First things first—if you haven’t given in to your heart’s desire to binge on those cupcakes or skip your exercise routine, then pat yourself on the back. You’ve been doing good! But if there has been no significant change in your diet and lifestyle in recent times and yet the weighing scale is being absolutely mean to you, showing those extra pounds, then it’s time to think!
While your diet and exercise totally have a key role to play in your body’s weight, they are not the only aspects you must look into. Sometimes it can be quite underlying than you can possibly think of, suggesting a possible medical condition. Well, when it comes to health, knowing is always awesome, so here we go with seven possible causes responsible for your unexplained, sudden weight gain—
If other than the big fat numbers on your weighing scale, you have been noticing symptoms like severe hair fall, constant fatigue, and dry skin, then chances are rife that you have hypothyroidism, wherein your thyroid gland is underactive. The thyroid hormones influence many body functions. So, when there’s a problem with the thyroid gland, many symptoms begin showing up, including unexplained weight gain, wherein hypothyroidism reduces your body’s natural metabolism rate, making you burn fewer calories throughout the day. It is thus very important for you to get a thyroid screening done to be sure that a thyroid disorder is not the reason for your sudden weight gain.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Commonly known as PCOS, this one’s a disorder caused due to hormonal imbalance in a female’s body. It leads to your sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone (yes, women produce testosterone too, just in smaller quantities) to go berserk and you show symptoms like sudden weight gain, unwanted facial hair, irregular periods, acne, etc. PCOS makes your body resistant to insulin, so whatever sugar or starch you eat throughout the day, get stored in the form of fat instead of energy to fuel you up. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms alongside your sudden weight gain, it is advisable that you go for a PCOS test.
Our body needs at least eight hours of sleep every night to function efficiently. But if you’re someone who sleeps just for say, four hours, quite naturally, you’re likely to turn to odd-time snacking. Lack of sleep meddles with our hunger-regulating hormones, so when you have insomnia and tiredness, your hunger pangs activate and become intense in no time, making you binge on anything and everything—a habit very closely connected to unexplained weight gain. Get in touch with a doctor and mental health expert to get treated for insomnia.
Depression or anxiety
Any kind of mood disorder can trigger certain behavioural abnormalities. Using overeating as a coping mechanism is one of them. Mindless eating is often a commonly seen outcome of depression or anxiety. It’s like, you’re not even hungry anymore and the taste of the nachos that you have been munching on has already become saturated to your taste buds but you still continue to eat them because you may not pay enough attention to watch what you eat. In such a scenario, talking to a therapist and discussing your concerns can be of great help.
It is essential for you to ask your doctor before buying any prescription drug or over-the-counter medicine whether gaining some extra pounds is a side-effect. Studies have revealed that psychiatric medicines, particularly those prescribed for depression or bipolar disorders, have weight gain as one of their side-effects. On the other hand, medicines are taken for battling hypertension also contribute to sudden weight gain. Similarly, people who have taken steroids for conditions like asthma and arthritis can also see a jump in their weight because prolonged consumption of steroids has been linked to an increase in appetite. In such scenarios, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle becomes very important. You can talk to a clinical dietitian for a personalized diet chart.
Perimenopause or menopause
When you’re five years closer to reaching menopause or completed your menopause, it is highly possible that you experience a sudden weight gain. That being said, this also heavily depends on your genetics. It is always a good idea to ask your mum about her experiences during menopause, if she gained weight or not, or if she experienced any other symptoms. This is because there’s a high possibility of you undergoing the same symptoms she did as you get closer to your menopause. Once again, the hormones are to be blamed here, since they go completely berserk during this time, reducing in quantity.
As natural as it is, as we age, we begin to lose muscles since we become less active. Muscles play a key role in burning calories so when we lose them, we subject ourselves to some unwanted calorie retention, which ultimately leads to weight gain. This is why it is so important to exercise regularly, maintain an active lifestyle and also have a balanced diet, no matter how old we get.