Weight Loss

Exploring the Link Between Weight Loss Medication & Muscle Pain

Key Takeaways

Key takeaways

  •  There is no known connection between weight loss medications and muscle pain.
  • Weight loss of any kind, including while on prescription weight loss medication, can result in muscle loss.
  • Taking measures to maintain your muscles while using prescription weight-loss medications can minimize muscle loss.

Muscle pain isn’t a known side effect of taking GLP-1 receptor agonist* medications, but there are some muscle-related effects you may want to keep an eye on. 

I Have Muscle Pain While Taking Weight Loss Meds: What Should I do?

Weight loss medications shouldn’t cause muscle pain. You shouldn’t experience this side effect while taking these prescription medications, so it’s likely that your muscle pain has a different underlying cause.

To identify the cause of your pain symptoms and determine the best treatment, talk to your healthcare practitioner

Maintain Those Gains: Do Weight Loss Medications Cause Muscle Loss?

Prescription weight loss medications, like any weight loss strategy, can potentially lead to muscle loss.

When our bodies lose weight, it’s not uncommon to shed some muscle mass along with fat; particularly if we aren’t taking steps to try and preserve our muscle mass. However, of the side effects associated with weight loss meds, muscle pain and leg cramps aren’t to be expected.

If you’re beginning to experience muscle pain during weight loss, you should talk to your healthcare practitioner. This might be the result of another underlying condition.

Other Lifestyle Changes to Consider

To limit muscle loss while losing weight, aim to eat a balanced diet that includes sufficient protein to support the maintenance of muscles.

A useful rule to follow is to aim for 0.7-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. For example, for someone who weighs 160 pounds, the target daily protein consumption would be between 112 and 160 grams.

It’s important to be mindful not to just simply increase your caloric intake to offset muscle loss, because this could be counterproductive to your weight loss medications. In these situations, it can be helpful to consider planning your meals ahead of time.

With a clear idea of how much protein you’re taking in each day, it can be much easier to control your weight loss journey in a healthy way.

Prescription weight loss medications can be very helpful in managing weight, but it’s best to do so in a way that minimizes muscle loss.

Slow Down: Rapid Weight-Loss Causes Rapid Muscle Loss

Rapid weight loss can cause more muscle loss compared to a more gradual approach; regardless of whether or not the weight loss is achieved with the use of prescription weight loss medications.

This still doesn’t mean that rapid weight loss can cause muscle aches or pains, but losing too much muscle can be hard on your body and unhealthy.

To avoid this, it can help to lose weight gradually, as well as ensure that you’re getting enough nutrients every day. Gradual weight loss should always be the goal for your overall health.

We understand how challenging the weight loss process can be, because it’s sometimes seen as a short-term goal. But realistically, weight loss medication is best viewed as a long-term treatment tool you can use to sustainably manage your body size and your health.

For some, it’s additionally difficult, due to biology and genetics playing such a large role in how our bodies manage overweight and obesity naturally.

But don’t worry! The practitioners at Felix are here to help you develop a weight management treatment plan that takes your individual needs into account.

Just complete an assessment with one of our practitioners, and they’ll be able to start giving you guidance on how to take your first steps towards a healthier, happier life.

Preserve Muscle Mass While Losing Fat

If you want to avoid muscle loss, the use-it-or-lose-it principle applies. Strength and resistance exercises can help you use the biology of weight loss in your favour by retaining and even building muscle mass, while simultaneously losing fat.

Low-impact weight training is another way to help maintain muscle mass during weight loss, since these exercises are designed to build muscle. Just be sure that you’re taking in enough protein daily to allow for your body to continue losing weight, while also avoiding muscle loss.

If you think prescription weight loss treatment may be the right option for you, start an online visit with Felix to see if you qualify.

When Should I Talk to My Practitioner About Weight Loss?

Is your weight beginning to impact your health, or quality of life? Then it’s time to talk to a practitioner at Felix.

‘Eat Less, Move More’ simply doesn’t work for everyone. So much about each individual person’s biology, genetics, lifestyle, and medical history come into play when we consider the best ways to manage and lose weight.

And sometimes, even with our best efforts, exercise and eating well just aren’t enough. It’s in these situations that weight loss medications can help us most.

You don’t have to worry about things like weight loss medications causing muscle pain, because health care practitioners will walk you through the benefits and risks of any potential weight loss medication they may suggest.

With Felix in your corner, you can take back control of your weight, so that you can get back to living your life on your terms, the way it should be.

Note: When we refer to weight loss medications, we specifically mean a class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists. These are drugs that mimic a naturally occurring hormone called glucagon-like peptide 1. They work by regulating hunger signals in the brain and slowing down the rate at which the stomach empties after a meal, increasing the feeling of fullness. 

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