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Is Your “Eatrogen” Out of Control?

June 7, 2012 1 Comment by Scott Isaacs, M.D.

Is Your “Eatrogen” Out of Control?

I recently received a very thought-provoking email from a reader. She told me that she was experiencing symptoms attributed to her hormones. Her complaints included fatigue, mood swings, low libido, insomnia and weight gain. The email started off like a lot of emails that I receive, describing symptoms and various hormone tests that had been done. But a unique “typo” grabbed my attention:

“My eatrogen sky-rocketed and I gained nearly 20 lbs. in two months.” 

This reader most certainly meant “estrogen” but the resulting new word eatrogen, created from this typo was probably more accurate. No, eatrogen is not a real hormone, but it certainly makes me think of how the word “eat” was used in a hormonal context. “Eat-rogen” represents your hunger hormones that stimulate appetite, cravings and make you want to eat.

What are hunger hormones?

Many hormones affect your appetite, cravings, metabolism and weight. Traditional hormones like thyroid hormone, insulin, cortisol, testosterone and estrogen have been well documented to have an effect on your weight. If a hormone becomes unbalanced, either too high, too low, or just not functioning properly, weight gain can occur. But a whole host of newly discovered hunger hormones have perhaps even more potent effects on appetite and weight.

In 1994, the hormone leptin was discovered. Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells that regulates appetites centers in a region of the brain known as the hypothalamus. Leptin is responsible for long-term appetite and weight control and helps regulate body weight “set-point.” Leptin deficiency was first identified in a strain of obese mice and has subsequently been found in obese humans as well. However most obese humans don’t have leptin deficiency but rather “leptin resistance” which is a situation where leptin doesn’t work properly.

Ghrelin is a newly discovered hormone produced by the stomach that simulates appetite. When you feel hungry, it is because ghrelin levels are rising. Eating a satisfying meal makes ghrelin (and appetite) go down. Another hormone produced by the intestines, peptide YY (or PYY for short) has the opposite effect of ghrelin. These two gut hormones, with their opposing effects are responsible for short-term (hour to hour and minute to minute) appetite control.

Our hormone levels surge and recede according to many factors, the first of which is, naturally, the type of food we eat. In order to lose weight and keep it off permanently, your hunger hormones must be controlled. It is not enough to eat healthy foods. You have to eat in a way that your hunger hormones, your “eatrogen” works with you, not against you.

I can show you how to protect and control your hunger hormones. You don’t have to be a victim of out of control hormones. Based on my work with thousands of patients, I’ve developed an eating and lifestyle plan that will help you control your hunger hormones so that you can lose weight easily and permanently without feeling hungry or having cravings. I encourage you to learn more by reading my book Hormonal Balance: How to Lose Weight by Understanding Your Hormones and Metabolism (third edition).

For more information on hunger hormones please visit www.intelligenthealthcenter.com and www.yourendocrinologist.com.

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One Comment

  1. Anna says:
    Monday, June 11, 2012 at 2:34pm

    I’m her! I just scheduled an appointment with you!

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