Victoza Weight Loss Case Study: 50 Pounds Lost with Victoza + LDN & More (Updated)

Victoza is a powerful weight loss medication that ACTUALLY works...

If used correctly. 

And I will explain what I mean by that a little bit later, but first, we need to talk about this case study. 

During this time she was able to lose almost 40 pounds ​using my hormone balancing approach with the combination of Victoza + LDN + NDT and other hormones which we will discuss below. 

You can see ​her email to me below...

40 pounds lost on victoza over 3 months

Before we talk about how to lose this kind of weight when you have hormone imbalances like hypothyroidism or insulin resistance we need to talk about Victoza...

Update #1 12/21/16:

Jen weight loss update

I am happy to report that this patient is now down another 10 pounds over the last month and is now down 50 pounds total thus far.

I suspect she will keep losing and I will update this again once I have some before/after pictures and more progress to report!

This new set of weight loss occurred without any changes to her treatment plan.  

You can find more about using the same weight loss program that this patient used by clicking here

More...

Victoza Weight Loss Success: Does it Work?

For the benefit of those who are unfamiliar with Victoza let me give you a brief explanation of what it is. 

Victoza is a prescription medication (FDA approved for type II diabetes - but we will talk more about who else can benefit from this medication later) which targets the GLP-1 receptor

Put another way the medication helps balance glucagon levels leading to more stable blood sugar levels.

So why do some patients lose a considerable amount of weight while using this medication?

In addition to the effects that it has on glucagon, it is also a powerful medication at lowering leptin levels and reducing insulin resistance.

If you've been reading the information out on my blog you know that these two hormone imbalances (along with thyroid resistance) cause the vast majority of weight gain and weight loss resistance in MANY patients, especially hypothyroid patients.

So naturally as you fix these hormone imbalances patients will tend to lose weight...

But, and this is a big but...

ONLY if the medication is used correctly, in the right dose and if used in conjunction with other hormones and medications.

If you are thinking that just getting this prescription from your Doctor will help lead to significant weight loss, think again.

That's not how it works.

Instead, you need to take a very systematic approach which looks at all hormones, nutrients and other conditions which make weight loss almost impossible. 

So to answer the question:

Yes, Victoza can help lead to weight loss (this case study is a great example) and there are many studies which show that to be the case (1)... 

Victoza and weight loss in diabetics

​But for the best results possible (and to lose more than just 5-10 pounds) this case study outlines the BEST approach to take. 

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Review of Case Study + Labs & More

Let's use this patient as an example (if you have your labs you are welcome to follow along). 

This particular patient presented with the following:

  • History of hypothyroidism which was later diagnosed as Hashimoto's thyroiditis - even with this diagnosis she remained symptomatic despite taking thyroid hormone
  • Weight gain and the inability to lose weight (despite eating very healthy with regular exercise) - she gained a considerable amount of weight AFTER pregnancy
  • Menstrual irregularities and a history of infertility throughout her life (she previously underwent IVF)
  • Failed lap band surgery - she originally got down to 180 after the procedure but gained back her weight over time
  • And issues with fatigue, insomnia and mood irregularities

​Over time I've seen many patients who fall into similar categories. 

Most of the time they feel like they are a lost cause, like nothing that they do will ever help fix any of their problems and that they are stuck feeling this way forever. 

Do NOT feel this way. 

I am only highlighting this patients history to show you that even patients who have had gastric bypass (or any of the other complex issues this patient had) can lose a significant amount of weight and start feeling better. 

Many conventionally trained Doctors would look at this case and probably send them back for another gastric bypass surgery or revision, but I can almost guarantee if it didn't work the first time it most likely won't work the second time. 

So what are you supposed to do if you fall into this category?

What do you do if you feel like you are being blown off by your Doctor or that they are "missing" something?

​The first step is to take a very close and comprehensive look at hormone levels...

​Comprehensive Lab and Hormone Review

I say this is one of the most important steps because it's the FIRST and many Doctors don't order all of the tests that you need.

Believe it or not many PCP's and even endocrinologists don't order hormone levels like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, insulin, leptin, etc.

Nowadays endocrinologists focus mostly on hypothyroidism (with T4 medication only) and on type II diabetes.

​Doctors do NOT get trained on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in residency or in medical school so it's up to them to learn this information on their own - and many don't take the initiative or have an interest. 

With that in mind, make sure you get a COMPLETE hormonal panel otherwise you won't be able to put the story together to figure out what is going on.

