How You Can Prevent the Gastrointestinal Side Effects of GLP-1 Meds: Your Comprehensive Guide

6.0 min read

An expert Healthcare provider panel recommends lifestyle habits from the Pritikin Program.

Your weight loss journey with GLP-1 medications can feel like a rollercoaster ride when gastrointestinal (GI) side effects act like a major roadblock. Yet, it is possible to prevent the side effects of GLP-1 medications. This guide to successful weight loss, will help you navigate the GI side effects of GLP-1 medications. Based on clinical guidelines, here’s how you can achieve your weight loss goal with confidence and comfort.

What are GLP-1 Medications?

GLP-1 (Glucagon-Like Peptide-1) medications are popular for weight management as they help regulate blood sugar levels, curb appetite, and facilitate weight loss.

Do GLP-1 Meds Cause GI Issues?

Unfortunately, yes, there are well-known gastrointestinal side effects of GLP-1 medications, also known as semaglutide, that are a barrier of use for many. If these GI side effects are hurdles that seem too big to overcome, take comfort in knowing experts have strategies to prevent them.

Take comfort in knowing these hurdles can be overcome – our experts can show you how.

Common Side Effects of GLP 1 Medications: Gastrointestinal

The most common gastrointestinal side effects of GLP-1 medications include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

More serious gastrointestinal side effects of GLP-1 medications, may include pancreatitis, bowel obstruction and gastroparesis.

How to Reduce GI Side Effects with GLP-1

There are actionable strategies you can adopt to tackle these GI side effects. In fact, some strategies are used by physicians across the country, such as the gradual increase of dosages. But, the majority of the strategies to reduce GI side effects of GLP-1 medications are lifestyle habits your doctor can’t teach you.

Answer: With expert help.

The nutritional strategies, mindset and exercise outlined in the published clinical guidelines to reduce GI side effects with GLP-1 are the lifestyle you as a guest will learn during your stay at Pritikin Longevity Center.

Clinical Guidelines: Managing GI Side Effects of GLP-1 Meds

An expert panel comprising of physicians, cardiologists, endocrinologists, nurses, diabetes nurse educators and nephrologists released clinical guidelines to help manage the GI side effects of GLP-1 medications.

The clinical guidelines include:

1. Gradual Dose Escalation

2. Dietary Modifications

3. Lifestyle Interventions

The experts’ recommended clinical guidelines are the Pritikin Program.

Expert Panel Recommendations to Reduce GI Side Effects of GLP-1

Recommendations from an expert panel of healthcare providers for patients being treated with GLP-1 medications strongly support the common methodologies of the Pritikin Program as “best practice” to mitigate and prevent common adverse gastrointestinal side effect, such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and constipation.

The recommendations, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, highlight the following:

  • Water-rich foods
  • Low-fat diet
  • Avoid sugary foods
  • Skip dressings and canned foods
  • Boiling, oven, griddle
  • Eat only when hungry
  • Eat slowly
  • Eat without distractions
  • Smaller portions
  • Eat frequently
  • Avoid meals near bedtime
  • Daily movement (exercise)

It’s crucial for patients to understand that while these (GLP-1) medications are revolutionary tools that can really accelerate weight loss and help them reach their goals, the foundation is still the same: they still need to make the lifestyle changes, fix that relationship with food, work on consistency with the exercise.”

Dr. Maria Anton, Endocrinologist at The Pritikin Longevity Center

Pritikin: Best Diet for GLP-1

The Pritikin Program advocates for nourishing foods that help you feel full, such as water-rich foods, such as whole, plant-based foods are key. Our science-based, personalized eating plans also focus on protein, such as that found in beans, legumes, fish and (in small amounts) low-fat animal meats. Avoiding sugar and salt are well-supported in research, and long-time strategies of the scientifically proven Pritikin Program:

  • Water-rich foods
  • Low-fat, protein-focus
  • Low-sugar
  • Low salt (Skip dressings and canned foods)
  • Broil, oven, grill
  • Eat only when hungry (Listen to Hunger Cues)
  • Eat slowly
  • Eat without distractions (Mindful Eating)
  • Smaller portions
  • Eat frequently
  • Daily movement (Exercise)

This healthy lifestyle, known as the Pritikin Program, not only matches the clinical guidelines to prevent GI side effects of GLP-1 medications, it’s scientifically-proven to optimize your health.

It’s time you felt empowered to stay on track with your weight loss journey

The Pritikin Longevity Center: Amplify Your Weight Loss Success

You can conquer the GI side effects of your GLP-1 medication, and reach your weight loss goals.

At the Pritikin Longevity Center, you’ll sit down with a physician about your own individual health goals, have your vitals and blood work done, and together develop a plan for success. Here, alongside a team of experts, you’ll establish a personalized nutrition and exercise plan tailored to your needs, ensuring you reach your weight loss goals, while establishing habits known to prevent GI side effects of your GLP-1 medications.

If you have weight loss goals, we invite you to come to Pritikin where we can help you establish the best nutritional and program to optimize your results.

Contact us today – it’s time to reach your goals!

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Scientific References:

  • Clinical recommendations to manage gastrointestinal adverse events in patients treated with GLP-1 receptor agonists: a multidisciplinary expert consensus. J Clin Med 2023 Jan; 23(1): 145.
  • Risk of gastrointestinal adverse events associated with glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists for weight loss. JAMA 2023; 330(18): 1795-1797.
  • Managing the gastrointestinal side effects of GLP-1 receptor agonists in obesity: recommendations for clinical practice. Postgrad Med 2022 Jan; 134(1):14-19.
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Are you taking or considering a medication for weight loss?

By combining the Pritikin Program with Ozempic, Wegovy, or ZepBound, you can safely accelerate weight loss, reduce side effects, preserve lean body mass, and enhance long-term metabolic health for optimal success.