Here are the most common medical reasons for gaining substantial weight, over a period of time.
People suffering from diabetes take insulin for managing and controlling their blood sugar levels. Insulin is a major weight gain component, which makes most diabetic patients obese. People under diabetic treatment naturally opt for a diet that goes well with their insulin dosage. Since diabetes call for higher amount of food consumption to prevent lower blood sugar levels, therefore, people having diabetes eat more and gain lot of calorie.
This condition known as hypoglycaemia (shortly referred to as hypo) contributes calories and fats, thus increasing overall weight. The worst part is since diabetes brings a lifetime threat; people keep taking insulin dosage and consistently gain weight.
Underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is not able to produce adequate thyroid hormones. Such hormones play an important role in regulating metabolism. Underactive thyroid can happen to anyone at any age, however; it’s more common in older women. When sufficient thyroid hormone is not produced within the body, the rate of metabolism slows down, which gradually leads to substantial weight gain. Women are more prone to develop hypothyroidism than men.
Steroids are another main cause for gaining massive weight. Also known as corticosteroids, these are given for curing various diseases including arthritis, asthma, etc. Basically, steroids are prescribed for treating acute conditions. And, long-term application of most steroids tends to increase appetite. As a result, people eat more and gain more weight. Higher the dosage and longer the steroid treatment, people are more likely to gain huge weight.
Steroids can be taken in different forms. From tablets to injections, the corticosteroids affect the specific areas of brain which regulates the feelings of satiety and hunger. Thus, people on steroids develop frequent appetite and therefore gain weight.
Few steroids also contain weight gaining components which adds masses to different parts of body and increase weight.
As humans age, they become less active and start losing muscles. Muscles being one of the most effective calorie burners, take out excess calories and fats from the body and balances body weight. Ageing gradually leads to loss of muscles, thereby sustaining calories and fats and increasing weight. People, who continue smoking and drinking even at a matured age, are at higher risks of weight gain. Also, if they become less active than before and lead an unhealthy lifestyle; they are prone to gain weight at early ageing. People who don’t exercise also gain weight with age.
A very rare reason behind weight gain; Crushing’s Syndrome happens from increasing levels of cortisol hormone. Although only 1 in 50,000 individuals are affected, yet it’s a major threat to weight gain. In most cases, Crushing’s Syndrome develops as a side-effect of long-term exposure to steroids. It can also happen from tumor. Those suffering from this syndrome, gain masses on their chest, face and stomach. It is because the cortisol hormone stimulates redistribution of fat in these three areas.
Another significant reason for gaining kilos of weight is tiredness. Studies confirm that people who sleep less than 7 hours per day have higher chances of gaining weight compared to those sleeping for 9 or more hours. It’s because those deprived of sufficient sleep have lower levels of leptin and higher levels of gherin. Leptin is a chemical which makes people feel full, whereas gherin is a hormone responsible for stimulating hunger.
Thus, people having less hours of sleep have dual reasons for increased appetite. Also, since they don’t rejuvenate, they feel fatigue. As a result, they look for high-calorie snacks and meals to be live and active all throughout the day. Such unhealthy eating and sleeping patterns automatically contributes to massive weight gain.
When it comes to stress, anxiety and depression; people have different reactions. While some lose weight from their low mood, others gain. Most stressed and depressed people look for food as a way to calm their mind. Sweet, chocolates and spicy food are more preferred in such conditions. This ultimately leads to weight gain.
Again there’s a further gain in weight, as depressed and anxious people become more stressed because of their increased weights. Emotional eaters too fall for high-calorie and unhealthy food, which again pulls up their weight.
Oedema or fluid retention causes swelling in certain body parts, thus increasing weight. Swelling happens when excess amount of fluid accumulates in a specific region of body. A common example of fluid retention is during pre-menstrual when females witness slight swelling in their ankles. Such fluid retention is common and although it brings in some weight, it’s not much of a concern.
However, severe retention of fluid can promote breathlessness. Most people have different symptoms associated with breathlessness. Out of them, swollen ankles are most serious, since it causes breathing issues and simultaneously increases body weight.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is another significant weight gain factor in females. PCOS is a condition that severely affects the functions of ovaries. Women suffering from this syndrome have irregular periods, face issues in conceiving, have excess hair and gain lot of weight. According to medical researchers, PCOS is a hormone-related issue which happens from excess amount of insulin and testosterone. When women are affected with this syndrome, they accumulate weight around their waists. This kind of weight gain takes place in a cycle. Women, who naturally have masses around their waists, produce higher amount of insulin, which further increases weight.
In most countries especially in India, people have a tendency to eat less during the day and consume more food at night. During day hours, body’s metabolism rates are very high, whereas, in night, it’s slow. People give long gaps between meals and as a result, their metabolism suffers. The metabolic rates slow down to compensate the appetite.
People are most active in the morning and so is their body. Lesser meals in the hyperactive hours (day) and more meals during the dormant hours (when people sleep or become less active at night) increases the belly size and eventually pulls up weight.
Most professionals and youngsters lead a sedentary lifestyle. They start their day late, consume high-calorie food, drink less water and nutritious food and are more into bad habits like drinking and smoking. Such inactive lifestyle is majorly responsible for higher weight gain.
Nowadays, people are more tech-savvy. Whether its work or studies, they prefer it at their desk. There’s hardly any movement or physical activity, which again accumulates fat around their body. In addition to the inactive lifestyle, most people don’t exercise or maintain a healthy diet. This makes the situation worse and puts in further weight in various parts of body.
Based on the amount of body fat, there are three different types of bodies- Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph. Ectomorph is those having a thin and delicate body. Mesomorph is the ones with compact shape and muscular structure. Endomorphs refer to those with a round built and higher proportion of fat tissue.
According to the body structure, people must stick to a distinct food habit. Often, incorrect food routines based on the body type also increase the amount of fat content and significantly contributes to weight gain. Depending on the type of body, people must involve in suitable exercise regimes to prevent further fat gain.
Since Endomorph bodies are more prone to fat accumulation, therefore they must keep a strict eye on proper food intake at regular intervals.
And finally, with the world moving towards junk food; there’s higher risk of global obesity. Junk foods namely sweetened juices, burgers, pizzas, donuts and packaged meals contain higher amount of calories and fats. Regular consumption of junk gradually leads to developing excess weight. From kids to matured adults, junk food is a serious threat. Besides high fat content, it’s also unhealthy by nature.
Besides junk food, street food is equally unhealthy and rich in spice. Excess consumption of street food also causes higher gain of weight.
To sum up, where the above reasons are specific to every individual, there are other genetic causes which naturally pull up weight. There are different ways of controlling weight. However, genetic weight gain is very difficult to control, since it happens from genes. Nonetheless, a good diet, healthy lifestyle and adequate sleep can reduce significant problems, which result in weight gain.
Dr. Sandeep Bhasin, M.S. in the year 2000 and he is an award winning and renowned senior Laparoscopic and cosmetic surgeon in Delhi. Dr. Sandeep Bhasin is Known for his expertise in Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery and over the years he has distinguished himself among his peers with his outstanding surgical skills and innovation.
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