ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – The global obesity epidemic, claiming millions of lives annually, poses a complex challenge for public health officials and medical practitioners. The multifaceted nature of the issue, particularly when intertwined with underlying health conditions, has led to the exploration of innovative solutions beyond conventional diet and exercise approaches.
A recent breakthrough in the treatment of type-two diabetes has opened new avenues for combating obesity. One of the more effective options in this emerging class of drugs has garnered approval as a weight-loss medication.
Atlanta News First engaged with Marsha Bohannon, a resident of Gwinnett County, who underwent open neck surgery to address an issue contributing to her weight gain.
Bohannon reflected on her weight journey, stating, “It’s been an uphill battle. I was always a voluptuous woman, and then when I had my kids, I lost a lot of weight.”
Having experienced postpartum depression and significant weight loss after childbirth, Bohannon faced new health challenges in the past seven years. Hypothyroidism and a severe hormonal imbalance added to her struggles, necessitating blood pressure medication to manage related issues while her parathyroid concerns were being addressed.
Despite enduring invasive surgery and a prolonged period of trial and error, a glimmer of hope has emerged for individuals like Bohannon in the form of a newly FDA-approved medical option.
Previously known as the type-two diabetes drug Mounjaro, the drug has been rebranded as Zepbound, available in the form of a weekly at-home shot.
Dr. Frita, a triple board-certified kidney doctor and specialist, emphasizes the drug’s potential benefits for those at risk of developing kidney disease due to diabetes. “If you’re living with obesity, which is having a BMI of 30 or greater, or if you’re living with being overweight, which is having a BMI of 27 and at least one other condition like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you now qualify according to the FDA for this drug,” explains Dr. Frita.
According to Dr. Frita, Zepbound is anticipated to save lives and mitigate the risks associated with various medical conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis.
However, not all potential recipients are embracing Zepbound with open arms. Marsha Bohannon expresses reservations about the drug, primarily due to concerns about potential side effects. “So I thought about taking it because people are losing weight, but then the adverse effects of it are something I’m concerned about. One of the adverse effects of it that I saw on the internet is that someone was saying you could get thyroid cancer,” Bohannon shared.
Bohannon indicates that her decision to consider Zepbound hinges on finding a doctor who is willing to closely monitor her throughout the treatment.
Currently, many insurance companies do not fully cover Zepbound. However, the drug’s manufacturers are offering a coupon to patients interested in commencing the treatment.