People are always looking for different ways to help them reduce their weight and keep their bodies healthy. For chronically overweight patients, semaglutide is a powerful weight management medication that can also help them with blood sugar control. But for others who can’t take this prescription medication for one reason or another, it’s best to start looking for alternatives and natural remedies.
So what are the best natural alternatives to semaglutide? Patients can also take berberine, aloe vera, and magnesium to help them regulate body weight like the weight loss drug. They may also try other pharmaceutical alternatives to Ozempic semaglutide including metformin, bupropion, phentermine, liraglutide, dulaglutide, exenatide, and tirzepatide as recommended by a medical professional.
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Semaglutide is an FDA-approved medication for chronic weight management in adult patients with obesity or overweight and at least one weight-related health condition (including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes mellitus). It usually comes as a subcutaneous injection, but there are also oral semaglutide medications.
The medication was originally prescribed to help type 2 diabetes patients manage their blood glucose levels and lower the risk of heart disease, but clinical trials showed that it’s also effective for significant weight loss in obese patients. When combined with lifestyle changes, semaglutide may result in about 10% to 15% weight loss.
But like any other medication, semaglutide also comes with certain risks that patients need to know. Some patients may experience extremely low blood sugar levels or mild gastrointestinal symptoms, while others may regain weight once they stop taking the drug.
Semaglutide treatments for weight loss also require patients to follow a certain diet and exercise routine to maximize its effects. Always make sure to consult a medical professional first to find out if semaglutide is the best option for you. They can always recommend an alternative for the prescription drug if necessary.
Semaglutide is only a synthetic version of a naturally occurring hormone in humans so it doesn’t have a natural source. It’s a modified version of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), the human hormone that stimulates insulin secretion and inhibits glucagon secretion, resulting in insulin release and decreased appetite.
Semaglutide is designed to be less likely broken down by the body, leading to a longer duration of action. This weight loss and diabetes medication is usually administered once per week by a healthcare provider or patient, as guided by their doctor.
Although most of the side effects of semaglutide are minor, these complications are still unwelcome to some people. Other patients who were offered to take Ozempic for lower blood sugar levels and weight management choose milder, over-the-counter (OTC) alternatives instead. Here are some of them:
Unfortunately, there isn’t a natural source of semaglutide since the drug is only synthetically developed to replicate a naturally occurring human hormone. For patients looking for a more natural alternative to semaglutide, here are 3 of the best ones:
Berberine is a natural compound found in plants like Oregon grape, Phellodendron, tree turmeric, and European barberry. It’s a semaglutide alternative that helps patients treat high blood sugar and insulin resistance.
In a study on patients with a metabolic syndrome that may lead to type 2 diabetes, berberine intake improved insulin resistance and reduced the subjects’ waist circumference measurements. Since waist circumference is associated with insulin resistance, reducing it indicates lower blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity.
In a separate study, berberine was also found to produce the same results as metformin in enhancing blood glucose metabolism. Patients must take berberine at a dose of about 1.5 grams per day to achieve the best results.
Magnesium is one of the best-studied minerals for blood sugar metabolism. Aside from people with diabetes, a lot of other patients may also experience tons of benefits from taking magnesium supplements.
Type 2 diabetes is a result of insulin resistance because it means that the body doesn’t use insulin efficiently. People with diabetes also tend to have lower magnesium levels in their blood compared to other people, which suggests that this particular mineral plays a vital role in the development of diabetes. Magnesium supplementation can help manage insulin sensitivity, resulting in a lower blood sugar level.
In addition to its role in managing blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, magnesium is also helpful in regulating metabolism and supporting healthy muscle functions – which are important factors for weight management. However, it’s important to evaluate the patient’s gut health first so they can reap all the benefits of magnesium supplementation. Otherwise, the body won’t absorb the nutrients and minerals properly.
Aloe vera has also been studied for years because of its potential in lowering the blood glucose level in the body. Supplements that contain aloe vera usually come in capsule form to give patients potential health benefits. However, it’s important to remember that most of the studies done by researchers are performed on animal test subjects like rats and mice.
In a 2015 review of studies, it was found that the aloe vera gel complex promotes healthy cholesterol levels, reduces body weight and fat percentage, lowers blood sugar levels, and reduces insulin resistance in prediabetes obese patients.
If you’re looking for another way to achieve safe and long-lasting weight results without the need for semaglutide, then other pharmaceutical options are your best bet along with lifestyle changes. Pharmaceuticals are tried-and-tested methods of boosting metabolism and suppressing appetite, so here are some of the best semaglutide alternatives you can use:
Metformin belongs to the drug class “biguanides” used to treat type 2 diabetes. It’s taken similarly to semaglutide and it also produces the same results as the weight loss drug. It works by manipulating the body’s insulin levels, increasing its sensitivity to bring down high blood sugar levels. Metformin is also known for reducing cholesterol levels and promoting heart health.
