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Barnabas Institute and the Center for Christian Community 1925 Aspen Drive Santa Fe, NM 87507 (505) 438-0437 email c4cc@comcast.net

The battle against obesity often leads individuals to explore various weight loss medications. Two such medications that have gained attention in recent years are Wegovy (semaglutide) and Ozempic (also semaglutide). While both offer the promise of weight loss, it’s crucial to understand their potential dangerous side effects and consider safer alternatives for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Wegovy vs Ozempic: How They Work

Both Wegovy and Ozempic belong to a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. They work by increasing feelings of fullness, reducing appetite, and slowing down the digestion process, which ultimately helps individuals eat less and lose weight. Wegovy is a higher-dose formulation of semaglutide specifically approved for weight loss.

The Dangers of Wegovy and Ozempic

While Wegovy and Ozempic have shown promise in weight reduction, they are not without potential risks and side effects:

Gastrointestinal Issues: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are common side effects of both medications. These symptoms can be severe and lead to discomfort and discontinuation of treatment for some users.

Pancreatitis: Both Wegovy and Ozempic have been associated with an increased risk of pancreatitis, a potentially serious and painful inflammation of the pancreas.

Gallbladder Problems: Weight loss at a rapid rate, as facilitated by these medications, can increase the risk of gallstones or gallbladder-related issues.

Thyroid Tumors: Animal studies have suggested a potential link between semaglutide and thyroid tumors, although further research is needed to establish any direct connection in humans.

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia): While Ozempic is also used to treat diabetes, it can lead to low blood sugar levels, especially when combined with other diabetes medications.

A Safer Weight Loss Alternative

Considering the potential risks associated with Wegovy and Ozempic, individuals seeking safer alternatives for weight loss should consider a comprehensive and sustainable approach:

Balanced Diet: Focus on a well-rounded, calorie-controlled diet that includes a variety of nutritious foods. Consulting a registered dietitian can help tailor a diet plan to your specific needs.

Regular Exercise: Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. A combination of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility workouts can help you burn calories and build lean muscle mass.

Behavioral Changes: Address the psychological aspects of weight management by seeking support from behavioral therapists or counselors. Emotional eating, stress, and unhealthy habits can often contribute to weight gain.

Medical Supervision: If necessary, consult with a healthcare professional who can provide guidance on prescription weight loss medications, when deemed safe and suitable for your individual circumstances.

Support Groups: Joining a weight loss support group or seeking the support of friends and family can provide motivation and encouragement throughout your weight loss journey.


Wegovy and Ozempic offer potential weight loss benefits but come with significant risks and side effects that should not be underestimated. Before considering these medications, individuals should explore safer alternatives, such as adopting a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, addressing behavioral factors, and seeking medical supervision when necessary. The key to successful and sustainable weight loss lies in a holistic and health-centered approach. Always consult with a healthcare professional before embarking on any weight loss program or medication.

The Barnabas Institute is a nondenominational ministry of encouragement. Initially founded in the San Francisco Bay area, the Institute relocated to Santa Fe, NM in 2004. Barnabas, whose given name was Joseph and for whom the Institute was named, was a New Testament missionary who traveled with the apostle Paul and was a source of encouragement to everyone around him.

The Barnabas Institute’s mission is to inspire people to live Christian lives, to encourage and support them as they grow closer to the Lord, and point to resources for living as Christ would have us live. Its Statement of Faith is below.

The staff of the Barnabas Institute consists of volunteers. Its Board of Directors includes Christian leaders from a variety of Christian churches and ministries, representing the many different ways that one can be Christian in Santa Fe. Revenue comes from foundation grants as well as donations by supporters and friends. The Institute neither seeks nor accepts government funds.

Visit our Get Involved page to volunteer or donate.


Practical help in living a Christian life is provided through the Barnabas Institute’s Center for Christian Community, located at 1925 Aspen Drive, Suite 901A, Santa Fe, NM. The Center provides information about events and other news about the Christian Community in its newsletter, On the Way with Barnabas, as well as in the Santa Fe Local Information section of this Web site.

The Barnabas Institute also reaches out to the general public through articles in the press about its nationally recognized research, as well as through conferences and publications.

Statement of Faith

We believe in one God, Creator and Lord of the Universe, the co-eternal Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died a substitutionary atoning death on the cross, rose bodily from the dead and ascended to heaven. There, as truly God and truly man, He sits at the right hand of God the Father, where He will serve as our advocate until His personal return in power and glory.

Who Was Barnabas?

A New Testament missionary who traveled with the apostle Paul, Barnabas was a Levite from Cyprus. Although people called him Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement” in Hebrew, his real name was Joseph. He was generous and faithful, loved others, and greatly encouraged everyone – especially Paul.

When we first meet Barnabas, we hear that he sold a field he owned, brought the money, and put it at the apostles’ feet. [Acts 4:36-37]

When Saul, later called Paul, met Jesus Christ on the road as he was going to Damascus to persecute believers, the news reached Jerusalem. At first, however, the church there did not believe that Saul had truly been converted.

Barnabas told the disciples in Jerusalem how on his journey to Damascus Saul had seen the Lord, and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus Saul had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. Thus it was through Barnabas that Paul gained acceptance as a follower of Christ. [Acts 9:27]

While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” The Christians there laid their hands on them and sent them off. [Acts 13:1-3] F The book of Acts documents that for years afterwards, “Paul and Barnabas” were a team and traveled everywhere together. However, halfway through the book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas had a sharp dispute over the behavior of Barnabas’s cousin, John Mark (who later wrote the gospel of Mark). They separated and journeyed by different ways, though later they reconciled. We have additional references to Barnabas in the epistles of Paul: 1 Corinthians 9:6, Galations 2, and Colossians 4:10.