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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Ozempic: A Physician's Perspective on Integrating Modern Medicine with Natural Approaches


by Dr. Scott Elsbree  

     In the world of natural medicine, the discussion around pharmaceutical interventions for chronic conditions can be a complex one. Patients often seek alternative and holistic methods to manage their health and understandably so. However, there are situations where modern medicine, when used judiciously, can complement these approaches and provide significant benefits. One such medication that has garnered attention is the weight loss medication Ozempic. In this article, we'll explore this drug through the lens of a physician who values the integration of both conventional and natural medicine.  

      As a physician with a strong inclination towards natural and holistic medicine, Dr. Elsbree firmly believes in the power of integrating conventional treatments with natural approaches. His primary goal is to help patients achieve optimal health, and sometimes, a balanced approach can yield the best results. Ozempic, also known as semaglutide, is a medication that exemplifies this principle.  

     First, let’s understand Ozempic. It is classified as a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA), a class of medications designed to mimic the actions of the natural hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (a hormone our body naturally and normally makes in response to eating a meal). Its primary function is to regulate blood sugar levels. Ozempic stimulates GLP-1 

receptors in the body, which in turn regulates blood sugar. It increases insulin production, allowing the body to use glucose more efficiently which leads to lower blood sugar levels. Ozempic also slows stomach emptying. It slows down the emptying of the stomach, reducing post-meal blood sugar spikes and producing a feeling of fullness. It significantly curbs people’s appetite and desire to overeat or snack. Patients simply feel comfortably full. Another benefit is weight management. Most patients report shedding a significant number of pounds, which can be especially beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes or those folks who are dealing with obesity or being overweight. One crucial advantage of Ozempic is its low risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), a common concern with some other diabetes medications. This can be used safely by people who do not have diabetes. Clinical trials have shown that Ozempic has cardiovascular benefits and can reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes.  

     Next, let’s learn about balancing modern medicine with natural approaches. Natural medicine places a significant emphasis on the role of diet in managing health. Combining Ozempic with a whole-food, plant-based diet, rich in vegetables, fiber and low in grains such as wheat, corn and rice can synergize the medication's benefits. Combining this approach with a reduction in starches such as bread, pasta and white potatoes as well as eliminating corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup often produces amazing weight loss results.  

     Integrating physical activity into your routine, in conjunction with Ozempic, can amplify the drug's effect on weight loss and blood sugar control. Often when people start to lose weight, they feel like going for a walk or a bicycle ride or visiting the gym.  

     Natural medicine often prioritizes stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, biofeedback and prayer. These practices can work harmoniously with Ozempic to help lower  blood sugar and lose weight naturally. Many patients utilize herbal supplements such as cinnamon, berberine, and bitter melon, known for their potential to help regulate blood sugar. When used in conjunction with Ozempic, these supplements may provide additional support.      Mindful eating practices, often advocated in natural medicine, can be instrumental when combined with Ozempic. Being attuned to hunger cues and practicing mindful consumption can enhance the medication's effectiveness.  

     A note of caution. While the integration of natural and conventional approaches can be beneficial, it's crucial to remember that not all natural remedies are compatible with all medications. Some herbal supplements can interact with prescription drugs, potentially leading to adverse effects. This is why open communication with your healthcare provider is indispensable. In the case of Ozempic, it's paramount to consult your physician regarding any natural remedies you wish to incorporate into your diabetes or weight loss management plan. They can provide guidance on what is safe and effective for your specific situation.  

     Ozempic is modern, safe, easy to use and generally well tolerated. It offers people substantial benefits in managing type 2 diabetes and weight loss in both diabetic and nondiabetic patients. It’s mechanism of action mimics and enhances the GLP-1 hormone that your body already normally makes. From blood sugar regulation and weight loss to cardiovascular and potential kidney protection, Ozempic is a valuable tool that, when used judiciously with a healthier lifestyle, can significantly improve our health and quality of life. Remember, success lies in maintaining open communication with your healthcare provider who can help you strike the right balance between prescribed medicines, natural remedies and lifestyle enhancement, guiding you on your journey toward optimal health.  

Scott Elsbree, M.D. is board certified in Internal Medicine by The American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a graduate of Sarasota High School, Duke University (Summa Cum Laude, Biochemistry) & The University of Florida School of Medicine. Dr Elsbree has enthusiastically cared for his patients in the Sarasota & Bradenton area since 1985. He has been voted as a “Top Doctor” by Castle Connolly every year for the past 12 years. He and his wife Cheryl have been blessed with 4 children & remain very active in supporting our community through multiple organizations. 

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