“Ozempic takes the stress out of worrying” — HUNGER analyses the flipside to the weight-loss drug debate

HUNGER weighs in on the drug discussion with the help of an Ozempic prescriber.

In the blink of an eye, it seems as though celebrities have traded in their figure-8 Kardashian bodies for a thinner alternative. The years of training and investments in waist sculptors have been thrown out the window, as a slew of freshly skinny influencers and well-known faces are sporting protruding collar bones and sunken cheeks – new faces entirely some may say. As wellness fads for the beauty standard come and go, many are expressing worries about moving away from the curvier body type and back to the ‘heroin chic’ look most popular in the 90s, and the side effects that may inevitably follow. The word Ozempic is now being thrown around, garnering traction as experts weigh in, literally, on the subject. 

Part of an expanding class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor antagonists, Ozempic was produced initially to alter the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Its name has been shortened for an entire category of weight-loss injections, and stars are often hounded to speak out as to whether they use the drug, which many deny. Speaking to the founder of G&M Healthcare and General Practitioner Dr. Grace Hula, she says that taking Ozempic is “similar to the natural hormone in your gut that is an appetite suppressant and also keeps you feeling full for longer than normal periods.” It is administered via a “once-a-week injection” with a “small diabetic-like needle. Together with a healthy diet and exercise, Ozempic helps you achieve your weight loss target.”

 Dr. Hula first encountered the drug in 2020 when it was dubbed as a “skinny pen” and upon learning further, felt it was a “relatively safe drug to use if prescribed and monitored by qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals who monitor its continued use.” She has been on her own journey with Ozempic, describing how it has been a “constant battle of persistently trying various diets and weight loss programmes.” In the end, Dr. Hula “lost 3st on a very low-calorie diet and then lost some more weight, about 2st on Ozempic.” Explaining further, she adds: “Most of our lives are busy and stressful and Ozempic takes the stress of worrying about what to eat because you can eat anything but in much smaller amounts and thereby helps you lose weight that way.”

And this is exactly what needs to be clarified regarding the drug, that it is not a free-for-all weight loss solution, and can be a tool for those with stressful lives to help the journey. “Ozempic is only considered for patients who have a BMI of 27, with the presence of at least one weight-related co-morbidity such as hypertension, Type II Diabetes, sleep apnoea or arthritis,” clears up Dr. Hula. “It should only be prescribed if the patient has tried other diet and exercise regimes without success.”

Many are also worried about ‘Ozempic face’, which is a side effect of the rapid weight loss drug leaving users with aging faces and sunken features. Dr. Hula explains that it is likely from a “combination of rapid weight loss and dehydration which can happen within other diets or weight loss programmes too.” Ozempic is hailed as the quickest solution to keep up with these trends, as Dr. Hula expresses young women’s use of the drug aligning with it being a “no brainer easy to use appetite suppressant that actually works.” The worry about promoting unhealthy behaviours is now being monitored, as she further explains that at her practice, the drug is prescribed by “qualified healthcare professionals who are trained to do risk assessments in order to eliminate unhealthy behaviours and is only prescribed to patients with high BMIs.” 

With these discussions around Ozempic comes the understanding that weight loss differs between each person, and there is no universal solution. A combination of exercise, eating well and understanding lifestyle changes is essential for practitioners like Dr. Hula when prescribing a patient — regardless of the outcome. “Combating weight loss is a personal journey that is different for every person and also depends on what other weight loss methods they have tried in the past,” she explains. “Ozempic is definitely popular for its ease of use, however there are other good weight loss programmes available,” she says, noting that programmes like MediSculpt Therapy are also an effective weight loss method. 

WriterElla Chadwick
Banner Image CreditPexels