Unintentional weight gain is extremely unpleasant, more so when you have no clue what could be causing it. In most cases, your diet could be the culprit, but other times, this could be a sign that something more serious is going on. This weight gain can happen gradually, but sometimes it can happen rapidly, catching you off-guard.
Some common causes of unintended weight gain include water retention, medication, and hypothyroidism. Below, we explore these causes in detail and discuss what you can do to manage their symptoms.
1. Fluid Retention
One of the most common causes of unintentional weight gain is water retention. Also known as edema, this is a medical condition that causes the individual’s limbs, stomach, or face to appear swollen. This excessive fluid is common in liver disease, heart failure, and kidney disease patients. However, taking certain medication, pregnancy, menstruation, sitting, or standing are other possible causes of fluid retention.
Luckily, there are several ways to manage the symptoms of edema. Try and reduce your salt consumption, for starters, as using too much salt can worsen your edema symptoms. In more advanced cases of edema, medication can be used to expel the excess water through urine. Sometimes referred to as a water pill, a diuretic is a type of medicine that initiates diuresis, the need to pass urine. Water retention pills effectively get rid of water weight because two-thirds of our bodies are comprised of water, so once the body is unable to expel this excess fluid on its own, a diuretic can help. Talk to your doctor to determine what might work best for you.
There are several counter medicines and prescription drugs whose side effects include weight gain. Antidepressants, diabetes medication, some contraceptives, and blood pressure medication are medications whose common side effects include rapid weight gain. While not all women on birth control experience weight gain, they also notice a change in their bust size. Even though this extra weight tends to disappear in about three months, your current bras may not be offering the support you need. Because of this, you may want to invest in a new set of undergarments.
The first step to getting a new bra is figuring out your new bra size and cup size. Your favorite lingerie store will most likely have a bra size guide on their website, and you can use this guide to find the perfect fit. To know your bust size and get an accurate measurement, wind the measuring tape around the fullest part of your bust and round the figure you get to the nearest whole number.
If you notice that your form of contraception is causing an unwanted change in your weight, talk to your doctor about an alternative form of birth control.
Your thyroid is a gland that produces the thyroid hormone responsible for how your heart beats and your metabolism. So if you have a thyroid problem, it could mean that your thyroid is secreting either too much or too little of this hormone. So based on how much or how little of this hormone your thyroid produces, you could gain some weight from these hormonal changes. Unfortunately, women are more likely than men to develop thyroid problems, especially during menopause and after pregnancy.
Hypothyroidism is a medical condition caused by an underactive thyroid, which is responsible for weight gain. Besides the weight gain, this condition can also manifest as fatigue, brittle nails, cold spells, dry hair, and constipation. Luckily, your doctor can run some blood tests to determine the cause of low hormone levels and prescribe some artificial hormones to help you get better.