Losing weight is a major life goal for a large percentage of the American population, and the popular injectable drug semaglutide (brand names Ozempic and Wegovy) has offered a ray of hope for many obese and overweight patients.
Below, we’ll explore answer the question “what is Ozempic body?”, and what causes the sagging skin associated with “Ozempic body”.
In clinical trials, semaglutide was shown to reduce starting body weight by an average of 15% or more over a 68-week period, and in light of these promising results, it quickly became a sensation. Today, demand for semaglutide continues to cause shortages of the drug and celebrities and social media influencers continue to tout its capabilities.
While Ozempic and Wegovy do, indeed, contribute to substantial weight loss results for many patients, no “miracle drug” is without its drawbacks. Patients must be aware of the risks of semaglutide’s potentially serious side effects (see “Other Side Effects” section below) as well as the increasingly publicized phenomenon known as “Ozempic body” (also “Ozempic face” and “Ozempic butt”).
If you’re considering semaglutide for weight loss, remember that the information in this post does not constitute medical advice and that only your doctor can properly help you determine whether or not Ozempic or Wegovy may be the right option for your specific circumstances.
How Ozempic Works for Weight Loss
Ozempic and Wegovy (active ingredient semaglutide) are both injectable prescription drugs belonging to the class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Originally developed to treat Type 2 Diabetes, semaglutide’s weight loss potential was soon discovered.
While Ozempic remains indicated only for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes (though sometimes prescribed off-label for weight loss purposes), Wegovy was fully FDA-approved as a weight loss drug in 2021.
In simple terms, semaglutide mimics a hormone known as GLP-1 that is produced in the human gut in response to food. This hormone is responsible for sending messages to various body systems to communicate that the digestive process is underway. Semaglutide triggers the following responses:
- Increases insulin production and decreases glucose production (helps to lower blood sugar)
- Slows down the speed at which food leaves the stomach (helps you feel fuller for longer)
- Affects areas of the brain responsible for appetite control (reduces hunger)
What Causes Ozempic Body?
“Ozempic body” refers to the sagging skin that is sometimes caused by rapid weight loss while on semaglutide. It can particularly impact rounder areas of the body, such as the face (cheeks), buttocks, and stomach area, and result in a gaunt look (facial) or significant loose skin in other areas of the body.
“Ozempic body” is not actually caused by semaglutide itself but by the rapid weight loss associated with the drug (rapid weight loss caused by other factors can also have the same effect). It’s a cosmetic issue, neither dangerous nor medically significant, but many patients find it unsightly.
Weight gain is typically a slow process that allows the skin time to stretch and adjust over a period of time. Weight loss that takes place gradually over a similarly prolonged time period also provides an opportunity for the skin to “bounce back” and retain more of its natural elasticity and firm appearance.
When weight loss takes place rapidly, such as on the drug semaglutide, it can leave the skin without time to adjust and result in loose skin. This is the primary cause of the phenomenon known as “Ozempic body”.
Ozempic Body Vs. “Ozempic Butt”
People may refer to “Ozempic body”, “Ozempic butt”, “Wegovy butt”, or “Ozempic face”. All of these monikers refer to the same aesthetic issue described in the section above—sagging skin as a result of rapid weight loss (not to be confused with “Ozempic Face“).
Who Is Most Likely To Experience Ozempic Body?
Not all patients who rapidly lose weight on Ozempic or Wegovy will experience “Ozempic body”. In fact, many patients report no such side effects.
A patient’s likelihood of experiencing “Ozempic body” may be impacted by the following factors:
- Age (younger patients are less likely to be impacted)
- Starting weight (patients with fewer pounds to shed are less likely to be impacted)
- Length of time obese or overweight (chronically overweight patients are more likely to be impacted)
Treating Sagging Skin After Weight Loss
If you do experience “Ozempic body” as a result of weight loss on semaglutide, don’t despair! There are many effective ways to treat and improve the condition. And many of them are quite straightforward and simple to implement!
Let’s take a look:
- A regular exercise program that includes plenty of weight-lifting and resistance training can help to tighten up saggy skin.
- Staying hydrated is also an important key to supple, healthy skin.
- Add vitamins A, C, and E to your diet and increase your intake of collagen and elastin (over-the-counter supplements can help).
- In more severe cases of “Ozempic body”, patients may opt to look into cosmetic procedures or surgeries to tighten up or remove loose skin altogether.
Other Side Effects of Ozempic
Like any prescription drug, Ozempic comes with the risk of both mild and more serious side effects. Your medical history and any other medications you may already be taking can impact the likelihood that you will experience one or more of the following:
Mild Side Effects
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal pain
- Injection site reactions
Serious Side Effects
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
- Gallbladder problems
- Vision problems
- Severe allergic reactions
- Severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
Semaglutide has been associated with an increased risk of thyroid tumors and is not recommended for patients with a personal or family history of certain types of thyroid cancer. It’s also not suitable for children, patients with Type 1 Diabetes, or patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to become pregnant. Speak directly with your doctor for more information.
To conclude, the phenomenon known as “Ozempic body” is a cosmetic issue caused by rapid weight loss while on semaglutide. Loose, saggy skin can occur throughout the body but might be most prevalent in typically round or full areas such as the face, stomach, and buttocks. “Ozempic body” can be addressed with exercise, hydration, natural supplements, and cosmetic or surgical procedures (in more severe cases).
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