Medical Weight Loss
Obesity overwhelmingly affects the quality of life of many Americans. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2018 uses body mass index (BMI) metrics to suggest that over 70% of American adults are overweight or obese.
About Medical Weight Loss
This disease is associated with a long list of disorders including, but not limited to, sleep apnea, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Obesity is a complex health concern that results from a combination of factors – both genetic and behavioral.
Viewing obesity as a disease rather than a lifestyle choice allows us to provide a viable medication treatment to help adults who have been struggling tirelessly with various lifestyle changes. These changes frequently only result in minimal improvements to their health and weight. Semaglutide injections are one of these treatments that are available for individuals looking for support in weight loss. Semaglutide is a new tool that can supplement the improved diet and exercise behaviors to provide patients with a real opportunity to obtain a better lifestyle and maintain a healthier weight.
Frequent Asked Questions
Regarding Weight Loss
Semaglutide is a medication used as a type 2 diabetes treatment to help control blood sugar levels by mimicking the GLP-1 hormone in your body. Semaglutide is now also used as an injectable medication to support weight loss for adults who are either overweight, obese, or severely obese according to BMI measurements.
Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is a hormone that is naturally made in your body and signals your body to release insulin. When insulin is released, it signals the body to decrease your blood sugar levels by sending the sugar into your muscles and tissues to be used as energy. When sugar stays in your bloodstream and your muscles aren’t getting that energy, your body sends a signal to your brain to say you are hungry and need more food!
Semaglutide is classified as a GLP-1 agonist and, when injected into the body, signals the production of GLP-1. In small doses, semaglutide increases insulin secretion in order to treat diabetes. In higher doses, it works to regulate appetite by ensuring sugar moves out of the bloodstream and into the tissues and muscles that need the energy. When this happens, the body will no longer send the signal for more food so frequently. In other words, semaglutide helps mediate blood sugar levels and subsequently encourages weight loss when combined with some lifestyle improvements.
Yes. Semaglutide was first FDA-approved in 2017 to treat type 2 diabetes (T2D) using a continuous weekly dose of 1 mg. This small dosage used for T2D produced moderate weight loss and triggered further new trials to study semaglutide as a weight loss treatment. Injectable semaglutide for weight loss purposes is now FDA-approved since 2021 with a maximum of 2.4
mg per dose. This weight loss medication is approved for adults who have a BMI higher or equal to 27 kg/m² with a weight-related health condition or 30 kg/m² without any weight-related health condition.
Weight-related chronic diseases can critically risk an individual’s quality of life and are not limited to cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol, hypertension, insulin resistance, and depression. So many factors contribute to obesity – genetics, behavioral habits, environment, education – and trying various lifestyle changes to diet and physical exercise may not always work well on their own. This is where semaglutide can facilitate sizable weight loss that can improve one’s overall quality of life and reduce the risk of developing more serious health conditions.
Losing between 5% to 10% body weight is associated with reversing cardiovascular disease risk in overweight or obese adults. Studies that use semaglutide as a weight loss treatment show exciting results where subjects lost 15% of their body weight on average compared to those who received the placebo that managed to lose 2.4% on average.
Semaglutide clinical trials have shown huge potential to help patients successfully lose weight and maintain more optimal weight. It has been quite some time since a new and effective weight loss treatment became FDA-approved. Before semaglutide treatments, obesity drug treatments such as phentermine were primarily used to help patients lose 7.5% body weight on average. However, the side effects often stop patients from using the medications after a short period and they quickly regain the weight.
The most effective obesity treatment available is bariatric surgery, which supports patients in losing 25% of their body weight. Surgery is a very invasive and irreversible option, and not many people are qualified to go through this procedure. Semaglutide offers a new and effective solution that is much less invasive and supplements better lifestyle changes to provide people the chance to lead a quality life.
You and your doctor will work together to create a plan most suitable for you that includes semaglutide in combination with a sustainable diet and physical exercise program. Semaglutide is a treatment that injects subcutaneously to the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm once weekly. The treatments start with a small dose and will gradually increase to a maximum of 2.4 mg to reduce the experience of side effects. You can expect to receive your maximum dose amount approximately 16 weeks from your treatment start date.
Semaglutide for weight loss has been studied for a treatment period of 68 weeks. Semaglutide shows promise for longer-term use to achieve optimal body weight and soon will be clinically tested for longer-term use past 68 weeks.
WEEK DOSE (milligrams each week)
17 and onward 2.4
Needless to say, the results will vary for each individual going through the semaglutide injection treatments. It is noted that more than 50% of participants in the semaglutide trial treatments lost at least 15% of their body weight. The body weight changes will become noticeable when you get close to your maximum weekly dosage. Over time, adhering to a reduced-calorie diet becomes easier due to the satiety signaling nature of the medication.
