Can I Take Ozempic if I Had Thyroid Cancer?
Can I Take Ozempic. It seems like these days, no weight loss story can go by without the mention of Ozempic, the so-called miracle drug that helps you lose weight in a matter of weeks. Every celebrity and media person with a history of poor weight management has officially and unofficially mentioned Ozempic as the best and easiest way they managed to get the unwanted weight off. But does this drug come with a price? Typically, when something sounds too good to be true, it actually is. Here’s what you need to know about Ozempic and whether or not having a history of thyroid cancer changes the rules.
What is Ozempic?
In 2017, the FDA approved the use of Ozempic weekly injections as a part of treatment for type 2 diabetes. It’s classified as a semaglutide, developed by a company called Novo Nordisk, to help lower blood glucose levels and aid in stimulating the release of insulin.
The results from taking Ozempic have been so successful, that the FDA gave their final approval and made it eligible for anyone who’s diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. However, seeing its effects and appetite-suppressing abilities, many physicians started prescribing it to patients who were overweight, obese, or simply struggling with extra weight and chronic inflammation.
Hearing about a potential miracle shot that can help reduce your appetite, stimulate insulin production, and thus result in practically overnight weight loss got many people interested, finding creative ways to get their hands on this. Still, just like any other big pharma product, Ozempic is a chemical, and it comes with some negative side effects that people need to be aware of.
How Does Ozempic Work?
This diabetes drug helps by acting as a receptor agonist for glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1), an important hormone involved in the insulin-production process. This way, Ozempic helps stimulate the production of insulin and thus lowering fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels. Studies show that all GLP-1 drugs can lead to a weight loss of about 10.5 to 15.8 pounds, and when combined with exercise and other lifestyle changes, using Ozempic and other semaglutide drugs resulted in a 33.7 pounds loss versus 5.7 pounds in patients who didn’t use the drug.
Studies also show that Ozempic causes a minor delay in gastric emptying, the rate at which the food you ingest moves from your stomach to your intestines. This delay results in a reduced rate of blood glucose after your meals, as well as helps suppress your appetite by keeping you feeling full for longer.
The Negative Consequences of Ozempic
The positive effects of Ozempic can easily cloud your judgment and think of the negative side effects as something that’s routine for pharmaceuticals. Still, Ozempic can be quite dangerous for certain individuals, and it’s crucial to know this before making your next step. Some of the most serious side effects include:
- Constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain
- “Ozempic face” from dramatic weight loss
- Hair loss due to weight loss
- Possible thyroid tumors, including cancer
The most severe of the abovementioned side effects is, of course, the possibility of the development of thyroid tumors that could be cancerous. It seems that there is a link between medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and Ozempic, and even though the reason is still unknown, there’s even an advisory safety message on their official website for abstaining from taking Ozempic if you have a family (or personal) history of MTC. Another disease linked to taking Ozempic is Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2), which is a rare cancer syndrome that increases the risk of thyroid cancer, as well as other glands of the endocrine system.
Although no clinical trials have shown a definitive risk of MTC in people treated with Ozempic and other GLP-1 RA drugs, some alarming rodent studies showcase an association between these medications and MTC. This is what prompted the FDA to push for continuous studies and clinical trials.
How to Promote and Achieve Weight Loss Without the Risk of Cancer
All this being said doesn’t negate the importance of making the necessary lifestyle changes that will help promote weight loss in a safe way. As a matter of fact, a growing body of evidence suggests that Ozempic-caused weight loss is rarely permanent when the drug is removed from the equation. This only proves that what you do day in and day out counts, injection or not. Some of the best ways to tackle weight loss in a safe way is by focusing on those aspects of your life you can change on your own:
- Exercise and movement – ensure to move your body and help lower inflammation, flush out toxins, and increase your caloric expenditure.
- Wholesome foods – choose clean, whole foods that grow in the season, come with no additives or artificial ingredients, and can help fuel your body from the inside out.
- Smart supplements – add important supplements into your diet that will prevent any deficiencies and micronutrient imbalances, boost your immune system, and help you fight free radicals. Some of the most important include vitamin D, omega, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin C.
- Focus on sleep – sleep is extremely important when it comes to weight management. Focus on getting consistent and good-quality sleep every night, go to sleep at a reasonable time, remove all technology from your bedroom, and avoid drinking caffeine in the afternoon.
- Avoid processed foods, alcohol, and sugar – to the best of your ability, avoid and minimize ultra-processed foods, added sugars, and alcoholic drinks that can only contribute to the overall inflammation in the body.
- Tune into self-care – the importance of mindfulness and de-stressing cannot be ignored. Whether it’s meditation, journaling, or home spa sessions, it doesn’t matter. Find the best relaxing techniques that will help you feel at peace.
Medications that promise fast and painless weight loss results are usually too good to be true. The marketing gimmick, the back story, and the before and after pictures don’t necessarily show the entire picture. The growth in popularity for Ozempic is quite serious, especially for those people with a history of thyroid cancer, and without the proper awareness and education, it just might increase the number of people dealing with this thyroid disease. Always ask questions and get familiar with every aspect of any new drugs or treatments before you embark on your weight loss journey.
I have found my cancer journey to be a positive and profound transformational experience. I’m inspired to share my healing journey here, and trust you’ll find hope, encouragement and purpose as you discover the healing power that lies within you.