What about these weight loss drugs for diabetes? Part 2

diabetes managment muscles weight gain weight loss Sep 19, 2023

These two drugs are very effective at weight loss. Of course there are many benefits to weight loss. There is less inflammation in the body, less weight on joints, better sleep, better outlook on life and much more. However, like any weight loss program, the weight that is lost is not only fat. We can lose a significant amount of muscle mass following a weight loss program that delivers very fast weight loss.

Why is this an issue? As we get older, we naturally lose muscle mass. It is replaced with fat. Losing muscle mass leads to weakness, inability to lift groceries or other objects that have some weight to them. It’s harder to walk any distance, get in and out of bed and so on. We get weaker and weaker and more dependent on other things or people to help us move around. The big thing for all of us is diabetes will more likely become a part of our lives. Why? Because it is our muscles that burn most of our blood glucose, the fuel we live on. With less muscle mass, we have less insulin receptors so less glucose can be taken up and used in the muscle and blood glucose levels will be even more difficult to manage.

Loss of muscle mass happens with weight loss but with Ozempic and Wegovy, almost half of weight loss is muscle mass. As we get older, it’s very difficult to restore that muscle. There are other side effects of these drugs that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, pancreatitis, gall bladder issues and hypoglycemia.

If you decide this path is best for you, before you start, work with your health care team to have a plan in place when you go off these drugs. This includes eating an adequate amount of protein and healthy nutritious food, reduced or no sugar or other unhealthy carbs for diabetics; an exercise plan to build strength and muscle, a sleep plan and how to deal with stress. Know that you WILL gain weight. This is the biggest thing to plan for and manage. One way to do this is through meal planning.

Next time, I’ll talk about some of the other things you might not have thought of when considering Ozempic or Wegovy or any extreme weight loss plan. By that I mean, anything beyond making small, consistent changes and honoring yourself to achieve better health for the rest of your life.

Dr Elaine

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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.


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