Testing for genetic 



What happens if a doctor thinks you have a genetic cause of hard-to-control hunger (hyperphagia) and obesity?

Your doctor will look for key signs such as hard-to-control hunger and severe obesity. They may then seek genetic confirmation of your condition. This involves a simple collection of a sample in which scientists look at the functioning of specific genes.


There are loads of different genes that code for different instructions for your body - in fact; there are 79 genes alone that are associated with hard-to-control hunger and obesity!1 It would take lots of time to test each one of these genes, so it is really important that you discuss all of your symptoms with your doctor so they can make sure the correct genes are tested for you, and you can get the most successful outcome.


The importance of genetic testing

If you suspect that you or someone you care for may have a genetic cause of hard-to-control hunger and obesity, talk to your doctor about the signs you or they have and genetic testing, which can help confirm this. While it is rare, confirmation of a genetic diagnosis can ensure you or someone you care about can be looked after in the best way possible.2,3

A genetic diagnosis can also help:3

  • Reduce any shame you or someone you care for may feel about obesity and help to cope with the condition
  • Empower you or someone you care for to understand the condition and make more informed decisions about care

Guidance and support

Use our discussion guide to find out more about what you can do to manage hard-to-control hunger.

Discussion guide

This guide has been developed to support you in preparing for an appointment with your doctor or nurse so that you can talk openly about the impact of hard-to-control hunger and obesity and work with them to agree on the best care plan possible.


  • 1

    Mahmoud R, et al. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022; 23(19): 11005

  • 2

    Styne DM, et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017; 102(3): 709-757

  • 3

    Kleinendorst L, et al. BMJ Case Rep. 2017; 2017: bcr2017221067