Low Thyroid Causes High Levels of Ghrelin, Your Natural Appetite Stimulant

Published: October 13, 2012

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 therapy.

If you are overweight, more often than not it is a metabolic problem. Unfortunately, in our culture, we often see 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. I invite you to also read more about diagnosing and addressing 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.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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