Beyond just simply testing for these hormones you also need to make sure that your provider understands the difference between normal and "optimal" thyroid levels.

You can read more about this issue in regards to the TSH and how it is inaccurate in assessing thyroid status in many patients in this post.

Let's look at the hormone status in this particular patient...

Properly evaluating Insulin and Blood sugar levels​

Since we are talking about Victoza here let's start with insulin levels:​

insulin resistance with victoza

This patient has a 12-hour fasting insulin of 9 with a reference range of 3 to 28. 

What's important about this number is that in the fasted state your insulin should be less than 5. 

Anything higher indicates some degree of insulin resistance. 

In a patient with weight gain (or in any hypothyroid patient) insulin should be aggressively treated. 

As a hormone insulin signals to the body to store calories as fat (2) (even if those calories are restricted) and to grow fat cells.

Unfortunately, many Doctors prefer to order the Hgb A1c which is an estimate of blood sugar in the body - but it falls short in many cases. 

Using fasting (and even postprandial) insulin levels allows you to find insulin resistance early and treat it aggressively.

*Note: If you ignore (or don't check for insulin resistance) it will be VERY difficult if not impossible to have significant weight loss. 

​Properly evaluating thyroid function:

​This is another big one and it is missed frequently by both providers and patients. 

For an in-depth analysis on how to understand thyroid labs I recommend you read this post

Let's look at this patient's labs:

high TSH and hypothyroidism

The first thing you will notice is a TSH of 7 with a reference range of 0.3 to 5.0. 

Without looking at any other thyroid lab tests I can tell you that hypothyroidism (or low thyroid hormone) is contributing to her weight gain and her overall situation and she would benefit from thyroid hormone replacement. 

Remember there is a huge difference between being "normal" and "optimal" when it comes to the thyroid and it will be made more clear by looking at the other lab tests. ​

The next thing you will notice is that her Free T3 is suboptimal and her Free T4 is at the very low end of the reference range: ​

low free t3
low free t4

Her free T3 is 2.3 with a range of 1.7 to 3.7 and her free T4 is 0.7 with a range of 0.7 to 1.9. 

Both of these numbers are low indicating that the amount of active and available thyroid hormone circulating in her blood is ALSO low.

And this is yet another indication that she should be given thyroid hormone. 

​Properly evaluating Testosterone levels:

The next step is to check all sex hormones including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

In this particular patient, her progesterone/estrogen levels were actually relatively normal but her testosterone was in the very low end of the reference range: 

low testosterone with insulin resistance

Her free testosterone (remember this is the testosterone that your body can actually use) was 0.14 with a reference range of 0.06 to 0.98. 

Her total testosterone ​was 8.5 with a range of 8 to 60. 

You can clearly see that while she is technically in "range" she is at the bottom 5% of that reference range. 

​Low testosterone contributes to poor mood, increased irritability, decreased sex drive and inability to build muscle mass in women. 

Every woman (like every man) will go through andropause at some point in their life, usually around menopause.

In cases of insulin resistance testosterone levels drop down much quicker and cause symptoms of andropause at any age.

Much like insulin and thyroid hormone, there is a "normal" and "optimal range"

​Properly evaluating inflammation and autoimmunity:

Checking for inflammation and autoimmunity can be both easy and complex.

In the case of hypothyroidism, it is always worth checking both thyroid antibody tests to make sure the cause of hypothyroidism is not autoimmune thyroiditis.

Non-specific inflammatory markers like CPR and ESR can be used as a general assessment of inflammation in the body which can then prompt further investigation if necessary.

In this patient her TPO antibodies were quite high: ​

Hashimotos thyroiditis with high TPO antibodies

She did have a history of Hashimoto's so this wasn't necessarily a surprise, but it does change the management and treatment so it is very helpful to know. 

While the total antibody level is not necessarily important her value was 1317 with a reference range of less than 6. ​

Couple that with her non-specific elevation of ESR and we have a scenario where she might have active autoimmunity. 

high ESR with inflammation

You can see her ESR is 28 with a reference range of 0-20. 

The higher the ESR the more inflammation present.

​So let's recap what we are dealing with:

  • Insulin resistance as evidenced by a high fasting insulin
  • Hypothyroidism (with an autoimmune component) as evidenced by her thyroid lab tests
  • Low testosterone as evidenced by her testosterone levels
  • Autoimmunity and inflammation as evidenced by her elevated ESR and TPO antibodies

​So how do all of these abnormalities fit together? 

