Maintaining Stable Blood Sugar While Taking Semaglutide Medications

If you are an adult with type 2 diabetes and have been prescribed a semaglutide medication for weight loss or to manage your diabetes, it is important to monitor your blood sugar and pay attention to the signals your body is sending.

Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is important for patients with diabetes. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can be just as problematic as hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar). According to the American Diabetes Association, low blood sugar can affect cognitive functioning and lead to confused thinking, slurred speech, difficulty concentrating, blurred vision, drowsiness, and numbness. If you are an adult with type 2 diabetes and have been recently prescribed a semaglutide medication such as Ozempic or Wegovy for either weight loss or to manage your diabetes, it is important to monitor your blood sugar and pay attention to the signals your body is sending.

Does Semaglutide Affect Blood Sugar?

Semaglutide, which has been used to help patients manage type 2 diabetes, decreases your blood sugar. It reduces how much sugar your body releases into your bloodstream, and it also slows digestion. A normal blood sugar level, per the American Diabetes Association, is less than 100 mg/dL. Low blood sugar is considered less than 70 mg/dL. However, it is important to consult with your health care provider to understand what is considered too low for you.

How to Maintain Stable Blood Sugar While Taking Semaglutide

Patients prescribed semaglutide commonly report GI side effects such as nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, and diarrhea, to name a few. These GI side effects can influence your food consumption, which in turn could affect your blood sugar levels. Because semaglutide decreases your appetite, every calorie consumed should be meaningful and function to serve your nutritional needs. To help keep your blood sugar stable, here are some strategies you can employ:

Eat lean protein like white meat chicken or turkey, seafood, lean beef, eggs, or tofu. Protein contributes to stable blood sugar because it stimulates the release of glucagon, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. Added benefits of protein are the preservation of lean muscle mass and promoting feelings of satiety, or fullness.

Eat foods with fiber like fruits and vegetables (apples, pears, spinach, kale, cauliflower). Fiber also promotes feelings of satiety, and it helps regulate blood sugar.

Eat whole grains and complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, bran, or multigrain bread. Complex carbohydrates are a better option than simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates (like those found in empty-calorie foods like cookies, pastries, white bread, and pasta) offer no nutritional value. Simple carbohydrates cause blood sugar spikes and can lead to overeating.

Eat healthy fats like flaxseed oil, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, seeds, salmon, mackerel, flaxseeds, or walnuts. Some fat is an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. Healthy fats help your body absorb important nutrients.

Avoid eating high-fat foods like cheeseburgers, pizza, cookies, and fried food because they can amplify the GI side effects of semaglutide medications, and they will not satisfy your nutritional needs.

To optimize the benefits of semaglutide medications and maintain stable blood sugar, be sure to follow a nutrient-dense eating plan. Use your time on semaglutide to build a foundation for healthy eating habits that you can sustain once you are no longer taking the medication. Before beginning any weight loss program, whether it includes anti-obesity medication or not, be sure to consult with your health care provider to make sure your desired weight loss strategy is right for you.



About the Author: Dr. Dawn M. Sweet has over 20 years of experience in the field of communication. Dr. Sweet has given several invited talks to and workshops for academic and private sector audiences on the role of nonverbal and verbal communication in achieving positive outcomes and mitigating bias. Her research has been published in several top ranked peer-review journals, and it has been featured on NPR’s River to River / All Things Considered, Buzzfeed, and Science Daily. Her research has also been used to inform expert testimony.

* Wegovy® and Ozempic® are registered trademarks of Novo Nordisk A/S. Novo Nordisk is a registered trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.

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