Have you heard about the Ozempic “weight loss” drug craze? Have you been considering it? Have you stopped to think a little deeper to wonder if it is even worth it at all? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about the Ozempic craze and why you should NOT do it.


  • Are “weight loss” drugs real?
  • What is Ozempic?
  • There are side effects
  • Do not believe the quick-fix promises

Are “weight loss” drugs real?

Ozempic is a prescription medication that is being used by people caught up in the current weight loss craze who do not need this medication.
Ozempic is prescribed to people who have Type 2 Diabetes. Yet, people who do not have Type 2 Diabetes are flocking to doctor’s offices seeking prescriptions with the one goal of weight loss. (Dr. Castagnini)
Through social media and people sharing their weight loss “process” using these medications, this information has spread like wildfire. However, these medications are not meant to be used for weight loss. They are not weight loss drugs.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic helps the pancreas to produce more insulin which lowers the blood sugar levels that are present in the bloodstream, which induces the brain to experience the sensation of “fullness”. Therefore, Ozempic is a genuine prescription medicine that is a medical necessity for people who are struggling with Type 2 Diabetes.
In this case, because of the rapid influx of people who do not have Type 2 Diabetes seeking these medications and being prescribed them for weight loss, those people who actually do need the medication have been struggling to get it. (Dr. Castagnini)
It is outright unfair and dangerous for the people who need this medication to be facing a shortage because the average Joe is buying out the stocks, believing that it will help their weight loss fantasies.

There are side effects

If you are taking prescription medication as a “quick fix” for weight loss, you can experience side effects such as:
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gastric reflux
These drugs have been searched many times recently, so do some reading, because it won’t be difficult to find people’s accounts of the difficult side effects that they have experienced on these medications.

Do not believe the quick-fix promises

I was thinking back again to when I had my eating disorder [that] if someone told me, “Oh gosh, there are all these horrible side effects if you [use] this”, I would’ve been deaf to hearing about any of those side effects and only would’ve heard what I wanted to hear. (Dr. Castagnini)
If you are currently struggling with an eating disorder, it can be incredibly tempting to jump onto the next bandwagon that promises weight loss without looking at the facts. When you are in recovery, listen to these fads and new promises with wiser and more knowledgeable ears, and know that these are false promises.
Why would you start taking something that you know, once you stop, will land you just right back where you started? Why even start at all? (Dr. Castagnini)
You cannot achieve health, physical, mental, and emotional well-being while sacrificing your well-being in the process: it never works! Be careful of and avoid quick fixes, because they are not sustainable and therefore don’t work.



  I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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Podcast Transcription

[DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Behind The Bite podcast is part of a network of podcasts that are good for the world. Check out podcasts like the Full of Shift podcast, After the First Marriage podcast and Eating Recovery Academy over at practiceofthepractice.com/network. Welcome to Behind The Bite podcast. This podcast is about the real-life struggles women face with food, body image and weight. We're here to help you inspire and create better healthier lives. Welcome. Well, hello everyone. Okay, so is there anyone out there who has not heard of Ozempic? I have been wanting to do a show about this for quite some time, but since I had not gotten around to it for one reason or another, I figured by now it really wouldn't be necessary. Pretty much I thought everyone would've heard of it all and that anything I had to say about it by now really wouldn't bring anything new to the discussion. However, I rethought that and I do think it's important to discuss this and maybe just maybe there are some of you out there listening who really have not heard much about it or maybe you just want to know more. So, Ozempic, Wegovvy, these are two of the main prescription medications out there that are causing a huge weight loss craze amongst people who do not actually need the medication. Ozempic is prescribed to people who have Type 2 Diabetes, yet people who do not have Type 2 Diabetes are flocking the doctor's offices seeking prescriptions with the one goal of weight loss. So with social media, it is really no surprise that news of people losing weight on these medications spread like wildfire leading to all of what is going on right now. But let's first take a step back and look at what these medications do. They help the pancreas produce more insulin to help lower blood sugar while it works in the brain to induce the sensation of fullness. Now, aside from these particular medications, I personally don't think it's okay for people who actually need a certain medication to help manage or treat their illnesses, to not be able to get them due to a shortage. In this case, because of the rapid influx of people who do not have Type 2 Diabetes seeking these medications and being prescribed them for weight loss, those people who actually do need the medication have been struggling to get it. This is a problem, but not the only problem with what's going on right now. There are numerous side effects from taking this medication, side effects like nausea, diarrhea, pancreatitis, gastric reflux. I encourage any of you listening to go online and have a look for yourselves and see what these side effects are and hear what people's real life experiences of these side effects are because they sound really awful. There are millions and millions of views and searches for Ozempic and Wegovvy so I assure you will not find to be a problem to hear all sorts of people discussing their experiences on these medications. So I really was hesitant to discuss all of this on here, knowing who my listeners are because I know when I was in the throes of my eating disorder, if I would've heard about Ozempic, I would've been quick to go online and find out everything and anything I could have about it. I would've probably done just about anything to get my hands on it. After all my eating disorder, it was powerful and for any of you who have one just what I'm talking about. I was really desperate to reach my goal of looking a certain way and if any of you out there listening are in the throes of eating disorder, I can imagine that if there was anything you feel you can find, that you could do, take whatever to achieve your goal, you probably would do anything to get it. I was just thinking back again to when I had my eating disorder, if someone would've told me, oh gosh, there's all these horrible side effects if you do this, I would've been deaf to hearing about any of those side effects and only would've heard what I wanted to hear. It's the same with an eating disorder. People told me all the time, oh gosh there's all these horrible side effects could hurt your body, could do this and that, but I didn't hear any of that. I just turned a blind eye. So I just, again, I want to caution you that if you are someone struggling with an eating disorder and you're finding anything about what I'm saying here, like enticing and you're finding it motivating to go seek out these drugs, I want you to understand something, I am not promoting these medications. I am not saying they will help you lose weight. That is what you are going to read and what you will see on videos out there on social media but that is exactly why I felt I needed to do this podcast today. I hope that if any of you out there who do not have Type 2 Diabetes are in any way thinking about getting a prescription for these medications that you really think long and hard about the potential harm it can do to your physical health and wellbeing. I really want you to understand that the weight loss, if any, is temporary. It does not last. For example, there was a study published in 2022 by the Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and it found that one year after withdrawal of once weekly subcutaneous injections and lifestyle intervention, people regained their weight loss. So weight loss is not a permanent result of taking this medication. Ultimately, people cannot continue to take this forever. You go off then what? What happens? I thought about this, this sounds like something, it sounds like a freaking diet, just in injectable medication form. I really want you to look at why I thought that. I wanted to look at the parallels. So when someone starts a diet, their goal is to lose weight because they feel they're overweight or unhappy with their body size, shape, appearance. And when somebody who does not have diabetes Type 2 Diabetes takes one of these drugs, their goal is the same. Their goal is to lose weight because they feel they're overweight or unhappy with their body. Size, shape, appearance, same thing. When someone's on a diet, they're doing damage to their body because they are not providing it with enough fuel and nutrition. When someone is injecting one of these medications and does not have Type 2 Diabetes, they are injecting something into their bodies and doing damage to their body because their bodies do not need this medication. Look, I went over and discussed the side effects already, but how can anyone say that these side effects or anything but damaging to the health and wellbeing of your body? So as with dieting or taking these medications, doing damage to your body. And when someone's on a diet, they probably lose weight at least initially, which feels great, especially if they start getting compliments from other people. Likewise, when someone injects these medications, they probably will lose weight, which like a diet probably feels good and like with diets probably feels good, especially if you start getting compliments. But these weight, the weight loss and the compliments are motivating. People feel like what they're doing is "working." It is helping them to reach their goal and people want to keep doing it even if the side effects are awful. Like with dieting, what are the side effects? Maybe you feel hangry, you want to eat foods at a party, but refrain, you feel deprived, you have low energy, you're grouchy, you have to socially isolate in order to follow your diet or make sure you exercise enough, whatever it is. And with the injectables, these medications, again, I discussed some of the negative physical side effects, which if bad enough I would imagine would also have negative impact on someone's social life. Who would enjoy going out of your nauseous or have stomach pain? Like with dieting, if you lose weight, you can get saggy skin, especially on the face. Sure you lose weight, but now you start worrying about and focusing on your face or other body parts where the skin is sagging. This is something I came across, one article I read about