To “O” or not to “O”?

To “O” or not to “O,” that is the question.

At least, that’s the question most of my patients are contemplating these days.

And I’m not talking about the Big O—rather, Ozempic.

It’s a newer drug originally designed for diabetics. But it has a side effect that people just can’t seem to get enough of…

Weight loss.

No doubt you’ve seen at least one Ozempic-related headline recently.

But there’s a lot of noise out there. Some people worship the drug, whereas others villainize it.

Let’s talk about it.

Drug wars

So, that side effect that people are drooling over?

It’s real. I’ve witnessed weight loss in basically 99.9 percent of my patients who take Ozempic.

(Ozempic uses the drug semaglutide and is approved for Type 2 diabetes. And then you have Wegovy, which uses a higher dose of semaglutide and is prescribed for weight loss.)

Of course, other drugs work equally as well as Ozempic, if not better, including Mounjaro—another Type 2 diabetes medication. This uses the active ingredient tirzepatide. (The weight loss version of this one goes by the name of Zepbound.)

The thing is, these versions don’t steal the spotlight. So, most people don’t even know about them. (Or that the same drug, Wegovy, is actually approved for weight management.)

If you’re wondering why I’m discussing these medications with you, let me start by saying that I’ve been in the weight loss industry for my entire 30+ year career.

And while I have been extremely successful helping people (including myself) lose weight—and better yet, maintain their weight after—those who have ever experienced weight-related struggles know that it’s a lifelong battle.

And, sadly, most give up.

But these drugs have made that fight so much easier; so much more attainable. And that’s something I can support.

What I can’t support, however, is the bias we’re seeing against these drugs. Particularly, Ozempic.

Celebrities and social media influencers have gotten their greedy hands on it, and now people are mocking its healing potential.

But as you’ll see, the therapeutic potential goes far deeper than fitting into a pair of jeans or looking good in a bathing suit.

And in my view, the heated debate over the efficacy of these drugs is just creating obstacles for people who actually need them.

Foolish dilemmas

Let me be clear: It’s not about making weight loss easier. It’s about all the extra health benefits that one experiences when they’re able to maintain a healthy weight.

And maybe that’s the reason why I haven’t hated these drugs like I generally hate all drugs, especially NEW ones.

See, I’ve witnessed high blood pressure go away, Type 2 diabetes disappear, high cholesterol levels vanish…

Not to mention self-esteem going into overdrive.

That’s what it’s all about!

Yet, silly, surface-level debates rage over these drugs. People want to know what happens when people stop taking them? Who should pay for them? How can the people who need a prescription the most afford these drugs that can cost hundreds of dollars per month?

To me, the answers are clear:

Why go off? Obesity is a disease. Would any doctor take you off hypertensive meds?

Who should pay? Well, insurance companies stand to benefit from this by not having to pay the costs of diseases caused by obesity.

How do we make the drugs more affordable? Well, this is America after all, and we prioritize profit at any cost, including the lives of millions of people. So, become your own advocate.

If prescribed one of these drugs, ask your doctor to contact a compounding pharmacy—they can make these drugs at a fraction of the price I just mentioned. (That’s what a good doctor can do for you—find you want you need in a way that makes it a win for everyone involved. Or at least, that’s why they should be doing.)

The bottom line? Whatever helps you achieve a healthy weight—and then maintain it—will do your body a world of good, in more ways than one.

But not everyone’s journey will look the same. Some will recommit to a healthier lifestyle and succeed. Whereas others might need some extra help in the form of a drug.

The end goal is the same. And either route is A-OKAY!

That’s all you need to know.