Clinical Assessment: Endocrine Systems

Today’s post is another excerpt from “Best Weight: A Practical Guide to Office-Based Weight Management“, recently published by the Canadian Obesity Network.

This guide is meant for health professionals dealing with obese clients and is NOT a self-management tool or weight-loss program. However, I assume that even general readers may find some of this material of interest.


Although they are rare, we need to be careful not to miss endocrinal causes of obesity. These include hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome (see page 32), as well as growth-hormone and testosterone deficiencies.

For some patients, knowing there is no endocrinal cause for their obesity can remove a psychological barrier to adopting a weight management effort.

While an increasing number of hormone-like substances released from various organs (leptin from adipose tissue, ghrelin from the stomach, PYY 3-36 from the colon) are recognized as playing an important role in the regulation of energy balance, diagnostic tests for disorders involving these novel hormones have not yet found their way into clinical practice, nor are there therapies available to address these specific contributors.

© Copyright 2010 by Dr. Arya M. Sharma and Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. All rights reserved.

The opinions in this book are those of the authors and do not represent those of the Canadian Obesity Network.

Members of the Canadian Obesity Network can download Best Weight for free.

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