Most people experience fluctuations in their weight, and it is common to gain weight over time. However, if a person gains weight in a very short time for no clear reason, this could be a sign of an underlying health condition. Carrying extra pounds isn't necessarily a problem, of course. But it could signal an underlying medical issue you'll want to address. Maybe it's a hormone condition, a mood disorder, or another factor altering your physiology without you realizing it.
These are some health-related reasons that might explain why the number on the scale has soared:
1. Insomnia (Lack of sleep)
People who get less than 6 hours of shut-eye a night tend to have more body fat. About 8 hours is the sweet spot for keeping the weight off. Lack of sleep can cause your body to make too much of the hormones cortisol and insulin, which can add pounds. It also can mess up the hormones that signal hunger and make you crave food, especially those loaded with fat and sugar.
Periodic weight gain is often due to the menstrual cycle. Women may experience water retention and bloating around the time of their period. Changing levels of estrogen and progesterone may cause gain weight. Usually, this is a weight increase of a few pounds. This type of weight gain subsides when the menstrual period ends for the month. It often reappears the next month after the menstrual period starts again, and sometimes during ovulation.
Aside from realizing that your jeans are snugger, have you noticed other body changes—like exhaustion, drier skin, or thinner hair? These are all signs of hypothyroidism, a condition in which the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland in your neck isn't producing enough thyroid hormones. Your thyroid is a master gland controlling many body functions, so when it's not working right, symptoms appear throughout your body.
When life's demands get too intense, our bodies go into survival mode. Cortisol, the "stress hormone," is secreted, which causes an increase in appetite. And of course, we may reach for high-calorie comfort foods in times of stress as well. This combination is a perfect breeding ground for weight gain.
Depending on the type, you can treat diabetes with a mix of diet, exercise, insulin, and medication. Insulin helps your body use energy. But it also makes it easier for your body to store the energy, which often can lead to weight gain. Plus, you may be tempted to eat more to prevent low blood sugar from some of the treatments. Talk to your doctor about how to best balance diet, exercise, insulin, and medication to manage your weight and your diabetes.
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