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Calories Burned During and After Cushing’s – Endo 2016

Question: Dr. Nieman, you investigated how many calories patients with Cushing’s syndrome burn during active disease and after successful treatment. What did you discover? 

Answer: We wanted to study why some patients with Cushing’s syndrome gain weight despite exercising and trying to eat a healthy diet. We suspected that patients with active Cushing’s syndrome burn less calories each day compared to people without Cushing’s syndrome due to lower resting energy expenditure, which is an estimate of the calories that people burn each day from essential life processes like breathing and the heart beating. We tested this by measuring resting energy expenditure in patients during both active Cushing’s syndrome and 6-12 months after successful surgery. We are still enrolling patients in this study, but to date, we have studied 21 patients during both active Cushing’s syndrome and 6 months after successful surgery. Patients with active Cushing’s syndrome burned on average only 1,272 calories per day from their resting energy expenditure compared to 1,570 calories 6 months after successful surgery. This improvement after surgery was associated with an average weight loss of almost 20 pounds and with increases in the levels of thyroid hormones. This data suggests that one of the reasons that patients with active Cushing’s syndrome gain weight is from not burning as many calories as their bodies think they need to be consuming. Exercise and following a balanced diet that better reflects each patient’s caloric needs may help patients with Cushing’s syndrome to avoid gaining as much weight.

Endo 2016: Increased Resting Energy Expenditure Following Surgical Cure in Patients with Cushing’s Syndrome Poster Board FRI 400

Authors: Brent S. Abel*(1), Susmeeta T. Sharma (2), Raven N. McGlotten (2), Pooja Raghavan (1), Monica C. Skarulis (1) and Lynnette K. Nieman (2)

Newsletter: Summer, 2016

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