Semaglutide treatment results are not exclusive to only weight loss. Since semaglutide being used as a type 2 diabetes treatment since 2017, it is clinically noted that semaglutide proves to be cardioprotective. This means that it prevents future complications of obesity such as heart attacks, declining kidney function, and osteoarthritis. Symptoms of diabetes or pre-diabetes begin to improve in many patients that have taken semaglutide through clinical studies.
What are the most common side effects:
– Upset stomach
– Gas and bloating
– Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Your semaglutide treatment plan will increase the dosage amount gradually to help reduce the experience of side effects. These side effects often show up in the earlier stages of the treatment plan and gradually decrease as the body adjusts over time. It is important to share your experience with your doctor if any of these side effects are consistent or become worse.
Semaglutide injections should not be used if you or anyone in your family has a history of thyroid cancer (medullary thyroid carcinoma or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2). Semaglutide or medication similar to semaglutide has caused thyroid tumors in rodent studies. There is no data to show if semaglutide will cause thyroid cancers in people.
Other serious side effects may include:
● Pancreatitis. You may feel severe abdominal pain that may not go away. This could be accompanied by continuous vomiting.
● Gallstones. Symptoms of gallstones or gallbladder problems include upper abdominal pain, fever, and yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).
● Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Patients with type 2 diabetes, especially those who are taking other medications, have an increased risk of low blood sugar. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include light-headedness, blurred vision, irritability, hunger, weakness, or a fast heartbeat.
● Kidney problems. Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting can cause dehydration and may make kidney problems worse.
● Allergic reactions. Stop the use of semaglutide immediately if you experience any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including swelling, breathing problems, severe rashes, or a very rapid heartbeat.
● Diabetic retinopathy. Patients with type 2 diabetes could experience a vision change.
● Depression. Pay attention to any sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings.
If you experience any of these serious side effect symptoms, you should stop the use of the semaglutide injections immediately and seek medical help. Tell your doctor if you are experiencing mental changes, vision changes, or any symptoms that indicate that any of these serious side effects are developing.
Semaglutide injections should not be used in combination with other semaglutide-containing products or any other products used for weight loss. If you are on insulin treatment, please consult with your healthcare provider about what is the best course of action. Insulin treatments can be decreased to accommodate the use of both semaglutide and insulin treatments. If both insulin and semaglutide medication is used, they should be administered separately (not within the same injection).
Please also share with your doctor any other medications you are taking including prescriptions, over-the-counter, or herbal medicinal products.
Semaglutide injections used for weight loss are currently not covered by insurance.
The Bottom Line
Semaglutide injections can be used as a treatment plan for weight loss in conjunction with optimal lifestyle intervention (dietary and physical exercise habits). This treatment plan is approved for use in adults who are either obese (30 mg/kg²) with no other health condition or overweight (27 mg/kg²) with at least one weight-related health condition.
Semaglutide was first FDA-approved in 2017 as a type 2 diabetes treatment in small doses. It has now since been FDA-approved as a weight loss treatment in higher doses and works to control blood sugar levels, boost satiety, and promote weight loss. Compared to other weight loss treatment options, semaglutide shows very promising results in supporting patients in not only losing weight but also keeping the weight off.
If you want to explore semaglutide as a treatment or have questions, we would love to hear from you! Set up an appointment for an initial consultation with Dr. Ethan Kellum, M.D. by clicking below.
Stem Cell Therapy Process
Our expert physicians will meet with you by phone or in-person to review your medical history and will determine if you’re a good candidate for stem cell therapy. If we agree stem cell therapy can help, we’ll schedule your first appointment in our office.
In most cases our outpatient treatment takes 2-4 hours and is nearly pain free. You do not have to “go under.” On the day of your procedure, our physicians will collect your stem cells. Fat is obtained from the low back or abdomen, bone marrow is obtained from the back part of the hip. After stem cell collection, you will relax in a private room. Once processed, your stem cells will be injected into the area of need using a highly sophisticated ultrasound instrument with enhanced needle visualization for precise delivery of your stem cells. In some cases, we also administer an IV of your stem cells during treatment to further enhance your body’s natural healing process.
There is virtually no recovery time from your stem cell therapy procedure. Most people are back to work the following day.
Physical Therapy - NRO has partnered with several physical therapist providers specifically trained in therapy following regenerative treatments. The combination of regenerative medicine and physical therapy to correct biomechanical imbalances offers patients an empowering way to take control of their lives.
Our medical staff will remain in touch with you during your recovery process to answer questions.
Patients who are considered to be candidates will be invited for a consultation with one of our panel physicians. Treatment cost varies depending on the disease state being treated and which type of stem cell deployment is required.
Patients Worldwide have been treated at Nashville Regenerative Orthopedics
Are You a Candidate?
Our in-house science team has researched the many types of stem cells available today. Together with our clinical teams, we believe that using your own stem cells are the safest, most effective treatment choice for your body and your health.
Our research-based treatments use your own stem cells to accelerate your healing — without surgery.
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