Hormone Shots for Weight Loss Side Effects

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hormone shots for weight loss side effects

Hormone shots like semaglutide (Wegovy, Ozempic) can help with weight loss, but may cause side effects. Learn the benefits, risks, and how to manage side effects.

If you’re considering hormone shots for weight loss, it’s important to understand the potential benefits and risks. Injectable medications like semaglutide (brand names Wegovy and Ozempic) have shown promise in clinical trials for treating obesity, but they can also cause side effects. 

What Are Hormone Shots for Weight Loss?

Hormone shots for weight loss typically contain glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. These drugs mimic the effects of the GLP-1 hormone, which is produced in the gut and helps regulate appetite and blood sugar levels.

The most well-known GLP-1 receptor agonist for weight loss is semaglutide, sold under the brand names Wegovy (for chronic weight management) and Ozempic (for type 2 diabetes). Semaglutide is self-administered as a once-weekly injection.

What Hormone Shot Is Used for Weight Loss?

Various hormone shots are used for weight loss, including GLP-1 agonists like semaglutide (Wegovy) and liraglutide (Saxenda), as well as other medications such as Mounjaro and Ozempic. These medications work by mimicking gut hormones that regulate insulin production and appetite, leading to weight loss.

What Is the FDA Approved Weight Loss Shot?

The FDA has approved certain weight loss shots for managing obesity, such as semaglutide (Wegovy) and liraglutide (Saxenda). These medications are prescribed for individuals with obesity or overweight who have weight-related health issues.

How do hormone shots work for weight loss?

GLP-1 receptor agonists like semaglutide work in several ways to promote weight loss:

  • Reduce appetite and hunger: GLP-1 helps slow gastric emptying, keeping you feeling full longer. This can lead to eating less without feeling deprived.
  • Regulate blood sugar: By stimulating insulin secretion and inhibiting glucagon release, GLP-1 helps lower blood sugar levels. This is especially beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Increase energy expenditure: Some research suggests GLP-1 may boost metabolism and fat burning, though more studies are needed.

Together, these mechanisms can lead to significant weight loss when combined with lifestyle changes like a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.

What Are the Benefits of Hormone Shots for Weight Loss?

Clinical trials have shown that semaglutide can lead to significant weight loss compared to placebo:

Beyond weight loss, semaglutide offers several other potential benefits:

  • Effective blood sugar control for people with type 2 diabetes, which can reduce the risk of complications like heart disease and nerve damage.
  • Potential to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.
  • May reduce the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke, though more research is needed.

Do Hormone Injections Help You Lose Weight?

Hormone injections can help with weight loss by mimicking gut hormones that are involved in regulating insulin production and appetite. 

Medications like Mounjaro, Zepbound, Wegovy, and Ozempic have been found to be effective in producing weight loss, with people potentially losing an average of 4% – 21% of their body weight

However, the effectiveness can vary based on individual factors such as age, BMI, underlying health conditions, and tolerance for side effects.

What Is the Best Shot for Weight Loss?

The “best” shot for weight loss is subjective and depends on individual factors such as age, BMI, underlying health conditions, tolerance for side effects, and insurance coverage. 

As of 2024, Mounjaro has been highlighted for supporting higher levels of weight loss, with research showing up to 25% weight loss after one year. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable weight loss injection for an individual’s specific needs.

What Are the Side Effects and Risks of Hormone Shots?

Like all medications, hormone shots for weight loss can cause side effects. The most common side effects of semaglutide include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Indigestion

These side effects are usually mild and tend to decrease over time as your body adjusts to the medication. 

Semaglutide may also cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in people with type 2 diabetes, especially when used with insulin or sulfonylureas. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, sweating, confusion, and dizziness.

In rare cases, semaglutide has been associated with an increased risk of thyroid C-cell tumors in animal studies. While this risk hasn’t been seen in humans, semaglutide should not be used in people with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2.

What Are the Negative Effects of Hormone Therapy?