The most common side effects of metformin are gut-related. Some patients may experience vomiting, abdominal discomfort, nausea, gas, and indigestion after taking the medication. They should also be aware of the unusual but serious side effects of metformin known as lactic acidosis before taking the medication for weight loss.
Bupropion is more commonly known as a smoking cessation aid or an antidepressant because it helps stabilize the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the body. It can also be a viable weight loss medication when used with caution.
Although most antidepressants were associated with weight gain, bupropion can result in up to 10% weight loss in some patients. To achieve significant weight loss, patients may be asked to take naltrexone with this drug to block opioid receptors.
Phentermine is a common ingredient found in many appetite suppressants on the market. It’s a great medical weight loss solution for people who prefer OTC medications over semaglutide.
Like bupropion, phentermine also helps with weight management by modulating the neurotransmitter levels in the body and suppressing appetite in patients. It’s also usually taken with topiramate to cause feelings of fullness and calm the electrical activity in the brain. Most phentermine-topiramate products are sold in multiple strengths.
Like semaglutide, liraglutide is also a GLP-1 receptor agonist that controls blood glucose levels and helps overweight or obese people lose weight. Some examples of liraglutide available in the market are Saxenda and Victoza, but only the former is approved as a weight-loss medication.
Taking liraglutide also makes people feel full after eating a few bites, resulting in reduced caloric intake and eventually decreased body weight. Liraglutide is also administered using an injection regardless of the brand used.
Another important thing to remember is that Victoza (liraglutide) and Ozempic (semaglutide) also share some side effects, including vomiting, nausea, and the risk of developing hypoglycemia and pancreatitis. Some patients may also experience increased heart rate with Victoza so it’s crucial to only take it as the doctor prescribed.
Dulaglutide is one of the best GLP-1 receptor agonists used as an alternative to semaglutide to reduce body weight and improve blood sugar levels. It’s administered weekly and prescribed in addition to different lifestyle changes like exercise and diet.
Dulaglutide is also prescribed for people with type 2 diabetes who didn’t experience any improvement with other treatments. Some patients take dulaglutide on its own while others have it with other diabetes drugs like metformin and insulin. This diabetes medication also helps reduce the risk of major cardiac events like heart attack, stroke, or death.
Although it can cause significant weight loss in some patients, dulaglutide isn’t approved by the FDA as a chronic weight management drug.
Like semaglutide and other GLP-1 agonists, exenatide is also an injectable medication that type 2 diabetes patients use for glycemic control. Depending on the doctor’s recommendation, the patient can take exenatide in one of two ways: a quick-acting version taken twice daily or an extended-release version administered weekly.
Like semaglutide, exenatide is also recommended for patients when other medications didn’t work. It’s also combined with exercise and diet, as well as other diabetes medicines to achieve the best results for many patients.
Since exenatide works similarly to semaglutide, some patients taking this medication may also experience significant weight loss. The possible weight loss results are caused by increased feelings of fullness and decreased food intake.
Tirzepatide is another GLP-1 agonist similar to semaglutide, but it’s more effective than the others because it’s a dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist. This means tirzepatide does a better job at causing subsequent weight loss and controlling blood sugar levels. Tirzepatide is also taken every week like semaglutide.
But before taking this medication for type 2 diabetes or weight loss, patients need to know about its possible side effects. Some patients may experience mild gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea after taking tirzepatide.
Another important thing patients should know before taking semaglutide is that they shouldn’t stop the medication “cold turkey.” Doing this only elevates the blood sugar levels and increases the risk of regaining weight.
Switching medications may be an option, but the patient must consult their doctor and the entire care team first. They usually provide more specific guidance when stopping or switching from semaglutide to another alternative.
If you’re interested in switching to another semaglutide alternative, make sure to remember these:
Although there are lots of natural and pharmaceutical weight management drugs, semaglutide is still the best option for most patients. It’s also approved by the FDA so patients can be sure that the drug went through all the right processes to ensure its safety and effectiveness.
Here are some reasons why semaglutide is still one of your best picks for healthy weight loss:
People are always skeptical when it comes to new treatments for obesity because a lot of products that flood the market don’t deliver their promises. But now and then, there comes a safe and effective medication for people who have been struggling with chronic weight management for a long time – like the FDA-approved semaglutide.
At Dr. V Medical Aesthetics, we want to help our patients achieve their ideal body shapes with healthy weight loss options. With semaglutide treatments for medical weight management, patients can say goodbye to quick fixes that never really last. Call us today to know more about this treatment.
Dr. V Medical Aesthetics is ready to help you achieve your beauty goals. Contact us today to learn more about any of our services, and exactly what our team can do for you.