Ghrelin, the Hunger Hormone:

Very few people will know what you’re talking about when you mention ghrelin, but as we learn more about this hunger hormone and its effect on our weight, it has become an ever more important part of weight loss research.

Ghrelin is produced in the fundus, a small gland located toward the top of the stomach pouch. When a person feels hunger, it is, at least in part due to this gland secreting ghrelin. The ghrelin sends hunger signals to the brain, prompting us to consume food. Once the body has received what it believes to be the appropriate amount of food, our hunger disappears.

For many overweight and obese people, this hormone has become largely unregulated and may trigger hunger more often than the body needs. The result is overeating that can lead to obesity. One reason why diets don’t often yield long-term benefits is that often they don’t properly address our ongoing hunger issues.

During the gastric sleeve procedure, the fundus is removed from the body when part of the stomach is cut away. This means that not only will the amount of food consumed be restricted, but patients may feel less hunger as well.

While there is still plenty we don’t know about this hormone, we do know that eliminating some of it can help with satiety and weight loss. New studies targeting ghrelin and its effects on the body and eating habits are coming out yearly and we look forward to seeing the results.