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Diabetes drugs helping people lose weight, now in short supply

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(NewsNation) — It’s being called the Hollywood diet secret, a new medication first designed to treat diabetes that also helps you lose weight.

The drugs go by the names Mounjaro, Ozempic and Wegovy.

Millions on social media are speculating the drugs are what the Kardashians and other celebs are taking to drop pounds fast.

The injectable medications were first designed to help those suffering from diabetes, but many without the disease are taking them to lose weight.

NewsNation spoke to one woman who says the drug has changed her life.

Kelsey said she’s lost nearly 40 pounds since September while on Mounjaro and “just knew” that she needed to make a change.

“Mounjaro helps me feel fuller longer,” she said. “It helps me do portion control on my own.”

She posted about her weight loss journey on TikTok.

The demand for these drugs is so high pharmacies all over the country are reporting they’re back ordered for months.

So how do these drugs work exactly?

According to Dr. Pounam Desai, an emergency room physician, in addition to curbing appetite, the active ingredient in the weekly shot affects the way insulin is processed in your body.

“Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro are all injectable prescription medications that target and boost the production of glucagon-like peptide GLP-1. Now, GLP-1 is a hormone that targets the brain and digestive tract to help balance sugar. But it also decreases appetite and prolongs a sense of satiety,” Desai said. “So GLP-1 receptors promote fullness. So, these medications mainly work by helping you feel full quickly.”

Some are frustrated diabetics can’t get their hands on the drugs because of the number of people using them solely to lose weight.

But Desai said obesity is a health issue too and these drugs are a new weapon to help fight it.

“People who have Type 2 diabetes need the drug, and people also need the drug for the treatment of obesity. So, to be honest, I think both groups of people need the drug,” Desai said. “And from all three of those medications, currently only Wegovy is FDA-approved for the treatment of weight loss.”

Desai said these drugs have gone viral.

“When you see it on social media, talk to your doctor, talk to your doctor,” she said. “If this drug is right for you, as cliche as it sounds, talk to your doctor.”

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