Q: I am diabetic with a weight problem. Is there a medication that addresses both?

A: This topic has caused quite a buzz lately. Semaglutide (and its associated class of drugs) was originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes. As it turns out, Semaglutide has gotten a lot of attention for its potential to also help with weight loss! You may have seen TV commercials for the brand names Ozempic (injectable) and Rybelsus (pill form) for diabetes, and Megovy for weight management. Is it mostly hype or a real silver bullet? Read on for a synopsis of what I’ve discovered.

Semaglutide helps regulate blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion and reducing glucagon release, making it an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes. This improvement in insulin sensitivity and glycemic control may further contribute to weight loss in individuals with both obesity and diabetes.

How semaglutide affects weight loss is a more technical matter. Semaglutide induces weight loss by mimicking the effects of the natural GLP-1 hormone. GLP-1 is produced in the gut in response to food intake and plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels. It also has secondary effects on appetite and food intake, making it an attractive target for weight management.

Additionally, semaglutide activates receptors in the brain which involve appetite regulation. By stimulating these receptors, semaglutide helps reduce feelings of hunger and increase feelings of fullness. This leads to a decreased caloric intake, contributing to weight loss over time.

Often semaglutide can be taken as a once-weekly injection, which is viewed as a convenience factor contributing to its appeal. While some weight loss management regimens include daily medications, Semaglutide’s less frequent dosing schedule may help patients stay on track more easily.

As with any medication, patients should consult with their primary care practitioner and only take the medications as prescribed. While semaglutide may work for some people for weight loss, it is imperative to be under the care of your doctor who understands the impact of the drugs effect, its side effects in relation to other medical issues you may have, and a clear understanding of the interaction of semaglutide with other medications you may be taking.

As a conscientious nurse, I must remind you that, while semaglutide has shown significant promise in weight management, it is not a standalone solution. Lifestyle modifications, including a healthy diet and regular physical activity, remain the firm foundation for any comprehensive weight loss strategy. For more information and resources for seniors, visit


One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to, call 321-751-6771 or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging. Lisa Conway is a Registered Nurse, Certified Dementia Practitioner and a Certified Care Manager for Senior Partner Care Services, Viera. Ms. Conway hosts a monthly seminar, ‘Senior Health Friday with Nurse Lisa.’