Jacob Teitelbaum, MD discusses a study of 11 hypothyroid patients who were checked for ghrelin levels and insulin resistance.

by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

Researchers studying weight loss are excited about 2 hormones. The first is ghrelin, your natural appetite stimulating hormone. This hormone is countered by leptin, which suppresses appetite.

In this study, 11 hypothyroid patients were checked for ghrelin levels and insulin resistance—both of which cause weight gain. Both were present, with ghrelin being 1/3 higher than in those with normal thyroid function. Both tests returned to normal with thyroid hormone treatment.

If you are overweight, more often than not it is a metabolic problem. Unfortunately, in our culture, we often treat it as a sign of weak character and brutally blame the person for being overweight. This is one more study showing a key metabolic issue contributing to being overweight. We discuss this further in our free newsletter on Metabolic Causes of Weight Gain (and what to do about it). I invite you to also read more about diagnosing and treating an underactive thyroid.


Gjedde, S., Vestergaard, E. T., et al. (Apr 1 2008). “Serum ghrelin levels are increased in hypothyroid patients and become normalized by L-thyroxin treatment.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Epub 2008/04/03.

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Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, board certified internist and best-selling author of From Fatigued to Fantastic!, is also the author of landmark published research on effective treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia. For more information on CFS, FM and other health topics, please visit his website at www.endfatigue.com.