It’s important for health coaches to stay abreast of health trends. Semaglutide medications are a case in point, gaining increasing attention for their role in weight loss. However, not all semaglutide are created equal. Take Ozempic—originally designed as a diabetes treatment, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for weight loss.
While health coaches aren’t authorized to prescribe medications, they play a crucial role in guiding clients to make informed choices. Equipped with up-to-date research, coaches can facilitate meaningful dialogue with clients and help them feel empowered to discuss treatment options with their medical providers.
Here are some facts about Ozempic:
What is Ozempic?
How does it work?
Ozempic, one type of semaglutide medication, is classified as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. GLP-1 constitutes a natural hormone produced to help regulate blood sugar. This hormone signals the release of insulin from the pancreas, which lowers blood sugar levels. Ozempic operates by mimicking the action of the GLP-1 hormone.
Additionally, Ozempic and other semaglutide medications slow down the emptying of the stomach. This results in patients feeling fuller sooner and longer, resulting in reduced appetite. This aspect of the medication also suggests Ozempic’s potential as a weight loss medication.
It is important to always follow prescription dosage instructions provided by medical professionals when it comes to medication.
For health coaches considering discussing Ozempic with their clients, it is important to know that administering this medication requires a weekly injection. If a client is unable to get frequent injections, they should discuss other options with their provider.
Benefits of Ozempic
- Improved Blood Sugar: Ozempic was created as an effective way for those with type 2 diabetes to control their blood sugar. The mechanism of action results in lower HbA1c levels, a measure of average blood sugar control over time. By enhancing insulin secretion and reducing glucagon production, GLP-1 agonists help maintain more stable blood glucose levels.
- Weight Loss: Many individuals who take Ozempic experience weight loss. This can be particularly beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes who also struggle with obesity. This benefit stems from Ozempic’s ability to slow down digestion and limit appetite.
- Cardiovascular Benefits: Recent studies suggest that Ozempic may have cardiovascular benefits and may help reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events in people with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease.
- Common Side Effects: Semaglutide may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, especially at first. These symptoms tend to go away over time.
- Serious Side Effects: While serious reactions are rare, they can include pancreatitis, allergic reactions, and changes in kidney function.
- Contraindications: Ozempic should not be used by individuals with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. These conditions should be discussed with a medical professional before treatment.
- Pancreatitis: Caution is advised for individuals with a history of pancreatitis. Any previous medical condition or medications should be discussed before treatment begins.
Recent research has looked into the benefits of combining Ozempic with other diabetes medications, such as Metformin. According to the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, combining treatments may reduce the dosage requirements of other drugs and may provide improved overall glycemic control.
Many people have heard about Ozempic as it relates to recent weight loss studies. However, Ozempic is not approved for weight loss. The semaglutide medication that is approved for weight loss is Wegovy, due to its larger dose of semaglutide. While Ozempic may result in weight loss, it is specifically designed for patients with type 2 diabetes, according to the manufacturer and the FDA.
How to Coach Clients Considering or Currently Taking Ozempic or Other Semaglutides for Weight Loss
Working with a health coach can be the “secret sauce” that leads to not only successfully losing weight and keeping it off, but becoming metabolically healthy.
Here are 3 ways that health coaches play a crucial role:
- Provide Education about Semaglutides: Coaches can answer questions about how semaglutides work, how they are administered, and their side effects.
- Share Information about the Weight Loss Process: Coaches can facilitate conversations about why the client desires to lose weight and inquire about their history of dieting. For example, they may not realize that losing weight can be accompanied by loss of muscle mass, which over time can lead to undesirable outcomes. So helping clients get clear on their reasons for wanting to lose weight, and developing a plan for maintaining muscle mass would be quite helpful.
- Coach the Modifiable Lifestyle Factors: There’s considerable evidence suggesting that unless people taking medications like Ozempic change their lifestyle habits, they will soon be right back where they started when they go off the medication. What does this mean? Coaches are experts in behavior change and help individuals make better food choices, get adequate exercise and better sleep, manage stress, and have healthy interpersonal relationships. The process is not “either-or.” Clients who choose the semaglutide route will benefit greatly from lifestyle coaching at the same time.
If you’re a health coach, are clients asking you about trending medication topics, such as the use of Ozempic? You play a crucial role in providing information, such as sorting fact from fiction. Most importantly, as a health coach, you inspire people to make the habit changes that will lead to better health and vitality.
If you’re curious about making important lifestyle changes to improve your overall health, consider working with a functional medicine health coach. They will provide crucial support and education so that you can reach your health and wellness goals.
- Information on Semaglutide for Type 2 Diabetes – The Food and Drug Administration
- Drug Trial Snapshot: Ozempic – The Food and Drug Administration
- Ozempic for Weight Loss – UC Davis