What to know about the obesity medication and other health-related questions Canadians asked this week

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle.

Weight loss drug Wegovy is officially coming to Canada — but what side effects can consumers expect? (Image via Canva)Weight loss drug Wegovy is officially coming to Canada — but what side effects can consumers expect? (Image via Canva)

Weight loss drug Wegovy is officially coming to Canada — but what side effects can consumers expect? (Image via Canva)

Of all the things to look up on the internet, it seems as though we rely on the web to answer some of our most pressing and personal health questions. This week, Canadians were curious to learn more about a new weight loss drug from the makers of Ozempic that’s hitting the shelves next week. Web searches for the side effects of Wegovy, an injectable semaglutide for weight loss, spiked by 3,500 per cent after it was revealed the drug was finally hitting the Canadian market on May 6.

Noro Nordisk’s weekly semaglutide injectable for weight loss was approved by Health Canada in 2021, however, shortages delayed its availability to Canadian consumers until now. Wegovy contains semaglutide, a medication that was initially developed to treat diabetes but was found effective to help with weight loss. Semaglutide mimics glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone secreted in the lining of the small intestine, pancreas and central nervous system. Among other functions, GLP-1 stimulates insulin production and has been found to be a “physiological regulator of appetite and food intake.” Semaglutide injections therefore slow down digestion making you feel fuller for longer.

Wegovy, an injectable medication for obesity, can cause a host of side effects. (Image via Getty Images)Wegovy, an injectable medication for obesity, can cause a host of side effects. (Image via Getty Images)

Wegovy, an injectable medication for obesity, can cause a host of side effects. (Image via Getty Images)

Although they’re both semaglutide injections, Wegovy contains a higher dose of semaglutide than Ozempic and was manufactured specifically to treat obesity. Like Ozempic, there are some side effects associated with Wegovy use. Some of the most common symptoms can include:

Other side effects can include low blood sugar, low blood pressure, a change in the way food or drink tastes. The manufacturer includes an extensive guide for consumers that includes rare side effects such as fast heartbeat, fainting and bowel obstruction to name a few. In all cases, consumers are advised to contact a medical professional if they experience gallstones, pancreatitis, acute kidney injury and severe allergic reaction. Consumers with diabetes are advised to be cautious of severely low blood sugar or complications with their eyesight (diabetic retinopathy)


Can vitamin D deficiency impact your mood? (Image via Getty Images)Can vitamin D deficiency impact your mood? (Image via Getty Images)

Can vitamin D deficiency impact your mood? (Image via Getty Images)

Vitamin D is important to our health — but is it also important to our mood? This week there was a 450 per cent increase in Canadians hoping to learn more about whether depression and vitamin D deficiency are connected.

Studies have shown that low vitamin d levels are associated with increased symptoms of depression and anxiety, however it’s unclear if there’s a cause and effect relationship at play.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, vitamin D is essential in maintaining healthy blood, bones and tissue. Severe vitamin d deficiency can lead to low calcium levels in the blood (hypocalcemia) which in turn can cause the parathyroid glands to work overtime to maintain blood calcium level (hyperparathyroidism). If severe enough, these conditions can cause symptoms such as cramps, fatigue, muscle weakness, bone pain and mood changes, like depression.

Vitamin D has other functions in the body including neuromuscular and immune function, cell growth and metabolizing glucose. Vitamin D receptors are also in areas of the brain associated with depression, however there’s still mixed views when it comes to vitamin D supplements being effective in preventing or treating symptoms of mild or clinical depression.

Speak to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing depression or think you might be depressed.


Norovirus cases are on the rise across Canada. (Image via Getty Images)Norovirus cases are on the rise across Canada. (Image via Getty Images)

Norovirus cases are on the rise across Canada. (Image via Getty Images)

Earlier this week, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported an uptick in norovirus cases across Canada —particularly in Ontario and Alberta. The news prompted Canadians to head online, resulting in a 250 per cent increase for signs and symptoms of norovirus.

Noroviruses (previously known as norwalk-like viruses) are groups of viruses that cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the digestive system leading to vomiting and/or diarrhea. In a previous interview with Yahoo Canada, infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaaac Bogoch said norovirus has a short incubation period of approximately 12-48 hours, followed by a rapid onset of:

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • abdominal discomfort

  • diarrhea

Norovirus symptoms typically improve within two days of onset. Dehydration is one of the major risks of the virus, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids — even if it’s uncomfortable.

“For children, watch the number of wet diapers. If there’s fewer and fewer wet diapers and if there’s less energy in the child, it’s time to take them to seek healthcare. Older individuals are susceptible to dehydration and may need additional support to maintain levels of hydration,” Bogoch explained.

If you or someone you know is suffering, please contact Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. For a full list of resources including mental health services in your area, visit the Canadian Mental Health Association.

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