Hormones and Weight Loss Trouble, Is There Really a Connection?

Updated on January 30, 2011
J.B. asks from Marrero, LA
18 answers

Hey mamas,
Do any of you know if your hormones being whacked out or your thyroid can hijack weigh loss? I am doing the right things, I work out, I eat right, log my food, have a personal trainer etc. But I just lose a little and gain it right back. I feel so frustrated. I was thinking of getting my thyroid checked to see if that is playing a part, has anyone done this and seen improvement after treatment? I just weaned my baby and was so excited to finally really get going on weight loss and lost about 4lbs, now after a week, I right back up there and I didn't have a bad food week so I don't know what to do, I feel like I am just never going to get all this off and I am working so hard at it, like all that work just means nothing. I have lost 3% body fat since the last time I was checked but I am still about 60lbs overweight so I must lose pounds as well, I just have to, my body can't handle all this weight! So who do you even go to for a thyroid/ hormones check? Any advice would greatly appreciated, thanks!

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answers from Washington DC on

you betcha. i went round and round with my allopathic health providers for YEARS with this issue. blood tests showed a normal thyroid, but i knew there was something off (inability to lose weight no matter what i did, plus crippling fatigue.) in desperation i finally went to a good homeopath. she worked with me for a couple of years and we finally got my thyroid up and running and my hormones where they should be, and unlike most medical diagnoses, the goal was to FIX me, not just stay on maintenance treatment. and it worked. i haven't been back to see her in years, which is just what we both wanted.
if traditional medicine doesn't help, keep looking.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Try reading the book "Perfect 10" by Dr. Michael Aziz. This gives wonderful information on hormone health and weight loss issues.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hormones do play a big part IMO. Not always the thyroid either. If I were you I would look into the possibility of you being insulin resistant. I have read where that is often a reason that we cannot lose weight-esp women. Here is a little description:
Insulin allows glucose to travel from the bloodstream into the cells, where it is used for cell functioning. When we eat foods high in refined carbohydrates, insulin levels surge to remove the sugar from the blood and get it into your cells. This mechanism works very well for the most part. But if insulin spikes too often from a diet rich in the high-carb foods that trigger insulin secretion, your cells respond by decreasing the reactivity and number of insulin receptors on their surfaces. Eventually, this prevents glucose from getting into your cells, leading to high blood sugar and depriving your cells of the energy they need to function. This is why many women with insulin resistance experience carbohydrate cravings, fatigue and weight-gain — their cells are literally starving for energy, even when plenty of glucose is available in the blood. Down the road, your body’s capacity to generate insulin appropriately becomes depleted, and the result is type 2 diabetes.

Try going on a low carb diet with low glycemic index foods and see if it works any better for you.

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answers from Boca Raton on

I absolutely agree with Suz.

Furthermore, I have basically given up on "mainstream" medicine. Unless I break a bone or need heart surgery I plan to avoid it in the future (God willing).

I went for thyroid testing and though I had one value that was "off" - my traditional doctor didn't seem overly concerned. I later learned that thyroid values can be unique for each woman (i.e., your optimal range may be different than mine). When I started on some supplements (on my own) I started to feel better.

You may also want to look into adrenal fatigue.

I only want to lose about 20 lbs but it's been so freakin' hard! It drives me crazy, so I feel for you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

They are absolutely related. And I feel the same frustration. I eat an extremely healthy diet with appropriate portions, exercise, and drink plenty of water....... the weight just won't come off.

If it's hormone related, your body will NOT release those extra pounds. You could exercise all day long, hire a personal chef to make all perfectly portioned and perfectly balanced meals, and those pesky lil hormones would STILL sabotage you. Stinks, doesn't it?

Angela S. was right on the money. I totally agree with what she said about adrenal fatigue too. I am being treated for adrenal fatigue now and it seems to be helping.

It's not as cut and dried as diet and exercise. I have been working my butt off for 4 years to lose my extra weight and have GAINED weight even while doing everything right.

You can go to a regular doc for a thyroid check but it might be pointless. I would go to a natural doc. They know how to make all the systems of the body function together, get to the root of the problem and get you on the right track to health.

You are not alone!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsfield on

Your PCP can order your thyroid levels to be checked and it absolutely regulates your metabolism. However, even fluctuations can affect your metabolism and that 1 blood test wouldn't show that.
If you are really doing everything right and not losing weight then low thyroid or fluctuating thyroid can be the culprit. (But, so can stress if your obsessing about it).
5 women in my family have hypo-thyroid syndrome or fluctuating thyroid levels and when I was doing everything right, but not losing weight i felt there had to be a connection. My dr. was not supportive since my(1 test) levels were normal and told me that despite my good diet, being a runner, and exercising about 14 hours a week - I should be happy with my 15 pound weight loss that year even though I still had 30 pounds to lose and my weight went up frequently. I've done a lot of research and sometimes an iodine deficiency is the answer. It supports thyroid function.
Then I found out my aunt had worked with a Naturopath Doctor and he treated her low levels with Iodine and it was really effective for her. My own mother had to have weekly blood work done for them to see the fluctuations and then she was on lots of medication. She opted out eventually b/c of side effects and promptly started gaining weight again :(
I got pregnant before examining this option, but I came across this


I'm not endorsing it, b/c i haven't tried it, but it's in line w/ what my aunt took - iodine from kelp and I will try this if weight loss is still an issue after this baby.