just disgust, something called "Ozempic face" and pretty much just said that it is just a small price to pay for the weight loss and then went on to discuss all of these cosmetic procedures people could consider it in order to counteract it if the saggy face really bothered them that much. Okay, really? Look, I could go on and on about the diet and beauty industry here, that $76 billion industry that wants everyone to think that they can only be happy and have value and worth if they achieve that ideal and unattainable book that they bombard us with, that industry that controls what the beauty standards are that people are so desperate to achieve, but surprisingly never can. Yeah, that industry, that preys on your insecurities when you try so hard and spend so much time, effort, and money into trying to achieve that look and somehow always fall short because that industry,. They want you to believe that it is possible to achieve that look, but you don't achieve it and there's a reason why. You're not meant to. But what happens? You don't achieve it and then you feel like you are the failure. You feel like you didn't try hard enough, you're not good enough. I get it? Like I said, I was a little hesitant to do this podcast and talk about these injectables because as we're talking about the trials and errors and time and time again, feeling like you're the failure and never reaching these goals and these beauty standards and ideals who wouldn't be so exhausted and fed up after so many years of trying so hard to achieve weight loss and having a certain body? Then you know what, if you heard there was a miracle injection that would finally just help you reach your goal, to get you to see that number on the scale, get you to see the day that you can look in the mirror and see a reflection of someone that you always wished you could see, why on earth wouldn't you jump at that chance? Why on earth wouldn't you finally want that day where you could feel good enough, that you weren't a failure, so you could finally stop trying so hard to find that magic solution, so you could finally stop struggling so hard to look and weigh exactly what you wanted? I would imagine that most people were so desperate to lose weight. Like I said, you'd be deaf to hearing about any of the potential side effects or any of the things I'm talking about today. Or you know what, even if you took the medications and you had the negative side effects, I would imagine that most people white knuckle it through the side effects telling themselves that whatever they were going through was totally worth it to lose the weight. That's like a diet, right? When you're on a diet. It's pretty awful. It's a struggle who really likes to be on a diet? But you white knuckle it through it because you tell yourself it's worth it. But whether it's the injectables or a diet, once you stop, guess what, everything you lost comes right back and when this happens, what happens? The self-loathing, the depressed mood, the guilt, the shame, it all comes back with a vengeance. Then you're on that desperate cycle to lose the weight, gain the weight, lose the weight, gain the weight. It's awful. These drugs, they're dangerous. These drugs scare me. Not only will people do harm to their bodies, but the people who have diabetes and actually need the medications will not be able to get them. These medications, they will continue to have people on the weight loss and gain cycle. And on a completely different note, these medications aren't cheap. They are very expensive. So being able to continue taking them long-term, it's not sustainable. Well, not sustainable for most people just for that reason alone. So why would you start taking something that you know once you stop will land you just right back where you started? Why even start at all? As I'm talking right now, this is getting me thinking about the desperate measures in general people will go to in order to look a certain way just to achieve a certain body. How is this different than people who took or take steroids? I don't know what you think about them, but personally I know that they do a lot of harm to people's physical body and they can cause a host of problems. People even die after they take them. Most people who take steroids, they know this, they know all the risks of taking them, yet they intentionally take them just because they have this need, they have this desperation to have that body that they need to look a certain way. That's way more important than anything else. They care way more about how they look than if they damage their body or even die. How is this any different? How is what is going on with these so-called "miracle" weight loss drugs meant for those who have Type 2 Diabetes any different? I ask people I work with who tell me that they are so desperate to lose weight. They tell me that they absolutely know that they cannot be happy until they lose the weight. I ask them, what do you really want if you lose the weight and I often hear, want to be happy. But happiness is not a constant state of existence. You will not just reach a certain weight and then be eternally happy forever after that point. So what is it that you want that you do not have now, if you are somebody who truly is desperate to lose weight, who truly believes that you cannot be happy until that happens? What is it that you want that you do not have? Now it might take time to figure that out, maybe a lot of time, but people often figure out that they want to feel accepted, connected to others because they're lonely, good enough, lovable, worthy. Everybody's different but these are just some of the things that usually come to light. And most people believe that they can only feel these things be these things if they look a certain way. Because as I said before, this is the awful toxic message that our toxic diet culture puts out there. But guess what? You are all worthy. You have value regardless of what you weigh. Some of you listening may not be able to take this in right now. You may hear what I'm saying and just laugh it off and you may not believe anything about what I'm saying, and I get it. But I really want you to hear this and I really want you to think about thing. I want you to think about those people closest to you, those people who are the nearest and dearest to you, those people that you trust, that you have the most fun with. Who are the people or person you would call first thing if you needed help or shoulder to cry on, or you'd call to share the best news with? I want you to imagine those people right now in your life. Now, I want you to imagine that they gained or lost weight. Would you now change how you felt about them? Would you no longer want them to be in your life? How much importance does their weight have? Whether or not you feel these people have value and worth in your life? Now, I could totally be wrong, but my sense is that their weight would not matter at all. They would still be those very important people in your life. Really, how much does someone's weight really matter when it comes down to it? I'm going to leave you with this. I just think it's really quite sad to know there are so many people out there suffering, thinking they aren't good enough and wasting so much of their life in the pursuit of losing weight because doing that could ultimately hurt them and make them suffer even more. So any of you have any thoughts about these medications, these drugs, all of what's going on out there, I really want to hear from you. Please DM me, message me, send me a message on SpeakPipe. It's on my website. You can go on there and leave me a voice message. I am going to be so happy to share all of the feedback I get on podcasts in the future. I want to have an open discussion about all this. I really appreciate all of you who do send me messages and I always love hearing from listeners. With that being said, I hope to hear from you all and a good rest of your day. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.