Why Weight Loss Medications Are a Game Changer for Functional Medicine

vial of semaglutide with syringe
Medically Reviewed
June 24, 2024

Practicing in functional nutrition, I’m always looking for tools that address the root cause of health issues, not just the symptoms. Because I am a clinical nutritionist, I am uniquely positioned to see the influence of our diet on our overall health.  

These medications are not a silver bullet. No weight loss medication is truly a miracle pill. To achieve sustained weight-loss, you need to make other changes to your lifestyle. That is why we have an entire program, NavaRX where semaglutide is part of the toolbox in that program but not the entire solution. 

The GLP-1 Advantage 

Our bodies naturally produce GLP-1, a hormone that plays a key role in blood sugar management, digestion, and satiety. GLP-1 agonists mimic this hormone’s effects, offering a multi-pronged approach to managing weight and overall health. Here’s how they work: 

  • Blood Sugar Control: GLP-1 agonists stimulate insulin release and suppress glucagon, keeping blood sugar levels in check. This is particularly helpful for those with type 2 diabetes. 
  • Slower Digestion: By slowing down how quickly food moves through your digestive system, GLP-1 agonists prevent blood sugar spikes and promote feelings of fullness. 
  • Reduced Hunger and Increased Satiety: They also target areas of the brain that regulate hunger, helping you feel satiated 

While medications like Ozempic, Wegovy, and semaglutide are popular for weight-loss benefits, many people don’t understand the power of GLP-1 medications beyond the number on the scale.  

GLP-1 beyond the weight-loss   

These medications are typically prescribed for individuals with type 2 diabetes or obesity. However, ongoing research is being done to explore their use for other conditions. This makes this class of medication the perfect tool for functional medicine providers like Nava Health. 

Here at Nava Health, we practice functional medicine, where we focus on getting to the actual cause of symptoms. Traditional medicine often takes a symptom-focused approach. GLP-1 agonists are a perfect example of a medication that echoes our root cause philosophy. Why? New research has shown GLP-1 medications can potentially also address pivotal health concerns like: 

  • Improved Heart Health: Studies suggest GLP-1 agonists may lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. 
  • Reduced Risk of Chronic Conditions: They may also help manage fatty liver disease, kidney disease, and even slow the progression of diabetes complications. 

By addressing these factors, semaglutide can become a valuable tool for functional medicine practitioners seeking to create a comprehensive weight management plan that tackles the root causes of weight gain and its associated health concerns. 

NavaRx: A Functional Medicine Approach to Weight Loss 

The NavaRX medical weight loss program takes a functional medicine approach to weight loss, combining traditional medical interventions with holistic therapies to address the root cause of weight gain and promote long-term health. Here’s how it aligns with functional medicine principles: 

  1. Personalized Care:
    • NavaRx starts with a detailed assessment to understand your individual health history, weight loss goals, and any underlying conditions that might contribute to weight gain. 
    • This information is used to create a customized plan that includes a medically supervised diet, semaglutide injections, and potentially other integrative therapies like nutraceuticals or acupuncture. 
  1. Addressing Root Causes:
    • NavaRx goes beyond just reducing calories. It aims to identify and address the root causes of weight gain, such as hormonal imbalances or insulin resistance. 
    • The semaglutide medication, while promoting weight loss, can also improve blood sugar control, potentially addressing a contributing factor to weight gain in some individuals. 
  1. Holistic Approach:
    • NavaRx incorporates traditional medicine through the use of semaglutide, which is prescribed and monitored by a physician. 
    • It integrates holistic therapies like personalized nutrition counseling to develop healthy eating habits and potentially other options like acupuncture to address stress or inflammation that might be contributing to weight gain. 
  1. Long-Term Sustainability:
    • The program focuses on developing sustainable lifestyle changes. 
    • Nutrition counseling teaches you how to make healthy food choices and plan meals for long-term weight management. 
  1. Teamwork:
    • NavaRx utilizes a team approach with a Nava practitioner (physician) who oversees the program and a Board-Certified Clinical Nutritionist who provides personalized nutrition guidance. This collaborative approach aligns with the functional medicine philosophy of involving multiple specialists in a client’s care. 

Talk to Your Functional Medicine Practitioner 

If you’re interested in learning more about GLP-1 agonists and whether they could benefit your health, schedule a consultation with a functional medicine practitioner. Together, we can explore a personalized approach to achieve your wellness goals. 

Disclaimer:  

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

Dana is a Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (DCN) and a Board Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS). Her passion for health and wellness started at a very young age and grew stronger once she started working with patients professionally. Her passion for personalized nutrition and precision medicine eventually expanded to education and academia.
Dana’s clinical and research focus is on digestive health, neuroendocrine-immune health, natural hormone balancing, reproductive health, and fertility.