​As I've mentioned before all of these abnormalities are connected and just treating one won't necessarily bring balance to the whole system. 

Let me give you an example:

Insulin resistance can lead to low testosterone levels (3).

Hypothyroidism can lead to reduced insulin sensitivity (4).

thyroid metabolism reset poster for side bar

Inflammation can lead to decreased thyroid hormone conversion (5).

Autoimmunity can worsen thyroid function (6). 

Low testosterone, insulin resistance, and hypothyroidism all encourage a metabolic condition that leads to weight gain and weight loss resistance.

The answer isn't to go after just one of these, but instead to go after ALL of them.

What does this kind of treatment plan look like?

​Below I've matched the condition above with the treatment that this particular patient received: 

There are a few things that I need to point out:

1. Realize that each and every patient is unique so what worked for this patient may not work for you (even if you have similar lab values).

2. ​In order to get the results like this patient did you need to address ALL of your problems (I wasn't able to go over her entire treatment plan in this post so some things have been left out). 

3. In order to get this type of treatment, you need to make sure you see a provider who focuses on hormones, weight loss, and weight loss resistance. You will not get this type of care from a primary care provider or even an endocrinologist. 

4. This isn't the only way to get these kinds of results. This treatment may have worked with different types of thyroid hormone, GLP-1 agonists, etc. Use this as a guide to give you an idea if you are even on the right track or if you need to find further help. 

​Using Victoza by Itself will NOT lead to Significant Weight Loss

While Victoza is a helpful medication it won't work by itself and without the addition of other hormones/medications as indicated above.

When you are being evaluated by a physician or provider make sure you are being tested for these 3 hormone imbalances:

1. Thyroid resistance (that means you need a full thyroid panel)

2. Insulin resistance (check fasting insulin levels)

3. Leptin resistance (​check fasting leptin level)

These 3 conditions are by far the most under-appreciated and under-diagnosed conditions leading to weight loss resistance that I see. 

How do you check for these conditions?

I've included a hormone testing guide for you below, so make sure you are being evaluated with ALL of these tests.

*Remember I didn't include all of the labs from this patient only the pertinent labs, but I did test for all of these.

  • Full thyroid panel: TSH, free t3, free t4, reverse T3, sex hormone binding globulin, thyroid antibodies
  • Full hormone panel: Progesterone, estradiol, testosterone free and total, DHEA
  • Leptin levels: fasting serum leptin levels
  • Insulin levels: fasting insulin levels, Hgb A1c and fasting serum glucose
  • Sex hormones: Estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin
  • Adrenal status and hormones: serum cortisol, cortisol binding globulin, DHEA, and sex hormones
  • Nutrients and other markers of nutrient deficiencies: Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iron, Ferritin, MCV, homocysteine, folic acid

​If your provider isn't willing to order these tests then it's probably best to find someone who is not only willing to order them but who also understands how to interpret them. 

These tests will give you a great starting point, but they don't necessarily give you an idea about what treatment is necessary. ​

​Who Else can Benefit from Using Victoza: Using Victoza off Label

​We brushed on how Victoza works, but let's spend some more time on it now. 

Victoza and other GLP-1 agonists work by targeting and reversing insulin and leptin resistance which can accelerate weight loss efforts.

But there is one big problem:

The medication is FDA approved for the treatment of type II diabetes.

That means most providers aren't willing to prescribe this medication unless you have type II diabetes which is typically diagnosed by the Hgb A1c.

Even then it is not considered first-line therapy for type II diabetes.

This is unfortunate considering this medication tends to be far more effective than metformin at reducing blood sugar and helping patients with weight loss.

Another glaring problem is the fact that hgb A1c isn't the most accurate test for assessing insulin resistance due to its many flaws (7).

Furthermore, I've seen a growing population of patients who have elevated fasting insulin levels with suboptimal Hgb A1c (although not in the range of type II diabetes) which precludes them from receiving this medication. 

Even though Victoza is FDA approved for type II diabetes it has a benefit outside of just insulin resistance which I will go over below: 

Victoza for Patients with PCOS

One day I will write a post about PCOS because it doesn't get as much attention as it should, but for now, I will be somewhat brief.

PCOS is really a name given to a combination of hormone imbalances that are characterized when a woman experiences certain symptoms.

The underlying hormone imbalance seen in this population of patients includes high testosterone (usually high free testosterone), normal to high DHEA levels, high estradiol levels and low progesterone levels, high insulin and high blood glucose levels and usually some degree of hypothyroidism.

