Mon - Thurs | Fri Appt. Only +1 (520)
30+ Years
of Medical Experience
Service Areas
Number #1
Telemedicine Provider

Semaglutide Side Effects, Limitations, and Food Sensitivities

Talk to your healthcare provider about any side effects that become bothersome or that don’t go away.
The Team at Infusion Health can offer recommendations and supportive care for any issues that arise.

What Is Ozempic (Semaglutide) And How Does It Work?

Ozempic (semaglutide) is an FDA-approved GLP-1 medication manufactured by Novo Nordisk, the same company that makes Wegovy (another form of semaglutide). It is a once-weekly prescription medication administered via subcutaneous injection.


Ozempic works by mimicking the incretin hormones that your body naturally produces when you eat food. 


Incretin hormones are gut hormone signals released by the small intestine that travel throughout the body, signaling the brain, endocrine system, and gastrointestinal system that food has been consumed and is ready to be metabolized by the body for fuel. This results in a complex cascade of hormones and neurotransmitters that work together to communicate feelings of satiety (or feeling full).  


GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) is one such incretin hormone, but it does more than just influence satiety: It also plays an important role in the management of blood sugar levels and can improve blood sugar levels in people living with impaired glucose tolerance, prediabetes, or diabetes. 


As a GLP-1 receptor agonist, Ozempic works by imitating the effects of the GLP-1 hormone produced naturally in your body.

Possible Side Effects Of Ozempic (Semaglutide)

Most people taking Ozempic experience few side effects. However, some side effects are normal and do not pose a serious risk to your health. The most common side effects of Ozempic include:


  •  Nausea
  •  Diarrhea
  •  Vomiting
  •  Constipation
  •  Stomach (abdomen) pain 
  •  Headache
  •  Tiredness (fatigue)
  •  Upset stomach
  •  Dizziness
  •  Bloated, belching, or gas
  •  Heartburn
  •  Loss of appetite


If you experience any severe side effects, such as anaphylaxis or shortness of breath, please seek immediate medical care.

Talk to your healthcare provider about any side effects that become bothersome or that don’t go away. The Team at Infusion Health can offer recommendations and supportive care for any issues that arise.

Ozempic (Semaglutide) Interactions & Warnings

Ozempic is FDA-approved. As with all prescription medications, there are warnings and contraindications to keep in mind prior to starting treatment. Your doctor will discuss these with you and can answer any specific questions you might have about the risks of Ozempic as it pertains to your own health and medical history. 

The below limitations, contraindications, and warnings are sourced directly from the FDA.


Quality Care Through Telemedicine

Infusion Health is a Integrative Clinic offering Telemedicine to those anywhere in need. As technology advances, we have more ways than ever to take control of our health. That’s where Infusion Health comes in, offering specialized services to take healthcare to new levels.

Who Is Eligible For Ozempic?

Those with a history of any of the following conditions should talk to a doctor prior to starting Ozempic:
  • Endocrine tumors in the thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, pancreas, or adrenal glands
  • A family history of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2 (MEN2)
  • Diabetes-related eye disease or vision problems
  • Pancreatitis
  • Active gallbladder disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Thyroid cancer or if someone in your family had thyroid cancer
  • Pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to get pregnant
  • Heavy alcohol consumption


Limitations of use:

Ozempic is not recommended as a first-line therapy for patients who have inadequate glycemic control. 

Ozempic has not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis. 

Ozempic is not a substitute for insulin. Ozempic is not indicated for use in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus for blood sugar control but can be used off-label for weight loss and insulin resistance. Please talk with your provider about insulin changes before starting Ozempic therapy.


Personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2.

Known hypersensitivity to semaglutide

Black Box Warning:

In rodents, semaglutide has been associated with an increased risk of thyroid C-cell tumors including medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). However, there is no known increased risk for thyroid cancer in humans taking semaglutide.

Semaglutide is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of MTC or in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2), an endocrine tumor syndrome that can involve the adrenal, parathyroid gland and thyroid glands.

