Is using semaglutides safe and effective weight management strategy?
In recent years, people on a quest to lose weight have been using innovative diabetes medicine semaglutide to help quicken the process. Despite the possibility of adverse side effects, brands such as Ozempic are on the rise, but can they really help you lose weight, or could they actually be making you metabolically fatter?
In this latest blog, we take a closer look at what semaglutides actually are and the importance of having a DEXA scan before taking them.
What are Semaglutides?
A semaglutide is a form of injectable medication that mimics the Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP -1) hormone and encourages the body to produce more insulin in order to reduce glucose levels. This highly effective drug was initially developed to help treat adults with Type 2 Diabetes when traditional medication was not able to control the sugar levels in the body enough, but thanks to it also suppressing your appetite, many individuals are using it to lose weight.
When combined with diet and exercise, the drug has been shown to be highly effective in supporting weight loss. One study of 2,000 adults published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that 50% of those participants who took semaglutide were able to lose 15% of their body weight, while those who did not take it and just made diet and lifestyle changes only lost 2.4%.
The importance of a DEXA Scan
Before you start taking a semaglutide, it is first important to understand your body composition. Only when you know the makeup of your body will you be able to create a healthy weight loss program. A DEXA scan will give you this insight, with the non-invasive imaging procedure using low-dose X-rays to differentiate between bone, fat, and lean tissue to provide a detailed insight into your bone health and body composition.
Having a DEXA scan first can provide you with a wide range of benefits, including:
- Baseline assessment
One of the biggest reasons to undertake a DEXA scan before you start taking a semaglutide is that it will provide you with a baseline measurement of your body composition. You can then use this to clearly track the changes while taking the medication, allowing you to understand whether you are losing fat or muscle mass.
- Personalized insight
The human body is a unique thing, and we all have different compositions of bone, muscle, and fat, while other factors such as age, gender, and activity level can also influence the impact of semaglutides. Undertaking a DEXA scan will give you a complete and highly personalized insight into your body, allowing you and your healthcare provider to create an individualized weight loss treatment plan.
- Monitor changes
Having a DEXA scan should not just be a one-off approach. Undergoing regular scans over time will ensure you can monitor changes in your bone density and body composition, allowing you to detect any issues quickly and adapt your weight loss plan accordingly.
Understand your body today
If you are considering trying a semaglutide to lose weight, then it is vital that you have a DEXA scan before you start. This will give you a clear understanding of how it could affect your body and provide you with the baseline information so you can track how your body is responding.
If you would like to learn more about your body composition, find your nearest provider today and book your DEXA scan.