Semaglutide, Low Blood Sugar, and Sustainable Weight Loss

March 2024 | Dr. Madelein Shafferman

Semaglutide Injections

While achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is no overnight feat, there are tools that can help support your weight loss outcomes! Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz surrounding medications like Ozempic, Wegovy, and semaglutide for weight loss.

It’s true, their results can be drastic! However, it’s important to remember that with great power comes great responsibility. After all, nobody wants to end up with the hollowed out “Ozempic-face” from overly rapid weight loss. 

If you’re considering semaglutide, it’s crucial to understand how these medications work, their intended purpose, and how to safely incorporate them into your journey for healthy, sustainable weight loss. Let’s dive into the details!

Ozempic, Wegovy, and Semaglutide — What’s the Difference?

The main active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy is semaglutide — a GLP-1 receptor agonist. Glucagon-like Peptide-1 is a hormone produced in the intestines in response to eating. Essentially, semaglutide mimics GLP-1, stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin, which in turn lowers blood-sugar levels, reduces cravings, and slows digestion.

Semaglutide is a subcutaneous injection, meaning this medication is injected under the skin of your stomach, thighs, or upper arm. While semaglutide is the primary ingredient in both Ozempic and Wegovy, these two medications are dosed differently and serve different purposes.

Ozempic is a medication used to lower blood-sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It is not intended to be used as a weight-loss medication. Wegovy, however, was approved by the FDA in 2021 for chronic weight management. It is approved for people with obesity or individuals who have health problems related to excess weight.

Semaglutide for Weight Loss

Semaglutide and Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)

Ozempic, Wegovy, and semaglutide injections are a tool that needs to be used properly! Dosing too high or shifting dosages too fast can lead to uncomfortable side effects including nausea, abdominal pain, gas and bloating, diarrhea or constipation, and indigestion. Additionally, before jumping on the injection train we need to consider your whole health picture, especially if you have a history of low blood sugar.

What is Hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) typically occurs when there is too much insulin or not enough glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. While hypoglycemia can occur in individuals with diabetes who take insulin or other medications to lower blood sugar levels, it can also occur in non-diabetic individuals due to prolonged fasting, excessive alcohol consumption, or underlying medical conditions.

How Can Semaglutide Impact Hypoglycemia?

Higher doses of semaglutide, especially when combined with other insulin or diabetes medications, can increase risk for hypoglycemia due to its glucose-lowering effect. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include shakiness, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness, hunger, and weakness.

The quick fix for low blood sugar is to consume fast-acting carbohydrates, like fruit juice and candy. However, if you’re hypoglycemic, it’s important to consult with a doctor on safe, effective, and long-term strategies to monitor levels and prevent episodes of low blood sugar.

So, Is Semaglutide a Safe Option?

It depends! When overnight low blood sugar and between-meal hypoglycemia have been ruled out, and you’re successfully achieving healthy weight loss (around 6-8 pounds a month), then semaglutide can be a valuable tool and excellent option to support your weight loss goals.

Weight Loss with Semaglutide

Achieving Sustainable Weight Loss with Semaglutide

When it comes to dosing, the goal is to go low and slow. Semaglutide is a tool — not the whole solution! To get the most out of this medication and achieve healthy, sustainable weight loss, it’s important to combine this tool with tailored diet and lifestyle adjustments. Sleep, exercise, and stress management, as well as eating a balanced diet are foundational changes that not only improve weight loss outcomes, but positively impact your overall health and wellbeing.

Weight loss is achievable when you have the right people on your team. Surround yourself with friends and family members who encourage healthy habits and positively support your goals. Additionally, working with a healthcare professional who assesses your whole health picture and understands safe semaglutide dosing practices can help you to achieve and maintain your desired weight outcomes.

At ISAIH Natural Medicine, our team of specialists are here to support you in your weight loss journey. Here’s to looking and feeling healthy and confident!