The physiology of functional hypothalamic amenorrhea associated with energy deficiency in exercising women and in women with anorexia nervosa

Heather C.M. Allaway, Emily A. Southmayd, Mary Jane De Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

An energy deficiency is the result of inadequate energy intake relative to high energy expenditure. Often observed with the development of an energy deficiency is a high drive for thinness, dietary restraint, and weight and shape concerns in association with eating behaviors. At a basic physiologic level, a chronic energy deficiency promotes compensatory mechanisms to conserve fuel for vital physiologic function. Alterations have been documented in resting energy expenditure (REE) and metabolic hormones. Observed metabolic alterations include nutritionally acquired growth hormone resistance and reduced insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations; hypercortisolemia; increased ghrelin, peptide YY, and adiponectin; and decreased leptin, triiodothyronine, and kisspeptin. The cumulative effect of the energetic and metabolic alterations is a suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Gonadotropin releasing hormone secretion is decreased with consequent suppression of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone release. Alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary secretion alters the production of estrogen and progesterone resulting in subclinical or clinical menstrual dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-119
Number of pages29
JournalHormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology

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