"I do not love to work out, but if I stick to exercising every day and put the right things in my mouth, then my diabetes just stays in check." This quote comes from the lovely Halle Berry, who has type 1 diabetes. Despite her differing diagnosis, her advice also works for those with type 2. Diabetes is one of the most rampant and costly diseases in the US, affecting 1 in 10 people. About 90-95% of those people have type 2 diabetes, which affects how the body uses and regulates sugar.
Type 2 diabetes entails insulin resistance, which means the cells respond abnormally to insulin production. The pancreas tries to compensate by producing more insulin, which raises the blood sugar and creates a need to regulate it. Typically, this is done through lifestyle and oral and injectable medicine, such as Ozempic.
A brief history (and controversy) of Ozempic
Ozempic is one of the more common injectable medications that help treat type 2 diabetes. A company called Novo Nordisk began developing it in 2012, then the FDA approved it in late 2017. There are claims that the active ingredient, semaglutide, causes acid reflux and heartburn. Acid reflux is when the stomach contents flow back into the esophagus. On the other hand, heartburn is the sensation that comes with acid reflux. The folks here at GerdLi are not strangers to heartburn; we know how to manage it, with and without Ozempic.
Semaglutide: What is it, and how does it work?
Semaglutide mimics a gut hormone called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide), which is released when you eat. It makes the pancreas release insulin and prevents the liver from producing sugar. As a result, your blood sugar level becomes stable. When in action, semaglutide makes the stomach empty its contents more slowly. As such, you won't feel the need (or even the want) to eat more. This digestive mechanism can help you lose weight if you struggle with staying in a healthy range. Shedding some pounds is one of many desired outcomes of taking Ozempic.
As it controls blood sugar, semaglutide reduces the risk of severe health consequences. These complications include kidney failure, stroke, and heart attack. To reduce these risks even further, you can combine Ozempic with a good diet and workout program for better outcomes. And if recommended, you may use it with drugs such as Metformin, another type 2 diabetes medication. As much as drugs like Ozempic can save and improve the quality of life, it is not without its downsides.
Common side effects of Semaglutide
Ozempic can help patients with type 2 diabetes lead a normal life without risks of severe complications. However, Semaglutide carries specific side effects. Among the side effects are bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. You may also experience diarrhea, constipation, or headaches when taking the drug. Sounds like a lot, but have no fear. While the digestive system side effects are uncomfortable, they aren't life-threatening and are usually temporary. You can easily manage these symptoms through small lifestyle changes, unlike some less common Ozempic side effects.
Though rare, the severe side effects of semaglutide include allergic reactions and acute kidney injury. Some patients also have low blood sugar levels and eye disease. Taking Semaglutide may increase the risk of thyroid or pancreatic cancer, too. As with anything, Ozempic is not for everyone, not even for everyone who qualifies for it.
Clearing the drug from your body might take up to 5 weeks once you stop taking it. You may still feel some symptoms while your body gets rid of it. Your doctor can advise you on what to do while taking or stopping Ozempic.
Semaglutide and weight loss
While Ozempic can help some people lose weight, never use it as a weight loss supplement. It is only available as a drug for treating type 2 diabetes. Be skeptical if anyone is giving you Ozempic as a weight loss aid. If you only want it for weight loss, remember that there are people who need it more than you. Besides, semaglutide can be used as a weight loss drug but is taken at smaller doses and called Wegovy. Because people have incorrectly used Ozempic for weight loss, there has been a shortage of semaglutide. Semaglutide is a powerful drug and is only intended for people with diabetes and morbid obesity.
To lose weight while taking this drug, speak to your doctor about the best options. Also, report any weight changes you experience to your doctor. Saxenda, a type 2 diabetes medication approved for weight loss, works like Ozempic and is in the same class the GLP-1 receptors. But despite these drugs being in the same category, you can't use them together. No matter what, you may experience some complications with either drug.
Triggers for acid reflux when taking semaglutide and how to manage them
There's still no consensus on the foods that directly cause acid reflux and heartburn. But, certain foods can trigger chronic reflux symptoms. You should not eat high-fat foods when taking Semaglutide. These foods can make the stomach acid flow back to the esophagus. As a result, you may experience reflux symptoms such as heartburn and gas.
