Understanding GLP-1 Peptide Therapy for Weight Loss

Weight loss peptides, commonly known as Ozempic and Zepound, are a large topic of discussion right now in the health and wellness sphere and there is a lot to consider when thinking of starting a peptide based weight loss program.

According to the Food Research and Action Center 2024 statistics, 39.6% of U.S. adults are obese, 31.6% are overweight and 7.7% are severely obese. Unfortunately, the variety of advice, perspectives, and solutions out there can lead to overwhelm and dismay when attempting to lose weight. The common process of “calories in and calories out,” and “putting in the work” only lead to further frustration and can dehumanize the individuals who are struggling.

 The National Institute of Health lists the top common barriers to weight loss as: insufficient self-control, physical pain, time constraints, dietary restrictions, and a lack of support. Logistical issues, patient readiness, healthcare providers’ views, resource scarcity, and social dynamics are also barriers. Dietary barriers involve triggers, emotional states, and limited healthy options.

A Functional Approach to Peptide Therapy for Weight Loss

It is time to recognize that losing weight is not a simple process for many people, and there are many factors at play that can influence someone’s weight loss journey. From a Functional Medicine perspective, the ideal process should involve viewing the individual as a whole – which means identifying sources of inflammation, optimizing individual nutrition, supporting hormonal balance, as well as addressing stress and sleep concerns. This is how we approach weight loss as functional medicine providers. We want healthy weight loss to occur but ultimately through a process of root-based healing.

Inflammation and Metaflammation

It is key to understand that excess body fat in itself IS a source of inflammation. It is well researched and documented that excess fat is pro-inflammatory by stimulating cell signals to promote even more disease processes such as blood vessel plaque, diabetes, psoriasis, depression cancer and kidney issues.  We store toxins in our fat and the body attempts to protect us from their harmful effects by removing them from active circulation. While some people are able to achieve a healthy weight through a functional medicine process, sometimes the level of “metaflammation” is severe and peptide weight loss may also be beneficial.  “Metaflammation” is when the level of systemic inflammation actually involves an immune system response that affects the metabolic organs such as the liver, brain, and pancreas and it can be a serious barrier to achieving a healthy metabolism and balance.

What are GLP-1 Peptides and How Do They Work?

Weight loss GLP-1 (which stands for Glucagon-Like Peptide-1) and GLP-1 + GIP peptides (Glucose-Dependent Insulinotropic Polypeptide), commonly known as Ozempic and Zepound, may offer help in getting stubborn weight to release. These medications work through various mechanisms to stimulate hormones that help control blood sugar levels, reduce appetite, and delay food emptying from the stomach, which can lead to a reduction in calories.

Supporting GLP-1 Peptide Therapy

Achieving a healthy weight is a wonderful goal, but it is VERY important while using these medications that the individual is carefully monitored. Proper nutrition –  especially protein and nutrient dense foods –  is essential to support muscle mass and overall health. While some level of muscle mass decrease is expected with healthy weight loss, strength training is a non-negotiable as extensive muscle loss leaves one at increased risk for regaining the weight and long- term health issues. Liver and gut support are also vital as these organs are heavily relied on by the body for detoxification. Individual medication dosing, additional supplementation, and overall care for the individual needs to be considered throughout the entire journey to minimize common side effects of these medications such nausea/vomiting, diarrhea and more serious complications such as pancreatitis and stomach paralysis.

Use of these peptides should start with a comprehensive evaluation by a weight loss trained health care provider and used in conjunction with a whole person root-based approach. When used correctly, weight loss peptides offer freedom from excess fat, decreased inflammation, detoxification, reduced metabolic disease and improved overall health!  

Click here to learn more about the Medical Weight Loss programs at Inspired Health guided by Functional Medicine Provider and Family Nurse Practitioner Michelle Hirschy-Baker. To book a consultation with Michelle, please call the clinic at 541-312-9838. Please note you must be a current and established patient at Inspired Health to schedule a consult for the Medical Weight Loss programs.

Inspired Health - Integrative + Functional Medicine Center Natural Fertility Bend Oregon

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[1] “Obesity in the U.S.” 2024.
[2] “Barriers and motivators to weight loss in people with obesity.” 2023.
[3] “Obesity and inflammation: the linking mechanism and the complications.” 2017.
[4] “Adipose tissue as a site of toxin accumulation.” 2017.
[5] “Developmental origins of metaflammtion; a bridge to the future…” 2022.
[6] “What is Zepbound? Does this new weight loss drug…” 2023.