Indirect Causes Of Weight Gain
Food consumption is the most obvious reason for gaining extra weight. However, other factors like drugs and health condition could contribute to your weight gain without you noticing it. If you are having difficulty losing weight and not sure why, you may need to work on these possible culprits:
Menopause could cause fat accumulation in waist, thighs and hips. However, it is aging, not menopause and lower estrogen level, that mainly causes weight gain among women in their 40s and 50s. Aging people experience slower metabolism. Their body fat takes more time to metabolize. Failing to continue a healthy lifestyle is also a reason why older people tend to gain weight. They exercise less often, so fewer calories is turned into energy.
When the day becomes stressful, our body adapts internally by secreting cortisol, also know as stress hormone. The result is increased appetite. This explains why stressed people are quick to reach for snacks and high-calorie foods, thus gaining extra weight.
Lack of Sleep
Those who sleep late at night are likely to eat more snacks, thus increasing their calorie intake. But there is another way by which sleep deprivation can cause weight gain. People who lack sleep tend to feel hungrier when they wake up. Certain hormones that regulate appetite are activated when people lack sleep. So even if these people eat a balanced diet, they may still feel hungry and thus eat more than the normal amount of food.
Quitting From Smoking
Those who have quit from smoking tend to gain 4 to 10 pounds. Abandoning smoking means giving up nicotine, which is an effective substance for controlling appetite. Those who quit from smoking feel hungry more often, thus they are likely to overeat. Moreover, eliminating nicotine from daily life makes taste buds more sensitive and slows down metabolism.
Twenty-five percent of people who have been using depressants for a long period of time are likely to gain weight. However, it is quite normal for some people to eat more during the start of their medication since their mood is improving, which in turn increases their appetite. If you feel that you are gaining weight due to antidepressants, possible alternatives you should opt for are natural antidepressants.
Corticosteroids And Other Prescription Drugs
Anti-inflammatory steroids are known to be a weight booster. Steroid-induced weight gain could be due to fluid retention, increased appetite or both. The amount of extra weight depends on the dosage of the steroids and how long the steroids are being used. Some users may also see their body fat being distributed to other body parts like face, abdomen and back of the neck.
Other prescription medicines that can lead to extra weight are antipsychotic drugs like those indicated for mood disorders such as bipolar disorders and schizophrenia. Drugs for seizures, high blood pressure, migraines and diabetes can also cause weight gain. If you feel that you are gaining weight because of any of these medications, you should try natural remedies.
Birth control pills like estrogen and progestin do not increase body weight. Women who take these pills are in fact more likely to lose weight because of nausea.
Do not stop taking prescription drugs simply because of weight concerns. Since some drugs add weight due to fluid retention, be patient as you finish your therapy. Thereafter, your weight should normalize. In the meantime, have a low-sodium diet.
Also, keep in mind that not all people have the same reactions to drugs. Some drugs can cause others to lose or gain weight, but your body may react differently. So always ask your doctors when making decisions related to prescription drugs.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS mostly affects women in their childbearing age. PCOS patients suffer from ovarian cysts and hormonal imbalances that disrupt the menstrual cycle, leading to acne flareups and growth of excessive body hair. This condition is resistant to insulin. PCOS-induced weight gain is often seen in the abdomen, thus increasing the risk of heart disease.
Cushing’s syndrome is characterized by excess level of cortisol. This hormone is responsible for weight gain and other symptoms. Cushing’s syndrome can be triggered by corticosteroids indicated for arthritis, asthma and lupus. This condition also develops when your body secretes too much cortisol. Cushing’s syndrome patients usually have the extra fat in their face, upper back, neck or waist.
If your thyroid (the gland found in your throat) does not produce the normal amount of thyroid hormone, you would feel weak and tired, which could lead to weight gain. Lack of thyroid hormone also slows down metabolism. Weight gain is also possible when thyroid only produces the minimum hormone requirement.