Hunger Hormones

Lets talk about those amazing “hunger hormones” that keep us feeling hungry.

From a science point of view we are learning a lot, but as I mention in my book these few hormones I will discuss are only the tip of the iceberg. Many, many more lie under the surface of what we know and are yet to be discovered. And that is the essence of why there isn’t a magic pill. So let me describe some of what we know.

This is the way it should work….. We eat food that we chew and get full. That “fullnes” sends signals to our brain to turn off the hunger pangs and they should stay off for four hours.

The “hunger hormone” is called ghrelin(pronounced: GREL – in). And when levels of this hormone get too high, you feel hungry ALL THE TIME. The trick is to keep your levels low. ( the sleeve gastrectomy magically does this)

Lower ghrelin levels translates into feeling full and satisfied without the need or urge to snack continually throughout the day. Most of us think this urge is a character weakness….but it is a chemical in our bodies working against our will.

When ghrelin is not active sending signals to your brain, the brain rest and recovers. Then a chemical called leptin goes to work sending signals to stop the hunger IMPULSE.

But if ghrelin levels are too high ( and they are in most obese individuals), then leptin does not work or trigger the brain to not have an impulse to eat. If you lower ghrelin, then you allow leptin to go to work as well.

I believe that our body systems were made for a time when food was scarce and not abundant as it is today. I believe that we were built to have a natural balance between the hormones that regulate your appetite and your ability to burn fat. I think our food is laced with too many chemicals and that throws off our body’s hormones.

The only proven way to balance these hormones is with surgery. I am talking about the Sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass. Both lower ghrelin ( and most likely affects many other hormones) and allow leptin to work. Think of surgery as a tool to help you balance these hormones and then with the right brain signals at work….learn to eat right.

Good Luck!


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Disclaimer: Please note that there's no guarantee of getting the same results as each of these patients. Specific results vary by individual patient.