Additional Warnings:

Discontinue Ozempic promptly if pancreatitis is suspected or if you have severe abdominal pain requiring immediate medical attention. Do not restart if pancreatitis is confirmed by a medical professional.

Ozempic has been associated with progression of diabetic retinopathy complications. If you have a history of diabetes mellitus please make sure you are up to date on your diabetic eye exams and are monitored closely if you have diabetic retinopathy findings. 

Never share an Ozempic pen between patients, even if the needle is changed.

Hypoglycemia can occur when Ozempic is used with other diabetes medications such as insulin secretagogues (ie: glipizide, glyburide, Prandin or Starlix) or insulin. Discuss adjusting these medications with your medical provider when starting Ozempic.

Kidney Injury can result from dehydration related to severe diarrhea. Please stop Ozempic and talk to your medical team if you are experiencing significant gastrointestinal side effects.

Allergic Reactions: Discontinue Ozempic if suspected (shortness of breath, rash, severe itching, mouth swelling) and promptly seek medical advice.

Should I Make Changes To My Diet While Taking Ozempic?

In order to maximize your results with Ozempic, you will need to make changes to your day-to-day lifestyle. This includes modifying what you eat.

The Semaglutide Weight Management Program at Infusion Health creates a healthy, sustainable way of eating that promotes weight loss and sets you up for long-term health. Infusion Health does this by focusing on the quality of foods and making sure your body is getting the building blocks it needs while helping you to feel in-control.

Importantly, the Infusion Health Semaglutide Weight Management Program is not a diet: We do not use meal replacements or meal plans. We don’t try to restrict your eating. Instead, we help you rebalance it.


  • Limit disease-promoting foods: eating less sugar, fast-digesting carbs, and processed foods. 
  • Increase health-promoting foods: eating more quality foods in the right proportions.
  • Develop an overall healthy relationship with food. 


Can Certain Foods Make Ozempic Side Effects Worse?

Most people taking Ozempic experience few side effects. However, the most common side effects are mild and tend to improve with time. Some common side effects of Ozempic include:


  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Stomach (abdomen) pain 
  • Bloating, burping, or gas
  • Injection site pain


The side effects that patients often report are mild stomach pain and nausea. The good news is, you can prevent or at least lessen these side effects by paying attention to what you eat.

Fried foods and fatty foods, such as fast food, and foods high in sugar tend to be the toughest for your body to digest and the most likely to cause nausea while taking a GLP-1 medication. According the the manufacturer, patients taking Ozempic who experience nausea should consider the following tips:


  • Eat slowly, and eat smaller meals
  • Eat foods that are light and bland
  • Drink clear or ice-cold drinks (like water or unsweetened tea)
  • Avoid fried, greasy, or sweet foods


Talk to your doctor about any side effects that become bothersome or that don’t go away. The Infusion Health Team of Professionals can offer recommendations and supportive care for any issues that arise. If you experience any severe side effects, such as anaphylaxis or shortness of breath, seek immediate medical care from a healthcare professional.

Should You Avoid Certain Foods When Taking Ozempic (Semaglutide)?

Wondering whether you need to stick to a special diet when taking Ozempic? There are no hard and fast rules for what you can and can’t eat while taking Ozempic, a GLP-1 medication that’s prescribed for type 2 diabetes and for weight loss. No foods are strictly “off-limits” when taking Ozempic—in other words, there’s nothing to need to worry about that could prevent the medication from working normally. 

However, there are a few guidelines you’ll want to keep in mind in order to maximize weight loss and improve metabolic health while taking Ozempic.

Avoiding High-Sugar Foods With Ozempic

Some of the dietary modifications recommended as part of the Semaglutide Weight Management Program are designed to help you reap the most benefit from your GLP-1 medication. In particular, swapping out fast-digesting carbohydrates for foods that provide a more sustainable energy source (such as foods rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats) will not only help you on your path to weight loss, but will set you up for improved blood sugar regulation longer-term.

