Let’s Talk Weight Loss

As the owner of LoneStar Health & Wellness, I want to communicate that we offer a variety of services to fit everyone’s needs.  More specifically as we enter a new year, I want to talk about weight loss and new medications on the market to aid in weight loss.

A common complaint that comes into my office is, “I can’t lose weight. I’ve been working out, changed my diet, or started counting calories, and still no change.” Weight loss and weight maintenance are struggles worldwide. It can be a complicated process to navigate, especially if there are other factors limiting weight loss including mental or physical health.

One option we offer at LoneStar Health & Wellness is Semaglutide, an injectable drug already approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. Brand names of Semaglutide include Ozempic and Wegovy. Our Semaglutide is compounded with B vitamins through a compounding pharmacy to provide weight loss options for all our patients. Most Medicare and commercial insurance plans do not cover obesity medications, making it difficult for patients to afford the medication. Recent studies suggest Semaglutide has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, including reducing blood pressure and improving levels of fat in the blood.

Semaglutide is a medicine which is similar to a natural hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). What is GLP-1? It sounds super complicated right? Wrong! Our bodies naturally produce a number of substances that affect our appetite, and one of these is called GLP-1. GLP-1 is a hormone that is produced when you eat. It says, “Hey stop eating, you’re full”. It delays stomach emptying, which leads to a feeling of fullness and satisfaction with smaller meal sizes. It sounds too good to be true, but with good diet and exercise, it’s possible!

Everyone always asks what the side effects are and the long-term effects of the medication. We have very few patients that have experienced side effects; not everyone will have side effects. Most patients report stomach and gut problems. These may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, low appetite, pain in stomach area, and constipation. The most common side effects are constipation, acid reflux, and flatulence. These side effects are usually mild or moderate. They are most likely to happen when you first start taking Semaglutide, and likely to decrease or disappear as you continue the medication. We start all our patients on low doses to decrease possible side effects…slow and steady wins the race! In fact, it helps develop good habits, which lead to better results and lifelong changes! Also, we encourage eating smaller meals, STOP eating when you are FULL, drink plenty of fluids - we tell everyone to drink HALF their body weight in water- and to remember that most symptoms subside after a few days. Semaglutide dosing is increased about every four weeks until the maximum dose is reached. People continue to lose weight once maximum dose is reached or goal weight is reached. Semaglutide is to be injected subcutaneously once per week. Always rotate the location of the injection when using Semaglutide to prevent subcutaneous tissue damage.

Semaglutide may not be for you if you have any of the following: diabetic retinopathy, low blood sugar, decreased kidney function, pancreatitis, medullary thyroid cancer (or a family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma), or multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2.

What to Expect: For your initial visit, you will need to schedule an appointment with our office. At your appointment, you will have a little paperwork to complete and then you will have your consultation with Miranda Baugh, FNP-C or myself, and we will use our discretion (based on the FDA recommendations for treating obesity, BMI of 27 or greater who have at least one weight-related ailment or in patients with a BMI of 30 or greater) to determine if Semaglutide is a safe and good option for you. We will carefully screen you by evaluating your past medical history, any current medications you take, your vital signs, and your body mass index (BMI).  We will also need a recent set of labs within the past 3 months or we will draw labs. Labs must be checked prior to medication administration. It takes approximately two to three business days for medications to arrive to the office. Once the medication has arrived, we will notify patients that their medication is in the office. Semaglutide is once weekly, and most patients are able to take their medication home after injection education and safety is taught in our office.

LoneStar Health & Wellness is so excited to offer this service to Texarkana. To date, our patients have a combined weight loss of over 178.2 lbs within the past 6 weeks! Don’t forget to call our office to set up your weight loss consultation or one of our other services. Happy New Year!


 

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