Semaglutide

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Semaglutide is a prescription medication used to treat type 2 diabetes by stimulating the release of insulin, which helps lower blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition. It develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or cannot produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. In 2013, diabetes affected 8.3% of the worldwide population. [1] Type 2 diabetes can lead to various complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness, so managing the disease is extremely important. Treatment for type 2 diabetes typically involves lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise, and medication like semaglutide. Nevertheless, people with type 2 diabetes can live long and healthy lives with proper treatment.

Living with type 2 diabetes can feel like a life sentence, but you don’t have to feel imprisoned by your disease. Dr. Christopher Asandra, MD, helps his Beverly Hills patients manage their type 2 diabetes with a semaglutide prescription in either tablet or injectable form. Dr. Asandra’s goal is to help his patients feel their best regardless of circumstances. If you are living with type 2 diabetes, talk to Dr. Asandra about receiving a prescription for semaglutide and any other hormone treatments that may help your life to the fullest. Call AsandraMD to learn more about how we can help you manage your type 2 diabetes. Patients in Beverly Hills and the greater Los Angeles area can call (424) 542-8881 or fill out our contact form, and a team member will call you back as soon as possible.

To find out more about AsandraMD and our exciting treatments for youthful vitality, follow our blog.

More About Semaglutide

The FDA approved semaglutide for diabetic treatment in December 2017, and in 2021, it approved Wegovy (semaglutide) for chronic weight management. [2] Semaglutide is quickly becoming a viable option for people seeking medical help for weight loss who are opposed to invasive bariatric surgery. [3] Semaglutide works by increasing the hormone GLP-1 in the body. [4] GLP-1 is a natural substance that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. By increasing GLP-1 levels, semaglutide can help to control blood sugar levels and improve glycemic control. In clinical trials, semaglutide has improved blood sugar control and helped people with type 2 diabetes lose weight. [5] Dr. Asandra can prescribe semaglutide for his patients with obesity or a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. In addition, patients who are overweight (BMI 25-29.9) and have medical problems related to their weight are also eligible to receive a prescription.

How Is Semaglutide Administered?

Semaglutide is available in two forms: injection and tablet. The injection is administered once weekly, while the tablet is taken once daily. [4] The injection is given under the skin of the upper arm, the stomach, or the thigh. Dr. Asandra will instruct you how to inject yourself at home so you or someone you trust can feel comfortable administering the injection; many patients inject semaglutide at home without issue. You must use a different body area every time you inject semaglutide, so keep track of where you inject the shot each time to rotate injection sites properly. Additionally, Dr. Asandra directs his patients to follow these essential guidelines while taking semaglutide [6]:

  • Check your blood sugar often: before and after meals and at bedtime.
  • Follow the meal plan Dr. Asandra provides for you.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • If you use semaglutide with insulin, do not mix them into the same syringe.

Semaglutide works by helping to lower blood sugar levels. It also helps reduce the amount of insulin the body needs to produce. Semaglutide is generally well-tolerated, with nausea and vomiting the most common side effects. However, these side effects are typically mild and resolve with continued treatment. If you are considering using semaglutide, talk to a helpful staff member so we can set up an appointment with Dr. Asandra to discuss the benefits and risks. Call (424) 542-8881 or fill out this form, and we will be in touch shortly.

What is the Difference Between Hypoglycemia and Type 2 Diabetes?

Low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia, is a condition that occurs when the level of sugar in the blood drops below normal. Although it can be caused by several factors, including insulin resistance and certain medications, it most often results from skipping meals or long gaps between meals. Symptoms of low blood sugar include:

  • Feeling Dizzy or Lightheaded
  • Shaking or Trembling
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Hunger
  • Pale Skin
  • Headache
  • Anxiety or Irritability

Low blood sugar can lead to serious health problems like seizures or coma if left untreated.

Diabetes, on the other hand, is a chronic condition that occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin or properly use the insulin it produces. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used for energy. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the nerves and blood vessels, leading to severe complications. While both low blood sugar and diabetes can cause similar symptoms, they are different conditions that require different treatments.

How to Test for Type 2 Diabetes

One way Dr. Asandra can test for type 2 diabetes is the fasting plasma glucose test. [1] This test measures your blood sugar after you have fasted for at least eight hours. Another way to test for type 2 diabetes is the oral glucose tolerance test; this is the gold standard for type 2 diabetes testing. For this test, the patient will fast overnight and drink a sugary solution in the morning; the blood sugar will be checked two hours later. [7]

A normal fasting blood sugar level is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). If a patient’s fasting blood sugar is between 100 and 125 mg/dl, they may have prediabetes. If the blood sugar is 126 mg/dl or higher on two separate occasions, the patient may have diabetes. A level of 200 mg/dl or higher indicates diabetes.

