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What’s GLP-1?

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a hormone that your small intestine naturally produces after you eat. GLP-1 tells your body to produce insulin after eating, which helps regulate blood sugar after meals. It also suppresses hunger by preventing your body from secreting glucagon.

As an added benefit, GLP-1 helps to slow the digestive process. This allows you to keep glucose within your stomach, keeping you fuller for longer.

GLP-1 belongs to a class of drugs known as receptor agonists since they block the uptake of certain chemicals. They are also part of a subgroup in this class known as incretin mimetics since they mimic the behaviour of your body’s hormones.

How Does GLP-1 Work?

While there are a variety of medications that use GLP-1, they all work in the same basic way. GLP-1 medications help to enhance your body’s natural supply of this chemical.

After you eat, your body produces GLP-1 to regulate blood sugar and suppress hunger. GLP-1 tells the pancreas to create insulin after a meal. The hormone also travels to your brain and increases feelings of satiety, keeping you from overeating.

However, the GLP-1 your body creates dissipates soon after you eat. This can leave some people hungry after a meal, causing them to overindulge. Over time, this can lead to weight gain and other diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more.

By taking GLP-1 medication, your body can increase its hormone supply, even if you don’t have problems creating it. GLP-1 is unstable and doesn’t last very long in your body. An outside supply of GLP-1 can increase its effects on your body and help you to lose weight.

GLP-1 and Weight Loss: How Do They Work?

While the GLP-1 was originally approved to treat diabetes, they’ve recently found another medically-approved use. GLP-1 has also been cleared to use for weight loss. Even if you’re not suffering from diabetes mellitus, you can take advantage of the weight loss benefits of GLP-1.

If your BMI is over 27, you may be prescribed GLP-1 if you suffer from comorbidities due to excess weight. If your BMI is above 30 and you don’t experience any comorbidities, you may use GLP-1 to assist with weight loss.

What Are The Effects of GLP-1?

For those looking for a weight loss drug that works, GLP-1 may seem too good to be true – but it does work.

During clinical trials, those taking GLP-1 medications while pursuing a healthier lifestyle, with reduced calorie intake and exercise, lost 15% more of their body weight over a year than those who took a placebo.

However, perhaps most astonishingly, even those who made no such lifestyle changes lost 10% more of their body weight while using GLP-1 than those taking a placebo.

How Do You Take GLP-1 Medications?

There are many ways that you can take GLP-1 medications. You can take them in either oral or injectable form. You can choose which form you take GLP-1 medications depending on your needs.

You may use a pen injector if prescribed GLP-1 as a medication and an injection. You can inject the syringe into your fatty tissue at home. Your doctor may make your first injection to show you how the process is done safely.

If prescribed GLP-1 orally, you can take it once daily, typically in the morning.

Are There Side Effects From GLP-1 Medications?

The good news is that it’s exceedingly rare for anyone to suffer side effects from GLP-1—95% of people who take GLP-1 report no additional side effects. For the remaining 5%, they may suffer from indigestion or nausea. These symptoms typically clear up within a month.

Some other side effects include the following:

You should avoid taking GLP-1 if you have pancreatitis. You will also want to exercise caution if you’re on another medication to manage diabetes.

What’s The Dosage for GLP-1 Medications?

There are a variety of dosages for GLP-1 medications, and the one you receive will depend on your needs. Your dosage can be changed through the step-up approach. As you use the drug more, you can progressively increase the amount you take, typically weekly.

Which Type of GLP-1 Medication is Right For You?

Depending on your schedule, budget, and medical history, you may take a short-acting form of GLP-1. These must be taken twice a day. A long-acting version of GLP-1 only needs to be taken weekly.