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Ten Different Things That Cause Weight Gain

Updated on October 30, 2012


Weight gain is something that the majority of us are familiar with. It happens when we slack off on our diets, start eating unhealthy food and fail to exercise as much as we should. (That combination is why weight gain is so common during the holiday season!) But eating too much and not exercising aren't the only causes of weight gain. There are actually a whole lot of different things that can contribute to weight gain, some of which are more common than others.


If you have been wondering why you've experienced weight gain or you are interested in knowing more about why weight gain happens then you might want to take a look at the following ten relatively common causes of weight gain:


  • 1. Hypothyroidism. You have probably heard people who are overweight joking that perhaps they have a thyroid condition. Although someone who says this casually probably doesn't actually suffer from this problem, it is one of the leading reasons that people gain weight even when they are doing all that they can to keep the pounds off. This thyroid condition decreases the body's metabolism which means that people who have this condition will often experience weight gain even while experience a simultaneous lack of appetite. They eat less but still gain weight in the form of both fat and water retention. It's something that requires a doctor's assistance and something that should be checked out if you believe that it could be a cause of your own weight gain.


  • 2. Cushing's Syndrome. This is another disease that can cause an individual to experience weight gain even when he or she is trying to lose weight and taking all of the proper steps to do so naturally. This disease is characterized by an increase in a hormone in the body called cortisol. This hormone causes weight to be gained in very specific parts of the body (the face, the upper part of the back and the belly are the most common areas affected by Cushing's Syndrome) whereas other parts of the body will maintain a normal weight. This is a highly frustrating form of weight gain and something that needs to be dealt with through assistance by a doctor.


  • 3. Other diseases including those that affect certain organs. Hypothyroidism and Cushing's Syndrome are two of the most common medical conditions that can lead to weight gain. However, they aren't the only medical reasons that people may gain weight. There are a myriad of different diseases which can cause weight gain either in the form of additional fat on the body or in the form of water retention. Diseases that impact the liver, the kidney or the heart are diseases that are typically associated with weight gain caused by water retention. Shockingly there are at least 300 different medical conditions that can cause weight gain!


  • 4. Tumors in the body. A final medical reason that you may find yourself experiencing weight gain is that you may have a tumor somewhere in the body that is causing you to gain weight. There are two common types of tumors that cause weight gain. The first is a tumor in the stomach. If large enough, it can cause the body to gain a significant amount of weight. The second is a tumor in the pituitary gland which regulates hormones in the body; improper regulation occurring as the result of a tumor can end up causing weight gain.


  • 5. Emotional difficulties. Although physical reasons are often what causes people to experience weight gain, it is also very common for weight gain to occur as a direct result of emotional difficulties that someone might be going through. The main way that this takes place is that someone goes through a difficult time emotionally (such a going through a period of depression) and choose to eat in an unhealthy manner to deal with those emotions which ultimately results in weight gain. However, other emotional issues including anxiety and stress can lead to hormonal changes in the body that, when combined with poor eating habits, can lead to weight gain.


  • 6. Use of certain prescription drugs. Many of the prescription drugs that you may be taking to assist you in dealing with certain health problems could have the side effect of causing weight gain. This used to be a very common problem for women who were using birth control pills although advances in this area of medicine have made it less of an issue. Many other drugs, unfortunately, do still have this side effect. If you are experiencing weight gain that you can't otherwise explain then you might want to ask yourself if any medications that you take could be causing it.


  • 7. Allergies to certain foods. A large percentage of people have food allergies that they don't know about because of the fact that the impact of these allergies is minor and difficult to detect. Some of these people have allergies to foods that cause a reaction in the body that leads to weight gain. In addition to weight gain which is primarily in the form of fluid retention, the person with this problem may find that the stomach is enlarged due to gas caused by the allergy.


  • 8. Improper balance of blood sugar in the body. The average person will experience ups and downs in the amount of blood sugar in their bodies throughout the day as a result of the fact that they eat different foods at different times (some of which are high in sugar). However, there are some people whose bodies aren't really capable of handling this and which have a tough time regulating the imbalance of blood sugar in the body. These people may experience appetite changes and weight gain as a result of the problem.


  • 9. Improper consumption of essential fatty acids. Some people still believe that they have to avoid having any fats in their diets in order to be able to lose weight. However, this is not the case at all. There are some "good fats" - the essential fatty acids - that we need to have enough of in our bodies if we are going to retain a normal weight. A sudden decrease in essential fatty acids or a general deficiency in them can lead to weight gain. Often, people who lack these fatty acids will get cravings for "bad fats" and exacerbate the problem.


  • 10. Trying to gain weight. For those people who are struggling to lose weight, the idea that people are out there trying to gain weight on purpose seems almost unbelievable. However, we all have different issues with our bodies and different goals for our appearance. There are indeed some people who are actually trying to gain weight.



Submit a Comment

  • profile image 5 years ago

    great info. wel done!

  • profile image

    julieth 6 years ago

    que ondas

  • sonia05 profile image

    sonia05 7 years ago from india

    great hub...very informative

  • HOOWANTSTONO profile image

    HOOWANTSTONO 8 years ago

    Good information

    I recently found out that lack of sleep can cause your body to gain weight

  • Inese profile image

    Inese 8 years ago from Rome, Italy

    Good info, learned a lot!

    I would add one more factor - stress (stress hormone cortisol in particular). Stress not only causes weight gain but also makes weight loss very difficult.

  • Mdavies profile image

    Mdavies 8 years ago from Denver Colorado - Ex New yorker

    Great info, thanks for the hob!

    Keep up the good work!


  • profile image

    rocky 8 years ago

    Thanks for the great information. Great tips, shold always remember.

  • UnschoolingPDX profile image

    UnschoolingPDX 9 years ago from Portland, OR

    Thanks for a great hub.

    If I could just add one thing. If you believe to have a thyroid problem, but your blood tests came back regular, and nothing else was found wrong, you might still want to check into this problem. Generally the test simply includes testing of T3, T4 and TSH levels. For most people that works, but for some of us a more detailed test is necessary. A good endocrinologist will know how to proceed further.

  • qlcoach profile image

    Gary Eby 9 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

    Great job presenting your case for new approaches to weight loss. Well crafted hub. Frankly over the years, I have come to believe that what we all need is more balance between mind, body, and spirit. But thank you for sharing. Feel free to see how I try to help others in new ways too. Sincerely: Gary Eby, author and therapist.