If you are concerned that you may have diabetes, call our office at (424) 542-8881 and speak with a staff member about setting up an appointment for testing.

Benefits of Semaglutide

Semaglutide is used for weight management in patients with a BMI of 30 or higher (27 or higher with accompanying weight-related disease) and to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Semaglutide works by increasing the level of the GLP-1 hormone, which helps the pancreas to produce more insulin. In addition, semaglutide helps to reduce the amount of sugar produced by the liver and delays the emptying of the stomach. Clinical studies have shown that semaglutide can help to lower HbA1c levels, body weight, and fasting blood sugar levels. [7] It may also help to reduce the risk of heart disease and complications such as eye and kidney problems.

Semaglutide For Weight Management

In clinical trials, participants lost 35 to 52  pounds through treatment with semaglutide, diet, and exercise. [8] More than 50% of trial participants lost 15% of their body weight, with around 40% of participants showing an overall loss of 20%. 

Candidates for Semaglutide

The ideal candidate for semaglutide therapy is someone who: 

  • Has type 2 diabetes that is not well-controlled with other medications. 
  • Is willing to take a once-weekly injection (or daily oral tablet).
  • Has a BMI of 30 or greater.
  • Has a BMI of 27 or greater as well as a disease related to weight.

Semaglutide is not recommended for use in pregnant women or those who are planning to become pregnant. It is also not recommended for use in children. You should also not use semaglutide if you have a history of pancreatitis or diabetic ketoacidosis. Before starting semaglutide, tell Dr. Asandra about all other medications you are taking and any medical conditions you have. Semaglutide can interact with other drugs and may not be safe for everyone, so discuss your medical history in detail with Dr. Asandra.

Personal Consultation

During your consultation with Dr. Asandra, he will discuss your concerns about your health and how you think semaglutide therapy can help. He will perform a thorough medical exam and any necessary bloodwork and will arrange for you to complete tests needed to determine if you are prediabetic or diabetic. Additionally, while you meet with Dr. Asandra, you are welcome to discuss any additional health concerns. Dr. Asandra has a range of hormone treatments to optimize patient health. Call today to set up your initial consultation to find out how AsandraMD can increase your vitality and treat your type 2 diabetes. Our staff is here to help you manage your type 2 diabetes, lose weight, and feel better. We are available to answer any of your questions, so give us a call at (424) 542-8881.

What is the Cost of Semaglutide Therapy?

Currently, semaglutide is not covered by insurance in the United States. This may change in the future as semaglutide continues to be studied for its potential health benefits. However, Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic, offers a Savings Card [9] that may help patients with insurance save on the cost of their prescription. Patients should talk to Dr. Asandra and his knowledgeable staff about the best way to afford semaglutide if it is prescribed.

References

  1. Sinnott M, Kinsley BT, Jackson AD, et al. Fasting Plasma Glucose as Initial Screening for Diabetes and Prediabetes in Irish Adults: The Diabetes Mellitus and Vascular Health Initiative (DMVhi). Wang G, ed. PLOS ONE. 2015;10(4):e0122704. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122704
  2. Commissioner O of the. FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014. FDA. Published June 4, 2021. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-drug-treatment-chronic-weight-management-first-2014
  3. Lages M, Barros R, Moreira P, Guarino MP. Metabolic Effects of an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test Compared to the Mixed Meal Tolerance Tests: A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2022;14(10):2032. doi:10.3390/nu14102032
  4. Goldenberg RM, Steen O. Semaglutide: Review and Place in Therapy for Adults With Type 2 Diabetes. Canadian Journal of Diabetes. 2019;43(2):136-145. doi:10.1016/j.jcjd.2018.05.008
  5. Phillips A, Clements JN. Clinical review of subcutaneous semaglutide for obesity. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. Published online December 28, 2021. doi:10.1111/jcpt.13574
  6. Semaglutide (Subcutaneous Route) Proper Use – Mayo Clinic. www.mayoclinic.org. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/semaglutide-subcutaneous-route/proper-use/drg-20406730
  7. Miles KE, Kerr JL. Semaglutide for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Journal of Pharmacy Technology. 2018;34(6):281-289. doi:10.1177/8755122518790925
  8. CNN SL and VL. Overweight people lost 35 to 52 pounds on newly approved diabetes drug, study says. CNN. Published 2022. https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/06/health/weight-loss-drug-diabetes-wellness/index.html
  9. Savings card offers. www.novocare.com. Accessed August 15, 2022. https://www.novocare.com/diabetes-overview/savings-offers.html