TikTok’s ‘Budget Ozempic’ Trick Is Cause for Concern

TikTok’s ‘Budget Ozempic’ Trick Is Cause for Concern featured image
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So, TikTok is calling laxatives for weight loss ‘Budget Ozempic.’ Let’s break it down.

It’s not secret that GLP-1 medications are popular, and it’s also not a secret that they cost a pretty penny. Prescriptions for semaglutide medications are often not covered by insurance, with out-of-pocket costs as high as $1,000 a month. Not many of us have that kind of cash, so it’s understandable that people are searching for cheaper solutions.

That said, laxatives are not a secret weapon against weight loss.


Ok, Iet’s review “budget ozempic”. ❤️🙏

♬ original sound – DR. SANDRA CORTINA 💉💊

According to Canadian medical weight loss clinician, Sandra Cortina, MD in the TikTok video above, many people “believe that laxatives will lead to weight loss because it rushes food out of our system fast enough that we won’t be able to get the nutrients and energy from that food,” Dr. Cortina says. “But that is not how laxatives work.”

Laxatives like Miralax (frequently recommended on #GutTok for weight loss) actually work by drawing water from the rest of your body to make going to the bathroom easier. That means what you lose is water, not calories. You’ll regain the weight you lost once you’re hydrated again, but your body might be harmed seriously by the overuse of laxatives. Diarrhea can cause serious dehydration which can lead to organ damage.

That is not ‘Budget Ozempic,’ that’s a recipe for disaster.

Unfortunately, taking excessive amounts of laxatives isn’t a new phenomenon, and neither is advocacy against it. There was even an episode of Degrassi about it, which dove into the pressure on young women to stay thin and ends with the main character of the episode promising to fit into her cheerleading uniform the right way, by ordering another size.

But the choice to give up laxatives for weight loss isn’t always easy.

Speaking with Scientific American, Eminent Professor at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, Kristen Harrison explains that this trend is concerning for experts who treat eating disorders. “It absolutely is reason for concern. It’s presented as a sort of legit and healthful lifestyle choice as opposed to something that could become pathological or difficult to give up or could lead to an eating disorder over time.”

While there clearly is a shortage of semaglutide available for those that want it, and the space for a ‘Budget Ozempic’ is certainly present, laxatives are not here to fill that void.

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