world interfere with metabolism and cause weight gain.
There are no quick fixes to diabetes and weight gain. Working with a natural health practitioner can start you on your way to addressing these problems by attacking the root cause.
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