Obese patients who have symptoms of thyroid problems after treatment may actually be suffering from a brain disorder, new research suggests.
In a study of 50 patients referred for evaluation of thyroid symptoms, 68 percent had at least four symptoms that were characteristic of what is called "hypothalamic obesity disorder," said lead researcher Saad Sakkal, M.D.
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In a presentation at a meeting this week of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, Dr. Sakkal and colleagues noted common thyroid symptoms – fatigue, temperature dysregulation, weight change, sleeping problems, pain, and mood disorders – are also hallmarks of the brain disorder, MedPage Today
Some overweight patients continue to have thyroid symptoms even when they've had sufficient treatment with thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
"Patients who insist they have thyroid disease causing their weight problems are frequent," the researchers said. "Some try thyroid medications, yet they feel worse and don't lose weight. These patients would only benefit from therapy for their hypothalamic dysfunction."
They also called for more studies of various therapies in order to inform future practice guidelines.
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