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GLP-1 Medications: Benefits & Drawbacks

GLP-1 Medications: Benefits & Drawbacks

In recent years, the weight loss landscape has witnessed a significant transformation, thanks to the introduction of GLP-1 (Glucagon-like Peptide-1) receptor agonist medication. This class of medication, has revolutionized the approach to obesity management. But as with any medical treatment, there are pros, cons, and best practices to consider to safely optimize and sustain great results. At JumpstartMD, we offer a comprehensive and personalized approach to help you navigate GLP-1 medication options, guiding you to a life changing and sustainable weight loss transformation.

Benefits of GLP-1 Medications

1. Effective – and Sustainable – Weight Loss: Studies have consistently shown that GLP-1 medications can lead to significant weight loss. These medications work by mimicking a hormone that targets areas of the brain that regulate appetite and food intake, helping to reduce hunger and increase feelings of fullness.

2. Improved Metabolic Health and Blood Sugar Control: GLP-1 medications were initially developed to treat type 2 diabetes, as they help to normalize secretion of the fat storage hormone, insulin, and control blood sugar levels. This dual benefit makes them an ideal choice for individuals with excess weight and signs of insulin resistance ranging from metabolic syndrome in the form of overweight or obesity with pre-pre-diabetes, pre-diabetes, or type 2 diabetes. Nearly 90% of adult Americans have signs of dysfunctional insulin secretion, as measured by having one or more markers of the metabolic syndrome. GLP-1 medications combined with other healthy lifestyle changes can help to not only optimize weight loss but restore a member’s metabolic health and blood sugar levels in parallel.

3. Cardiovascular Benefits: Given that the above mentioned insulin resistance (and associated systemic inflammation) is arguably the root cause of “atherosclerotic” cardiovascular disease, it’s no surprise that research has shown that GLP-1 medications can also offer cardiovascular benefits, including reducing the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, in at-risk people with and without type 2 diabetes.

4. Other Health Promoting Benefits: With additional studies pending, it’s likely that “insulin sensitizing” GLP-1 medications — in combination with healthy lifestyle changes — will help to prevent a wide array of additional diet-induced chronic diseases. Such diseases include non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and potentially Alzheimer’s dementia, various cancers, and more. A healthy, multi-faceted GLP-1 lifestyle has the potential to promote health-span — and, with it — vitality, quality of life, and longevity.

Drawbacks of GLP-1 Medications

1. Side Effects: While GLP-1 medications are generally well tolerated, they can cause side effects for some people. Common side effects include nausea, constipation, gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD), or, more rarely, diarrhea or vomiting. While these side effects can be uncomfortable and disruptive, they are usually temporary. There are multiple solutions and options available, and JumpstartMD clinicians stay in close contact with our members to make sure they get the support they need to address any side effects.

2. Cost and Accessibility: One of the barriers to accessing GLP-1 medications can be their cost, and insurance coverage can vary. At JumpstartMD, we provide multiple GLP-1 options for patients with and without medication insurance coverage.

3. Long-term Efficacy: As with any weight loss intervention, maintaining weight loss after discontinuing medication can be challenging for reasons that involve both biologic changes that emerge after major weight loss and the potential loss of medication benefit upon cessation of treatment. The long-term sustainability of GLP-1 medication supported weight loss depends heavily on maintaining healthy lifestyle changes and, sometimes, continued use of medication. Just like blood pressure effectively lowered with medication can increase again if blood pressure medication is stopped, the same goes for weight management. When effective weight loss medications are stopped, it’s not uncommon for the weight to creep back, but it’s not a given that it will. In all scenarios, nurturing the healthy lifestyle changes that lie at the core of any sustainable weight loss journey is critical. That is why at JumpstartMD, we pay extra attention to our members’ lifestyle and eating habits while also offering effective, complementary pharmacologic support when needed. In fact, JumpstartMD health coaches meet regularly with our members to guide them towards healthier choices in life and in food!

JumpstartMD’s Holistic Approach

At JumpstartMD, we understand that effective weight loss and maintenance require more than just medication. Our multi-disciplinary approach is designed to enhance the effectiveness of GLP-1 medications while addressing their downsides through a holistic and personalized strategy:

Individualized Medical Supervision: Each member’s journey and needs are unique, which is why our medical experts provide individualized medical supervision. We assess your health profile, lifestyle, and preferences to determine if GLP-1 medications are suitable for you and to tailor the treatment to optimize your health benefits.

Comprehensive Lifestyle Coaching: To mitigate the side effects and enhance the effectiveness of the medication and associated changes in your body composition over time, our health coaches work with you to adjust your diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits. This support helps manage side effects, preserves muscle mass while shrinking fat mass, promotes metabolic health, and reinforces the changes needed to sustain weight loss and health improvements long-term.

Supportive Community and Genuine Human Connection: Unlike programs that rely solely on telehealth, JumpstartMD fosters genuine human connections. You’ll have regular face-to-face interactions with our team of experts who are local to you and understand your unique environment and challenges. If preferred, interactions via video-conference can always be arranged.

Sustaining Results: We partner with you throughout your weight loss journey and beyond. Our goal is not only to help you lose weight but also to maintain those results, preventing the common rebound weight gain associated with many treatments.

Find out if GLP-1 Medication is Right for You

With JumpstartMD, you’re not just receiving a prescription; you’re gaining a partner in your health journey. Our comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach ensures that you have all the tools and support necessary to make the most out of GLP-1 medications while minimizing their downsides.

Ready to transform your life? Call 1.855.JUMPSTART today and take the first step towards a healthier, happier you!
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