Leptin is a protein hormone produced by body fat. This substance is thought to play an important role in how the body regulates energy expenditure and intake. It is believed by some that an abundance of this hormone can result in a noticeable amount of weight loss, and because of this, the market has been flooded with books, herbal remedies, and injections thought to help increase leptin in the body. Although this substance is naturally produced, some feel that too much of it can have adverse effects. Some of the most common leptin side effects include an increased heart rate, nausea, and dehydration.
Some feel that a deficiency in leptin can result in the dysfunction of several organs. Additionally, many believe that an excess of this hormone may also be detrimental to these organs; however, further research is necessary to prove this conclusively. Although no one really knows whether this hormone may be detrimental to certain parts of the body, it is still widely believed that too much leptin can cause a number of uncomfortable side effects.
Many of the most common leptin side effects are uncomfortable, but not necessarily a sign of something dangerous. These symptoms include an increased heart rate, insomnia, and dehydration. Heart-related symptoms are often the result of an increase in metabolism. Although this is not always a cause for concern, in obese patients, it may indicate cardiovascular abnormalities brought about by the excess of leptin. Dehydration is often caused by an increase of urination and perspiration, while insomnia is sometimes caused by the stimulating effects of leptin.
Although many leptin side effects are troublesome but not always dangerous, others may be more worrisome. For instance, in diabetic patients, this hormone may increase the severity and frequency of low blood sugar. Elevated leptin levels are also thought to aid in the development of certain cancers, such as breast or colon cancer.
Certain reproductive issues may also be linked to an increase of leptin in the body. One of the potential reproductive-related leptin side effects is the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or an enlarged prostate. Although this side effect is sometimes thought to be connected with this hormone, some studies indicate that it could possibly be the result of obesity instead. Other potential reproductive side effects include an increased risk of unplanned pregnancy and an early onset of puberty in children.