Background: Stress is a precipitating factor for both binge eating and bulimia nervosa (BN); however, the biological mechanisms through which it may trigger binge eating are poorly understood. There is evidence that the adrenal hormone cortisol and the gastric peptide ghrelin might be involved in stress-induced food ingestion. We hypothesized that symptomatic patients with BN might disclose deranged responses of ghrelin and/or cortisol to stressors and that this could be related to their binge-eating behaviour. Methods: Here we investigated salivary cortisol and ghrelin responses to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) in 10 women with acute BN and 10 age-matched healthy females. Eating-related psychopathology and behaviours were assessed by self-report measures. Results: No significant differences emerged between bulimic patients and healthy controls in the pre-stress salivary levels of both cortisol and ghrelin. The BN patients displayed normal cortisol but enhanced ghrelin responses to TSST. No significant correlations emerged between stress-induced salivary hormone changes and self-report measures of binge eating. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first study showing deranged salivary ghrelin reactivity to a psychosocial stressor in symptomatic patients with BN. The extent to which this could contribute to the binge-eating behaviour of BN subjects awaits clarification.

The acute salivary ghrelin response to a psychosocial stress is enhanced in symptomatic patients with bulimia nervosa: a pilot study.

MONTELEONE, Palmiero;
2012

Abstract

Background: Stress is a precipitating factor for both binge eating and bulimia nervosa (BN); however, the biological mechanisms through which it may trigger binge eating are poorly understood. There is evidence that the adrenal hormone cortisol and the gastric peptide ghrelin might be involved in stress-induced food ingestion. We hypothesized that symptomatic patients with BN might disclose deranged responses of ghrelin and/or cortisol to stressors and that this could be related to their binge-eating behaviour. Methods: Here we investigated salivary cortisol and ghrelin responses to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) in 10 women with acute BN and 10 age-matched healthy females. Eating-related psychopathology and behaviours were assessed by self-report measures. Results: No significant differences emerged between bulimic patients and healthy controls in the pre-stress salivary levels of both cortisol and ghrelin. The BN patients displayed normal cortisol but enhanced ghrelin responses to TSST. No significant correlations emerged between stress-induced salivary hormone changes and self-report measures of binge eating. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first study showing deranged salivary ghrelin reactivity to a psychosocial stressor in symptomatic patients with BN. The extent to which this could contribute to the binge-eating behaviour of BN subjects awaits clarification.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/3887370
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