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Steve Jobs' Hormonal Imbalance: FAQ

Doctors Weigh In on Steve Jobs' Disclosure of His Hormonal Imbalance

Could Jobs' hormonal imbalance be related to his 2004 surgery to remove the pancreatic tumor? continued...

"The more of the pancreas that's taken out in surgery, the more likelihood of developing a hormonal problem," says Jay Marks, MD, an associate clinical professor of medicine at UCLA who contributes to MedicineNet, which is part of the WebMD network.

Because of his previous pancreatic cancer and treatment, Jobs may be low on pancreatic enzymes, and fixing that would mean taking pancreatic enzyme supplements with meals. And if he doesn't do that or is on a dose that's too low, that could hinder his digestion and lead to weight loss, explains Otis Brawley, MD, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

What else could be causing Jobs' hormonal imbalance?

He could have a thyroid problem, note Brawley and Roos. Roos also says it's possible that Jobs has low levels of growth hormone due to a chronic illness. "There are three possibilities: He has growth hormone deficiency, he has pancreatic enzyme deficiency, or he has both," says Roos.

But that's speculation.

"I definitely encourage folks to take him at his word and realize that the weight loss could be due to his disease progressing, but it's also very, very likely due to some nonmalignant process," says Brawley.

 

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