This combination of hormone imbalances leads to weight gain, hormonal acne, changes to mood (including depression, anxiety, and irritability), changes in the menstrual cycle (PMS, PMDD), and in some cases infertility. 

​One of the biggest issues with PCOS is the lackluster treatment options available to these patients. 

That's too bad considering that studies have shown that the combination of metformin + Victoza lead to significant weight loss in patients with PCOS (8) and can help reduce androgen levels. 

What is also interesting is that many patients have failed metformin therapy by itself but when Victoza is added to metformin patients do experience weight loss even when used for a short period of time (9). 

This would indicate that this medication is likely working through a separate mechanism than what we already know (or we don't completely understand PCOS).

In either event - Victoza can be very useful in treating women with PCOS both in helping them lose weight and in reducing PCOS like symptoms. ​

Victoza for patients with Leptin Resistance

​We aren't done yet...

Victoza (and other GLP-1 agonists) can help sensitize the body to leptin.

This is great news if you have Leptin resistance because traditionally there hasn't been much in the way of treatment for this serious condition. 

If you aren't aware of leptin resistance basically it makes weight loss almost impossible because your hypothalamus sets the metabolism and energy output of your body at a very low rate.

That means your metabolism goes down, your thyroid function decreases and your body is put in a position where weight loss is impossible.

Victoza does 2 things to help with Leptin resistance:

1. It helps sensitize the body to leptin at the cellular level (10) thereby reversing leptin resistance. 

2. It attenuates the increase of leptin levels (11) that is seen after patients lose weight. That means you get to keep OFF the weight that you lost.

​Most people following the calorie in calorie out model of weight loss will have no doubt noticed that they might be able to lose some weight initially but it almost always comes back over time. 

​One thing they probably didn't realize is that this weight gain is in part caused by higher leptin levels and leptin resistance that occurs after calorie restriction. 

Of course, there are other factors like decreasing T3 levels and increasing reverse T3 levels that contribute to this weight gain, but a huge player is the hormone leptin. 

This is one of the main reasons why calorie restricted dieting fails over 99% of the time.

It has nothing to do with calories and everything to do with hormone imbalances that occur as a result of the calorie restriction. ​

​In fact one of the main causes of leptin resistance is a history of recurrent yo-yo dieting, calorie restricted dieting and diets like the HCG diet

​Most patients who have a significant degree of leptin resistance are usually unaware of the condition because most providers don't check for serum leptin levels (mostly because they don't know how to treat/interpret the results). 

Victoza for Non-Diabetics (And Diabetics)

​Does Victoza work if you don't have diabetes? 

Yes, absolutely - especially if you have leptin resistance or metabolic damage from persistent dieting.

Studies have shown that using GLP-1 agonists in overweight non-diabetic women can lead to significant weight loss (12) in a specific subset of patients. 

​It turns out that some patients are more receptive to weight loss when using Victoza and other GLP-1 agonists if they aren't diabetic. 

There are two groups:

Quick responders and those who don't respond at all (I'm talking about non-diabetics here as it relates to weight loss).

Quick responders lost up to 20 pounds within 1-2 months whereas the non-responders didn't lose any weight. 

The difference between the two groups had something to do with leptin but the results of the study aren't conclusive.

In my clinical experience non-diabetic patients with high fasting insulin levels (but normal Hgb A1c's) and high fasting serum leptin levels tend to be in the "quick responder" group. 

On the other end of the spectrum, I've even had some highly insulin resistant patients NOT respond to Victoza or other GLP-1 agonists. 

The point is that Victoza and other GLP-1 agonists aren't a miracle medication for weight loss but they can work quite well in specific subgroups of the population. 

The biggest downfall to this medication is the fact that it is FDA approved for type II Diabetes only and that the medication by itself is quite expensive.

That means insurance companies aren't very willing to cover the medication for off-label uses (unless you know a few tricks). ​

Side Effects when using Victoza

The biggest side effects that most patients are concerned about include pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

Early studies (13) showed some increased risk of pancreatitis in patients who had a history of pancreatitis in the past.

In addition, there was some concern over an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer using this medication.

Since then more studies have surfaced that don't show an increased risk of either (14). 

In general, as long as the medication is used temporarily (used to reverse insulin and leptin resistance) then the risk of long term complications and adverse side effects is very low. 