High-fat foods to avoid include full-fat dairy products, french fries and anything oily or greasy. Snack and dessert foods (ex.potato chips, ice cream, anything fried) also have a high fat content. Limiting these foods is wise even if you don't have acid reflux. Citrus fruits and tomatoes can worsen or cause severe acid reflux, too. So, you should limit them in your heartburn-friendly diet due to their high acid content. This acid can travel back into the esophagus and worsen heartburn. You should also have fewer spicy foods, onions, garlic or mint, as These foods can trigger reflux symptoms when taking Ozempic. Luckily, many foods do the opposite.
When you're in a situation that may put you at risk for frequent acid reflux, opt for foods with high fiber, water, and alkaline content. These properties help soothe the upper digestive tract. Probiotic-rich foods and drinks also help with digestion. If you have existing food intolerances, discuss them with your doctor before taking Ozempic or any drug.
Managing the Side Effects of Semaglutide
The side effects will likely disappear once your body adapts to the medication. But this will only work if you stick to certain lifestyle changes, and we cannot stress how vital nutrition is for the injection's efficacy. Avoid fatty foods since they need more time for the body to process, and they cause indigestion and bloating when combined with semaglutide. Separate your meals into small portions for your body to digest them easily. Also, lower-calorie diets are generally beneficial for those with diabetes. What you eat is essential for diabetes management, and so is what you drink.
Stay hydrated to prevent constipation. To give a crap about your health, you must be able to crap. If you don't drink enough water, your gut will suck out water from the food, leaving the undigested food dry. While on the topic of what to eat and drink, simple carbs, such as white bread and cereal, are generally not recommended. However, if you are to eat them, try to time them before a workout as they energize you. It's like a pre-workout but without the caffeine, which triggers acid reflux. During the workout, you should also rest between your exercises if you start feeling muscle weakness. Have a simple carb snack while resting to replenish the energy lost. Food impacts your system's response to Ozempic, and so do controlled substances.
Avoid consuming alcohol or smoking while taking Ozempic. They can lower the efficacy of the medicine and worsen side effects. At the risk of sounding like strict parents, we advise readers to avoid these substances whether or not you have diabetes. Cigarettes and alcohol can cause cancer and liver disease. Combining these substances with semaglutide may trigger reflux symptoms. Your metabolic system must also work harder to regulate blood sugar, even if you take other medicines.
How Ozempic interacts with other medications
Combining Ozempic with other diabetes medications may increase the risk of complications. Tests carried out in animals show an increased cancer risk, particularly thyroid cancer. So far, no studies confirm the risk of complications in humans when combining Ozempic with other drugs. Ozempic's clinical trials showed similar results in both male and female testers. The injection showed no significant difference in side effects for those older or younger than sixty-five either. What we do know is that Type 2 diabetes makes patients prone to kidney failure and heart disease. So, its treatment needs a careful and immediate approach to prevent these risk factors.
Your healthcare provider will ask you about other medications you are already taking before prescribing semaglutide. Be sure to tell them what supplements you take, too. They will also examine your medical history to determine your previous interactions with other medications. You might sometimes experience certain side effects, particularly GI-related ones.
Speaking of GI-related issues, some people wonder, "does pickle juice help with acid reflux?" While scientific evidence is limited, anecdotal reports suggest pickle juice may offer relief for heartburn
Need a Natural Treatment for Acid Reflux and Heartburn?
Starting a new medication is a big deal, and sometimes, the side effects of a prescription can be so unbearable that you may need to take even more medicine. We don't want that for you. While taking Ozempic, some people experience acid reflux, heartburn and flatulence. These side effects are manageable if they are mild. But to get there, understand how semaglutide interacts with the digestive system, as discussed in this guide.
And if you would like an antacid alternative for acid reflux, consider GerdLi. Made using natural, plant-based, and gut-friendly ingredients, GerdLi can reduce stomach acid and heartburn symptoms. Explore the purchase options on our online shop today to get GerdLi's supplements for acid reflux. Ask a physician before you take both semaglutide and our supplements.
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