People struggling with chronic weight gain may want to explore this option.
By Tenille L. Lawson, PharmD, BCPS
If you struggle with obesity you’re not alone. Finding the right methods to manage your weight can be challenging. You have tried—harder than others realize—to improve your diet and physical activity, but you are still not reaching your goals. Be encouraged. Your commitment to finding a tool that works with eating well and exercising is a step in the right direction. One of the most recently FDA-approved treatments to help you control your weight is an injectable medication called liraglutide.
Here are four ways to gain more knowledge about this treatment option.
Team up with a Qualified Physician
Discussing your weight-loss treatment options with a physician who understands the complexities of your individual situation could be a game-changer. Addressing obesity is a health concern that should be managed appropriately.
“Obesity is a chronic condition similar to high blood pressure; not everyone will be successful controlling it without medication,” says board-certified physician Dr. Erin Chamberlin of Indianapolis.
Understand Your Hormones
A powerful hormone called GLP-1 (glucagon-likepeptide-1) could be the force behind your roller-coaster journey. After you eat, hormones including GLP-1 usually make you feel full to stop you from craving more food. Studies suggest the opposite happens when you diet—your appetite increases. If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater—the clinical definition of obesity— you may benefit from using a medication to counteract this effect.
Talk About Medication
According to the National Institutes of Health, there are five FDA-approved prescription weight-loss medications used safely long-term, leading to reduced complications from obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. The only injectable form, liraglutide 3mg, acts like GLP-1 to decrease your appetite, ultimately helping you manage your weight. In clinical trials, many participants, who followed a lowcalorie meal plan and exercised consistently, reported at least a 5% weight loss while using the medication.
Consider Your Risks
Keep in mind, miracle drugs do not exist. Liraglutide may cause side effects, such as unbearable nausea that many people tolerate by self-administering the medication according to the directions and slowly increasing the dose. Talk with your doctor about risks of thyroid cancer or pancreatitis before using the medication. Finally, discuss stopping liraglutide if you do not lose at least 5% of your starting weight after three months on the full dose of the medication.
ALWAYS consult with your doctor before making health decisions. Your determination will ensure you start your year off right. To learn more about long-term weight loss, search weight management at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website.