5 Signs of Hormonal Imbalance in Women Suffering from PCOS

Hormonal Imbalance

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal condition affecting women of reproductive age. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated to impact 8-13 percent of women in this demographic, with up to 70 percent of cases going undiagnosed. Symptoms include irregular periods, acne, excessive facial or body hair, weight gain, and more.

While weight gain is a common symptom, women with PCOS often face a range of hormonal imbalances that can complicate their weight loss journey. Here are five signs of hormonal imbalances a woman may encounter during their weight loss journey with PCOS.

1. Belly Fat

Women with PCOS often experience what’s commonly known as “PCOS belly,” where fat tends to accumulate around the waist and internal organs. This pattern is influenced by hormonal imbalances, contrasting with how fat is distributed in healthy women.

Typically, fat is stored in areas like the hips, thighs, or breasts in healthy women. In women with PCOS, this type of fat buildup, worsened by inflammation and insulin resistance (also symptoms of PCOS), raises the chances of heart disease and diabetes.

2. Sugar Cravings

Women with PCOS often struggle with intense carbohydrate cravings due to insulin resistance, which results in overeating. This challenge is particularly more prevalent among those who are obese compared to lean and underweight women with PCOS.

Opting for whole grains and ensuring adequate protein intake can help stabilize blood sugar levels. Additionally, avoiding processed or sugary foods can help reduce cravings.

3. Hair Loss

Hair loss is a common symptom of PCOS, caused by elevated androgenic hormones. This hormonal imbalance leads to thinning, brittle hair that breaks easily. Women with PCOS often experience excess testosterone, which can worsen hair loss.

It is important to consult healthcare experts to manage hair-related concerns effectively.

4. Irregular Periods

Irregular or missed periods are a key indicator of PCOS, where disruptions in ovarian function prevent ovulation. Diagnosis often occurs 2-3 years after a girl’s first period, as it takes time for menstrual cycles to stabilize.

Insulin resistance contributes to increased testosterone production in the ovaries, affecting both ovulation and the regularity of periods.

5. Fatigue

While PCOS itself doesn’t directly cause fatigue, it’s often linked to several symptoms and conditions that can contribute to feeling tired. Factors such as obesity, hormonal imbalances, and heavy periods associated with PCOS can all play a role in causing fatigue.

Changes in hormones like cortisol and thyroid hormones, which control energy levels, significantly impact fatigue levels.


Understanding these signs of hormonal imbalance can help women with PCOS better manage their symptoms and work towards a healthier lifestyle. If you suspect you have PCOS or are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. With the right approach, women with PCOS can achieve better hormonal balance and improve their overall quality of life.

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