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anorexia, pituitary, ACTH

Does anyone know of any connection between anorexia, the pituitary gland and levels of ACTH or cortisol?  
34 Responses
393685 tn?1425816122
Here I will give you a bit of the reading I have done on this.


Anorexia Nervosa / Bulimia common findings are bradycardia, low BP, hypothermia the development of lanugo or frank hirsutism and edema. Many endocrine changes have been reported including pre or early pubertal patterns of Luteinizing hormone ( LH) secretion and low levels of thyroxine and triiodothyronine.

Interference of T4 (Thyroxine) and T3 (Triiodothyronine) production can alter the TSH - as for it truly involving the pituitary - I am not really sure.

I would however think that prolonged abuse to the TSH that involves the pituitary could happen.

Any induced abuse to the body will reflect something - somewhere.

As for cortisol levels  I believe that could be a connection  to.

Cortisol is controlled by insulin and if there is an abruption of release or conversion - which could happen in Bulimic patients then the cortisol levels would become unbalanced along with adrenal disorders.
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
I know insulin is controlled by the pancreas; I thought cortisol is controlled by the adrenals, rather than by insulin or have I missed a connection somewhere?  I'm trying to put all these things together, myself, in order to figure out rather I have more problems than just hypothyroidism and pernicious anemia.  I've been trying desperately & without success, to lose weight gained while I was waiting for the dx of hypothyroidism.  I know I'm getting older, post menopause, etc, but I can't believe that just getting older can account for the way I feel and the difficulty in losing weight because that would mean that I would only get fatter and feel worse as time goes on.  

I do agree that induced abuse to the body (anorexia, etc) will eventually cause problems somewhere.  When I was in my teens, twenties and early thirties, I would often go for days at time without eating - not necessarily to stay thin, but because stress wouldn't let me keep much down so it was easier not to eat.  Now maybe I'm paying for it??  
393685 tn?1425816122
Yes your right the insulin is controlled with the pancreas - Cortisol with adrenals.

But I am reading in the merck manual 14th edition today that when insulin resistant and the pancreas stores - then the adrenals will overproduce the cortisol levels and block the process of converting energy from fat.

Sounds like it is a cycle that connects the insulin and cortisol.

393685 tn?1425816122
Here is something I had saved - It is not part of what I was reading from the book this morning but it has some connection to it.

Cortisol is normally produced by the adrenal glands, located just above the kidneys. It belongs to a class of hormones called glucocorticoids, which affect almost every organ and tissue in the body. Scientists think that cortisol has possibly hundreds of effects in the body. Cortisol's most important job is to help the body respond to stress. Among its other vital tasks, cortisol

helps maintain blood pressure and cardiovascular function
helps slow the immune system's inflammatory response
helps balance the effects of insulin in breaking down sugar for energy
helps regulate the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
helps maintain proper arousal and sense of well-being
Because cortisol is so vital to health, the amount of cortisol produced by the adrenals is precisely balanced. Like many other hormones, cortisol is regulated by the brain's hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, a bean-sized organ at the base of the brain. First, the hypothalamus sends "releasing hormones" to the pituitary gland. The pituitary responds by secreting hormones that regulate growth and thyroid and adrenal function, and sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. One of the pituitary's main functions is to secrete ACTH (adrenocorticotropin), a hormone that stimulates the adrenal glands. When the adrenals receive the pituitary's signal in the form of ACTH, they respond by producing cortisol. Completing the cycle, cortisol then signals the pituitary to lower secretion of ACTH.

649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
Ok, that all makes sense.  I've known that being insulin resistant and having excess cortisol can both make losing weight almost impossible and I know that blood sugar issues can cause extreme fatigue, etc (we have a lot of diabetes in my family, so I'm pretty familiar with its symptoms), so I guess in addition to other tests I need to ask my dr for, I should include tests for insulin and cortisol levels.   I bought a glucometer and have been keeping a close watch on blood sugar levels and they bounce all over the scale, with no apparent rhyme or reason (i.e. going from very low to very high without having eaten anything or dropping from very high to very low in a short time, etc).  Sounds like you are either in the medical field or have been into this stuff much longer than I have, so would you agree that I need to ask my dr for these tests?  
393685 tn?1425816122
No I am a school secretary -
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