Ozempic Side Effects You Should Know About Before Taking it!

Ozempic Side Effects You Should Know About Before Taking it!

Ozempic, an injectable medication that aids in blood sugar control, is designed for people with type 2 diabetes and includes semaglutide as its primary active component.

In individuals with type 2 diabetes, combined with heart and blood vessel problems, the medicine, which is a member of the therapeutic class glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), can lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, and even death.

Despite not being designed for weight loss, Ozempic frequently causes weight loss, according to the drug’s maker, Novo Nordisk.

It may be challenging for patients to adhere to their treatment plan while using Ozempic due to its negative effects but in spite of all of this, people have been using it to drop the pounds so much to the point that it’s become hard to find by those who really need it.

Comite Center for Precision Medicine and Health founder Florence Comite says that “About 20 percent of my patients will discontinue use as they have difficulty tolerating Ozempic due to these side effects.”

However, for the other 80 percent of Dr. Comite’s patients, the side effects caused by the drug are much milder.

“The most common side effects of Ozempic derive from slowing peristalsis (rippling GI waves that push contents through the gut),” Dr. Comite goes on to explain.

Some of the most common side effects are: reflux, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain.

“These symptoms will occur initially in most people, then resolve. However, symptoms may persist in a significant number of individuals. Others will see an uptick with any increase in dose, which should subside after taking the medication for two to three weeks.”

The expert also notes that loss of muscle mass is another side effect that can have really bad health implications.

“Multiple factors contribute to sarcopenia (reduced muscle), including weight loss, inadequate dietary protein, lack of desire to eat, minimal or no resistance exercise, or less than optimal hormones, in particular testosterone. Muscle is the fountain of youth because it is vital to your metabolic health, your strength, and prevents aging disorders, such as [type 2 diabetes], heart disease, stroke, osteopenia, memory and cognitive decline as you age.”

She stresses that patients tend to lose not just fat but also muscle mass, particularly if they don’t actively try to preserve it by consuming enough protein, strength training and making sure they produce enough testosterone.

“Sufficient testosterone, an essential hormone which begins to decline by 1-3% in our 30’s, is critical to muscle,” she mentions.

The so-called “Ozempic face,” or the drooping of the skin that results from weight loss is another side effect that has recently drawn a lot of attention on social media.

Novo Nordisk mentions a variety of Ozempic adverse effects, including potential thyroid tumors, thyroid cancer, and eyesight problems, even though common side effects tend to be on the lesser side.

“Less common side effects include excess air or gas in the stomach, burping, heartburn, indigestion, fast heartbeat, low blood sugar, low energy, fatigue, and gallstones,” the expert notes.

Other more uncommon but really severe side effects are: decreased kidney function, appendicitis, thyroid cancer, anaphylaxis, severe allergic reactions, pancreatitis and angioedema.

Dr. Comite stresses that “If you experience any severe or unexpected symptoms, consult the clinician who prescribed the medication.”

Furthermore, there are some drugs people taking Ozempic should avoid.

According to Dr. Comite, “Drugs to avoid include insulin and sulfonylurea medications as they can lower blood sugar levels. Explore with your practitioner if you are on these drugs, as they may be adjusted if Ozempic is an option for you. Careful monitoring is important.”

But what about your diet? Are there specific foods you should avoid?

The answer is quite simply ‘no.’ That being said, there are still some you might want to give up on in order to keep Ozempic’s side effects to a minimum.

“No foods are ‘off-limits’ per se when taking Ozempic, but there are foods to avoid, which can compound stomach upset and make it difficult to manage [blood] sugar levels, including fried or greasy foods, sugary foods and drinks, highly processed foods and refined carbs. Limit high sugar content intake of fruits and veggies and decrease alcohol use. It’s best to maintain a varied diet that is high in protein and unprocessed foods, without extra sugars,” the expert says.

Potential patients should also keep in mind that Ozempic isn’t recommended to those expecting a baby or breastfeeding.

This is because it might affect fetal growth and development.

“Typically, we advise our patients to stop Ozempic at least two months prior to attempting to conceive. If you are diabetic, there are alternative medications that are safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding.”

Finally, there are some ways for people to manage the side effects caused by Ozempic.

According to Dr. Comite, an excellent technique for dealing with an upset stomach is to eat some crackers or pita chips.

She further suggests using over-the-counter medications like Tums or Gas-X if you are feeling nausea or gas pains, drinking a lot of water, and eating slowly.

Dr. Comite also claims that food and strength-training workouts are the two main ways to avoid muscle loss.

The expert concludes that “To avoid muscle loss, start every meal with lean protein, such as chicken, fish, lean beef, tofu, beans, and nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia, Brazilian, but not peanuts which are legumes). Protein, the essential building block of muscle, has a more favorable impact on your metabolism.”

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