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5 years out, tried semiglutide to restart weight loss



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It's been 5 years since my gastric bypass. Have done fairly well in staying in my safe zone. My goal weight was 170 initially although mentally I wanted to put 150. After starting at almost 400 lbs, I wanted to see if I could even hit 170 which I did.

For 2 days about 2 years ago I briefly 'dipped' down to 167! LOL. Fast forward to 9 months ago, I hit a rough patch and went up to 180'ish. I knew some folks going to a local place that compounded their own semiglutide if I understood them correctly. After asking repeated questions about whether taking this would disrupt the supply to diabetics who needed the medicine, I decided to try it.

I was never one of those fortunate ones who after bariatic surgery lost the desire to eat (grehlin?). Even though I obviously had the 'restriction' kicking in due to the pouch size, I had to white-knuckle SOMETIMES during the first 6 months.

Part of me feels like I cheated by introducing semiglutide but there are also people who think that weight loss surgery is the 'easy way out'. I can tell you that none of those people, in my opinion, have ever had the surgery. I actually really like the semiglutide, it removes the..trying to think of it as I saw on someone else's post, it is the first thing that has ever removed the mental 'food chatter' in my head.

Sometimes I will skip weeks on the injections and I'm already making plans to taper off now that I'm down to 163. I realize I will need to be able to then try to maintain in my new 'safety zone of watching for a weight gain of more than 5 to 10 lbs over current weight. I like to nip those things in the bud.

Just curious if anyone else post weight loss surgery (by years) has brought semiglutide into the picture whether to break up a stall, or to get weight gain that has started to creep up halted.

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I have not although these days it's not that uncommon when someone has a re-gain (well, a somewhat major one, anyway - not 5 or 10 lbs. I do know of a couple of people who've had 40 or 50 lb re-gains who are using it, though). Obesity is a complex disease and it takes a multi-pronged approach to control it - and often for life. I see no problem with it as long as diabetics are able to get their meds, which as far as I know they ARE able to get it now.

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Posted (edited)

29 minutes ago, catwoman7 said:

I see no problem with it as long as diabetics are able to get their meds, which as far as I know they ARE able to get it now.

Agreed catwoman7 - that was my BIGGEST concern.

I was trying to remember how high into the 180's I hit and I found my paperwork. I had gone up to 187 (17 lbs over my weight I had been holding stable on and mentally remembering the 'brief period' at 167, I felt I had gained 20 lbs but it was really more like 17 from my 'stable weight).

Prior gains I had ALWAYS kept within a manageable 5 to 10 lb window. We have an adult daughter with multiple mental health issues that moved back in with us over a year ago and the combined stress between her needs and my job was seriously impacting every aspect of my life.

I'm also seeking a new therapist that also specializes in clients who are considering or have had bariatric surgery who can help me with multiple issues as I never want to return to food again as a 'medication' for stress and heartache.

Edited by KarenLR75

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, KarenLR75 said:

It's been 5 years since my gastric bypass. Have done fairly well in staying in my safe zone. My goal weight was 170 initially although mentally I wanted to put 150. After starting at almost 400 lbs, I wanted to see if I could even hit 170 which I did.

For 2 days about 2 years ago I briefly 'dipped' down to 167! LOL. Fast forward to 9 months ago, I hit a rough patch and went up to 180'ish. I knew some folks going to a local place that compounded their own semiglutide if I understood them correctly. After asking repeated questions about whether taking this would disrupt the supply to diabetics who needed the medicine, I decided to try it.

I was never one of those fortunate ones who after bariatic surgery lost the desire to eat (grehlin?). Even though I obviously had the 'restriction' kicking in due to the pouch size, I had to white-knuckle SOMETIMES during the first 6 months.

Part of me feels like I cheated by introducing semiglutide but there are also people who think that weight loss surgery is the 'easy way out'. I can tell you that none of those people, in my opinion, have ever had the surgery. I actually really like the semiglutide, it removes the..trying to think of it as I saw on someone else's post, it is the first thing that has ever removed the mental 'food chatter' in my head.

