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Meaningful weight loss takes effort, dedication and planning. And you may find yourself weighing your options about how to safely lose weight and keep it off. We’re here with our expert, bariatric surgeon Naga Thatimatla, MD, FACS, FASMBS, who will walk you through the basics of what you need to know if you’re considering supplementing your weight loss journey with weight loss medication.
How Does Weight Loss Medication Work?
Weight loss medication works by mimicking a natural hormone in your body called GLP-1. This hormone is produced by your digestive system in response to eating food and it acts on both the brain and the digestive system to regulate how full you feel after a meal. It also slows down the emptying of your stomach into the rest of your digestive system.
Dr. Thatimatla explains, “The injectable medication acts just like this natural hormone to make you feel fuller for longer and reduces your cravings for more food. It helps your body regulates blood sugar levels and fat storage, which can help with weight loss.”
When Will I Start to Lose Weight?
Everyone’s body is different. “Once you begin using weight loss medication, it can take several weeks to see any weight loss, but sooner results are possible,” says Dr Thatimatla.
How Much Weight Will I Lose?
About a third of people who take weight loss medication will lose 10% or more of their body weight. Dr. Thatimatla says, “Most people should expect to lose at least 5% of their starting body weight when using weight loss medication.”
Those who see the highest weight reductions are those who are supported by health care professionals like Dr. Thatimatla. The expert support makes the lifestyle changes needed for long-term weight loss easier, and safer. The support you’ll receive includes addressing diet, exercise and keeping you plugged into mental health care to adapt your eating habits.
How Long Can Weight Loss Medication Be Used?
Thanks to current research, it’s clear there are effective weight loss medications on the market. But how safe are they and how long can they be used?
According to Dr. Thatimatla, “For people who have struggled with their weight for years, supplementing with a weight loss medication can help them achieve impressive weight loss outcomes and improve their health in the long term. But the medicine should only be used for the short term or up to about three months. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the medication, including its long-term effects.”
Who Shouldn’t Use Weight Loss Medication?
Most people can use weight loss medication safely, but there are some medicines and medical conditions that make it unsafe for you.
Refrain from the use of weight loss medication if you:
- Are allergic to any of the ingredients
- Are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive
- Have a family history of thyroid cancer
- Have a history of an eating disorder
- Have certain digestive problems
- Have kidney problems
What Are Alternative Weight Loss Options?
Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is an increasingly safe, effective and simple procedure available to qualified individuals with a body mass index (BMI) over 35, regardless of any health-related issues. People with a BMI over 30 are also eligible if they haven’t been able to achieve substantial or long-term weight loss.
According to Dr. Thatimatla, “Bariatric surgeries include gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and duodenal switch. They work by reducing stomach size and curbing your appetite by altering the hormonal signals between your stomach and brain.”
He continues, “Weight loss surgery patients can lose weight and keep it off for good by sticking to a healthy lifestyle. They’ll also see improvements in their overall health.”
Your Trusted Partners in Your Weight Loss Journey
As you weigh your options on how to best lose weight, know that your experts in whole health bariatric care understand that weight loss encompasses your body, mind and spirit. Imagine what a healthy future can look like and find a solution that works for you with us by your side every step of the way.
Insurance coverage varies for weight management medication, please confirm with your health plan if weight management medication is covered.
Visit us at MyBariatricCare.com to schedule a consultation with Dr. Thatimatla and our caring team today. You deserve to feel whole.
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