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It may come as a surprise, but the percentage of adults in the US who are in the obese category is currently around 42.5%.

Weight gain can be difficult for those that are trying to keep their weight stable. However, when the numbers on the scale continue to go up instead of down, there might be external factors to consider.

Not only can weight gain affect your confidence, but it can also put you at risk of developing weight-associated diseases and health problems.

In this article, we will explain the 4 common causes of weight gain and what you can do to avoid it.

Sudden weight gain doesn’t have to impact your life if you know the lifestyle factors to watch out for.

Read on to find out more about what you can do to stop those pounds from piling on!

1. Medications That Cause Weight Gain 

Unexpected weight gain can be confusing for those that haven’t experienced it before. The reasons can be a struggle to understand, but one issue that might be a factor comes in the form of medication.

Medications can be a lifesaver for many, however, some medications can cause numerous side effects. One major side effect of some medications is weight gain.

A list of common medications that can cause weight gain is as follows:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Antihistamines
  • Tricycle Antidepressants
  • Epilepsy Medication

Corticosteroids

Oral corticosteroids, sold under names such as Deltasone, Predincot, and Rayos treat a number of conditions. These range from asthma to back pain to arthritis. Unfortunately, they do include symptoms such as fluid retention and a change in metabolism. These drugs are usually recommended for a short period of time and aren’t meant for long-term use.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are usually taken for people that experience an allergic reaction or an itchy rash. It can also be taken for hayfever in some circumstances. If you have to take antihistamines regularly, this can lead to excess body weight and a higher waist circumference. Antihistamines can confuse certain impulses in the body, meaning a person can still feel hungry even when they are full.

Tricycle Antidepressants

Medications such as amitriptyline, doxepin, and nortriptyline can stimulate appetite and cause weight gain. Antidepressants aren’t something you can just come off immediately. You’ll need to work with your doctor to develop a mental health plan first before reducing your medication.

Epilepsy Medication

Drugs that are used to treat seizures (gabapentin, pregabalin, and vigabatrin) can increase a person’s appetite and lead to weight gain. These drugs are necessary for preventing epileptic fits and you’ll need to speak with your doctor about alternative medicine.

It can be difficult to recognize that a medication you are taking for your health, is impacting your health in other ways.

It’s worth speaking to a health care professional to see if you’re able to find an alternative that doesn’t have weight gain as a side effect.

It might also be a temporary process as the medication is settling in your body. so as the hormone levels fluctuate this also might settle down any sudden weight gain.

2. Hormone Imbalance 

A hormone imbalance in the body can occur for a number of reasons. But sudden fluctuations and changes in the body and hormones can result in weight gain.

Common hormone imbalances that can also cause weight gain are:

  • Endometriosis
  • Menopause
  • Cortisol
  • PCOS

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition found in women that causes endometrial tissue to form outside of the uterus lining. This can be a very painful condition, especially at the time of menstruation. Common symptoms with endometriosis are pain and bloating in the pelvis region and weight gain. The hormonal imbalance comes from higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of progesterone.

Menopause

Menopause is, unfortunately, inevitable for those with a uterus. During menopause, the hormone imbalance increases as estrogen levels get lower and lower. Weight gain is a side effect as well as hot flushes, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and headaches.

Cortisol

Another hormone that can cause imbalance is excessively high levels of cortisol which is the ‘fight or flight’ hormone. When the body perceives threat or danger, cortisol is pumped around the body to respond. This response to stress can change your blood sugar levels, leaving you with fatigue and craving sugar, leading to weight gain.

PCOS

Similar to endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is often associated with heavy periods, bloating, and weight gain. People that suffer from PCOS have hormone imbalances such as a resistance to insulin which also puts them at risk of developing type two diabetes.

3. Thyroid Issues

Your thyroid can play havoc on your body when it comes to unexpected weight gain. A lot of people who have thyroid problems are often undiagnosed, thinking that they are simply experiencing fatigue more than other people.

Here are some of the common thyroid issues associated with weight gain:

  • Underactive thyroid
  • Hypothyroidism

Underactive Thyroid

Your thyroid is responsible for secreting a hormone that’s essential for the functions of your entire body. If you have an inactive thyroid, this means that it’s not producing enough hormones and this can affect several of your bodily functions. It can make people feel sluggish and exhausted and is also linked to weight gain. A good diet and healthy vitamins can helo with alleviating some of these symptoms

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is similar to an underactive thyroid, however, the condition is permanent. This means that the person will always have to monitor their diet, energy levels and be mindful that unexpected weight gain can be a factor.

4. Sleep Cycle Problems

A healthy weight is based on two key principles; namely a moderate diet and participating in physical activity.

It’s recommended that healthy adults should undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. But if you’re doing this and still gaining weight, the problem might instead be with your rest time, rather than your exercise time.

Sleep is such an important part of allowing the body to rest and recuperate. If a person doesn’t get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night, this can have detrimental effects on their health and body, including weight gain.

This is because, through the lack of sleep, the body naturally craves calorie-dense foods high in carbohydrates and sugar to keep it going. There’s a tangible link between sleep deprivation and obesity.

Some common causes of sleep cycle disturbances are as follows:

  • Insomnia
  • Working night shifts
  • Looking after young children

Insomnia

Insomnia is a medical condition and sleep disorder where sufferers are unable to get off to sleep in the evenings, experience ineffective sleep or they wake up too early. They are unable to feel rested or energized after sleep and may have to use sleeping aids or pills to actually get to sleep. This can result in a high-calorie diet to keep awake in the day and lead to weight gain.

Working night shifts

By working through the night, a person’s natural sleep cycle is disrupted, and they may find it difficult to adjust to sleeping in the day. This disruption can lead to weight gain as they modify their diet to cope with the extra demand.

Looking after young children

If you’ve recently become a parent, you’ll know how precious sleep can be. When you are looking after a young infant, it’s normal to be woken up several times in the night for feeding or they need a nappy change. This broken cycle of sleep can cause sleep deprivation and lead you to reach for those sugary foods and cause weight gain.

Whatever the reason for a disruption in your sleep cycle, this can often be out of your control and be difficult to change organically. This is where you might need to look out for alternative methods of maintaining your weight.

Medical Weight Loss Programs 

If you’re at your wit’s end about unexpected weight gain, it can be helpful to treat it as a medical issue.

Work with experienced professionals who can put together a comprehensive medical weight loss program. It’s designed to keep the weight off.

Losing weight is the easy bit. It’s about maintaining your weight loss.

Access the right support and work with health care professionals, dietitians, and wellness coaches. This allows you to treat all aspects of weight gain and learn how to keep yourself on track.

So what are you waiting for exactly? Take a look at some of our programs and make that first step on your journey to a manageable and healthy weight.

Causes of Weight Gain and What You Can Do Today 

Most of us have had knocks to our confidence concerning our appearance and weight.

Learning the causes of weight gain is just the beginning. It’s what you do with that information and what you do next that counts.

A medical weight loss program could revolutionize your approach to wellness, dieting, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Why not schedule an appointment with us today to see what we can do for you?