First things first—what is semaglutide?
Semaglutide, available under registered trademarks Wegovy®, Ozempic®, and Rybelsus®, is a highly specialized medicine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support weight loss in certain patients or lower blood sugar levels for adults with type 2 diabetes. This glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (or glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) combined with GLP-1 like tirzepatide) works by increasing insulin release, delaying gastric emptying, and lowering blood sugar levels while also providing weight loss benefits through reduced appetite.
When a VIVA Wellness client comes to us with concerns about body weight and other weight-related health issues (i.e. blood sugar, heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol), we take a whole-person approach. In addition to dietary supplements and lifestyle changes, one part of that is often the use of weight loss drugs such as compounded semaglutide. This medication has been providing incredible results for so many of our weight loss patients (read one such story here), and we’ve been honored to support them in the clinic along their journey. At VIVA Wellness we pride ourselves in the custom, supportive, and comprehensive way we offer our services and expertise to our clients.
Weight Loss Drugs and Telehealth
There has been a recent flood of weight loss companies such as Weight Watchers unveiling that they now offer Ozempic or Wegovy (both brand names of semaglutide) to their customers via telehealth. While the convenience may seem exciting, that raises some serious concerns with our team. We assign a healthcare professional to work 1:1 with each patient to monitor quality of life and safety concerns during the course of a program. Additionally, within those programs, we make note of the logistics of the patient’s prescriptions, insurance plan, etc., since there is a considerable chance that patients who don’t have certain key diagnoses or criteria would not be eligible for coverage. This makes it likely there’s only one option provided which usually doesn’t include any add-ons to help you manage symptoms, and it’s potentially quite costly out of pocket.
VIVA Wellness Signature Weight Loss & Detox Protocols
The pillars of the VIVA Wellness Signature Weight Loss & Detox Protocols, which may include Ozempic or compounded semaglutide or tirzepatide, are in place to fully support your body. This support is essential as your body moves through the titration, or adaptation, to the drug’s influence throughout all physical processes.
Think of it this way: your body is learning to experience hunger and digest food differently. This will, of course, impact a whole host of other body components that are also connected to those concepts. For that reason, everyone’s body reacts differently. A person may experience the most common side effects or more serious issues such as constipation, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. That’s why it is so important for us to get to know a patient’s unique risk factors to give them a reduced risk of these types of complications.
Concern for Side Effects
Founder and Weight Loss Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Hruz, FNP-BC, APNP, explains, “Many are drawn toward these drugs for the way that there isn’t a complete lifestyle overhaul required in order to see results by way of weight loss, but that benefit is completely voided if you feel terrible and your body is crying out for help because of side effects.”
The way people eat is both a primal and emotional/mental activity, with potentially dozens of implications once hunger and digestion are impacted. Having the dedicated support of healthcare providers who have interacted with your body in person, understand both your history and your goals, and are able to support you as you go through the journey has proven invaluable.
The VIVA Wellness Compounded Semaglutide Protocol
Through our protocols, our clients who are looking to lose weight and sustain chronic weight management can expect:
- An Intro Consultation with one of our experienced Weight Loss Nurse Practitioners to ensure that health history, quality of life, goals, and mental/emotional support are all aligned with the use of the medication.
- Weekly progress check-ins for support, accountability, MONITORING OF BODY MASS INDEX, medication injections, and side-effect mitigation add-ons per your individual needs.
- Access to in-house services such as colon hydrotherapy, infrared sauna, lymphatic drainage treatments, IV infusions, and skin tightening, that not only support side effects but facilitate the efficacy of the medications by way of supporting the overall system. A healthier, thriving WHOLE system may more easily release BODY weight.
- Access to a vetted network of Western/traditional, alternative, and energetic practitioners who can step in to support you with issues that may be outside the scope of the protocol.
Maybe There’s a Better Solution
After getting to know one another and discussing the protocol, we may decide that compounded semaglutide isn’t the right fit. Some patients need to try the treatment for a few weeks before analyzing its effectiveness. We only learn these things by working closely with our patients individually. The last thing that we want, as the care team, is for someone to stick with something that they find miserable only to have them not achieve the desired results, which only further perpetuates any stories of struggle that many already have with their weight loss journey. VIVA Wellness has so many tools at our disposal, and we have no personal incentive for you to use one medication versus another or any medication at all. We simply champion your success, offer comprehensive care, and will develop solutions for you as we go. This may also include discussing other weight loss medications, such as Phentermine, or taking different routes: nutritional testing/counseling, liver and detox support, digestive optimization, lymphatic drainage for metabolic rejuvenation, etc.
You are More Than a Number
At VIVA Wellness, we see each client as a whole person. No patient is just a number or a user ID. Each person is a human with a story, a life they’ve created, and goals and challenges that we want to know about. Our healthcare professionals consider family history and mental health to get a complete picture of our clients. Not only do we want to learn more about our patients, but they also inspire us! We exist to hold our clients’ hands and offer them space in our days—we can’t do our best work without this relationship-building.
While the convenience of home delivery and self-stick approach that many suggest can be very tempting, we are concerned that it comes with unnecessary risks. These risks include infringing on some of the essential parts of the weight loss journey—your whole body’s health, outlook, and quality of life. We’ll continue to create programs and service offerings that provide genuine care for the entire human entrusting us with their story and wellness goals.