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Understanding Weight Loss Injections: Types and Benefits

weight-loss-injections

Reviewed by Tara Scott, MD, FACOG, FAAFM, NCMP of Forum Health Akron

At a Glance:  

  • Discover the benefits of weight loss injections, including appetite-suppressant options and fat-burning solutions.

  • Understand how these injections function by suppressing appetite, boosting metabolism, and aiding in blood sugar regulation.

  • Learn about the intended users of these injections—individuals with a BMI of 27 or higher—and the importance of combining treatments with diet and exercise.

  • Be aware of common side effects, such as dizziness, gastrointestinal issues, and nausea, and the necessity of medical supervision.

The struggle to lose weight and keep it off is an all-too-familiar scenario. That’s why recently, injectable weight loss medications are making a name for themselves. Turns out, these prescription weight loss shots are becoming popular and widespread for a reason: they work. Let’s dive deep into the world of weight loss shots, who they’re for, go over the different types of weight loss injections, and their potential side effects.

What are Weight Loss Injections?

Also known as “diet shots” or “skinny shots”, weight loss injections are prescribed medications that are administered through a shot to help people who struggle to lose weight finally see results. Typically prescribed by a doctor for overweight or obese individuals, the shot for weight loss is targeted for those with a body mass index (BMI) of 27-30 or more. These weight loss shots can be self-administered from the comfort of home, and are recommended pairing with a healthy diet and exercise plan to see the best results.

Different Types of Weight Loss Injections, Explained

Now, let’s dive into the world of weight loss shots and their two main classifications: 1) appetite-suppressant injections and 2) fat-burning and metabolism-boosting injections. Depending on your health history, diagnoses and personal needs, your doctor will recommend a weight loss injection type to help you reach your goals.

Appetite-Suppressant Injections

Appetite-suppressant injections are some of the most well-known. Appetite-suppressant injections work by targeting your body’s natural hormone system to curb hunger and cravings. GLP-1 injections are gaining significant attention in the Type 2 diabetes and weight loss space. These medications belong to a class of drugs known as Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. GLP-1 is a natural hormone found in the body that plays a key role in blood sugar regulation. When we eat, the gut releases GLP-1, helping to regulate blood sugar levels. 

 

After a meal, GLP-1 delays gastric emptying, or digestion, while increasing the gastric volume, which enhances insulin secretion. GLP-1 stimulates the pancreas to release more insulin after a meal, a crucial element from ushering glucose from the bloodstream into cells for energy. This weight loss shot enhances insulin secretion to promote better blood sugar control.

 

It was found that for type 2 diabetes patients, GLP-1 agonist infusion with pharmacologic doses enhanced a satiated feeling, promoting weight loss. These weight loss injectable drugs that contain GLP-1 reduce the amount of food you eat, the hunger you feel, and your appetite while promoting fullness and satiety. 

 

In short: appetite-suppressant injections delay digestion while regulating blood sugar, and are FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes use, with clinical trials being conducted for FDA-approval in healthy individuals.

Fat-Burning and Metabolism-Boosting Fat Loss Shots

The second class of weight loss injectables focuses on fat-burning and metabolism-boosting, also known as Lipotropic injections. These injections contain vitamins, minerals, and amino acids such as methionine, inositol, and choline, and some of these fat loss shots are called “MIC” injections, named after the three amino acids. These compounds work to metabolize fat cells while eliminating stored fat deposits in the liver, a primary organ responsible for metabolism. With added Vitamin B12, individuals will experience healthier metabolism due to Vitamin B12’s ability to convert food into energy, which your body needs to function, and to burn calories. It also combats lethargy and low energy, as B-vitamins help balance your body’s natural energy. And, according to this study, having higher blood levels of vitamin B12 was associated with a lower risk of obesity. These injectable weight loss drugs are also noted for their mood-boosting effects as well (due to Vitamin B12). Fat-burning and metabolism-boosting fat loss shots have not been approved by the FDA and are still being studied for their effectiveness and safety.