Sometimes I will skip weeks on the injections and I'm already making plans to taper off now that I'm down to 163. I realize I will need to be able to then try to maintain in my new 'safety zone of watching for a weight gain of more than 5 to 10 lbs over current weight. I like to nip those things in the bud.

Just curious if anyone else post weight loss surgery (by years) has brought semiglutide into the picture whether to break up a stall, or to get weight gain that has started to creep up halted.

I'm 10 months post op and have been in a stall for months and I've been contemplating starting a semiglutide.

I've never not been hungry, nor have I been able to stop the constant food drum beat in my head even a few weeks post surgery so I fully understand the "white knuckling" it part. I've spoken to my surgeons office dietician and the psychologist at the clinic who actually was the one who suggested it after I told her the "food chatter" is so bad that its become my walking cadence "I am still hungry" over and over.

I spoke with the psychologist because I wanted help with my anger, anger over the fact I went through all this to get healthy, stop the constantly thinking of food ...I've done and have been doing my part: I'm still "hungry" and no matter how much Protein (80 grams) I eat, sticking to my 800 calories, drinking my water....my brain says eat. I'm tired of the constant battle. I'm angry because I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do...and yet I'm right back to the diet mind games I have to do ...work out instead of eating, clean the house..hoping the chatter will be blocked off or side tracked....etc.. I'm tired of this battle..I don't mind IF the weight is coming off, its a battle with results but it hasn't been for two plus months now the same two pounds over and over. So I understand what you're saying wanting it to help..and why you tried it! I'm glad to hear its worked for you!

I have an appointment with my GP in 2 weeks to request the prescription as recommended by the psychologist and dietician. We shall see because there is NO way I can afford to pay $1000 A month. How long before did it shut off the brain chatter? At this point if it can stop that I can quit being angry...and continue to do the right things ..healthy things without the wondering why and if its worth it!

Edited by BlondePatriotInCDA

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Posted (edited)

26 minutes ago, BlondePatriotInCDA said:

I have an appointment with my GP in 2 weeks to request the prescription as recommended by the psychologist and dietician. We shall see because there is NO way I can afford to pay $1000 A month. How long before did it shut off the brain chatter? At this point if it can stop that I can quit being angry...and continue to do the right things ..healthy things without the wondering why and if its worth it!

It took about 2 to 4 weeks worth of injections for the true total benefits to settle in and when it did, it was so FREEING. I still absolutely am delighted I had gastric bypass. I also could not afford to pay $1000 a month. I found a local 'wellness' clinic here in Fort Worth where I pay roughly $300 a MONTH for weekly injections. I skipped their package of B12 and Semiglutide as I'm already on an inhalable B-12 supplement. Definitely shop around.

I do worry about it causing long term complications (unsure what those are at this point outside of blurbs I've read) but I'm also not wanting this to be something I end up needing to do every week past this 6 to 9 month window. They have other clients that after they got where they wanted, they tapered off completely or come in for monthly or bi monthly injections only. I'd like to taper completely. I have gone a month with no injections after i started and while I had a slight hunger increase, the food chatter was so dang muted.

I actually ended up reducing my dosage as I got to a point where I was not eating enough which is ALSO NOT my goal. My Protein intake plummeted simply because I was not taking in enough calories. Luckily the place I work with is conservative with dosing and they have multiple patients that had bariatric surgery years ago and they are always ready to discuss 'what is the least amount of semiglutide that you need to be sudcessful'.

Edited by KarenLR75

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Posted (edited)

I have a cousin and a close friend who take the shots. One takes semaglutide and the other takes Tirzepatide. They both love them. It's expensive, and they have to take the compounds because insurance won't cover the name brands (but they pay $250/mo for sema and $325/mo for tirz, so not horrible) but they love it. Both say their diabetes, head hunger, and high cholesterol are completely gone. But they will have to stay on them forever, otherwise they'll gain back what they lost. My cousin went off and within 3 months gained everything back plus an extra 15 pounds. So now she's back on and will be staying on.

