cAbout Ozempic and Navigating Weight Loss Injections

Everything you need to know about Ozempic and Navigating Weight Loss Injections

Debunking Misconceptions and Embracing Comprehensive Solutions

The topic of weight loss injections has gained significant attention, particularly concerning medications like semaglutide, liraglutide (Saxenda, Wegovy), and Ozempic. In this article, Dr Hugh explains everything you need to know about Ozempic and navigating weight loss injections.

However, before delving into the specifics of these medications, it is essential to address the broader issue of obesity and the misconceptions surrounding its treatment. Many individuals who are offered these medications to manage obesity and its associated health risks often hesitate due to perceived stigma and misconceptions about the nature of their condition.

Redefining Obesity: A Chronic Disease

Society’s historical tendency to stigmatise individuals who are overweight has resulted in many viewing obesity as a personal failure. This perception is not only unjust but also hinders effective treatment. It is vital to understand that obesity is indeed a chronic disease and has been classified as a chronic disease since the 1990s. Its impact on health and mortality has been recognised for over 2500 years, dating back to the time of Hippocrates.

Understanding Obesity Pathogenesis

Obesity is not merely a matter of willpower or self-control. Its pathogenesis involves two interconnected processes. The first is a sustained positive energy balance, resulting from small, incremental imbalances between energy intake and expenditure over time. Once an individual reaches a higher-than-normal weight, the second process emerges: the resetting of the body’s weight “set point” at an elevated value.
This phenomenon can be understood through the lens of evolutionary physiology. Our biological predisposition to store body fat for survival was advantageous in times of scarcity but poses challenges in the modern era of abundance and easy access to calorie-dense foods. Consequently, a significant portion of the population is biologically inclined toward excessive weight gain. This intrinsic physiological mechanism explains why weight loss achieved through diet and lifestyle changes often leads to eventual weight regain, posing a considerable obstacle to effective obesity treatment.

Debunking Stigma: Obesity as a Disease

The stigma associated with obesity not only affects individuals emotionally but also hampers their access to appropriate treatments, including medications. It’s crucial to recognise that obesity is on par with other chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Just as one wouldn’t hesitate to manage diabetes with medication, obesity also requires a multifaceted approach to treatment.

Comprehensive Solutions: Weight loss medications

Weight loss medications, like semaglutide, liraglutide, and others, offer valuable tools in the management of obesity. However, it’s essential to view these medications as part of a broader strategy. Behaviour modification, dietary adjustments, increased physical activity, and in some cases, surgical interventions, all play integral roles in a comprehensive treatment plan. These components work synergistically to promote sustainable weight loss and improve overall health outcomes.

Shifting the perspective on obesity

Shifting the perspective on obesity from personal failure to a chronic disease is a crucial step in achieving effective treatment. By understanding the physiological mechanisms driving obesity, we can debunk misconceptions and encourage individuals to consider a comprehensive approach that encompasses medications, lifestyle changes, and supportive interventions. Of course, not everyone needs medications. Just because a medications offered to you, doesn’t mean you have to take it. Ideally, we would manage disease solely through lifestyle interventions. However, embracing a holistic strategy empowers individuals to fully take charge of their health.

Please reach out to the team if you have any questions about the contents of this article.

Dr Hugh Coyne, co-founder Coyne Medical