​The most common (less serious) side effects from Victoza include:

  • Nausea (usually without vomiting)
  • Headaches
  • Sensation of dizziness or feeling faint
  • Decreased appetite or sensation of feeling "full"
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Feeling fatigued or "run down"

​These symptoms usually subside after 1-2 weeks of using the medication. 

In some instances, the side effects are so severe that they preclude patients from using the medication altogether.

If that happens to you then you can try a different type of GLP-1 agonist.​

Recap + Final Thoughts

​I hope you've found this case study helpful and informative. 

I've had some instances where patients take these case studies to their Doctors and ask to be treated in a similar way.

I don't recommend this approach for several reasons:

1. This patient is NOT you (you are unique)

2. I'm never able to provide all of the specifics of each patient in a case study so there is a lot of information that is left out and makes the story incomplete

3. ​Many of the therapies referenced here require advanced knowledge of hormone replacement therapy and/or the use of medications off-label

At the end of the day, I want to drive home that there are advanced weight loss therapies out there that can help even the most weight loss resistant patients lose weight. 

Don't feel like your case is hopeless or that you are out of options.

Victoza is one of those newer therapies that can be very effective in a certain subgroup of the population but finding and understanding who benefits from it can be difficult without an understanding of hormone balance.

​Now it's your turn:

Have you used Victoza in the past?

Did it help you lose weight?

Why or why not?

Leave a comment below!​

References (Click to Expand)

This post was most recently updated on February 11th, 2019

Dr. Westin Childs

Dr. Westin Childs is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He provides well-researched actionable information about hormone-related disorders and formulates supplements to treat these disorders.He is trained in Internal Medicine, Functional Medicine, and Integrative Medicine. His focus is on managing thyroid disorders, weight loss resistance, and other sex hormone imbalances.You can read more about his own personal journey here.

46 thoughts on “Victoza Weight Loss Case Study: 50 Pounds Lost with Victoza + LDN & More (Updated)”

  1. Hi Dr. Childs,

    Your content and information has been a light in the dark to me! Trying to unravel the mystery of hormones has felt impossible until I found your work. I had a few questions on this post if you don’t mind.

    Do you think PCOS can exist even in the presence of low testosterone? Is it possibly a later stage of PCOS that shows how hormones have simply downregulated due to prolonged problems?

    Do you find that hirsutism is related to any of these – insulin resistance/leptin resistance/PCOS? Doctors have consistently told me my hirsutism (mainly in the face) is idiopathic. But my labs show hypothyroidism, and based on your work my labs indicate leptin/insulin resistance.

    This case study is fantastic. It really helps to present this treatment methodology in a convincing way. Hopefully other practitioners will take note. There’s a lot of needless suffering that could be solved with forward thinking doctors like you.

    B

    • Hey B,

      No problem and I hope you find it helpful!

      In regards to your question:

      I have definitely seen multiple cases of patients with signs of androgen excess but with seemingly “normal” DHEA and free/total testosterone levels. I think the majority of these can be explained by checking downstream androgen metabolites like DHT, etc. We generally don’t have a great way of testing for these metabolites (much like estrogen metabolites) but these metabolites have androgenic properties so they are still important. You can check these pathways using advanced tests like DUTCH, but serum levels tend to be less informative.

  2. I started Taking Victoza and lost 10lbs in two weeks. I also had to stop taking Victoza because I became so sick , I was in the Bathroom at least 30 times a Day and I became so weak I could barley walk. I followed the dosing on the Pamphlet and once I worked up to the high dose is when things went very bad.
    I suffer from Hypothyroid Disease and insulin issues and have low T-3. I don’t think I will ever lose the weight now, the Victoza was so Promising at first. Kimberly

    • Hey Kimberly,

      There are some tricks to dosing Victoza which help to decrease side effects and increase weight loss just like thyroid hormone.

      • Hi Dr. Child’s,

        Can you share some of these dosing tricks with Victoza to decrease the side effects and increase weight loss? I searched the information in your Hormone and Weight Loss Mastery Guide, but didn’t find a reference.

        Thank you,

        V

        • Hi Victoria,

          Dosing and titration information about Victoza and other GLP-1 agonists can be found in the private videos of the program.

  3. Hey Doc,

    I’m a type 2 diabetic…I’m about 30 lbs over weight….I started victoza a little over a week ago and I have already lost 9lbs…but I have no energy I’m so nauseated..
    Food doesn’t even sound good..when I do eat it’s something very small and it usually doesn’t settle well…I’m on 1.2 and 500mg of metformin twice a day….what do I do to feel normal?? Thank you Tonya

    • Hey Tonya,

      That’s a tough question to answer in this medium, your symptoms could be due to a host of problems or simply a reaction to the medication. Some nausea is generally ok with victoza but substantial nausea is not. I would take these questions to the provider who prescribed the victoza.

