Friday , July 19 2024
semaglutides ozempic wegovy

GLP-1 Journey: One Month In

GLP-1, semaglutides, Ozempic, Wegovy… If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’ve heard about these hopeful new drugs for battling the epidemic of overweight and obesity in the U.S. I made the decision in late December to give it a try, hoping to lessen the intense gravitational pull on my aging, arthritic knees. My doctor gave me the green light (and a prescription), reminding me that every pound I lost would amount to four or more pounds off my knees.

semaglutides ozempic wegovy

Mini-rant

I have to say that it grieves me to see how much it costs to use these potentially life-changing medicines. Ozempic, Wegovy and related drugs cost nearly $1,000/month without insurance coverage. Medicare does not cover them at all! And I am stunned that a weight-loss drug likely to prevent knee or hip surgeries, lessen the burden on the heart and other organs, and more is not covered. It’s short-sighted and foolish. End of rant

The Nitty Gritty

When last I checked in with you, dear readers, it was after the first week. I was on the starting dose of .25 mg injected weekly into either the stomach or thigh. Painless and literally taking seconds. The starting dose is intended to acclimate your body to the medicine, and any weight loss from it is incidental. I found that the .25 dose tamped down my cravings and let me break my potato chip and sweets mini-binges. Although there is no special “diet” to follow—you follow your brain and stomach and what they tell you—I know myself, and if I had not decided to go “cold turkey” on certain foods…

I would say that the lowest dose restored my willpower over food. I did get filled up quicker and ate much smaller portions, but that effect worked mainly for the first part of the week, dissipating toward the end when I felt hungry a bit more. But rather than grab for the chips, I grabbed for a high protein shake, a container of pomegranate arils, or a cup of in-shell pistachio nuts (I love salty foods).

I had a shake and cup of coffee in the morning before work, snacked and lunched on string cheese and hard-boiled eggs, and low-carb protein bars and shakes. Dinner was often a salad with anchovies, shaved parm, sunflower seed, hearts of palm, and an bottled Caesar or Italian dressing based on olive oil. (Personally, I love Newman’s Own because it’s more vinegary, but totally a preference).

Over the month, the scale tipped back and forth as my body adjusted. I bought a scale that tracked not only weight but things like muscle mass, body water, visceral and subcutaneous fat, etc. It’s called a BIA scale and uses bioelectrical impedance to measure. (Important to do same of day and account for clothing—and no socks!!) It was great to see that even when the scale did not budge, my numbers were declining slowly but surely. So have measurements: about an inch in my waist and hips. Tight jeans were looser by the end of the month. My scale had dropped just shy of 10 pounds during the month.

My knees are also doing better. Not pain-free (and not expected—not yet).

Observations: Comparing This Journey with Other Weight-Loss Drugs

I’ve been on weight-loss drugs before, including phentermine (not Fen-Fen) and the OTC fads. (Believe me, I’ve tried them all!) The biggest difference is the lack of side effects. On phentermine, for example, I was never hungry, not the case on GLP-1, but always feeling slightly out of my own body. This was the case with prescription and non-prescription weight-loss “miracles.” GLP side effects I have experienced so far are in the next section, but I do not miss the slightly frantic feeling of phentermine and those other magic pills. Phew!

Side Effects

Nausea, sleeplessness, constipation, diarrhea. I steeled myself for all of them. I bought saltines and white rice in case I was nauseous; anti-diarrheal medication; and fiber supplements. I could not afford to take time off from work for feeling terrible all the time. The effects are real and well-documented anecdotally on the Ozempic/Wegovy Facebook Support Group (a private group, but open to membership, of course). BTW, I found this group to be my daily go-to for inspiration, ideas, and so much more.

Fortunately, my side effects are minimal: fatigue and queasiness—and a mild headache in the morning. All worse toward the beginning of the week and peaking day three post-injection. By the end of the month, I could tell my body had acclimated to the drug because the side effects (and the good effects) began to wane by the end of the month after my fourth .25 injection.

Yesterday, I titrated up to .5. I Woke up mildly queasy and with a slight headache, but nothing else. So we begin month two. Ten pounds down, able to walk without my cane (but still with a bit of pain in my knees). I’ll check in again later this month. Questions? Comments? Ping me on Twitter @B__Barnett or in the comments section below.

About Barbara Barnett

A Jewish mother and (young 🙃) grandmother, Barbara Barnett is an author and professional Hazzan (Cantor). A member of the Conservative Movement's Cantors Assembly and the Jewish Renewal movement's clergy association OHALAH, the clergy association of the Jewish Renewal movement. In her other life, she is a critically acclaimed fantasy/science fiction author as well as the author of a non-fiction exploration of the TV series House, M.D. and contributor to the book Spiritual Pregnancy. She Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org).

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semaglutides ozempic wegovy

GLP-1 Journey: Week One

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