Ozempic, Wegovy, Saxenda…are injectable prescription medications that mimic the effects of Glucagon-like peptide-1 also known as GLP-1. GLP-1 is a gut hormone secreted by the intestines in response to food intake. It promotes weight loss, increases satiety, and stimulates insulin secretion while blocking glucagon release to decrease blood sugar. Both Sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass procedures increase GLP-1 secretion. GLP-1 has been strongly suspected as a key mediator in metabolic surgery especially when it comes to the immediate post-operative diabetes resolution.
Extensive research by pharmaceutical companies has led to the development of GLP_1 agonist like Ozempic, Wegovy and Saxenda. These medications were initially developed, and FDA approved for type 2 Diabetes treatment. However, Ozempic, Wegovy and Saxenda result in significant weight loss, and they are currently prescribed for overweight patients. These medications are safe and easy to use. They are also cheaper and much more effective than intra-gastric balloon placement for weight loss.
Weight loss gastric balloons like Orbera, force you (not help you) to eat less. These are mechanically restrictive procedures that have no effect on your satiety, metabolism, and insulin resistance. Purely restrictive weight loss procedures like gastric balloons, endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty and Lap band surgery do not alter gut hormone secretion. Gastric balloon patients are hungry, starving, and craving food. On the other hand, an overweight individual, on once weekly injection of Ozempic, has decreased appetite and hunger levels, and increased satiety and metabolism. Key to successful weight loss is decreasing food intake without feeling hungry. Medications like Ozempic, unlike gastric balloon, can decrease your food intake without putting you in a starvation mode.
If you are looking into a non-surgical weight loss option, GLP_1 agonists are currently a better option for you than gastric balloon placement.