  4. Dr Child’s.
    Have you found that patients with the MTHFR deficiency react differently to either the Victoza/LDN combo or just LDN? I had a hysterectomy in 1997 at 35 years old. I did bioidentical hormone therapy for years. I began losing my hair and having other issues and my naturopath warned me about MTHFR and bioidentical hormones. After a Dutch urine test it was discovered that my body was converting the testosterone to DHT and at the advise of my naturopath I stopped doing the implants. My body has reacted with a painful almost autoimmune like response. My naturopath warned me that would be a side effect. It has been 18 months and the aches and pains remain. I have considered going back on bioidentical implants. Over the past 19 years I have been put on metformin and byetta, both of which I had bad reactions too, Fen/phen/armor thyroid for 8 months with very limited success, Armour thyroid for several years which I stopped. I took Prilosec for 13 years before stopping it also. I have been to Dr after Dr without any help. They either throw medication at me tell me I am lazy (at one time I was doing 18 hours of cardio a week) or need to lose weight. I have been put on various diets, all of which I followed with little success. For several years I was on calorie restriction to 1200 calories or less. I am 54 years old and feel 80. I am tired all the time. Does the MTHFR gene deficiency play into the success of LDN or affect the way bioidentical hormones are utilized or has this issue been studied?
    I have insulin resistance
    Adrenal fatigue
    Leaky gut
    Mixed acid base disorder
    PCOS
    Metabolic syndrome
    Fatty liver disease
    MTHFR +/-
    Thank you for responding.

  5. Hello Dr Childs

    I recently got all those test you suggested above, and everything is at normal range except for iodine that is at 32 range is 52-109. I started taking kelp with iodine 232 MCG daily. I don’t know what else to do, its been 3 years since i have been on bio identical hormones of progesterone, testosterone and estrogen, since my partial hysterectomy. I have been on every diet, fasting, HCG NOTHING, not one pound lost. I am not gaining either since i am constantly on a diet. I need help!!! Please and Thank you!

    • Hey Sandra,

      I’ve never met anyone who was able to do this all by themselves, they almost always miss something big – that’s why I recommend you seek out a provider willing to help guide you.

  6. Hi There!

    Just read your article and found it very informative.

    I have, without knowing a lot of the information above, used Victoza with great success.

    I lost 89 pounds in 10 months.

    What I added to my daily Victoza dose was a bicycle (mtb), that I rode for 4 hours per week. Works like magic!

    Another helpful trick:
    Start eating from smaller plates.
    You can dish up as many times as you like, just wait 10 minutes between additional helpings. You will soon notice that you start eating less per meal.
    This is a good habit to follow, as the Victoza only works for a certain amount of time. After that you will need to rely on lifestyle and habits to maintain your weight.

    All of the best to all of you planning to go on this journey!

    • Hey Tony,

      Great insight, thank you for sharing! Conscious calorie restriction is probably somewhat tolerated with Victoza simply because Victoza itself will actually attenuate the rise in leptin after weight loss. I generally don’t recommend reducing calories in this way, but it might work with Victoza for the reasons listed above.

  7. hi Dr.Childs another great article , my doctor follows you and is very good she has tried to get me victoza , byetta , trulicity… for my high leptin and insulin levels but insurance will not cover it because I don’t have “type 2” . I am already on metformin 1000 twice a day . Insulin and leptin did go down some but not enough! What would be done if you can’t get the victoza , byetta……?
    Thanks

  8. hi Dr.Childs another great article , my doctor follows you and is very good she has tried to get me victoza , byetta , trulicity… for my high leptin and insulin levels but insurance will not cover it because I don’t have “type 2” . I am already on metformin 1000 twice a day . Insulin and leptin did go down some but not enough! What would be done if you can’t get the victoza , byetta……?
    Thanks

    • Hey Jo,

      Most likely metformin won’t do much for your leptin/insulin levels. Eventually I will come out with more articles that outline how to use other means to lower these levels if medications don’t work etc, I just have a list I have to get through first.

