Weight loss drugs: are you risking your gut health?

I am all for people achieving and maintaining their ideal weight and I know that for some individuals, that can be a tremendous struggle.
Since the end of 2023, weight loss drugs in the class called GLP-1 agonists (including semaglutide, the main ingredient in Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus; tirzepatide, in Mounjaro; and liraglutide, used in Victoza and Saxenda) are being increasingly used for weight loss.
I’m not here today to judge anyone who chooses to or chooses not to use these drugs. What I am here to share with you today are some risks that these drugs may have on your gut.
Let me first introduce you to your gut: Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive.

And your gut is at the root of all disease as well as the foundation of your health.


 

Risks of Intestinal Blockage

In a study that took a random sample of thousands of people taking GLP-1 agonists who were not diabetic but were just taking the drugs for weight loss/control, there was a four times greater risk of obstructed bowels and gastroparesis (slower emptying time, preventing your stomach from emptying properly).

Risks of Pancreatitis

Within that same study, they found a nine-times higher risk for pancreatitis.

Additional Risks

Ten to forty percent of people taking this class of drugs will experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Other potential side effects include constipation, bloating, indigestion, and headache. A common effect of these drugs is heartburn. Because the drugs are keeping food in the stomach longer (to increase and prolong feelings of fullness) while also decreasing stomach acid, there is additional effort from the stomach to properly break down food. Adequate stomach acid is essential to your body being able to digest your food, especially protein. It is essential to signaling to the stomach that it is time to pass food along to the small intestine. Your body functions in large part because of the acid and alkaline differences along your digestive tract. Your stomach is supposed to be acidic. When we interfere in that process, it has a spiraling effect throughout the rest of your GI tract.
Since these drugs are intended to be taken on an ongoing basis for weight loss and management, these affects on gut and overall health are extremely important to consider.

Diet & Lifestyle Are The Magic Pill

There truly is no magic pill (or injection) for anything. There’s always a trade off. Weighing the pros and cons and making the appropriate choice for yourself is what it comes down to. It can be incredibly tempting to be offered a pill/injection versus the work that it takes to truly transform your health habits. Regardless, the habit transformation is going to be necessary. You have likely seen this already if you know anyone who got gastric bypass surgery but gained all or most of the weight back because they didn’t permanently change their eating habits…or someone who has diabetes and takes metformin or insulin to help manage their blood sugar but whose health continues to decline, again, because their eating habits are a more powerful influence on their health than the medications. Your habits matter the most.
And habits are transformable: a lot of it comes down to your mindset and working through the stories and obstacles that are keeping you stuck and repeating patterns that aren’t serving you anymore. Creating a healing mindset is the work that I do with clients and I don’t think there will ever be a pill or injection to replace this growth journey.

I hope that this information empowers you towards the choices that will serve your highest good.

It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully. 

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

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