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Introduction: using Wegovy & weight loss medications
Weight loss journeys can be challenging, especially for women over the age of 40. While injectable weight loss medications, like Wegovy, may provide initial results, there’s a common concern about weight regain once the medication is discontinued. As a medical provider and health and wellness coach specializing in helping women over 40 balance hormones and lose weight, I believe in taking a functional medicine approach to address the root causes of weight gain and prevent future setbacks. In this blog post, we’ll explore how we can prevent weight regain after stopping injectable weight loss medications, like Wegovy, through healing the underlying hormonal imbalances.
Understanding the Potential for Weight Regain
It is true that some studies have indicated that weight regain can occur after discontinuing injectable weight loss medications, despite attempting lifestyle changes. However, focusing solely on the medication as the solution overlooks the complexity of weight management, especially in women over 40. This is where functional medicine comes into play, as it aims to identify and treat the root causes of weight gain rather than just relying on temporary fixes.
The Role of Hormones in Weight Gain
Hormones play a vital role in weight regulation, particularly for women over 40, as there are over 14 different hormones responsible for weight gain. Let’s explore some of the key hormonal factors that can contribute to weight gain:
1. Insulin Resistance: Insulin resistance occurs when cells become less responsive to insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. This can promote fat storage and hinder weight loss efforts.
2. Adrenal Fatigue: Chronic stress can lead to adrenal fatigue, disrupting the balance of cortisol, a stress hormone. This hormonal imbalance can affect metabolism and contribute to weight gain.
3. Thyroid Dysfunction: An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can slow down metabolism and result in weight gain.
4. Sex Hormone Imbalance: Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels, especially during perimenopause and menopause, can contribute to weight gain and changes in body composition.
Functional Medicine Approach to Sustainable Weight Loss
As a functional medicine provider, my approach focuses on understanding why weight gain occurred in the first place and addressing the hormonal imbalances contributing to it. While injectable weight loss medications like Wegovy can be helpful in jump-starting the process, they are not always a long-term solution. When possible, we use them as a tool while we work on healing the root cause of the issue and then slowly wean off of them.
1. Identifying the Underlying Cause: Through comprehensive testing and assessments, we pinpoint the specific hormonal imbalances that are affecting weight management. This personalized approach allows us to develop an effective and tailored treatment plan.
2. Healing the Root Cause: Treatment plans may include a combination of lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, targeted supplements, and, in some cases, medications to address the hormonal imbalances.
3. Gradual Medication Weaning: Our goal is not just weight loss but sustainable weight management. As we address the root cause of weight gain, we gradually reduce and eventually discontinue the use of weight loss medications.
4. Reverse Dieting and Metabolism Restoration: Reverse dieting involves gradually increasing caloric intake to restore a healthy metabolism. This process helps prevent the body from going into a “starvation mode” and reduces the likelihood of weight regain.
Weight loss medications like Wegovy can be beneficial in kickstarting weight loss, but they are not the ultimate solution. As a medical provider and health and wellness coach, I believe in a functional medicine approach that seeks to identify and treat the underlying hormonal imbalances responsible for weight gain. By addressing these imbalances through personalized treatment plans, we can achieve sustainable weight loss and prevent weight regain after stopping injectable weight loss medications. Remember that each person’s journey is unique, and with the right support and guidance, you can achieve your weight loss goals and improve your overall health and well-being.