Wasim H. Raja, MD

Semaglutide for Weight Loss: How Does It Work?

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You’ve cut calories, quit carbs, and spent more hours than you care to count at the gym, but nothing works. When you’ve tried everything, it’s time for a doctor-approved solution that gets to the bottom of the problem — meet semaglutide.

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an obesity epidemic going on. In the United States alone, over 40% of adults are obese, which is a huge problem because being overweight or obese increases your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. 

If that describes you, you’ve probably already tried every diet and program around, hoping to shed the extra pounds, but like so many, you’re still fighting the flab.

Fortunately, a game-changing weight loss treatment can finally cause your body to lose excess weight — semaglutide.

Semaglutide got its start as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. But studies now show that it can also help people lose weight. The medication is sold under the brand names Ozempic® and Wegovy®.

If diet and exercise haven’t helped you reach a healthy weight, Dr. Wasim Raja and our team at Orange County Healthcare Center in Fountain Valley, California, can help. We prescribe semaglutide injections for patients who qualify. Keep reading to learn more about how semaglutide promotes healthy weight loss.

How does semaglutide work?

Semaglutide mimics the effects of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which your intestines secrete after eating. It signals your brain to reduce your appetite, increase feelings of fullness, and slow down the rate at which food leaves your stomach. By mirroring the effects of GLP-1, semaglutide makes you feel fuller longer, eat less, and lose weight.

Who’s a good candidate for semaglutide?

Semaglutide is FDA-approved for weight loss and incredibly effective, but not right for everyone. 

The best candidates for semaglutide are:

  • Adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater
  • Adults with a BMI of 27 and above who have other weight-related health problems like high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes 

You’re not a good candidate for semaglutide if you have a history of pancreatitis or medullary thyroid cancer.

What to expect with semaglutide

We administer semaglutide through once-a-week injections in your stomach, thigh, or upper arm. We start you with a low dose and gradually increase it over time. 

However, you must understand that semaglutide isn’t a quick fix, nor does it mean you can eat whatever you want, lead a sedentary life, and watch the weight fall off. Dr. Raja emphasizes that semaglutide requires a calorie-controlled diet and increased physical activity to work as intended.

When used as instructed, semaglutide produces impressive results. Clinical trials show that people taking the medication can expect to lose up to 15% of their body weight over a year. Participants who received semaglutide also experienced other health benefits, including improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Like any medication, semaglutide has some side effects, like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. But they typically decrease over time as your body gets used to the medication.

Semaglutide can be an effective tool in weight loss in concert with a calorie-controlled diet and regular physical activity. If you’re overweight, struggling with losing weight, or looking for alternative health solutions, you may be a good candidate for semaglutide. 

For more information about the benefits and risks of taking semaglutide for weight loss, contact us online or call our friendly staff today to schedule a consultation.