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‘Budget Ozempic’ TikTok Trend: Why Experts Are Warning About this DIY Weight-Loss ‘Trick’?

Ozempic, a widely acclaimed diabetes medication, has recently become a sought-after solution for weight loss. Known scientifically as semaglutide, this drug is marketed under various brand names, including Ozempic. For approximately two years, there has been a shortage due to the high demand for its off-label use in weight management. To address this, specific versions like Wegovy have been introduced, targeting weight loss directly.

Getting a prescription for semaglutide-based treatments can be challenging, and the cost can be prohibitive, often reaching thousands of dollars monthly without insurance. This has led to limited access, particularly among young adults and adolescents. As a result, some individuals have turned to alternative, homemade solutions for weight loss, which have gained popularity on platforms of social media like TikTok. One such trend is the “budget Ozempic,” which has sparked concerns among healthcare professionals and has even led to its shortage. In this blog, we’ll discuss how Ozempic works and will understand this trending concept in a more transparent way. We’ll also talk about the potential risks associated with this trend and discuss possible measures to address them. Let’s get started!

What Is Ozempic and How Does It Work?

Drugs like Ozempic, originally prescribed and formulated for diabetes treatment, have gained popularity for weight loss. Then, they introduced us to a new version called Wegovy, specifically designed exclusively for weight management purposes, containing the same active ingredient as Ozempic. 

These medications work by mimicking the GLP-1 hormone, which aids in insulin release from the pancreas. They also help reduce hunger and increase feelings of fullness by signaling the brain’s appetite center. Studies published in Jama (Journal of the American Medical Association) have shown that semaglutide, the active ingredient, can lead to a 15% to 20% reduction in body weight. However, the cost of around $1,000 a month for these drugs can be a barrier, especially since insurance often doesn’t cover it for weight loss use.

What Is ‘Budget Ozempic?’

Due to the high cost of semaglutide prescriptions, people who are desperately seeking affordable Ozempic alternatives for type 2 diabetes and weight loss have resorted to various options. Some have explored questionable telehealth services, unauthorized medications, or purchasing drugs from abroad. Additionally, a trend has emerged on social media platforms like TikTok, where ‘influencers’ share DIY tips that claim to mimic the effects of semaglutide. Under hashtags like #guttok, which boasts 1.12 billion views, influencers are promoting the use of laxatives and stool softeners such as Miralax, Dulcolax, Ex-Lax, and Glycolax. These influencers often tout these products as health measures capable of “flushing you out,” “detoxing your body,” or “improving your gut health,” targeting young individuals eager to lose weight.

The misuse of laxatives for weight loss is a persistent issue, as highlighted by recent research published in JAMA Network Open. The study discloses that nearly 1 in 10 adolescents worldwide have used over-the-counter weight loss products at some point, with laxatives, diuretics, and diet pills being the most popular choices. Although laxatives are affordable and readily accessible, they are not a viable solution for achieving lasting weight loss. Despite being dubbed “budget Ozempic,” laxatives do not lead to significant weight or fat reduction. Instead, they primarily expel water from the body (water weight), which can create a temporary illusion of weight loss. 

What Are the Risks of ‘Budget Ozempic?’

The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) highlights that laxative abuse is a common behavior among those struggling with eating disorders. Some people misuse laxatives in an attempt to purge unwanted calories, mistakenly believing that this can prevent food from being absorbed by the body. But, in reality, by the time laxatives act on the large intestine, the small intestine has already absorbed most of the calories from food. Although using laxatives might make someone feel lighter or less bloated, it does not significantly impact the removal of fat or calories from the body.

Using laxatives improperly can lead to temporary weight loss, but it’s important to understand that this is mainly due to the loss of water, minerals, electrolytes, fiber, and colon waste. While your stomach may appear flatter for a short time, the weight lost as “water weight” will quickly return once you drink more fluids. The abuse of laxatives can have serious health consequences. According to the NEDA, these risks include severe dehydration, damage to the colon and kidneys, colon infection, irritable bowel syndrome, liver damage, and a deficiency in essential electrolytes and minerals. Use of laxatives should only be done as directed, and be aware of the potential health risks associated with their misuse. Following the important safety information given by your doctor is crucial, either you’re using Ozempic or any laxatives.

Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, quick solutions might seem appealing; even medications like Ozempic and Wegovy require effort from patients to achieve desirable results. Additionally, these medications come with their own set of challenges, such as cost. Doctors recommend being wise when it comes to starting and maintaining your healthy weight loss journey. But before beginning this journey, your first step should be to discuss your weight concerns with your primary care provider. If you need more specialized support, your provider can refer you to a specialist in obesity medicine.

Incorporating more physical activity into your day and following a nutritious diet is an excellent starting point for your weight loss journey. A diet rich in nutrients can boost your energy and make you feel better, signaling that you’re on the path to a healthier lifestyle. If your doctor believes you need medication like Ozempic to aid in weight loss for your health, they will discuss the risks, benefits, and possible side effects with you. It’s crucial to establish a healthy foundation first. There are many effective medications available for weight loss that are much better than laxatives, but you need to take some initial steps to build that foundation.

Final Call

The trend of “budget Ozempic” on social media platforms like TikTok, where individuals resort to using laxatives for weight loss, is concerning and poses serious health risks. It’s important to remember that these quick-fix solutions don’t lead to sustainable weight loss and can have detrimental effects on your health. People might still search on Google, “Do laxatives even work for fat loss?” The very concise and straight answer is no, they don’t. In fact, you won’t lose any fat; instead, you’ll lose water weight, eventually leading you to dehydration. Moreover, this weight loss is only temporary, meaning you will regain the weight as soon as you consume any fluids, whether it’s water or juice. 

Be smart and take moves that actually help you lose weight in a healthy way. For that, talk to your healthcare professional, follow their instructions carefully before starting any weight loss regimen, and focus on building a solid foundation of healthy eating & regular exercise for long-term success. Weight loss drugs like Ozempic may come at a cost, but they are far better than using laxatives. Get your aim towards being healthy, not skinny!

[Note: When you want to buy Ozempic online Canada, choose the certified pharmacies for all your medications needs.]

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