Endocrinology-Diabetes Questions Losing muscle fat

I am losing muscle fat. Could this be because of an hormonal imbalance?

I am pretty active, I follow all my scheduled workouts and also eat healthy meals 5 times a day. Despite this, I am losing muscle fat. Could it be due to an hormonal imbalance? What tests would you recommend to diagnose this?

4 Answers

Muscle normally doesn’t contain fat. Diabetes and obesity can abnormally add fat to muscle so losing it is a good thing. If you meant you are losing muscle mass, that is bad. It can be due to hormonal problems such as overactive thyroid, excess cortisol, or testosterone deficiency (in men), and uncontrolled or untreated diabetes.
Seems as if you have a regular workout routine that probably includes weightlifting, which will build muscle as a normal consequence and is not an endocrine problem. However, weight loss is a manifestation of many endocrine problems including uncontrolled diabetes, hyperthyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, and many non-endocrine diseases. A medical evaluation should be done if you are concerned that there is more going on than exercise-related muscle changes.


Marvin A. Leder, MD, FACP, FACE
Body composition (proportion of fat and muscle in the body) is an important qualifier of body weight. Exercise coupled with a balanced diet promotes muscle growth and depletes fat stores to meet energy requirements. It is important to have essential nutrients in the diet to grow muscle. Hormones such as insulin , steroids and thyroxine all play a role in metabolism and should be checked through special testing to ensure that they are adequate to promote muscle growth.
It could be, but likely is not. How do you know what you are losing is muscle fat and not muscle itself? There are tests that can tell the difference. Ask your Dr. to get those tests first. If it is fat and not muscle loss, then have your Dr. test testosterone, thyroid, and perhaps pituitary hormones. You did not tell me how old you are, how tall your are, your wt. -- all of which I would need to know to give you a better answer.