Obesity is a metabolic disease related to appetite-related gut peptides. After trying several diets and exercise plans, we discovered that losing weight is not easy.

The gut-brain activity affects hunger, appetite, and energy balance playing a significant role in obesity.

In this article, we will share with you the body’s mechanisms to manage energy and the science behind losing weight. Learning about the role of hormones in weight management can help you reprogram your body to shed a few pounds quickly and effectively.

Gut Hormone Peptides and Appetite Control

gut brain axis - appetite hunger regulationRecently, it has been uncovered that the interaction between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain (neuro-hormonal) regulates energy in humans. Gut health plays an integral part in hormone levels and hormone balance. The gut microbiome (trillions of GI tract bacteria) is crucial to metabolism. GI hormones also affect the body’s physiology – the motor activity of the small intestine, colon, gallbladder, and bile ducts.

Main gastrointestinal hormones, besides Ghrelin, are Cholecystokinin (CCK), Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), Oxyntomodulin (OXM), Glucagon, Peptide tyrosine-tyrosine (PYY), Pancreatic Polypeptide (PP), and Amylin. The main hormones regulating food intake and energy balance are Leptin (in adipose tissue) and Insulin (in the pancreas).

Ghrelin acts as a meal initiator (orexigenic), where Leptin and Insulin hormones act as appetite suppressants (anorexigenic).

Bariatric surgery changes neurohormonal gut peptides, Ghrelin, GLP-1, and PYY naturally. That is why surgical intervention for obesity is so successful. (see Ozempic vs. Bariatric Surgery)

See-Saw Hunger Hormones

2 major hormones control the hunger response: Ghrelin & Leptin. In essence, ghrelin and leptin present opposite effects in regulating the hunger response.

When the stomach empties, you feel hungry as the hunger-stimulating hormone (i.e., Ghrelin) gets released into the bloodstream to instruct your brain that it’s time to eat. Conversely, food intake stimulates fat cells to release the hormone regulating energy reserves (i.e., leptin), which suppresses hunger feelings.

When you feel hungry, insulin is released from the pancreas as well. Miscellaneous hormones, such as Testosterone and Estrogen, are also involved in weight gain.

Food Digestion Tract - Digestive Juices

Understanding the function of the gut hormones is crucial to feeling more comfortable with the process of dieting, hunger, and satiety. Now, let’s meet our hunger & satiety hormones:

1. Ghrelin or Hunger Hormones

As our stomach gets empty, ghrelin is produced, which travels to the brainstem via the bloodstream to trigger the need for food. This hormone sends a message to your brain to “Go grab some food!”

The upper part of the stomach mainly secretes ghrelin in response to stretch receptors in the lining of the stomach. The duodenum – the first part of the small intestine – also secretes a small amount of Ghrelin.

Factors that trigger the release of Ghrelin include,

  • When the body expects food intake – your regular mealtime
  • Stressful situations leading to stress-eating
  • Fasting and dieting

Gut Hormones Control of Food Intake Signals to Brain

2. Leptin or Satiety Hormones

Leptin or fullness hormones originate in the fat cells (adipose tissue) and tell the brain you’ve had enough. Interestingly, overweight and obese people have a higher level of Leptin in their bloodstream with reduced sensitivity to them. These individuals have faulty “I’m full” signals, which inadvertently leads to more caloric intake and obesity.

Resistance to Leptin, in a way, is similar to insulin resistance associated with obesity in diabetic patients. Reducing your body fat helps with “leptin resistance” and satiety.

To increase Leptin levels in your body,

  • Limit inflammatory foods (e.g., trans-fats and fructose)
  • Consume complex carbohydrates (e.g., fiber), Omega 3 (fish), healthy fats, leafy greens, and nuts
  • Get more sleep
  • Avoid severe calorie restriction

Hunger vs. Appetite & Cravings

Hunger is a physiological response, whereas appetite is more psychological – needing to eat vs. wanting to eat. Ghrelin is the gastrointestinal hormone responsible for our biological need to eat to survive. Appetite and cravings are simply the desire to eat that gets affected by appealing foods, odors, and habits.

To reduce Ghrelin levels in your body,

  • Follow the whole food diet and avoid sugars
  • Manage stress with relaxation techniques
  • Limit snacking
  • Exercise with high-intensity training regularly
  • Change your mindset

How to Rearrange Your Diet to Lose Weight

If the hormones that keep the body functioning properly are imbalanced, it will inevitably impact your weight loss journey. If you understand how the hunger and fullness hormones work, you’ll break the plateau and naturally slim down.

As was mentioned above, you need the following habits to break out of this vicious cycle:

  • Changing your diet to include whole-food and reduce sugary food
  • Limiting stress and how you cope with it
  • Getting enough sleep and decompressing
  • Doing intensive exercises routinely
  • Being mindful of eating habits

Implementing these steps correctly will give you a ticket to FOOD FREEDOM!

Obesity Is Not Your Fault

Obesity is a chronic disease caused by genetics, environmental factors, and developmental history. The body of an obese person resists dieting as it is used to its current state (set-point) and does not want to deviate from that. So, when you cut down on food intake, the body increases hunger and slows the metabolism to fight back. That is why diet, exercise, and pharmaceuticals are not long-term solutions for obesity. Weight loss surgery, on the other hand, is an efficient way to drop pounds as it resets your body’s thermostat.

Surgical Treatment of Obesity

Bariatric surgery procedures such as sleeve gastrectomy and RNY gastric bypass are effective long-term solutions for weight loss and remission of type 2 diabetes. The weight loss surgery creates a restriction to give portion control and modulates your gut metabolism to allow faster weight loss. The efficacy of bariatric and metabolic procedures is attributed to endocrine (hormonal) changes that result from surgical manipulation of the gastrointestinal tract. Individuals who did not successfully lose weight with diet and exercise can benefit from this surgical tool.

Hunger Hormones After Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy - Gut Hormones
Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve is an effective surgery that cures severe obesity. It is considered a restrictive procedure with no changes to anatomy. By taking out the bigger portion of the stomach, the production of plasma ghrelin significantly drops. The patient does not get as hungry and will experience fewer food cravings. While this surgery reduces Leptin levels, cellular sensitivity to the action of this hormone is restored.

The need to use insulin for people with type 2 diabetes also goes down or is eliminated.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Roux-en-Y Gastric bypass is another effective diabesity surgery to remedy obesity and diabetes. It is considered a restrictive and malabsorptive procedure. By creating a small pouch as a new stomach, ghrelin production decreases, leading to reduced hunger and fewer food cravings. Leptin production is reduced; however, the body responds better to these hormones to give you satiety.

Additionally, the malabsorption component gives you more of a chance to lose weight as the food bypasses a portion of the intestine, and fewer macronutrients get absorbed. The comorbidities, like type 2 diabetes, are remitted or resolved with this type of operation.

Get Success With Mexico Bariatric Center

Mexico Bariatric Center® offers individuals who suffer from obesity and obesity-related conditions quality and affordable bariatric services in the Mexican cities of Tijuana and Guadalajara. Medical travelers without insurance coverage can save around 70% on weight loss surgery in Mexico.

emily friedberg befotre and after sleeve gut hormones changed

Final Words

Eating less, skipping meals, and going for a walk are all great but not enough to keep your waistline in check. This is especially true as we get older since metabolism slows down, making it more challenging to lose weight. Bariatric surgery alters the biology that balances your hormones to keep your brain & stomach happy to accelerate weight loss.

Contact the number 1 Mexico bariatric provider to lose the extra weight and renew your life!

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