Reducing your intake of sugary foods like candy, pastries, ice cream, and soda doesn’t mean you need to miss out on treats altogether. As redundant as the phrase might sound, it’s all about moderation and balance. Simple swaps, like flavored seltzer instead of soda or fresh fruit instead of a bottled smoothie, can make a big difference.

Avoiding Fatty Foods With Ozempic

As mentioned above, fatty foods may worsen any existing side effects of your GLP-1 medication depending on your dose and overall tolerance. If you already experience any digestive discomfort after eating fried foods (like french fries, fried chicken, or doughnuts) it may feel even more noticeable when taking medication like Ozempic (semaglutide). 

Same goes for foods high in saturated fat—think: greasy pizza, buttery cream-based pasta sauce, high-fat dairy, and fast food. 

While you should always feel empowered to enjoy the occasional side of french fries, remember to moderate your intake and balance out small portions of less-healthy fatty food with more generous portions of fresh vegetables, lean protein, and fiber-containing foods.

Avoiding Alcohol And Caffeine With Ozempic

Don’t panic: We’re not going to tell you that you need to cut out your daily cup of coffee when taking a GLP-1 medication like Ozempic! However, caffeine may affect the semaglutide’s efficacy and mechanism of action by impacting your hydration and blood sugar levels. 

As a stimulant and diuretic, caffeine can contribute to dehydration if you aren’t consuming plenty of fluids (water, in particular) at the same time. Caffeine may also cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate, possibly increasing the risk for hypoglycemia when taking Ozempic at the same time. 

The general guidance is that it’s best to limit consumption to no more than one cup of coffee per day when taking Ozempic—but listen to your body and, most importantly, stay hydrated. If your Ozempic side effects worsen after caffeine intake, consider cutting back or switching to a beverage with lower caffeine levels, like tea. 

This same rule of thumb applies to alcohol consumption. While a drink or two isn’t likely to cause any harm, and there is no known drug interaction between Ozempic and alcohol, be careful not to go overboard. Alcohol can worsen the side effects of Ozempic, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Like caffeine, it can also decrease blood sugar. If you have any concerns about caffeine and/or alcohol while taking Ozempic, talk to your doctor.

Can I Take Ozempic With Metformin Or Other Diabetes Medications?

Metformin and Ozempic (semaglutide) are safe to take together and are often prescribed together for type 2 diabetes and weight management.

Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about taking Ozempic with other prescription drugs, supplements, or over-the-counter medications.

Like other GLP-1s—such as Saxenda, Wegovy, and Rybelsus—Ozempic is a medication that makes it easier to lose weight and stick to healthy habits. 

However, it doesn’t produce weight loss on its own: It must be used in combination with other tactics to support metabolic health and avoid weight regain. These tactics may include modifications to what you eat, how and when you exercise, and other healthy lifestyle changes.

Our Expertise

It’s not about treating symptoms or diseases

It is about determining what you have control over so you can live your life with the vitality and health you deserve. We live in a culture, where people are conditioned to expect aches and pains in life, so when you feel chronically tired, your stress levels are high, or your knees start to hurt, you think that’s just the way it is going to be.


The truth is that you don’t have to settle for feeling tired, run down, or overwhelmed, and you don’t have to settle for feeling average. For each of us there is a best that we can feel, and we want to help find that a better you to experience life as it should be – as you want it to be.

  • Chronic Disease
  • Digestive Problems
  • Regenerative Joint Injections
  • Fertility Support
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Chronic Fatigue

Make an Appointment

Contact us to schedule a telemedicine consultation.

We will send you a confirmation within three days.
Need To Talk? Call +1 (520) 396-4866

    Our Doctors

    Dr. Kevin Wallace, NMD

    Naturopathic Medical Doctor

    Dr. Zahara Sundermeyer, NMD

    Naturopathic Medical Doctor