GLP-1RA gastrointestinal side effects
What are the GI side effects of GLP-1RA Medications, like Ozempic?

In treating T2D diabetes patients, our Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology board-certified experts may recommend medication to help lower blood sugars in addition to lifestyle changes. Some injectable forms of medical therapy, known as GLP-1RA medications, have been trending in the news lately due to their role in weight-loss management

These drugs go by popular brand names such as Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Trulicity. 

While the medicines are very effective for many patients and can be used safely with regular monitoring, recent data reports that there can be serious gastrointestinal (GI) side effects in rare cases. 

GLP-1RA Gastrointestinal Side Effects

GLP-1RAs help to slow the speed at which food passes through the stomach, causing people to feel fuller longer and better regulate blood sugar levels.

This form of drug treatment however can also lead to GI side effects (like severe nausea and vomiting) in some people. 

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association recently revealed that those taking GLP-1RAs for weight loss were at an increased risk of GI issues such as:

  • Biliary disease
  • Gastroparesis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Bowel obstructions

These conditions reportedly contributed to many patients electing to discontinue use on their own.

A study published in the American Journal of Managed Care found that approximately 50% of those being evaluated and who were on GLP-1RA meds stopped them within a year. 

What are the consequences of stopping GLP-1RA meds without direction from your doctor?

While initially stopping these medications may not have immediate health repercussions,  it could likely have an effect down the road. 

Failure to properly manage diabetes could lead to complications from continuously elevated blood sugars – like nerve damage, vision loss and worsening kidney function. Stopping these medications could also lead to regaining any lost weight, which typically also worsens insulin resistance and blood sugar control.

With any new therapy, it is important to follow all instructions carefully and as directed by your doctor.   Our endocrinology experts will always discuss treatment options with you and any potential risks or side effects. 

If you ever experience side effects from your diabetic medications, please contact us right away so that we can evaluate the situation and discuss effective alternatives. 

Contact Us Today to Learn More about  Diabetes and Weight Loss Management

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology and discover how our diabetes services  and weight-loss management program can help you lead a full and active life, contact us at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online.  

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

Endocrinology Top Doctors
Congratulations to our 2024 Top Doctors

We welcomed the new year celebrating board certified endocrinologists Valerie Espinosa, MD and Lindsay Harrison, MD for being recognized on the 2024 Top Doctors list in Austin Monthly magazine. 

Dr. Espinosa joined Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology in 2005. She is board certified in endocrinology and metabolism and active in clinical research concerning diabetes, obesity and thyroid disease. 

Dr. Harrison joined Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology in 2013. She is board certified in internal medicine, endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. 

Austin Monthly Top Doctors is an annual peer-nominated recognition of the best physicians in Travis, Williamson and Hays counties. Using an online survey, physicians are asked to nominate colleagues who they would trust with the medical care of themselves or their family. We are could not be prouder to have our physicians included on this list.  

Congratulations Dr. Espinosa and Dr. Harrison!

For more information on our comprehensive endocrinology services, schedule a consultation with one of our board certified endocrinologists by requesting an appointment online or call (512) 458-8400. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you with helpful health and wellness information.

Texas Diabetes Super Doctors
Texas Diabetes Endocrinologists Named to Texas Monthly Super Doctors 2023 List

It is an honor to recognize Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology physicians that have once again been included on the Super Doctors and Super Doctors Rising Stars list for 2023, published in Texas Monthly magazine. 

Each year, MSP Communications honors approximately 5 percent of physicians from across the state as Super Doctors based on evaluation of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Doctors Rising Stars recognition is given to no more than 2.5 percent of physicians who exhibit exceptional promise in their field and have been practicing for ten years or less. 

Texas Diabete’s 2023 Super Doctors are: 

2023 Super Doctors Rising Stars are: 

At Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology, we take a personalized approach to patient care. Our board certified endocrinologists are experts in the diagnosis, treatment and management of all disorders of the endocrine system.

The services we offer at our locations in Round Rock, Central Austin and South Austin include:

For more information on our comprehensive endocrinology services, schedule a consultation with one of our board certified endocrinologists by requesting an appointment online or call (512) 458-8400. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you with helpful health and wellness information.

nder affirming hormone therapy
Texas Diabetes Offers Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy

Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology’s team of board-certified endocrinology experts treat common endocrinology issues which are closely associated with the body’s hormonal system. 

One of the services we offer patients is gender affirming hormone therapy. In this blog, Dr. Valerie Espinosa explains everything you need to know about the gender affirming hormone therapy we offer in Austin, TX. 

What is gender affirming hormone therapy? 

This form of treatment is used in transgender and non-binary patients in order to help better align the body with a person’s gender identity, whether it be feminizing or masculinizing therapy. 

Feminizing therapy is mainly achieved with the administration of the hormone estradiol in transgender women and non-binary individuals. 

While estradiol is the mainstay of treatment, other medications may sometimes be

added (such as progestins and anti-androgens). Treatment with these medications induces several physical changes that are more consistent with a feminine appearance. These changes

include:

  • Breast development
  • Less facial and body hair
  • Softer skin
  • More body fat and a decline in muscle mass
  • Smaller testicles
  • Lower libido and fewer erections

Masculinizing therapy which uses testosterone in transgender men and non-binary individuals will also bring about several physical changes which include:

  • Cessation of the menstrual cycle
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Growth of facial and body hair
  • Clitoral enlargement
  • Increase in strength and muscle mass

How long does it take to see changes with gender affirming hormone therapy?

Changes generally start to occur within a few months, but full effects may not become apparent

until two to five years after starting hormone therapy.

What are the possible risks and side effects? 

Gender affirming hormone therapy does not come without serious risks/side effects. 

Estrogen-related side effects are: 

  • Blood clots
  • Higher cholesterol
  • Elevated prolactin
  • Weight gain
  • Hypertension
  • Potential for stroke
  • Mood changes, anxiety or depression 

Testosterone-related side effects are:  

  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Higher cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Sleep apnea
  • High red blood cell counts
  • Blood clots

Both hormones will cause the transgender individual to develop infertility, which may or may

not be permanent.

What is the process to begin gender affirming hormone therapy?

Prior to starting therapy, we require a physician referral. Then, we will provide patient education including the risks and benefits of treatment to ensure that you are well informed enough to consent to treatment. Following this initial step, you will:

1.         Undergo a complete medical evaluation, including physical exam and laboratory diagnostics, to determine any treatment risks.

2.         Learn about and discuss options for fertility preservation. 

3.         Seek a mental health evaluation in order to confirm a gender dysphoria diagnosis and to rule out any co-existing mental health issues.

Once you have begun your hormone therapy, you will visit with our providers on a regular basis so that we can track your response to treatment and check for any signs of complications. 

We are ready to facilitate your journey through this process.

If you’d like to learn more about our gender affirming hormone therapy services, please call Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online.  

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

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