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Obesity and Weight Management

Weight Gain

11/18/2003

Question:

I am a 30 year old male.my body is very slim.I am only 51kgs weight. Can I improve my body with some hormone treatment?Is there any side effects?

Answer:

It is difficult to make a recommendation based on the information supplied. It is important to evaluate weight and height simultaneously to assess whether your weight is appropriate. Below I outline hormone approaches to weight gain. These are not recommended. You need to be assessed by your primary care physician to fully evaluate whether a real problem exits. Key questions are whether you have lost significant weight or is this a stable weight.

There is an enormous number of conditions that can be associated with weight loss including thyroid, malabsorption of nutrients, and decreased appetite. The following hormones have been related to weight gain but are of little use therapeutically for the above conditions:

1. HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE

Human growth hormone is used mainly in children who have a deficiency and growth retardation. It has been used illegally by body builders to increase size. Side effects include such adverse effects as:

     1. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in one case

     2. breast tenderness, transient gynecomastia

     3. carpal tunnel syndrome with long term use

     4. edema, increased heart rate

     5. hypertension, decreased sodium excretion

     6. fatigue, lethargy, nightmares

     7. injection site pain

     8. joint soreness, hand numbness, wrist

     9. pain, muscle stiffness, arthralgia

     10. mild glucose intolerance

     11. hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance

     12. raised levels of nonesterified fatty acids

     13. myelodysplastic syndrome in one pediatric case

     14. nasal obstruction, exanthema

2. Testosterone like drugs (METHYLTESTOSTERONE, OXANDROLONE, FLUOXYMESTERONE, OXYMETHOLONE)

The main indication for these are for male patients who have documented deficiencies of testosterone. Body builders have used these to increase muscle mass, but this has led to the following serious side effects:

     1. Elevations of serum transaminases and alkaline phosphatase have been reported during therapy. These enzymes indicate liver destruction.

     2. Hepatic tumors associated with androgens or anabolic steroids are much more vascular than other hepatic tumors and may be silent until life-threatening intra-abdominal hemorrhage develops.

    3. CHOLESTATIC JAUNDICE and PELIOSIS HEPATITIS have been reported with anabolic steroid use.

 

Source : Micromedex

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Response by:

Dennis   Mungall, PharmD Dennis Mungall, PharmD
Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice
College of Pharmacy
The Ohio State University