How To Lose Weight With Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia?

Growing up with a medical condition like Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia can be very difficult. However, it can considerably reduce the problem of having CAH if the right type of information is made available and discussed.

In addition, as young adults, the issues of fertility and sexuality need early discussion to approach adult life with confidence. These issues can be difficult for some children, parents, and also doctors.

Table of Contents

What is congenital adrenal hyperplasia?

The adrenal gland sits above both kidneys of the body. It is made up of a medulla that makes adrenaline; this part works perfectly in CAH.

The surface part of the adrenal gland is called the adrenal cortex, which makes three main hormones called steroids. These steroids are secreted into the bloodstream and are necessary for normal health. So it is the adrenal cortex and its hormones that are involved in CAH.

The three main steroids involved in CAH are:

  • Cortisol 
  • Aldosterone
  • Androgens

The hormone disturbances affected by CAH

  • Lack of cortisol
  • Lack of aldosterone
  • Excessive androgens

Symptoms of CAH

People with CAH can be affected by the following symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Addison’s disease
  • Excess hair growth in “inapplicable” places, like the chin or upper lip
  • Virilizing effects such as acne, hirsutism
  • Thinning of hair on the head (balding)


People with congenital adrenal hyperplasia have a normal life expectancy, and for most people, there is very little protection in everyday life if the condition is well controlled.

However, adults with CAH need lifelong follow-up in specialist hospitals to maintain medical care and provide early advice on fertility when needed.

It is advisable to get regular checkups even if everything is well controlled. For women, checkups should be made 2 – 3 times per year. For men, one time per year is sufficient. The main scope of treatment is to maintain normal cortisol levels and control salt loss in salt losers. 

In women, good medication of CAH brings about control of testosterone levels, regular periods, and improved fertility. In men, good medication can reduce aggressive behavior and control excessive desire for sex. Also, the sperm count can decrease if CAH is not well treated.

An increase in the treatment of steroids for some months can restore fertility in men.


Types of steroids tablets and examples of daily dose for adult

  • Hydrocortisone – 10 to 20 mg/day
  • Prednisolone – 2.5 to 10 mg/day
  • Dexamethasone – 0.1 to 0.75 mg/day

How to lose weight with congenital adrenal hyperplasia?

Many people with CAH, especially women, have the battle to avoid gaining weight. Mostly, weight gain in congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a side effect of treatment. In addition, short stature and depression can make weight gain more likely.

Careful prevention of weight gain is better than a harsh weight-reducing diet. Careful adjustment of treatment, attention to diet, and exercise should enable to avoid weight gain. A normal healthy diet that is low in sugar and fat also high in fiber is best.

Regular, sustained exercise of an hour may require several times per week to keep fitness levels up and weight down.


If you have confidence in yourself, it is much easier to put the condition into perspective for the person you tell because they know that you have CAH.

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