Edited by SleeveToBypass2023

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23 minutes ago, KarenLR75 said:

It took about 2 to 4 weeks worth of injections for the true total benefits to settle in and when it did, it was so FREEING. I still absolutely am delighted I had gastric bypass. I also could not afford to pay $1000 a month. I found a local 'wellness' clinic here in Fort Worth where I pay roughly $300 a MONTH for weekly injections. I skipped their package of B12 and Semiglutide as I'm already on an inhalable B-12 supplement. Definitely shop around.

I do worry about it causing long term complications (unsure what those are at this point outside of blurbs I've read) but I'm also not wanting this to be something I end up needing to do every week past this 6 to 9 month window. They have other clients that after they got where they wanted, they tapered off completely or come in for monthly or bi monthly injections only. I'd like to taper completely. I have gone a month with no injections after i started and while I had a slight hunger increase, the food chatter was so dang muted.

I actually ended up reducing my dosage as I got to a point where I was not eating enough which is ALSO NOT my goal. My Protein intake plummeted simply because I was not taking in enough calories. Luckily the place I work with is conservative with dosing and they have multiple patients that had bariatric surgery years ago and they are always ready to discuss 'what is the least amount of semiglutide that you need to be sudcessful'.

Thank you for answering my questions!

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, SleeveToBypass2023 said:

Both say their diabetes, head hunger, and high cholesterol are completely gone. But they will have to stay on them forever, otherwise they'll gain back what they lost. My cousin went off and within 3 months gained everything back plus an extra 15 pounds. So now she's back on and will be staying on.

Yeah, I worry that people, including 'us bariatric surgery patients' who haven't done the mental/headspace work (and I don't mean this in reference to the 2 people you know that have done the weight loss injections) that most of us try to look or are 'made to look at' at when preparing for gastric bypass will have to stay on them 'forever'.

Of course, doing a sleeve or gastric bypass is a very permanent 'anatomical' decision that can, if we are not vigilant also not be successful in the long term for people who feel the surgery is the 'only fix' needed.

Since all of my health issues are already under control after my gastric bypass - I NEVER had high blood pressure despite weighing almost 400 lbs and I was not a diabetic but I could tell the toll that being that heavy was taking on my body (my knees, sleep apnea, DVT's/PE's, etc.) I was leery of doing anything that would require 'forever' outside of the bypass surgery.

I'm looking for a new therapist right now that specializes not only in anxiety and depression but in working with bariatric patients/weight loss as I know I can I have to be constantly vigilant with my headspace or NOTHING will work.

I also am not willing to take the shots for the rest of my life for myself. For other people weighing risks versus benefits I can see this being a highly individualized and personal decision especially if weight loss surgery is not an option for them no matter the reason (leery of it, insurance won't pay, BMI not high enough, etc.). Everyone's journey is their own. The only thing I advocate is for everyone to be as informed as possible and to do their research and make the best decision for themselves. I need to do more research about long term implications of these drugs, but I haven't found much data out there (too new to have that much historical data yet).

I'm within 10 lbs of when I told the clinic I'm going to that I would be tapering off and ending the weekly shots. Will try to remember to post more when I've been off the shots for more than a couple of months to talk about struggles or successes I have.

Edited by KarenLR75

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1 hour ago, SleeveToBypass2023 said:

I have a cousin and a close friend who take the shots. One takes semaglutide and the other takes Tirzepatide. They both love them. It's expensive, and they have to take the compounds because insurance won't cover the name brands (but they pay $250/mo for sema and $325/mo for tirz, so not horrible) but they love it. Both say their diabetes, head hunger, and high cholesterol are completely gone. But they will have to stay on them forever, otherwise they'll gain back what they lost. My cousin went off and within 3 months gained everything back plus an extra 15 pounds. So now she's back on and will be staying on.

I don't plan on being on them for a lifetime, I just need the head hunger to stop and help with the constant hunger...I've been good at fighting it..but I can foresee starting to cheat if I don't get some help. I've tried the alternatives to side track my brain...doesn't work.

$250 is way better..hopefully my doctor who's had bariatric surgery will prescribe something to help!

