7 health conditions that are responsible for making you fat

Cushing’s syndrome: Cushing’s syndrome or hypercortisolism is a condition caused when the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol. This leads to a buildup of fat in the face, upper back and abdomen. Cushing’s syndrome can also be a side-effect of certain medications.

Read the other 6 at 7 health conditions that are responsible for making you fat | Read Health Articles & Blogs at TheHealthSite.com.

Could you Shed Some Light on Cushing’s Disease?

Dear Dr. Roach: Could you shed some light on Cushing’s disease? Four people in the same family have it. The doctors say it has something to do with the thyroid gland.

— Anon.

A: Cushing’s syndrome, which is different from Cushing’s disease, is an excess of cortisone or similar corticosteroids. It can be caused by taking too much steroid for too long, usually as treatment for a serious medical condition. Cushing’s disease is a special case of Cushing’s syndrome, when the excess cortisone is caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland, which spurs the adrenal gland to make excess amounts of hormone. Weight gain, almost exclusively in the abdomen, a striking round “moon” face, a fat pad on the back of the neck and upper back (“buffalo hump”), diabetes, pigmented stretch marks and high blood pressure are common findings in any form of Cushing’s syndrome.

It is very unusual for Cushing’s disease to run in families. Also, it does not affect the thyroid, although thyroid conditions can sometimes mimic Cushing’s (and vice versa). I suspect that what this might be is a rare condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia type I (MEN-1). This does run in families, and combines risk for pituitary, parathyroid and pancreatic islet cell tumors. (The parathyroid glands sit on top of the thyroid gland and secrete parathyroid hormone, responsible for calcium metabolism. The pancreatic islet cells are where insulin is made.) Not everybody with MEN-1 will have tumors in all of these glands. Parathyroid tumors are the most common.

An endocrinologist is the expert in Cushing’s and the MEN syndromes.

​Dr. Keith Roach writes for North America Syndicate. Send letters to Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or email ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu.

From http://herald-review.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/roach/dr-keith-roach-teeth-grinding-is-common-in-the-elderly/article_bef63ba4-9b5e-5bff-b66a-3530be158857.html

Enzyme linked to obesity

Researchers find that increased levels of an enzyme in fat cells lead to dangerous levels of abdominal obesity.

Previous studies have shown that the stress hormone cortisol can lead to an accumulation of fat round the abdomen. For instance, people with Cushing’s disease – where there’s excess cortisol in the blood – have too much abdominal fat. It’s bad for health to have fat in this area – it’s linked to diabetes and heart disease. That’s why it’s healthier to be a ‘pear shape’ rather than an ‘apple shape’. The distribution of fat in your body really does matter.

Researchers in Scotland and the US have now focussed upon an enzyme that produces cortisol to see what effect it has on abdominal fat. Working on mice genetically-modified to produce the enzyme – and therefore cortisol – in fat cells, they find that even a small increase in levels produces dramatic effects. The mice, compared with normal animals, gained fat in the abdominal area even on a low fat diet. They developed diabetes, high blood pressure, and also tended to eat more. It opens up the possibility of further studies on human obesity, and also perhaps could lead to therapies that block this enzyme and so reduce fat accumulation.

From http://www.tele-management.ca/2013/09/enzyme-linked-to-obesity/

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