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Everything You Should Know About Weight Gain

by wiselyrohan

Weight gain is a common health concern faced by several individuals across the nation today. The dreads of increased weight are not limited to physical appearance alone but are far worse as it triggers many morbid conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, etc.

An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise is the most common cause of weight gain; however, there are a few deep-seated causes of weight gain that are lesser known. Let’s find out what they are so that you can opt for chronic care management services without any delay.

Causes of weight gain

  • Thyroid disorder: The thyroid gland monitors most of the metabolic activities of the body. In case you are gaining weight despite eating right and exercising regularly, then perhaps you can be having hypothyroidism and need to get your function tests done at the earliest. A normal functioning thyroid gland prevents excessive weight gain by burning out the calories that are consumed through food at an appropriate rate which is also known as basal metabolic rate (BMR). In hypothyroidism, the body’s basal metabolic rate is markedly reduced because of which the calories consumed; although in moderate amounts are not burnt at the appropriate rate thus leading to weight gain.
  • Steroids: Steroidal medications are often prescribed in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, asthma, etc. as they are wonderful immunosuppressants; however, one of the side effects of the use of steroids is weight gain. One has to be more careful with diet and exercise when on steroids.
  • Stress: Mental stress leads to weight in two ways- overeating and reserving calories. Many people tend to overeat especially sweets during stress which is a major cause of weight gain. Simultaneously, when the body understands that it is under stress; its first response to combating this stress is by reserving the consumed calories. Therefore the calories that you consume during stress are stored in the form of reserved energy or fats in the body instead of spending them. Meditation exercises and therapeutic counseling can help in stress management and also reflect in weight management as well.
  • Tumors: Although it is not a very common cause of weight gain, often time abdominal tumors are mistaken for obesity in the initial stages. These tumor cells accumulate together forming a huge mass resembling the appearance of an obese abdomen. These tumor cells have a rich blood supply and are often very heavy. However, the obese appearance, in this case, is not generalized and is just focused on the abdomen alone. And therefore any increase in the abdominal girth without an actual increase in mass in the other parts of the body needs to be brought to immediate medical attention.
  • Menopause: Women tend to gain weight due to altered hormonal activities post cessation of the menstrual cycle. This weight can be controlled with increased physical activities; however, if associated with any other comorbidities it can lead to uncontrolled weight gain which needs to be discussed with your gynecologist.

How does dieting reciprocally cause hypothyroidism?

Dieting for prolonged periods due to previously failed attempts causes stress from not getting the desired results. Leptin (produced in fat cells) is a hormone involved in maintaining body weight. The unhealthy habit of dieting for prolonged periods along with high levels of stress are common causes of leptin resistance which causes false signals of starvation to be sent to your hypothalamus and your metabolism to slow down. Fat production increases and thyroid hormone production slows down (TSH levels fall and less T3 is produced from T4, and thus levels of reverse T3 rise). In this case, however, appetite increases, one becomes insulin-resistant, and fat breakdown (lipolysis) slows down.

Thereby, a vicious cycle ensues, in which more fat accumulates, your appetite increases, and your thyroid functioning are slower. Body weight increases eventually and it becomes more difficult to lose weight.

Signs to look for before opting for chronic care management service

  • Swallow test: Watch your throat in the mirror as you swallow water. Any lump or enlargement of the thyroid in the lower front area of your neck is an indication to visit your doctor.
  • High cholesterol levels are unresponsive despite dieting for prolonged periods, exercise, or medication
  • Feeling tired or lacking energy in the morning or all day after a full night’s sleep, along with an unusually depressedor sad mood
  • Altered sense of taste and smell
  • Other symptoms (less likely to be due to hypothyroidism): low libido, dry skin, longer menstrual periods with a heavier flow and shorter intervals between, hypertension, thinning hair or excess hair fall, impaired fertility

How should you tackle the weight gain issues?

Drug therapy will help your body to carry out normal metabolic activities like a normal thyroid gland and also prevent weight gain. A healthy low calorie diet and regular exercise will prevent any further weight gain and enhance the effects of the medicine as well. This is where you should seek a proper chronic care management service.

In case you are trying hard in losing weight with no significant results, then consult your doctor specializing in chronic disease management immediately and get yourself tested for hypothyroidism right away.

Exercise consistently and at a relatively high intensity (for at least 30 minutes, a few times a week).

Important Advice if you have a Thyroid Problem:

It is important to take the appropriate dosage of medication regularly every day. Absorption of the medication can be affected by caffeine, calcium, antacids, and iron supplements. Waiting for about four hours before taking your thyroid pill after eating anything with calcium is recommended.

 Takeaway

Do you need personalized treatment? Visit CareFirst 360, as they offer chronic disease management services and you will get the right care you deserve.

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