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New Diabetes Drugs for Weight Loss?

Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s a serious diagnosis that needs to come first so that symptoms can be treated and things don’t get worse over time. 

One of the most important things you can do to effectively manage your diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight. Even a small amount of weight loss can make a significant difference in managing diabetes symptoms and progression. 

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), losing just 5%–7% of your body weight can help lower your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol. But before you start feeling down because of your previous failed weight loss goals, the good news is that there are things that can help make the process easier and more sustainable. 

Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page in terms of weight loss and its impact on diabetes and then cover some of the exciting weight loss drugs that can help. 

The Connection between Diabetes and Weight Loss

Diabetes is known as a long-term disease that happens when the body can’t make or use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. When there is too much sugar in the blood, it can cause damage to the body’s organs, blood vessels, and nerves. 

Weight loss is important for managing diabetes because it helps to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. When you lose weight, your body needs less insulin to control your blood sugar levels. This can help reduce the risk of diabetes complications, such as heart disease, nerve damage, and kidney damage.

Current Diabetes Drugs Used for Weight Loss

Diabetes drugs can help people lose weight by lowering blood sugar and making insulin work better. There are a few specific diabetes drugs that have been approved for weight loss, such as Ozempic, a GLP-1 agonist, and Metformin, which is classified as a biguanide.

GLP-1 receptor agonists work by increasing the amount of insulin your body produces after eating and decreasing the amount of sugar your liver makes. GLP-1 receptor agonists have been shown to be effective for weight loss in people with diabetes, with some studies showing an average weight loss of 6–7%. 

Biguanides are a classification of medications used to treat conditions such as type 2 diabetes. Their primary function is to reduce the production of glucose that occurs during digestion.

Ozempic

Ozempic is a once-weekly injection of the GLP-1 receptor agonist class of medications. As mentioned earlier, it works by increasing the amount of insulin your body produces after eating and decreasing the amount of sugar your liver makes. Ozempic has been shown to be effective for weight loss in people with diabetes, with some studies showing an average weight loss of 6.1%. 

Rare side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Ozempic might be best for people with type 2 diabetes who need more help controlling their blood sugar and keeping their weight in check. It’s also been FDA-approved for use in adults with type 2 diabetes to improve blood sugar control along with diet and exercise.

Metformin

Metformin is a commonly prescribed oral medication for type 2 diabetes. It works by decreasing the amount of sugar your liver makes and increasing the sensitivity of your body’s cells to insulin. Metformin has been shown to be effective for weight loss in people with diabetes, with some studies showing an average weight loss of 2–3 percent.

Common side effects include stomach upset, nausea, and diarrhea. Metformin may be best for people with type 2 diabetes who need more help keeping their blood sugar levels in check and keeping their weight in check. Metformin has been FDA-approved for use in adults with type 2 diabetes to improve blood sugar control along with diet and exercise. Also, it has been used off-label as a weight-loss aid for people without diabetes.

New Developments in Diabetes Drugs for Weight Loss

There are a number of new diabetes drugs that are in development or are currently being studied for their potential to aid in weight loss. These new drugs work through different mechanisms and have the potential to provide additional benefits over current options.

One example is SGLT-2 inhibitors, which work by blocking the reabsorption of glucose by the kidneys, causing glucose to be excreted in the urine. 

While these new diabetes drugs show promise for weight loss, it is important to note that they are still in the early stages of research and development. It is not yet clear when or if these drugs will become available for use in clinical practice.

Final Thoughts: 

Keeping a healthy weight is a key part of taking care of diabetes and lowering the risk of complications. Weight loss can be achieved through a combination of diet, exercise, and medication. There are a number of diabetes drugs that have been approved for weight loss, such as Ozempic and Metformin, that can help you achieve your weight-loss goals. 

Recent developments in diabetes drugs for weight loss are also showing promise, but it is important to remember that they are still in the early stages of research and development. If you have diabetes, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about your options for managing diabetes and achieving weight loss goals. 

Remember that Anderson Medical is here to help you with your diabetes management and weight loss. You can book an appointment or walk in to speak with a healthcare professional.

References:

American Diabetes Association

Mayo Clinic — Diabetes Symptoms and Causes

Mayo Clinic — Type 2 Diabetes FAQ

NIH National Library of Medicine — Study Results

NIH National Library of Medicine — Clinical Review Report

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