Good luck. I really understand the frustration and I hope you find the answers you are looking for - in the mean time, keep doing what your doing. Your weight may not be what you want, but your cholesterol, blood pressure, heart, etc... are still reaping the benefits.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I have hypothyroidism. I was first diagnosed 8 years ago with symptoms of fatigue, weight gain and depression. Are you feeling all of those symptoms? If so, see your doctor immediately. Any thyroid disease is serious. I'm on medication and will be for the rest of my life with a 6 month follow up on my blood work. Please take care of yourself and if it's not your thyroid, they may be able to find out what it is you need help with. GOOD LUCK ;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

A simple blood test will tell your doc if your thyroid is whack. Most likely you are just doing MORE calories in than you are burning OFF. Thats the only way to gain weight if it's not a glandular problem. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat.... so dont get discouraged about the 4lbs, I'm sure some of that is muscle :)
Eat right and move a lot. It will work. It's just a shame that it doesnt happen faster. It is a process.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Are you eating enough calories per day? If not, your body will go into starvation-survival mode and hang on to fat because it thinks it won't get fed. You need at least 1200 per day and probably 1600 if you have 60+ pounds to lose.

What does your trainer have you do? Is it easy? What is your heart rate? Are you strength training and doing cardio? Is the cardio challenging and include bouts of high intensity?

Have you been yo-yo dieting in the past? If so, your metabolism might be completely out of whack. People who lose 15, gain 20, lose 20, gain 25 etc have a MUCH harder time shedding the weight.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

It all plays a part in sabotaging weight loss. I'm kind of over traditional western medicine. All they seem to want to do is give you a pill to fix something.

I have been doing more supplements on my own, eating organically, and am going to see an acupuncturist soon. There has to be something to eastern medicine, look at their life span and lesser health issues.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Jillian Michaels new book (Master your Metabolism) has two chapters addressing how the toxins we are exposed to can create abnormal hormone levels, thus prohibit weight loss, even if we are doing all the right activities!.
Wish you the Best, and good work on the efforts!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Johnstown on

ABSOLUTELY!!!!! I have PCOS and it is HORRIBLE when it comes to allowing me to lose weight. I've been working since late last spring and have only been able to take off 32 lbs, despite doing everything I'm supposed to. The main thing is to just keep going and keep thinking positive thoughts. Stress is horrible too. Stress causes weight gain, so does hormone & thyroid imbalance. Weight gain causes stress, as well as hormone & thyroid imbalance. Everything works against everything else and causes all kinds of issues. Just go to your main PCP and have them draw blood and they'll tell you where to go from there. GL

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

J., you might want to check out Brad Lamm's new book, Just 10 lbs.



answers from Los Angeles on

A good friend of mine has had thyroid issues her whole life. She never could get a doctor to treat it correctly, has been on thyroid medication for years and has always struggled with her weight. She went on the Hi5 program and has lost 15 pounds so far, has a lot more energy and has even stopped taking her thyroid medications! If you want some more information just shoot me a message and I can get you the info.



answers from Chattanooga on

It absolutely can affect weight loss. You would see an endocrinologist and go to Stopthethyroidmadness.com to get a list of thyroid tests to have done. Many doctors (even endos) do not do all the necessary tests to get to the bottom of thyroid issues. Good luck!



answers from Colorado Springs on

Are you on birth control? I had the Mirena put in after my second child and I COULD NOT BUDGE a pound - not even an ounce - I held steady at the same weight for months no matter how hard I worked out, how little I ate, etc. And I know how to lose weight! :-)

I finally started doing some research and it appears there are a quite a few women out there that react poorly to the hormone in some birth control and once I had the Mirena removed I started to lose weight almost immediately.

Food for thought...otherwise...get a work up...but don't be surprised if your levels all come back normal.

Good luck.



answers from Washington DC on

hypo thyroid is 100% related to weight. Oh and for added fun pregnancy and breastfeeding can throw the thyroid out of whack. I would get the blood work done. Do you have any of the other symptoms. Moody, brittle nails, tired?



answers from Houston on

I have the same problems and do believe its a Thyroid problem.Im thinking its time to see a Dr.!

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