You can only feel at your best if your hormone levels are what they should be, and abnormalities in nearly any of your hormone levels can lead to fatigue. Most people know that too little thyroid hormone can lead to fatigue, but many people are surprised to learn that too much thyroid hormone can also cause some to feel lethargic or tired. Having too much parathyroid hormone -- hyperparathyroidism -- is a common hormone problem. Too much parathyroid hormone raises the blood calcium level and this often causes reduced energy. Cushing’s syndrome, a condition caused by too much cortisol, one of the main hormones made by the adrenal glands, causes weight gain, loss of muscle mass and severe fatigue. Cushing’s syndrome caused by overactive adrenal glands is rare, but the same condition quite often results from administration of large doses of prednisone and related medications which are related to cortisol. On the flip side, too little cortisol, a condition called adrenal insufficiency or Addison’s disease, also causes severe fatigue. Problems related to other hormones, including insulin, the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen, other adrenal hormones such as adrenaline (also called epinephrine) and a whole range of hormone-related problems that are much less common may cause fatigue. The good news is that treating the hormone-related problem will restore energy back to normal.
- Q What is endocrinology?
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- Q What are the different kinds of hormone treatment?