One of the most frequent menopausal issues that we address at Menopause Solutions in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina is the issue of weight gain and difficulty with weight loss. There are a myriad of diets targeted toward menopausal women and "menopause belly". These diets may be slightly successful for the short term (or may not…), but we hear the frustration of women as the weight comes back on, or doesn’t come off at all despite their best efforts.
Contrary to long held beliefs, weight loss is not simply a matter of willpower. As Julia Belluz writes in the New York Times, “We tend to believe body size is something we can fully control, that we’re skinny or fat because of deliberate choices we make. After talking to hundreds of patients with obesity over the years and to clinicians and researchers who study the disease, let me assure you: Reality looks a lot less like free will.” Weight gain and weight loss are a complex orchestra of hormones that tell the body when we’re hungry and when we’re full.
One of these hormones is leptin which regulates body weight not meal-to-meal, but over time. Disorders in leptin metabolism or the brain’s response to leptin can result in increased hunger, decreased satiety, and weight gain which are beyond the individual’s ability to control with willpower.
Another hormone that affects hunger and satiety from meal-to-meal is glucagon-like-peptide-1, or GLP-1. GLP-1 is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and tells the brain that we’re full. GLP-1 agonists like semaglutide are a group of medications that mimic this hormone resulting in safe and effective weight loss. The degree of weight loss seen with semaglutide (marketed and FDA approved as Ozempic for Type 2 Diabetes and Wegovy for obesity), rivals the degree of weight loss seen with bariatric surgery and is far more effective than any weight loss medication we have had in the past.
Due to the hormonal changes associated with menopause, semaglutide is particularly effective for effective and sustained weight loss in middle-aged and menopausal women. At Menopause Solutions, we offer our Weight Loss Program which uses semaglutide with dietary and exercise counseling, body composition analysis before, during and after the program, and long-term follow-up to assure successful and long-lasting weight loss to all of our participants. It is not necessary to be an existing patient of Menopause Solutions to participate in our weight loss program. The program is open to all in the Charleston, SC and Mount Pleasant, SC areas. For more information, you can contact us through the website or at 843-810-5974.