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Semaglutide Ozempic: 5 Possible Gut Issues and Why It Happens

Video Transcript:

Today we're going to talk about ozempic and five possible gut issues that can come out of taking the medication as well as why does it happen in the first place.

So you may have been hearing a lot about Ozempic or Wegovy and other semaglutides in the news today, and they are becoming very popular for weight loss. And what we know is that many people are struggling with some side effects from taking that medication.

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And so I think it's important to share what some of those are and why it happens in the first place. Now, we know that Ozempic has been okayed by the FDA for type two diabetes treatment and not for weight loss per se.

However, a lot of people, as I said, are using it for that, but are the side effects outweighing the benefit? My name is Marcie Vaske, and I'm a functional nutritionist. Then I specialize in gut health.

So I see a lot of individuals who struggle with bloating or gas or constipation, diarrhea, and not only those things but also struggling with maybe insulin dysregulation or hormonal imbalances.

And so if that sounds like you or someone you know, you can easily make an initial appointment. If you need a little extra help and starting to feel better, that is something you should definitely look into.

But if you're the kind of person who likes to do things on their own as far as just learning more about gut health, download our free guide, which is Five Ways to Improve Gut Health. All right, so let's dig into Ozempic and some side effects that it may be causing for some individuals.

What is Semaglutide Ozempic?

Now, Ozempic is a semaglutide, which is a human hormone that is called glucagon-like peptide 1 or GLP-1.

So let's understand the mechanism of action. So when GLP-1 is released, it's released from the gut and the intestines. So when we eat a meal, this hormone is activated and actually gives us a sensation of being full.

So if you're using a medication like Ozempic, which is GLP-1, once you inject that into your body, then that increases your insulin production, giving you that false sense of fullness even though you haven't eaten.

Now, what also happens once this is in our body is that, yes, you feel full, but it also slows down our gastric emptying. And so it slows down that digestive system.

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So this is why we see some of these digestive upset or digestive symptoms that come with taking Ozempic or another semaglutide, because that GLP -1 increases that insulin and like I said, slows down our gut motility, which can lead to things like SIBO or, diarrhea or constipation.

Now, what also happens is that it blocks our gastric acid secretion, so it slows that down. And when you eat a meal, sometimes, if you don't have enough of that good amount of hydrochloric acid in your stomach, you can feel full fast. You might even get some indigestion.

Semaglutide Ozempic: Possible Gut Issues and Why It Happens

So the number one symptoms that we've seen with Ozempic and that some people are experiencing will be nausea, indigestion, more gas, constipation, and diarrhea. Now, as I said, these things are happening because it's slowing down the motility of the food that you eat.

So let's say you do the injection, that gives you the sense of fullness, but of course, we still need to eat food because, well, we need to stay alive, right?

And so once you put the food in, that's slowing down that process of digestion in your stomach because you're having less acid, which then creates more gas and bloating for people.

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Now you can feel that maybe up above your belly button or even below your belly button as the food breaks down and gets into the large intestine. Now, what's happening as well is that people will struggle with constipation or they might have diarrhea and even more stools per day.

So, because of this blocking and this interaction with the digestive system, people are really struggling with some of these side effects.

And because it slows down that digestion and also gives you that sense of fullness, this is where individuals tend to eat smaller meals or maybe small snack-type things throughout the day.

Because, when they eat, they just feel really full so they don't finish their meal, which of course decreases caloric intake. And also that's where you're seeing some of this weight loss.

And a lot of people who are taking Ozempic or any of the other semaglutides will see some impact on their weight. But I think the question remains for you as an individual in making a decision if this is right for you or not, do you want to test out those side effects?

If you already have a poor gut, it probably wouldn't be the best idea because obviously, it's just going to, it significantly increase your symptoms. And I'll also say that some people, don't have any symptoms at all.

You know, it definitely depends on the person, but I think when you're making a decision on what is the best thing for you if you're thinking about using this for weight loss, of course, if you have type two diabetes, you are treating a disease.

And so you need to make sure that your body is getting enough insulin in the proper way and definitely go that route. But if we're doing this more for vanity and we want to just lose some weight, I think again, it's asking yourself the question, do I want to do that? Does that make sense to me?

And I think if it still does, then that's what you should do. But also, while you are learning or while you may be using this medication, I would recommend working with a practitioner, a dietitian nutritionist, someone who can help you change your behavior.

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Because just because you're losing the weight, which is awesome, and you feel better, you may need to learn how to change your feeding habits because, you know, someday you won't be taking the Ozempic or one of the other semaglutides.

And so really focusing in on the behaviors around your eating, why you used to maybe overeat or why you were gaining weight and that's not always the reason, just because we're eating, that's not always the reason we gain weight, of course.

But I think it's really understanding what you're deciding to do, which I think educated decisions on medications make the most sense. And if it's right for you and it's something that outweighs the side effects, then that's the right choice for you.

But I think also it's important to realize that there are side effects for certain medications. And today, as I talked about with Ozempic, you really need to think about if you have these poor gut issues already.

And maybe you don't, but if you do, it would be something to really monitor and see if you can tolerate them so that you can get to the goals that you're looking for.

So I hope that sheds the sunlight on Ozempic, and how it works in the body, and so you can understand if you are taking it while you are getting some of those symptoms of maybe gas or indigestion more frequently or maybe more diarrhea or constipation.

So again, make educated choices on everything you do from supplements to medication to the foods that you eat.

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If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.

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