Unexplained weight gain is when you find you have put on weight but have not significantly increased the amount of food or liquids you consume. Unexplained weight gain can happen periodically, or it can happen over a period of time, or in other cases feel like it has happened all at once.
When it’s periodic you will see fluctuations in weight such as those experienced during a menstrual cycle. When the weight gain is continuous it’s typically the result of being pregnant, while gaining weight rapidly without knowing the reason why is more indicative of a serious medical condition.
However, in a lot of cases unexplained weight gain is perfectly harmless. But in other cases it could be the sign of a medical emergency. In this post I’m going to go over a few causes of unexplained weight gain and, well, explain the most probable cause of why it happened.
Possible Causes Of Unexplained Weight Gain
In most clients I work with, the most common cause of their unexplained weight gain is pregnancy. It’s normal to put on weight during pregnancy as the baby grows. This extra weight can be accounted for by the baby, the placenta, amniotic fluid, increased blood supply, and an enlarged uterus.
When women go through menopause their estrogen levels plummet, which could lead to weight gain around the waist and hips. Other hormonal changes that can lead to unexplained weight gain are hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome, and increased cortisol production.
Periodic unexplained weight gain is often caused by the menstrual cycle. Around the time of their period, women commonly experience water retention and bloating. The weight gained tends to go away when the menstrual period is over, but may reappear the following month when it starts again.
Fluid retention, also referred to as edema, is another common cause of weight gain. Fluid retention causes parts of your body to look swollen, such as your limbs, hands, feet, face, or abdominal region. This type of weight gain may also be experienced by people who have been through heart failure or kidney failure. It may also be caused by certain medications.
Treating Unexplained Weight Gain
The process of treating this kind of weight gain varies from person to person. The only way to determine the best treatment for you personally is to make an appointment so the root cause can be determined.
If a doctor determines that your weight gain is caused by a hormonal imbalance, then they may prescribe hormones, medication or supplements to balance your hormone levels. You will likely have to take those on a long-term basis.
If medication you’re currently taking is causing weight gain, then your doctor can put you on another medication. In more severe cases, surgery may be needed. That’s why I cannot stress enough that this should really be assessed one-on-one by a doctor, there’s only so much that can be learned from reading articles on the web.
If you’re experiencing weight gain and want to get to the root cause of the problem, please contact me to make an appointment or get in touch with your family doctor.