Acromegaly and belly fat

From J D Faccinetti, Pituitary World News co-founder  –  One of the few things that positively drives me absolutely bananas is the increased belly fat that I experienced post surgery, and that later learned is very common with acromegaly patients in remission. It has absolutely been a challenge to deal with.  Since until five years ago I was relatively “flat-bellied”, it has been truly a source of much personal frustration. It’s really not too severe but, every other part of my body, it seems, has lost fat. Isn’t that nuts? I remember jokingly telling my kids: if I ever get a belly when I get old do what the Eskimos do; put me on an iceberg and let me float away to eternity! I remember the look of panic on their faces. Gladly I live nowhere close to Alaska.

Don’t get me wrong, I gladly put up with a few more lbs. around my waist to have my acromegaly controlled any day. No contest!!  But any information that helps us deal with this could be very helpful indeed. So, I set out to find some. Sad to say there isn’t much. And it very well may be there isn’t a thing we can do about it. So I’m appealing to the PWN community to send whatever thoughts, experiences or data you have on this and we’ll publish our collective impressions. Hopefully we’ll help a few people.

Here are a few articles of note that stood out from my initial scan:

An article published on Helio writes; “Our prospective study found increases in weight and central adiposity after surgery for acromegaly along with reductions in many, but not all, markers of cardiovascular risk,” the researchers wrote. “Ghrelin levels rose in parallel with the less favorable anthropometric profile, novel evidence of a possible relationship of ghrelin to the increase in adiposity that follows surgical treatment of acromegaly mechanisms and long-term implications of changes with acromegaly treatment.” Read it here

This other article from 2012 talks about the biomedical knowledge that researchers have obtained on Ghrelin and leptin in the understanding of appetite in humans. There have been significant increases in the understanding of the regulation of energy balance since the ’90s, and these two hormones represent some of the progress made.

The NIH published a nice general summary article on the causes of obesity. You can read more about it here.

And this article discusses the studies that provided evidence that ghrelin exercises a wide range of functions, including regulation of food intake and energy metabolism, modulation of cardiovascular function, stimulation of osteoblast proliferation and bone formation and stimulation of neurogenesis and myogenesis. In the gastrointestinal system, ghrelin affects multiple functions, including secretion of gastric acid, gastric motility and pancreatic protein output. This review explains what ghrelin is, its physiological functions and the factors that influence its level.

The good news is lots of people are looking at it, as evidenced by my initial search and the articles above. I am on a quest to contact the scientists that are working on this for more insight. In the meantime, we’ll keep on digging. Send us comments through our Facebook feed or contact us through our website.

 

 

Photo “Bananas on Display” by MarkBuckawicki – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bananas_on_Display.JPG#/media/File:Bananas_on_Display.JPG

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Been searching for this info for MONTHS. I’m six years post-surgery and my ghrelin is close to 1,400. Am I at risk for something serious? I’ve gotten no real answers from my specialists because apparently there aren’t any. How can this be???

  2. Thank you for your comment Angela. We will keep digging and report any new reliable information as soon as we find it. Stay connected! JD

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