The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis area in the brain has well-known effects on metabolism function, and newer research suggests it also has a role in the regulation of food intake. Evidence suggests that the HPT axis can directly influence food intake. Thyroid dysfunction can have significant consequences on appetite and therefore body weight. These effects were thought to be controlled by thyroid hormones. However, more recently, research of the thyroid hormone in the central nervous system (CNS) shows that it may actually play an important role in physiologically regulating appetite. The major central nervous system (CNS) areas important in the regulation of appetite are the hypothalamus and brainstem. Evidence suggests that thyroid hormones may access specific regions of the hypothalamus that regulate appetite. It’s well established that the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis regulates body weight. Thyroid hormones are known to effect metabolic rate. Thyroid dysfunction can have clinically significant consequences on appetite and body weight. Hypothyroidism classically causes reduced basal energy expenditure with weight gain. And the disruption of normal hormonal balance may contribute to increased appetite or desire to eat.
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