Negative effects of hormone therapy can include a range of side effects such as tiredness, sex and erection problems, hot flushes and sweating, breast tenderness and swelling, pain from tumor flare, weight gain, memory problems, mood changes and depression, bone changes, heart problems, and diabetes.

Does HGH Affect Your Kidneys?

Human growth hormone (HGH) can potentially affect kidney function, especially when used in excessive doses or without proper medical supervision. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to understand the potential effects of HGH on kidney health and to ensure safe and appropriate use of hormone-based therapies for weight management.

How To Manage Side Effects of Hormone Shots

If you experience side effects while taking semaglutide or another GLP-1 receptor agonist, there are several strategies that may help:

  1. Take your injection at night to sleep through initial side effects like nausea.
  2. Eat smaller, more frequent meals to reduce nausea and stomach discomfort.
  3. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  4. Avoid high-fat, spicy, or acidic foods that may worsen digestive symptoms.
  5. Get regular exercise, which can help reduce constipation and boost your mood.
  6. Talk to your doctor about adjusting your dose or trying a different medication if side effects are severe or persistent.

Remember, hormone shots for weight loss are meant to be used along with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. Making healthy lifestyle changes can not only enhance weight loss but also help reduce the risk of side effects.

Are Hormone Shots Right for You?

Hormone shots like semaglutide may be an option for adults with obesity (BMI ≥30) or overweight (BMI ≥27) with at least one weight-related comorbidity, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. They’re typically prescribed when lifestyle changes and other weight loss medications haven’t been effective.

However, hormone shots aren’t right for everyone. They’re not recommended for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or those with a history of pancreatitis, thyroid cancer, or certain thyroid cancers. They also may not be appropriate for people with certain digestive disorders like gastroparesis.

As with any medical treatment, the decision to use hormone shots for weight loss should be made in partnership with a healthcare provider. They can help you weigh the potential benefits and risks based on your individual health status and goals.

Are Hormone Shots Safe?

The safety of hormone shots depends on individual health conditions and the specific hormone therapy being used. While hormone shots can be beneficial for certain health conditions, they can also cause side effects. It is essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider to determine if hormone injections are suitable and safe for an individual.

Are Hormone Injections Good for You?

Hormone injections can be beneficial for individuals struggling with weight management due to hormonal imbalances. They can help increase energy levels, improve sleep, and regulate metabolism, which are crucial for effective weight management. 

However, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider to determine if hormone injections are good for an individual’s specific health conditions and needs.

What Does a Hormone Shot Do for a Woman?

Hormone shots for women can manage various health conditions, including menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. They may also help address hormonal imbalances that contribute to weight gain resistance, thereby supporting weight loss goals.

What Happens if We Take Hormonal Injection?

Taking hormonal injections can lead to various side effects, including those related to menopausal symptoms, hair thinning, muscle and bone changes, digestive system problems, weight gain, headaches, memory problems, mood changes and depression, and an increased risk of blood clots. It is important to be aware of these potential side effects and to consult with a healthcare provider before starting hormonal injections.

How Quickly Do Hormone Injections Work?

The timeframe for hormone injections to take effect can vary depending on the type of hormone therapy and individual health conditions. Some individuals may experience improvements in energy levels, sleep, and metabolism relatively quickly, while others may require more time to see significant changes.

How Long Does Weight Loss Shot Last?

The duration of the effects of weight loss shots can vary depending on the specific medication and individual health conditions. It is important to discuss the expected duration with a healthcare provider and to determine the most suitable treatment plan for long-term weight management.

Charles Mok

Dr. Charles Mok

About Charles Mok

Dr. Charles Mok received his medical degree from Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Chicago, Illinois in 1989. He completed his medical residency at Mount Clemens General Hospital, Mt. Clemens, Michigan. He has worked with laser manufacturing companies to improve their technologies; he has performed clinical research studies and has taught physicians from numerous other states. His professionalism and personal attention to detail have contributed to the success of one of the first medical spas in Michigan.

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