Hypothalamic Obesity is a Rare Type of Severe Obesity
Hypothalamic obesity is a rare type of severe obesity that can result from a brain tumor, such as a craniopharyngioma, brain injury, and genetic disorders such as Prader-Willi and Bardet-Biedl Syndromes. People with hypothalamic obesity tend to gain a lot of weight very quickly, sometimes as much as 2 pounds (1 kg) per week, and in many cases, diet and exercise seemingly do not result in weight loss. Many individuals with hypothalamic obesity feel ravenously hungry most of the time; their brains may not receive the same signals from their bodies that most of us get, telling our brains “stop eating, you are full.” Some individuals with hypothalamic obesity do not feel hungry and do not overeat, yet they continue to gain weight. There are very few effective treatments for hypothalamic obesity at this time, though a combination of medication, the right diet, exercise, support and behavioral strategies can be effective in stopping weight gain, and in many cases, producing weight loss. Strategies for managing hypothalamic obesity are outlined in the book, Hungry for Solutions.