  9. Hello Dr. ,

    How do you find a Dr. that can treat all of these problems at the same time. Between a functional medicine Dr. And a Naturopath, they can’t seem to get me on the path to recovery and stabilization. Alot of Dr.’s say they can treat hashimotos/hypothyroidism, but try to use outdated medical methods and don’t understand the evolution and other problems caused by it. I get well for a couple of months then slide backwards significantly. And each flare up brings new symptoms. I just gained 20 pounds in two months, and am in pain all the time now. I am on 2 grains of Naturethroid and take b12 sublingual and adrenal supplements. This has not helped to keep me symptom free. I hope you have a wait list that I can get on, because my body is shutting down and I am feeling helpless. Treating the worse problem first, I think is creating more problems. You seem to take a “treat every issue at the same time” approach. Wish there were more Dr.s like you.

    • Hi Tina,

      Unfortunately most of this information and way of practicing is self taught, so you will likely have to search around to find someone who has put it together in a similar way.

      • Hi Dr. Childs,
        You say to “search around” for a Dr. who puts it together in a similar way. That’s a nearly impossible feat as you must know. Where to even start? My primary’s advice is work out more and eat better foods. I’m a 57 yr old sprint tri-athlete eat only natural; no sugar or grains, and still 35lbs overweight so everything you say makes sense but I really need specific help in finding a care provider who is willing to apply the recommendations. Thank you.

          • Hi Dr. Child,

            I am extremely interested in your therapy’s. I suffer from hashimotos. I have tried HCG in the past with good results, however struggle with regaining weight. I have discussed your therapy with my primary doctor, but she is not willing to prescribe the medication suggested. “Just eat clean and exercise”, is her therapy for me.
            Has there been any changes in your practice of excepting new patients?
            I live in central California 2 hours east of San Francisco. I am willing to travel to Arizona to see you. I have 100bs to lose and need to find a physician that supports your theories. I am currently taking Cytomel 25mg q Am and levothyroxine 137 mcg q Am
            Do you have any advice on how I can put this into action?
            Thank you

  10. Thank you for this information. So to clarify, the Victoza is only to be used for weight loss on a temporary basis. Once you stop using it, is the weight going to come back over time or are you no longer insulin and leptin resistant from that point on? Thanks.

  11. Hi Dr Childs,

    Its great that you are providing all the info that we need to try and solve our weight issue, but the problem is without these meds, the weight will NOT come off! I have done test after test, from Dr to Dr, and none of them want to help, all i hear is exercise more, eat less your labs looks great! I don’t understand why you can have patients by phone, I got your programme plus all the supplements, NOTHING HAPPENDED! I am desperate, because my blood pressure is always at 140+ and i know its the weight, my glucose is high, my iodine is low, so i have been taking Iodine, but the weight will NOT COME OFF!!!

    Thanks

  12. This article is extremely helpful and informative, thank you!

    Do you know of a reason why victoza would work at one point on me but not at another? I took it for 5 months and lost 30-35 lbs (all of my excess weight) so I stopped. I gained some back over the next 5 years so I tried taking it again at a graduated higher dose but lost zero pounds in three months. I know you can’t comment on specifics, but as a general matter, are ther reasons why this may have happened? Importantly, are there ways to make it “work” again?

  13. Hi Dr. Childs,

    I’m currently on a keto+AIP eating protocol and am wondering whether victoza could be helpful in addition to this way of eating. Or is the clean-eating and Keto doing the same work that victoza would? I did use victoza for a month when I started Keto and did lose considerable weight (20lbs in 2 months) which is really a lot given my metabolism and struggle with weight loss these past few years. I am now still on keto and hope to be on some form on LCHF permanently because I’m noticing a huge relief of symptoms which I had attributed to hashimoto’s and PCOS. But my weight loss has stalled. So I’m wondering whether it makes sense to reintroduce Victoza, or whether that would be confusing for my metabolism or moot given that I’m already eating to heal insulin resistance.
    Thanks,
    Ashna

    • Hi Ashna,

      My experience suggests that in some individuals dietary changes are insufficient to completely reverse insulin resistance. Figuring out if you fall into that category or not may take some digging and trial and error, but if you do then the use of Victoza may be helpful in the short term. Good luck and keep us updated on your progress!

      • Could you give an idea of what factors you would look at to see if Victoza would be helpful in the short term? I’ve actually purchased your metabolism reset program, and will go digging in the content for more info and guidance if relevant. Thanks!

        I have Hashimoto’s, PCOS, insulin resistance and am at least 60lbs overweight (have lost 30lbs in the last 4 months).

