Weight Loss Medication in Indianapolis

   317-643-4444   8902 N Meridian Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46260

HomeBlogWeight LossDo I Qualify for GLP-1 RA Medications?

Do I Qualify for GLP-1 RA Medications?

At Premier Weight Loss, we aim to provide you with the highest quality education, guidance, and therapeutic medications supported by science (as evidenced here, here, and here!) 

Our team comprises one medical doctor and two certified nurse practitioners. We were founded with the singular focus of bringing top-of-the-line weight management expertise to the Indianapolis market. We determine eligibility based on body composition analysis, medical history, and laboratory results.  

While our medications are very effective for weight loss and are wonderful options for most patients, they are not recommended for all patients. We recognize that there are weight loss facilities or providers who will prescribe these medications to any patient willing and able to pay for them. However, we believe in adhering to best-practice guidelines for the safety of our patients. We utilize a variety of parameters, including BMI, percent body fat, muscle-to-fat ratio, waist circumference, and visceral fat levels, in addition to health comorbidities (e.g., high blood pressure, prediabetes/diabetes, coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, PCOS, etc.) and lab values as part of our assessment in determining if you are a candidate for our medications. 

For example, if we have a male patient come to Premier Weight Loss and upon performing a body composition analysis, we see that his BMI is 26 (considered normal on some BMI charts, slightly overweight on others) and he has above-average levels of muscle mass for his height and age. However, his percent body fat is 33% (the healthy range for men is between 10-20%), high visceral fat levels, an elevated waist circumference, and prediabetes. Although this patient would likely not qualify with traditional metrics like BMI, he would likely qualify for the medication based on our all-encompassing framework.  The medication, in this case, could not only help this patient lose weight, improve his blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, and protect him from heart disease associated with abdominal obesity (see more: here). 

However, it is important to note that even though we utilize metrics other than BMI and weight, we will not always recommend starting a medication even with an elevated percent body fat in patients with lower weight and BMI. 

For example, we can look at a hypothetical female patient whose weight is 124 lbs. her BMI is 24 (normal), but her percent body fat is 38% (healthy range for women is 18-28%; obese is considered >35%). However, she has very low levels of muscle mass. Additionally, she has no significant medical history. For this patient, my first recommendation would not be to start medication but rather focus on increasing her exercise (specifically incorporating a strength training/muscle-building regimen) and increasing her protein intake to improve her lean muscle mass levels. Suppose this patient can build lean muscle mass with these interventions. In that case, her muscle-to-fat ratio will improve, and her body fat percentage will decrease, improving her body composition. If we start this patient on medication (especially in the absence of weight-associated comorbidities) without first establishing a strong exercise routine, her weight would be reduced. Still, it would also likely reduce her muscle mass levels, of which she does not have enough already.  

Our goal is not to have you just lose weight. Our goal is to improve your body composition and, therefore, improve your health. 

 So – while certain patients who would not typically qualify for these medications utilizing traditional metrics like BMI and weight may qualify for them through our evaluation, it is important to note that we will not start patients on these medications if we feel they will cause more harm than good. Don’t forget that these medications are not a replacement for nutrition, physical activity, or behavioral changes. We follow up with patients every 4-6 weeks to ensure they lose weight correctly.  

Bottom line: GLP-1 receptor agonist medications are very effective and can be a wonderful addition to nutrition and exercise when used correctly. When you visit us at your initial consultation, we will evaluate your health and explain why you do or do not qualify for the medications. If you do not qualify, we would love to have you continue to see us because medication is just one piece of the puzzle with weight loss.  We can still help you achieve a healthier weight and body composition. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8717485/  
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/mounjaro-more-effective-than-ozempic-for-weight-loss-new-studies-suggest 
  3. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/wegovy-trial-heart-attack-cardiac-events-lower-risk/

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