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Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Weight Gain?

If you're putting on weight, chances are it's due to poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle. However, this isn't always the reason.  A hormonal imbalance can also cause you to gain weight.

Obesity remains a problem in the United States, resulting in a rise in chronic health problems such as cardiovascular disease and many types of cancer.

When hormones are to blame, losing weight becomes more difficult.

can hormone imbalance cause weight gain

What Are Hormones?

Hormones are miniscule communicators in your bodies that carry data from one part of your body to another via your bloodstream. They instruct organs and tissues on what they should do, how hey should do it, and how long to do it for.

Hormones are controlled by your endocrine system, wh]ich is an important part of your overall health. They work efficiently but slowly, making it difficult to determine whether you're suffering from an imbalance in your hormones. 

Hormones have an impact on processes such as mood, metabolism, reproduction, sexual function, and growth.

The most common and evident sign of a hormonal imbalance is weight gain. Weight changes are common, but if you've gained a great deal of weight in a relatively short amount of time, it's most likely your hormones to blame.

How Weight and Hormones are Linked

A person's body weight gain or loss is frequently attributed to a shift in their eating or exercise habits. If you notice you've put on a some extra pounds, you may become dissatisfied with yourself and begin exercising more and watching your diet.

If, on the other hand, the scale says you've lost weight, you might feel good about yourself for eating right. Bigger weight fluctuations, on the other hand, are frequently caused by hormone changes or imbalance, which many people do not consider.

Hormonal changes, according to studies, can impact your appetite, affecting the amount you eat and what you crave. Depending on their balance, they can even end up causing you to hold onto more or less fat on your body.

As a result, simply telling someone to "move your body and eat right" isn't always enough to make a significant change in their life and weight, especially if hormones play a role in their weight change.

Hormones That Impact Your Weight

There are many different types of hormones that can effect your weight. If you know which hormones are out of balance, you can better understand lifestyle changes that you can make to get your weight back on track. 


Cortisol is commonly referred to as the stress hormone since it releases at the times your body feels stresses. 

It can be difficult to reduce overeating habits if your levels of cortisol are chronically high. Even individuals who are capable of avoiding this problem may struggle to lose weight.

To reduce cortisol levels, it is essential to engage in mindfulness and meditation, manage stress, eat a well-rounded diet that does not have extreme calorie restriction, and get at least seven hours of rest per night.


Leptin is the hormone responsible for making you feel full. Sadly, individuals who struggle with obesity may have issues with leptin not functioning right. This can make losing weight difficult, even if you follow your doctor's advice, such as eating healthy and exercising.

Avoiding inflammatory foods, eating more fish, and sleeping no less than at seven hours every night are all ways to improve your body's leptin sensitivity.


Insulin is a hormone that signals the body to hold onto fat. Even if you don't have diabetes, your insulin levels can spike at times. 

Steering clear of foods high in sugar and not binge eating are two excellent ways to keep your insulin levels in check. You can also increase your protein and antioxidant intake to attain similar results.


The female sex hormone is known as estrogen and unfortunately can lead to weight gain if the levels are off. 

Eating tons of fiber, exercising consistently, consuming cruciferous vegetables,  and including flaxseeds in your diet can help manage your estrogen.

Can Hormonal Weight Gain Be Lost?

The first step is to consult with your doctor to determine the underlying cause. A urine or blood test is frequently used to verify existing levels of hormones and define any discrepancies.

If your weight gain is caused by a lack of estrogen or testosterone, hormone replacement therapy may be a viable option, but it is not without risks and side effects. As an example:

While testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can help with some physical issues, it has also been linked to a rise in sleep apnea, acne, and elevated red blood cell counts, all of which can increase your risk of complications, including heart attacks and blood clots.

Estrogen replacement therapy (HRT) is not recommended for women who have suffered from cancer, liver disease, or vaginal bleeding problems. Strokes, heart attacks, blood clots, breast cancer, and gallbladder disease are all risks associated with treatment.

Thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, can be caused by autoimmune thyroid disorders, inflammation, or be hereditary. Treatment consists of a daily medication regimen for the rest of your life to restore lost or out of balance hormones. 

If the hormonal imbalance is resulted from an autoimmune condition such as Hashimoto's disease or Grave's disease, your physician will instruct you on the risks of iodine side effects as well as supplements, foods, and medications to avoid.

Changes in diet and exercise may be required to complement any treatment program. And, because important hormones that regulate glucose and appetite control, such as leptin and ghrelin, are active while you sleep, make sure you get enough rest.

Losing weight due to hormone imbalance possible, and you can design a plan that works greatest for you in collaboration with your doctor.


If you are struggling with excessive weight gain or loss at a rapid pace, your hormones might be imbalanced. If you suspect this is the case, you should consider implementing supplements into your routine. 

There are many different supplements that can help naturally balance your hormones, and therefore help with weight gain. 

In extreme cases, you might consider visiting an endocrinologist to help address and treat the problem to avoid other health complications. An endocrinologist can pinpoint exactly which hormones are imbalanced and then recommend the right supplements for you. 

While you might receive a treatment plan and take supplements, it’s important to remember that any treatment should always be coupled with a healthy diet, exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management to help reverse the impacts of hormonal weight gain and its complications.