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Hormone Health, Type 2 Diabetes and TikTok Trendy Ozempic

Today I saw an article on WebMD titled, "The TikTok trend that triggered a Diabetes Drug shortage." This, of course, piqued my interest because I had worked within the Diabetes space (I was the project manager for a diabetes management app called bant) for years at the hospital. The drug in question was one I had not heard of before, a weekly injection called Ozempic.

Apparently celebs such as Kim K and Elon Musk have been using this drug off label as a way to lose weight. This has caused of course an increased interest and now those who actually need the drug, aka. those with Type 2 Diabetes, now are having difficulties getting access to it. Ozempic works by "boosting insulin sensitivity in those with type 2 diabetes, and also suppresses appetite".

I did my own digging into this, because as far as Type 2 Diabetes goes, I was not familiar with this drug. I was more knowledgeable on Metformin, which works by lowering the amount of glucose absorbed from intestines, decreasing how much glucose is made in the liver and improving insulin sensitivity. Unlike Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes can be managed with diet and exercise. There is also the issue of accessibility for drugs like insulin for Type 1 Diabetes folks, but that is a topic for a future time.

Each 1ml of Ozempic solution contains 1.34 mg of Semaglutide and the following inactive ingredients: disodium phosphate dihydrate, 1.42 propylene glycol and water for injections. Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analog used to manage type 2 diabetes. Semaglutide was developed by Novo Nordisk and approved by the FDA for subcutaneous injection in December 2017.15 The tablet formulation was approved for oral administration in September 2019. Semaglutide works by binding to and activating the GLP-1 receptor, thereby stimulating insulin secretion and reducing blood glucose. Essentially it functions as an insulin mimicker.

Being as this is a drug that is relatively new, I should point out that the environmental interventions as it comes to Type 2 diabetes and weight loss are still are more safe (and do have a track record of being more effective). The environmental interventions I mean are things like proper eating and nutrition in combination with exercise and lifting weights.

The reason why I have "Hormone Health" as the first item in the title to this blog is because Diabetes is a hormone-based disease. That is, insulin is a hormone. Type 2 Diabetes occurs when due to a diet (there can also be hormonal reasons too) being in high sugar overworking the pancreas' ability to create insulin. This causes the pancreas to "break" and then there can be too much blood sugar in someone with Type 2 diabetes' system which can cause severe outcomes such as losing a limb and even death. That being said, Type 2 diabetes can be effectively managed and even reversed with proper diet and exercise.

There is great research on the positive impact that literally lifting weights twice a week can have on those who are pre-diabetic or are even currently diabetic. Resistance training improved mitochondrial function which can improve overall body hormone homeostasis. There are also more natural ways to improve insulin sensitivity available on the market, such as ALA. Alpha lipoic acid was first isolated from insoluble liver extracts in 1951 by Lester Reed and colleagues. ALA has some research behind being able to assist in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes because it improved insulin sensitivity. I would personally use ALA when I was competing in fitness post meals to prevent my blood sugar from spiking; as this causes your body to store fat.

Bringing this back to the TikTok Trendy Ozempic - while it is a shame that those with Type 2 Diabetes are having an issue with access to the drug, I do feel that overall there are much more tried and true methods of managing diabetes. This goes back to our society as a whole trying to look for a quick fix to weight loss and getting our bodies to function at optimal level. Diet and exercise are way more boring, but guess what - they probably have a host of other GOOD side effects; as opposed to the shade injectables that the FDA likes to approve. This is also a god time to plug my 4 minute Tabata workout you can follow along with at home to get your heart pumping!

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