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A Nutritionist Opinion on Semaglutide

A Nutritionist Opinion on Semaglutide

Oh you’ve heard the trendy weight loss drugs by now, such as brand names Ozempic and Wegovy. Whenever there are trendy things, everyone tends to ask me what my thoughts are. I know how easy it can be to want to cave in to reach your weight loss goals by just taking a medication. Easy peasy. It’s actually pretty tempting, I get it. But this conversation needs to be had?

Didn’t we learn our lessons about quick weight loss from stuff we did in the 90’s and early 2000’s? We want to lose weight quickly, but we don’t think of the future repercussions of these things. I do believe from this weight loss industry it’s why there are thousands of women in their mid-age that are struggling with a sucky metabolism. Before I get more into this topic, I want to say that I’m not saying these medications are not helpful in certain cases. For people who are very very very obese, this may be a medication that has more pros than cons.

Root Cause of Stubborn Weight

My biggest annoyance about these drugs for weight loss is that it’s not solving why weight loss is an issue in the first place. STUBBORN WEIGHT IS A SYMPTOM. It’s a symptom that your body is trying to tell you. It’s saying SOS – I don’t think it’s safe to lose weight or I don’t have what I need to lose weight. Nothing angers me more than just throwing a pill at symptom without looking for the root cause. Period.

Because we’re going to see what we saw in the past….you get quick success, but long term effects. The way these medications work is by lowering appetite. GUESS WHAT? WOMEN DON’T NEED TO BE LOWERING APPETITES. I kid you not, 98% of women that walk through our door are NOT eating enough and that’s a HUGE reason why their metabolism is poor. They are not fueling their bodies correctly to even allow it to run the way it should. And PSA: it takes awhile to get your metabolism up and kicking to lose weight. It’s really quick to respond (which is why people will lose weight initially), but it’s slow on increasing. We can’t expect to lose weight in a short amount of months, when there has been decades of not treating your body the best.

So, why are lowering appetites to further support into the “eAt LeSs, eXeRcIsE mOrE”?

Again, not saying it doesn’t work. You’ll find those success stories, BUT TO WHAT END? Do NOT forget: quick success = long term issues.

We actually need to work on repairing metabolism and improving hormones and do the internal work, so our external work reflects it. And don’t worry….I’ve heard it all.

“But I’ve Done Everything”

I do truly believe that you may believe that you’ve done it all – this is absolutely a common thing that women will say on our discovery calls. But guess what? They really haven’t. When I really dive deep into history and what they’ve done, what they are doing, I do see a lot of missing pieces/miseducation from DIY that they aren’t doing what they should for THEIR body. They are just following something that their neighbor had success with. I’ve also heard “I’ve worked with so many practitioners”. Don’t let that hold you back from continuing to seek for help. I promise, you just need to find your person.

Negative Effects of Semaglutide

Alright, let’s get into it. We see the positives and push for this, yet the negatives aren’t talked about as much. This medication impacts your GLP-1. This hormone delays gastric emptying and makes you feel fuller longer (hence, the lower appetite). It also enhances insulin secretion to lower blood sugars, which is why it’s given to diabetic patients.

The top side effects when taking semaglutide is nausea and vomiting. So, one would question what is it doing to our gut health? There are NO human studies looking at semaglutide and the gut microbiome – don’t worry, they are coming and I have a good feeling it’s not going to be pretty.

Both formulations of semaglutide have received an official box warning for thyroid C-cell tumors in the US. This caution is solely based on data from rodent studies


Remember, these are rat studies that show the increase in thyroid tumors, there are NO human studies to date. Therefore, we can’t say “oh it’s going to cause this”, but we should proceed with caution. There were some thyroid malignancies found in the PIONEER studies. Below is an image found on the official website with their warnings of thyroid cancer.

GLP-1 medications also have an increased risk of gallbladder issues. The mechanism could be slower gallbladder motility or a change in bile salts.With semaglutide, there seems to be some gallbladder connection.

The long-term effects of semaglutide are NOT known in humans – especially in the increased thyroid cancer seen in animals. But why are we waiting to know? Why are being guinea pigs? I know your short-term desires may feel bigger than your future self, but your future self matters just as much. You never want to look back and say “dang, why did I do that? Now I have to deal with something worse.”

We know that stubborn weight loss usually stems from SOMEWHERE. Our job is to understand why your body thinks it’s a good idea to hold onto weight and take a holistic approach to address that. Diet and lifestyle habits are always at the foundation and needs to be addressed.

I whole-heartedly believe that the weight will just come right back in the future. When taking this drug, you are not solving the root cause of why weight loss is a problem in the first place, therefore it will most likely come back. Ya’ll know I will give tough love when necessary and it’s because I care for both internal and external versions of you. You deserve to feel the best and feel confident with your health inside and out.

Reach out to our team to finally get the help you deserve and the answers you desire. We know that we can move the needle……for good.

Lahana Vigliano
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Lahana Vigliano

Lahana Vigliano is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and CEO of Nuvitru Wellness. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Science and Masters Degree in Nutrition Science and Functional Medicine. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition. Lahana and her team help support women who struggle with weight loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, and many other lingering issues that leaves women not feeling their best. She uses food as medicine, as well as herbs and supplements when needed, to support her clients. She looks at the whole body holistically making sure women are understanding how nutrition, sleep, stress, and their environment impact their health. Connect with her on Facebook + Instagram (@nuvitruwellness).