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Unexpected Weight Gain

unexpected-weight-gain
By Medicover Hospitals / 12 Jan 2021
Home | symptoms | unexpected-weight-gain
  • Unexpected weight gain occurs when you gain weight without increasing your intake of food or fluids and without decreasing your activity. This happens when you are not trying to gain weight. It is often because of fluid retention, abnormal growths, constipation, or pregnancy.
  • Article Context:

    1. What is Unexpected Weight Gain?
    2. Causes
    3. Diagnosis
    4. Treatment
    5. When to visit a Doctor?
    6. Home Remedies
    7. FAQ's

    What is Unexpected Weight Gain?

  • Some types of weight gain are related to a natural process and not to a disease. However, unplanned or unwanted weight gain can become problematic and must be addressed. In most cases, putting more calories into your body than your body can use leads to unwanted weight gain.
  • Similarly, weight gain can also be a symptom of several disorders that affect any of several body systems, including the endocrine, cardiac, urinary, neurological, and respiratory systems. In particular, sudden and rapid weight gain can be a sign of dangerous levels of fluid retention in the body because of heart or kidney disease.
  • Because most weight gain is a symptom of caloric intake over caloric need, you must get in the habit of paying attention to proper nutrition, learning portion control and developing a consistent but varied diet.
  • Causes:

    Pregnancy:

  • One of the most common causes of unintentional weight gain during pregnancy. But many women eat more intentionally to support the growth of the baby. During pregnancy, most women gain weight as the baby grows. This additional weight consists of the baby, the placenta, the amniotic fluid, the increased blood flow, and the enlarged uterus.
  • Medicine:

  • Certain medications can make people gain weight quickly. Medicines that can make people gain weight quickly include some medicines that treat:
    • Seizures
    • Diabetes Mellitus
    • High blood pressure
    • Depression and psychiatric disorders

    Insomnia:

  • Changes in sleeping patterns may affect eating habits and mood, leading people to overeat. Sleep-deprived people consume more carbohydrates than necessary to meet their energy needs, leading to weight gain.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome:

  • People with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may find that they easily gain weight around the waist. PCOS causes the ovaries to produce abnormally high levels of male sex hormones.
  • Other signs of PCOS include:
    • Irregular periods
    • Excess hair on the back, chest, or abdomen
    • Hair thinning or hair loss
    • Acne
    • Dark patches of skin around the armpits, breasts, or neck

    Menstruation:

  • The menstrual cycle is also linked to intermittent weight gain. Women may experience water retention and bloat around the time of their period. Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can cause weight gain. Usually, this is a weight gain of a few pounds.
  • This type of weight gain disappears when the menstrual period of the month ends. It often reappears the following month after the menstrual period starts again and sometimes during ovulation.
  • Thyroid disorder:

  • A thyroid disorder called hypothyroidism can slow down your metabolism, which can cause weight gain. Thyroid problems can also cause the body to keep fluids because of the effects of hypothyroidism on the kidneys.
  • Ovarian cancer:

  • Sudden or unexplained weight gain and swelling can be a sign of ovarian cancer. Other signs of ovarian cancer include:
    • pain in the abdomen or pelvis
    • difficulty sleeping
    • urgent or frequent need to urinate
    • loss of appetite or feeling full quickly
    • unusual menstrual cycle
    • indigestion

    Cushing's syndrome:

  • Weight gain is a common symptom of Cushing’s syndrome, a condition in which you are exposed to too much cortisol, the stress hormone, which leads to weight gain and other abnormalities. It can happen when the adrenal glands make too much cortisol or it could be related to a tumor. Weight gain across the forehead, throat, upper back, or waist can be the most noticeable.
  • Stress and Anxiety mood:

  • People respond to stress, anxiety, and depressive moods differently. Some people can lose weight, while others can gain weight. Some people turn to food as a coping mechanism and it can lead to a vicious cycle. Weight gain because of depression can make you feel more depressed, which can lead to more weight gain.
  • If you know you are an emotional eater, finding other forms of distraction can help, such as:
    • exercise
    • a hobby
    • call a friend
    • go for a walk
    • take a relaxing bath

    Fluid retention:

  • Rapid and unexplained weight gain can result from fluid retention. This leads to fluid swelling, also known as edema, which can make your limbs, hands, feet, face, or abdomen appear swollen. People with heart failure, kidney disease, liver disease, or those who take certain medications can experience this type of weight gain.
  • Heart failure:

  • Rapid weight gain or swelling in particular areas of the body can be because of fluid retention and can be a sign of heart failure. If blood flows slowly to and from the heart, it affects the function of other important organs in the body. As a result, fluid builds up in the tissues, causing weight gain and swelling.
  • With swelling, people can encounter weight gain in the:
    • stomach area
    • ankles
    • legs
    • feet
  • Some cardiovascular disease signs and signs include:
  • The buildup of fluid within the lungs (pulmonary edema)
    • frequent cough
    • feeling out of breath when resting
    • dizziness or confusion
    • loss of appetite
    • difficulty sleeping or lying down

    Diagnosis:

  • Your doctor will ask you several questions about your signs, lifestyle, and medical history. They can also take a blood sample to check hormone levels, kidney function, liver function, and other health markers that can show medical problems.
  • An imaging test such as an ultrasound, plain X-ray, MRI, or CT scan may be necessary.
  • Treatment:

  • There are several ways to treat unintended weight gain. The best method of treatment depends on the cause of your unintended weight gain.
  • If a hormonal imbalance is a cause, your doctor may prescribe medication to balance your hormone levels. Medication will depend on the hormones affected. In the long run, these medications are also used.
  • If a hormonal imbalance is a cause, your doctor may prescribe medication to balance your hormone levels. Medication will depend on the hormones affected. In the long run, these medications are also used.
  • If a medication you are taking causes the problem, your doctor will recommend alternative treatments.
  • When to visit a Doctor?

  • If people experience rapid and involuntary weight gain without an obvious cause, they should see their doctor.
  • The doctor will inquire about the medical history of the patient and any signs. They may perform a physical exam and blood tests or refer the person to a specialist.
  • Home Remedies:

    Heart failure:

  • Rapid weight gain or swelling in particular areas of the body can be because of fluid retention and can be a sign of heart failure. If blood flows slowly to and from the heart, it affects the function of other important organs in the body. As a result, fluid builds up in the tissues, causing weight gain and swelling.
  • Green Tea:

  • Regular intake of green tea can help you lose weight and maintain it. Green tea is a rich source of catechins and caffeine, both of which play an important role in weight loss.
  • Lemon and honey:

  • The combination of lemon juice and honey is a very popular remedy for weight loss. The vitamin C in lemon aids in fat oxidation and honey exhibits lipid-lowering activities.
  • Black Pepper:

  • Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which gives it its spicy flavor. Piperine has fat-reducing and lipid-lowering activities that can help you lose weight.
  • Parsley Juice:

  • Parsley and lemon juice mixture is one of the best remedies for weight loss. Both parsley and lemon juice are rich sources of vitamin C, which help with digestion and the oxidation of fats.
  • Cranberry Juice:

  • Cranberry juice is very low in calories and is an excellent substitute for other juices. It is also a rich source of antioxidants that help flush toxins from your body and stimulate your metabolism. This helps you lose weight.
  • Curry Leaves:

  • Curry leaves lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, helping you lose weight naturally. They also aid digestion, making it the perfect remedy for weight loss.
  • Cinnamon:

  • Cinnamon has been used for years to combat obesity and reduce weight. These properties can be attributed to its metabolic activities that also help treat heart disease and diabetes.
  • Ginger:

  • Ginger promotes a feeling of fullness and reduces hunger pangs. It also improves thermogenesis, which helps burn extra fat and helps you lose weight naturally.
  • Coconut Oil:

  • The presence of medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil makes it an effective remedy for weight loss. The oil exhibits powerful effects on your metabolism, which is one of the major ways it helps you lose weight naturally.
  • Frequently Asked Questions:

  • The weight gain associated with ovarian cancer is not unique to this type of cancer.
  • Iron-deficient people experience low energy levels and sudden weight gain due to an underactive thyroid gland.
  • It's true that if someone had gone for a brisk walk instead of, say, taking an afternoon nap, they would have used more energy during the walk. However, sleeping itself is not the cause of weight gain.
  • Citations:

  • AIDS - https://journals.lww.com/aidsonline/FullText/2017/06190/Dolutegravir_and_weight_gain__an_unexpected.18.aspx
  • Science Direct - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/002978449500118B
  • Wiley's Online Library - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/oby.2007.616