The following is written by our in-house registered dietician nutritionist, LeeAnn Weintraub.
If you’ve been following the recent news cycle you’ve probably heard the buzz about the medication Ozempic. While it was approved six years ago to lower blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c in people with type 2 diabetes, Ozempic has gotten a ton of attention on social media for its off-label use to promote weight loss. Whether you are managing diabetes, weight concerns or both, here is what you need to know about Ozempic.
Ozempic, also known by the generic name Semaglutide, is administered weekly by injection in doses that can be increased over time to help reach desired blood sugar control. Ozempic is known to have potential common side effects including nausea, diarrhea, constipation and stomach ache. More serious side effects include thyroid tumors and cancer. Studies show that a majority of adults taking Ozempic reached a hemoglobin A1c level under 7%. Ozempic lowers blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin release from the pancreas as needed, decreasing the amount of sugar released by the liver and slowing the emptying of food from the stomach. Although Ozempic is not a weight loss medication, studies looking as A1c in adults with type 2 diabetes taking Ozempic found an average weight loss from 10 to 14 lbs on a 1 mg dose during the study period. It also lowers cardiovascular risk for stroke, heart attack or death in adults with type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
If you are interested in learning if Ozempic is right for you, the first step is to speak to your doctor. It’s important to remember that Ozempic is just one of many tools to help in managing diabetes. Lifestyle strategies including a balanced diet, physical activity and stress management are key to controlling both diabetes and achieve a healthy weight.
Here are 5 top lifestyle strategies to achieve better blood sugar control and manage weight:
- Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity daily, as tolerated. Moving regularly helps lower blood sugar, reduces stress levels and boosts metabolism and mood.
- Ensure adequate daily protein intake. Optimal protein sources include lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and Swee2ooth Super Blends, which contain organic protein and are designed specifically to support healthy blood sugar levels.
- Consuming alcoholic beverages can make blood sugar and weight more difficult to manage. Moderate alcohol consumption is up to one drink daily for women and up to two drinks daily for men. The healthiest amount of alcohol to consume is none.
- Choose foods that are rich in fiber like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Limit foods made from refined grains that are high in added sugar.
- Practice stress management and mindfulness by incorporating yoga, deep breathing, journaling and good sleep hygiene into your routine.