Written on October 30, 2023 by Lori Mulligan, MPH. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Ozempic® is a diabetes medicine used in combination with diet and exercise to treat adults whose type 2 diabetes and is also used in weight management. The active substance in Ozempic® is semaglutide.
Nausea is the most common side effect of Ozempic®, with research demonstrating that around 44% of people taking the medication for weight loss experience it. Ozempic® causes a delay in the emptying of the stomach contents into the small intestine for further digestion. When food sits in the stomach for an extended period, it can cause the stomach to distend and stretch the nerves around the gut. Stomach distension can send messages of severe nausea to the brain as the food has nowhere to go.
As is expected with semaglutide, transient, mild-to-moderate gastrointestinal disorders were the most frequently reported adverse events. More participants in the semaglutide group than in the placebo group discontinued the assigned regimen after such events. Nausea was the most common gastrointestinal event, occurring primarily during the dose-escalation period.
Try to limit these foods and drinks while taking Ozempic® to relieve nausea and other digestive symptoms.
Foods like french fries, onion rings, and potato chips are high in fat. Frequently, more than half of the calories in these foods come from fat. You should focus on eating high-protein foods instead of high-fat foods. Healthy high-protein foods include beans, lentils, nut butters, and seafood.
For many Americans, refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, white pasta, crackers, and desserts are part of their daily diet. These are what doctors call “calorie-dense, nutrient-poor” foods. This means that for the number of calories they have, they contain relatively few health-promoting nutrients—vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.
Because people on Ozempic® experience loss of appetite and consume less food in general, it’s important for them to eat foods that have lots of nutrients. When it comes to carbohydrates, opting for starchy vegetables (like sweet potatoes, corn, or peas) and whole grains (like whole wheat bread, brown rice, and whole-grain pasta) is a better bet than refined grains. Supplement these foods in your diet with fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds to keep your nutrient intake high.
It’s safe to consume these drinks while taking Ozempic®, but it should be in limited quantities. Both coffee and alcohol can be hard on the stomach. If you’re susceptible to acid reflux and indigestion, drinking too much coffee or alcohol while on Ozempic® could worsen your symptoms.
Ozempic® causes food to stay in your stomach longer. This means that these harsh drinks will linger in your stomach, and you may be more likely to have symptoms like heartburn as a result. If you’re experiencing symptoms, try limiting coffee to two cups per day and alcohol to one drink per day. Ginger tea or water with sliced cucumbers and mint can help calm your stomach.
Because Ozempic® slows down digestion, larger-sized meals can be tough on your digestive system. You may find that eating a big meal causes you to feel bloated, nauseated, or overly full for a prolonged period.
Instead, try eating several smaller meals and snacks throughout the day. For health-promoting snacks, focus on combinations of fruits and vegetables with a source of protein. Some examples of this include apples with peanut butter, carrots with hummus, or plain nonfat Greek yogurt with fresh berries.
Some people experience no side effects while on Ozempic®. For many, the side effects are temporary. For everyone, eating foods that minimize uncomfortable symptoms while maximizing nutrition is good medicine.
Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication. Check with your healthcare provider if you get an attack of severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. The loss of too much body fluid can make it dangerous for you to take this medication.
The home-collection hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test is an easy way to measure how well you have been maintaining your blood sugar levels for the past 90 days. Routine monitoring with HbA1c testing is important for individuals who have been diagnosed with prediabetes, diabetes, or gestational diabetes, as blood sugar levels can fluctuate throughout the day.
Everlywell’s comprehensive Weight Care+ program pairs GLP-1 prescriptions with regular clinician care, lab testing, and support for related conditions.
Specifically, Weight Care+ offers: