Identifying hyperphagia in your patients
Hyperphagia is a common feature in people living with BBS1
Hyperphagia and obesity due to BBS are caused by impairment in the MC4R pathway. The MC4R pathway is a key signaling pathway that regulates hunger, satiety, and energy expenditure. If left untreated or unmanaged, hyperphagia and obesity can intensify physical and mental challenges for patients and caregivers.1-4
Hyperphagia is a pathological, insatiable hunger that is differentiated from other overeating behaviors and disorders by its severity and persistence4
Eating beyond a feeling of satiety at a special occasion or celebratory meal (eg, Thanksgiving)
Eating beyond metabolic requirements based on the expectation of pleasure from consuming foods
Consumption of a large amount of food with loss of control in a short period of time
(Pathological, insatiable hunger)
- Long time to satiation
- Shorter duration of satiation
- Prolonged feeling of hunger
- Severe preoccupation with food and distress if denied food, often associated with abnormal food-seeking behaviors
According to 2023 AAP and 2023 OMA guidelines, managing hyperphagia can be challenging and may require the use of pharmacotherapy2,8
Real experiences with hyperphagia
Learn about its daily impact on families and how physicians differentiate hyperphagia from other overeating behaviors to diagnose and manage it
After her first birthday, we noticed a rapid weight gain, and she threw tantrums all the time and was very difficult to manage. Looking back, I see this was most likely due to how hungry she felt.
— Ann, caregiver of a person living with BBS
While Wyatt and Carson have the same variants of the BBS10 gene, only Wyatt has hyperphagia and obesity. I couldn't take the kids out by myself because Wyatt needed constant supervision to make sure he wasn't stealing food. I have to lock our fridge, trash, and pantry.
— Rachel, caregiver of a child living with BBS
Since starting IMCIVREE I am not always thinking about eating. Now, I can actually focus on my friends and family, and on doing activities besides eating. I feel like I'm able to do the fun things I've always wanted to do without my hunger interrupting.
— Sabrina, who is living with BBS
AAP=American Academy of Pediatrics; MC4R=melanocortin-4 receptor; OMA=Obesity Medicine Association.