Dr. Lucas on the newest advancement in the fight against obesity
As a clinical research facility with a specialty in the diseases of the endocrinology system, Lucas Research has a deep investment in treatments for obesity and diabetes. So, it’s no small thing when Dr. K. Jean Lucas is excited about a new advancement for her patients!
“After using semaglutide (Ozempic) for several years and seeing the improvement in weight in our diabetic patients, we are thrilled that the FDA has approved the medication to help people without diabetes lose weight. This opens the door to people that have a family history of diabetes as well as being overweight.” Using semaglutide may actually prevent the onset of diabetes by helping people lose belly fat. Even though the use in prediabetes has not been studied, semaglutide is likely to improve the blood sugars in patients with prediabetes. Semaglutide has already been studied in the treatment of fatty liver disease and has been shown to decrease a patient’s amount of liver fat.
How does it work?
“Simply stated, Semaglutide makes the brain not as hungry as well as keeping food in the stomach longer” explains Lucas. “It helps the pancreas make insulin at the right time to prevent swings in the blood sugar.” Dr. Lucas has used the drug with her patients for some time and explains that “the main side-effect is nausea which improves over time.” To combat the issue, she recommends eating smaller portions when patients first take the medication.
(Now if we only knew how to pronounce the new medication’s name: Wegovy!)
“In company-funded studies, participants taking Wegovy had average weight loss of 15%, about 34 pounds (15.3 kilograms). Participants lost weight steadily for 16 months before plateauing. In a comparison group getting dummy shots, the average weight loss was about 2.5%, or just under 6 pounds.”
Learn more about this new treatment and the FDA approval for chronic weight management and diabetes: FDA Approves New Obesity Drug
About Dr. K. Jean Lucas, MD, PI Principal investigator and board certified in internal medicine and the subspecialty of endocrinology, Dr. Lucas started Lucas Research in 2004 to apply her years of patient caring into moving medicine forward. She completed her undergraduate education at Duke University and attended medical school at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She did her internal medicine residency at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. and her internship at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, N.C. Her endocrinology fellowship with a medical faculty appointment was completed at Duke University Medical Center.