Navigating Side Effects of Popular Weight Loss Injections

As with any medication or drug, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects. GLP-1 drugs are generally well-tolerated but may cause certain side effects, especially in the beginning. Working with a Forum Health provider who understands GLP-1 medications and the importance of slowly increasing the dosage, is key for decreasing any potential side effects.

Common side effects of GLP weight loss shots (GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonists) may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue 
  • GI issues (such as diarrhea, constipation, or gas) 
  • Headache
  • Nausea, vomiting, or bloating stomach pain
  • Back pain 
  • Belching, indigestion or heartburn
  • Body aches
  • Stomach cramps or discomfort in the abdomen 
  • Loss of voice
  • Pain or tenderness in the cheeks and eyes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Unpleasant taste
  • Urge to have a bowel movement
  • Swollen mouth or tongue
  • Sneezing 
  • Constipation
  • Acidic or sour stomach 
  • Belching

The Role of Healthcare Professionals in Weight Loss

As we all know, there is no magic pill or magic shot to achieve your dream body without any extra effort. It’s important and crucial for your health to pair weight loss medication with a healthy diet and regular exercise plan as advised by your doctor, nutritionist, or exercise trainer. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to adopt a healthier lifestyle to support the work of your weight loss drug and feel better in your body by eating right and exercising for your unique goals.

 

If you’re ready to take control of your weight and reach your health goals faster, then check out Forum Health’s medically-supervised medical weight loss treatment program. They pair GLP-1 injections with accountability health coaching and lifestyle and nutrition optimization to help you avoid unwanted side effects and preserve healthy muscle mass. In a recent study, many patients experienced up to a 15% reduction in their current body weight.

 

Learn more about our medical weight loss program

Choosing the Right Weight Loss Injection for You

There is no “one right path” when it comes to choosing a weight loss injection that fits your health and goals. The number one recommendation is to consult with a doctor who specializes in weight management. They’ll help you assess your medical history, weight loss goals, and your current state of health to determine which type of weight loss injection is best for you. In addition to your medical history, your BMI, current medications, lifestyle, and budget are all factors as well. It’s important to do your research and talk to a professional who can help you.

How Effective Are Weight Loss Injections?

GLP-1 receptor agonist medications have shown significant results in treating type 2 diabetes and weight loss. 

 

  • This study shows that with the use of weight loss shots paired with a diet and exercise program, half of participants lost 15% of their body weight, with nearly a third losing 20%
  • Medications show improved blood sugar control by stimulating insulin release and suppressing glucagon secretion 
  • They support appetite suppression that lead to feelings of fullness with reduced hunger
  • These medications are proven to help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels

Explore Your Options for Weight Loss Injections at Forum Health

Ready to get the help you need to lose that stubborn weight and feel better in your body? Then explore our medical weight loss program and consult with our team of healthcare professionals who specialize in weight management with personalized guidance. 

 

Request An Appointment

FAQs

Oprah Winfrey has been open about her weight loss struggles throughout the years. With healthy diet and lifestyle shifts, she also made the decision to incorporate GLP-1 weight loss injections as a maintenance tool. “Obesity is a disease. It’s not about willpower – it’s about the brain.” she said in a People Magazine article.

GLP-1 receptor agonists are a class of medications used for weight loss and type 2 diabetes treatment. These medications act as chronic weight management tools and are FDA-approved for adults with obesity. They mimic a natural hormone produced in the gut that helps regulate blood sugar and appetite.

Like with any drug, GLP-1 receptor agonists are not for everyone. Avoid if you fall into these categories:

 

  • Those with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) 
  • People with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women (or those who wish to become pregnant) 
  • Those who have allergies to ingredients in GLP-1 receptor agonists (your doctor will assess) 
  • Those with severe underlying GI issues like pancreatitis or gallbladder disease 

There is no “better” option – just an option that works best for you. While some GLP-1 receptor agonists are more widely available and have proven safety data for long-term use, other options may be more effective in weight loss according to some studies, albeit with potentially worse side effects. Talk to your doctor to assess your individual needs.

To assess your weight loss needs, find a weight loss management specialist and doctor near you to schedule an appointment. Search “weight loss injections near me” and start your journey toward feeling better and more confident in your body today.

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