  14. Hi Dr.
    I am insulin resistant and have been on 1500mg metformin and started on Victoza 2 months ago made it 1.2mg. I have lost 13lbs over the past month for a total of 40 pounds since I started on metformin. However, I have been experiencing significant hair loss. Is this common, and is there a way to combat it while on Victoza or should I stop taking it?

  15. Dear Dr. Have you helped patients with Cushings disease with an ex ACTH pituitary tumor which was removed to loose weight. Thanks.

  16. I am on Armour Thyroid 90 mg and I’m taking Victoza 1.2. I have never had my reverse T3 tested and I’m overwhelmed by all the info as I am new to all this t3-T4 stuff. I am also on bioTE pellet hormone replacement therapy. I just started the Victoza and just upped the Armour to 90 but I still am not losing weight. I’ve been hypo for over 25 years. So tired and don’t know what to do next. Can you help? I’m 65 years young!

    • Hi Wanda,

      It sounds like you are heading on the right track but your dosing could be off on either the Victoza or the thyroid hormone, the best way to figure this out is with a knowledgeable physician to help guide you!

  17. Hi Dr. Childs. I had been diagnosed with Insulin Resistance a while ago and have been on Victoza 1.8 for 3 years. I lost 10 pounds which nothing I did would come off and have maintained it. I also eat a low carb diet below 40-50 gms. Now all of a sudden I can’t sleep at all. A dutch test revealed my metabolized cortisol may be high. Should I decrease my Victoza to help my adrenals bounce back? I don’t want to gain the weight back. I am 5’4 and 130 pounds now.

  18. In addition to my previous question. Could my Blood sugar be going too low? I had a spectra cell study which said my insulin was low…below normal. and what about long-term risks of Victoza. I’ve been on it now 3 years.

    • Hi Sharon,

      I generally never keep patients on it for longer than 6-12 months, but I also do many other therapies to ensure that they don’t need it that long. The longer you stay on it the more likely you are to experience side effects and problems relating to the medication.

  19. Dr. Child’s is there a doctor in Houston you could refer me to? I have hypothyroidism, on Armour 90 and Victoza 1.2? I cannot lose weight. I’m tired all the time, listless, need help badly. I want to be tested to find out if I’m leptin resistant and weight loss resistant. What do I ask for??? Please help,
    Wanda

  20. My Dr in OK prescribed me Trulicity at the beginning of Aug 2017 and by Thanksgiving of 2017 I had lost a total of 40lbs. I have Hashimoto’s and cannot lose weight any other way (I’ve tried everything!!!). We relocated to the Fort Worth, TX area and my current endocrinologist will not prescribe it “off label” because I’m not diabetic. It’s very disappointing as I’ve gained all my weight back and despite diet and exercise,I don’t move on the scale. I’m so depressed!

    • Hi Christina,

      Unfortunately, some physicians aren’t willing to use medications even if they work. You may have luck asking for Saxenda which is FDA approved for weight loss (but also quite expensive).

      • Yes Dr. Childs, they were willing to prescribe that (which they said was the same thing but “intended”for weight loss and not diabetics) but my insurance won’t cover it… the old adage “life’s not fair” just rings especially true for little ‘ole “autoimmune disease infected” me. Wha! Thanks for the input. Great article!!

  21. Hi Dr. Childs

    Thank you for such an insightful article.
    My doctor has prescribed a low dose of Victoza for me. I am not diabetic, but I struggle with menstrual irregularity, which I understand can be due to insulin resistance. Over the past two years I have been unable to lose the 20 pounds I’ve gained despite extremely strict eating and working out. I am not that overweight -150 pounds 5’7″, but my normal weight is around 130.

    In your experience, can Victoza be used short term (a few months) to get results and then stopped after? My worry is that my body become reliant on this drug & eventually give me (gd forbid) diabetes or another disease that I don’t have.

    Can you please give me your take?

    Thanks so much,
    Gigi

    • Hi Gigi,

      Yes, I almost always use these medications temporarily until the desired weight is achieved. The trick to using this strategy has to do using the right dose and continuing it for the right time once you reach your target weight.

  22. Hello, I have I have lab tests with confirmed insulin resistance in the levels of 1300 after taking the 120 grams of sugar they give your post fasting insulin levels. I’m not diabetic yet but have trouble losing weight. Where can I get Victoza ? I think it would be next to impossible to convince a western medical doctor in Canada to prescribe it to me. Even with my dad having diabetes they refused to to an HbA1c test and only did a randomized blood sugar test.

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