I don’t recognise my body any more. It looks and feels different, and it is just not the same body I used to know. Before the pandemic, I was extremely fit and health-conscious. But during the course of the pandemic, I just let myself go and really stopped caring about my health. I gave up on working out and recklessly overindulged in junk food every day, and that became my new normal. Three years and sixty-plus pounds later, it seems almost impossible to get back to my pre-pandemic weight and body. I didn’t even realize the extent of my weight gain until I went back to work in person, and one of my co-workers congratulated me on expecting a baby. (I’m not pregnant by the way). I was beyond devastated, and I now constantly feel very insecure about my appearance. I don’t feel healthy at all, and something just seems really off. I fear that this added weight may be negatively impacting my health. I’d like to get back on the right track to improve my health, and also lose some weight. I’m really interested in exploring weight loss drugs I’ve heard about like Wegovy. Would I be a candidate for this weight loss medication?
~ Pandemic Pounds Packed On
Dear Pandemic Pounds Packed On,
You are not alone in your struggle to lose weight. Many people experienced weight gain during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Weight gain and obesity have the propensity to impact one’s health by increasing the risk of certain health conditions such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and even diabetes. In order to determine if your weight gain has impacted your health, you should have a preventive health examination with your doctor. During this evaluation, you will undergo routine screening tests for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, and other age-appropriate health screening tests. Based on the findings, your doctor can then advise if your health has been impacted in any way, and create a comprehensive plan of care to optimize your health.
With regards to seeking out injectable weight loss drugs like Wegovy, your doctor can determine if you are a candidate. Wegovy (semaglutide) is an FDA-approved drug that works to mimic a hormone called GLP-1 which helps regulate one’s appetite. It may be used for individuals who are obese (BMI of 30 or above) or for those who are overweight (BMI of at least 27) and have certain comorbidities like hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes. The side effect profile of the drug should also be considered. One of the common undesirable side effects that individuals taking this medication complain about is gastrointestinal upset. Even if you are deemed a candidate for Wegovy, it is important to recognize that there also still must be an incorporation of routine physical activity and a healthy lowered calorie diet. The popularity of this drug has really surged over the past few years, but it may not be an appropriate option for everyone. There are certain contraindications for the administration of Wegovy, so for example, if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, this medication should be avoided. Ultimately, after a thorough assessment, your doctor will let you know if there would be a benefit in moving forward with a supervised weight loss plan while taking Wegovy.
The bottom line, if you would like to get back on the path to improving your health, it is crucial to have that evaluation with your doctor to assess your health status and recommend the best plan of care during this health and weight loss journey.
Disclaimer: Information on this Q&A column is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information to self-diagnose or treat a health problem/disease, or prescribe any medication, or other treatment. If you suspect you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider immediately!