Ghrelin Elevated in Hypothyroid Problems

Byron's Comments:

Sluggish thyroid will drive appetite to compensate for perceived starvation.

Study Title:

Serum Leptin and Ghrelin Levels in Premenopausal Women with Stable Body Mass Index during Treatment of Thyroid Dysfunction.

Study Abstract:

Background: There are potentially complex interrelationships between thyroid function, leptin, ghrelin, body mass index (BMI), and percentage of body fat (%BF). The goal of this study was to determine if normalization of thyroid status in premenopausal women with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism would be associated with changes in serum leptin and ghrelin in the absence of thyroid dysfunction treatment-associated changes in BMI and %BF. Methods: The study was carried out in 47 selected premenopausal women: 17 with hyperthyroidism, 11 with hypothyroidism, and 19 healthy individuals who constituted the control group. Patients with thyroid dysfunction were selected for study if their BMI and %BF did not change after treatment of thyroid dysfunction. Subjects in the control group were selected on the basis of the age, BMI, and the %BF characteristics of the patients with thyroid dysfunction. Concentrations of free thyroxine (fT4), free triiodothyronine (fT3), thyrotropin, leptin, and ghrelin in serum were determined before and after treatment of thyroid dysfunction and in the control group. Results: Serum leptin concentrations were similar in patients with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism before treatment and in normal subjects and did not change significantly after treatment of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Serum ghrelin concentrations were lower in patients with hyperthyroidism, and higher in patients with hypothyroidism than in the control group (hypothyroidism = 2345 (1157-7015) [median (range)], hyperthyroidism = 1205 (438-2914), control = 2398 (1542-4920), p < 0.05). Conclusions: In premenopausal women with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, treatment of thyroid dysfunction that is not associated with changes in BMI or %BF does not influence serum leptin but does affect serum ghrelin. Thyroid status itself, in the absence of alterations in the BMI and %BF, has an important influence on circulating ghrelin but not leptin.

Study Information:

Braclik M, Marcisz C, Giebel S, Orzeł A. Serum Leptin and Ghrelin Levels in Premenopausal Women with Stable Body Mass Index during Treatment of Thyroid Dysfunction. Thyroid.  2008 May 18(5):545-50.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Hospital of St. Leszczynski, Katowice, Poland.

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Thyroid and Metabolism