Today’s blog post is brought to you by one of our female customers who is struggling to lose extra flab around the belly. Sound familiar?
Well to make matters worse for this lady she has PCOS aka Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. It’s a terrible cluster of issues leading to:
- irregular periods or none at all
- hair loss on head/hair overgrowth on arms and body
- high cholesterol
- weight gain
It’s thought to be a genetic problem in the ovaries and its tough as hell to fix.
One of the indirect ways of dealing with PCOS is losing weight which is the focus of today’s blog.
(Other treatment modalities include: metformin, contraceptive pills to rebalance hormones, hormone blockers like clomiphene)
Saxenda is the new kid on the block and is one of three main players. It’s a surprisingly empty field because like anything complex, there is no silver bullet. Diet and exercise help but if you want something more, read on…
Saxenda is a GLP-1 analogue (if you’re a nerd, search it up on Wikipedia) which basically slows down your stomach contents causing you to feel fuller for longer; it also acts at the brain level to alert you to feel that enough is enough; finally, it tells your pancreas to pump more insulin for each meal you have.
It’s an injection done to the thigh, abs or upper-arm ONCE per day (there’s actually another one on the market called Byetta but that’s twice daily with similar results). A pack will set you back $400-500/month (not on the
To be eligible for a script from your GP you have to have a BMI of 30+ (or 27 with diabetes, heart problems, and/or PCOS)
So how long does it take to work? Best results happen at the beginning thankfully…with most of the weight loss during the initial 20 weeks or 5 months. People tend to lose 5-10% of their starting weight.
If you haven’t lost at least 5% by week 12, then chances are it won’t work much further-stop and save your money.
Side effects include nausea and vomiting-50% of people experience this as mild to moderate in severity. In studies people actually have vomited-which ironically for the drug company…is probably a factor in helping with weight loss. Thankfully for us mere mortals it does improve with time. Other side effects can include: irritation, pain, bruising at the injection site. Other things like gall stones and allergies are quite rare.
Risk of pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas) is very, very rare but hey we don’t know the complete picture because it’s a relatively new drug. There is concern that it may be associated with cancer of the pancreas. Watch this space.
Apart from the weight loss benefits, it also helps to reduce your chances of diabetes by reducing things like your HbA1c and your sugar spikes after a meal.
I hope this has been informative for our customer and for others like her who are going through PCOS which is a dreadful disease.
As always speak to doc about your personal situation.