You may have seen recent media reports of a ‘game-changing weight loss injection‘ to be offered on the NHS. It seems too good to be true. Could a simple injection be all you need to get your weight challenges under control?
While I feel strongly that more needs to be done to support people in losing weight, I do not believe the solution to weight loss lies in an injection. Allow me to explain why…
WHAT IS THE WEIGHT LOSS INJECTION?
Let’s start by looking at what’s actually in the syringe. This particular injection recently approved by NICE for use on the NHS is called Wegovy (Semaglutide). The class of medication is known as a GLP-1 receptor agonist originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes. Amongst their actions, it’s understood that they reduce the rate at which the stomach digests food and empties which can reduce appetite. There are currently five GLP-1 receptor agonists currently available in the UK according to NICE.
I have two primary concerns about this weight loss injection:
1. An injection alone does nothing to get to the root cause of why people have gained weight in the first place. Not tackling the root cause is highly likely to result in weight regain.
2. The list of potential side effects are quite worrying.
Let’s take a closer look at those side effects…
WEIGHT LOSS INJECTION SIDE EFFECTS
Common side effects listed on the drug’s website include: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, stomach pain, headache, tiredness (fatigue), upset stomach, dizziness, feeling bloated, belching, gas, stomach flu, heartburn.
So far, unpleasant, but not life threatening. However, we then come on to the more serious concerns. I have lifted the following text directly from WeGovy’s website:
Wegovy™ may cause serious side effects, including: Possible thyroid tumours, including cancer. Tell your healthcare provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer. In studies with rodents, Wegovy™ and medicines that work like Wegovy™ caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known if Wegovy™ will cause thyroid tumours or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma in people.
My simple interpretation: rodents who were given these medications got cancer. You might too but we don’t actually know for sure.
A full list of side effects can be found here.
Years ago I worked as a sales rep for the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, promoting an asthma medication to doctors. I know how doctors are so often just given the top-line results / good news from pharmaceutical sales reps. Often they aren’t aware of all of the potential side effects – of which there are many with this drug. With GP appointment times being so short, GPs often don’t have the time to go through the full list of potential side effects with patients, even if they are aware of them.
It’s worth highlighting here that prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer in the United States and Europe.
I am not a medical doctor. I’m therefore not able to give medical advice or recommend that anyone does or does not take a medication. What I can say is this – if a close relative or friend expressed to me that they were considering a weight loss injection, I would strongly discourage them from doing so.
Making changes to your diet and lifestyle can help you lose weight in a safe and sustainable way, with long-term results and no risks from drugs or surgeries. Working with a dedicated nutritionist means you don’t have to go through this process alone.
WE CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT SAFELY AND EFFECTIVELY
If you’re looking to lose weight, there really is no substitute for a holistic approach to weight loss. We can help you overcome your weight challenges, reach your happy weight and maintain it long term. Book yourself in for a complimentary 25 mintue call or contact us and a member of our team will be in touch soon. We can talk through your challenges and explore whether one of our Intelligent Weight Loss programmes is right for you.