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@BlondePatriotInCDA and @SleeveToBypass2023

This discussion has inspired me to talk to the bariatric surgeon I switched to here in Fort Worth when I see him on a post-op follow up appt on 6/10/24 as I want to discuss how his practice is managing this new set of 'tools' with their bariatric surgery patients.

I wish he'd been my original bariatric surgeon. Due to abdominal pain I've been chasing for 2 yrs (right side) I ended up referred to him. TOMORROW, he is performing an investigative laparoscopic procedure to 'scope' the inside of my pouch and see if some of the occasional 'old blood' I have in my er..stools and the pain that hits out of nowhere that feels like my intestines are knotting up, is related to any issue inside the pouch or with scar tissue.

I've already done an upper & lower GI in May, gall bladder has been gone for 2 yrs, had a CT-scan, etc. Wish me luck tomorrow. I'm looking at it as very nice and expensive nap with hopefully useful information obtained. I'm also curious what he has to say about my pouch now that it has been 5 years. Is he gonna say 'wow, you sure managed to stretch that sucker!'...lol

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Just a thought about those worried about shortages of this med-those with obesity are just as worthy of this (and other) medical treatment as someone with another chronic health condition such as diabetes. We’ve been conditioned for so long to see obesity as a personal failing rather than a medical condition. I firmly believe this narrative needs to be changed. If you and your health care team feels GLP-1 treatment is what is best to treat your obesity, then you deserve the med just as much as any other patient.

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2 hours ago, kristieshannon said:

Just a thought about those worried about shortages of this med-those with obesity are just as worthy of this (and other) medical treatment as someone with another chronic health condition such as diabetes. We’ve been conditioned for so long to see obesity as a personal failing rather than a medical condition. I firmly believe this narrative needs to be changed. If you and your health care team feels GLP-1 treatment is what is best to treat your obesity, then you deserve the med just as much as any other patient.

There's also compound (which is when the semaglutide and Tirzepatide are mixed with either B12, saline, or niacinamide to make it so it's not completely the same as the original so it can be sold for a lot cheaper than the name brand). My cousin and my friend really like going that route because there's never a shortage and they don't feel they're contributing to any of the national shortages that keep happening. They're also A LOT cheaper, and if you have HSA or FSA, they will pay for the compounded formulas (they both use their FAS to cover the costs).

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On 6/5/2024 at 11:36 PM, kristieshannon said:

Just a thought about those worried about shortages of this med-those with obesity are just as worthy of this (and other) medical treatment as someone with another chronic health condition such as diabetes. We’ve been conditioned for so long to see obesity as a personal failing rather than a medical condition. I firmly believe this narrative needs to be changed. If you and your health care team feels GLP-1 treatment is what is best to treat your obesity, then you deserve the med just as much as any other patient.

@kristieshannon - I meant to say the other day how much your statement above resonated with me. The narrative does need to change.

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Well, bariatric surgeon did not find anything wrong with my pouch (inside my pouch, no scar tissue causing problems, no hernia/bleeding inside pouch, etc.).

Ironically unlike the 3 incisions that I had during my gastric bypass surgery, I have FIVE incisions. I guess he REALLY looked around. I look like I got attacked by a knife-wielding assailant with very precise aim..lol.

I have my follow up with the surgeon tomorrow to talk about the procedure (he only saw my husband after the procedure as he had back to back surgeries lined up) as I have not officially spoken with him. I am trying to remember to ask him about their stance/experience on semiglutide/similar meds for their patients.

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On 6/9/2024 at 9:18 AM, KarenLR75 said:

Well, bariatric surgeon did not find anything wrong with my pouch (inside my pouch, no scar tissue causing problems, no hernia/bleeding inside pouch, etc.).

Ironically unlike the 3 incisions that I had during my gastric bypass surgery, I have FIVE incisions. I guess he REALLY looked around. I look like I got attacked by a knife-wielding assailant with very precise aim..lol.

I have my follow up with the surgeon tomorrow to talk about the procedure (he only saw my husband after the procedure as he had back to back surgeries lined up) as I have not officially spoken with him. I am trying to remember to ask him about their stance/experience on semiglutide/similar meds for their patients.

So how did it go?

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