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The 8 causes of mysterious weight gain

The 8 causes of mysterious weight gain

Science has been able to explain causes of unexplainable weight loss. We will be looking into the 8 most common causes, their symptoms and treatment.

So here are they;

  1. Hypothyroidism (inactive thyroid)
  2. Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  3. Cushing syndrome
  4. Lack of sleep
  5. Stress and anxiety
  6. Depression
  7. Medication
  8. Obesity in family history


The thyroid gland which is located a below the larynx, and in front of the neck, is responsible for the secretion of body hormones that control metabolism. Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the hormones secreted isn’t enough, thus causing the body to gain weight.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is a disease that affects the thyroid gland which in turn causes a fall in the body’s immune system has been identified as the major cause of hypothyroidism.

In diagnosing hypothyroidism, a Doctor will have to run multiple blood tests. Hypothyroidism can either be treated via medication, or frequent monitoring of the hormone. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to heart failure, miscarriage and death in extreme cases.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOD)

PCOD sometimes referred to as Stein-Leventhal syndrome or Syndrome O, is a disease of the ovaries, which causes infertility in women. No one knows for sure what causes the disease. However, some Doctors believe that the disease is caused by increased insulin in the body. The egg in a woman suffering from this disease, will fail to mature, accumulating as cysts in the sufferer’s ovaries.

According to Dr. Virji, PCOD first starts to develop after puberty has been crossed, but it most times goes unnoticed. When diagnosing PCOD, Doctors will first have to rule out other diseases that have similar symptoms.

Recommended treatment for the disease is mostly weight loss (which won’t be too easy) and medication. It is a bad idea to leave it untreated because it can lead to other complications like advanced obesity, sterility, infrequent periods and cancer.

The presence of PCOD in your system can lead to metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, increased sugar level and obesity.

Cushing’s syndrome

Cortisol is a very important hormone of the body which plays important roles like breaking down of insulin, regulation of protein, fats and carbs. It also helps the body cope with stress. Too much of cortisol in the body can have dire consequences.

Corticosteroids together with certain tumors can lead to Cushing’s syndrome, sometimes referred to as hypercortisolism. Treatments do vary, and can take the form of medication, radiation, chemotherapy, surgery or just gradual decrement in corticosteroids.

If left untreated, Cushing’s syndrome can lead to kidney stone, diabetes, infection and death in extreme cases.

Reports from National Sleep Foundation revealed that only 37% of Americans get up to 8 hours sleep. Sleeping less is simply an invitation to weight gain.

Fall in body leptin has been the major cause of sleep deprivation. While leptin is a hormone that controls appetite and metabolism, ghrelin on the other hand stimulates the appetite. This can then explain the result of the research conducted in November 2004.

A research conducted in Columbian University revealed that people who sleep for 4 hours or less are more likely to get obsessed, than people who got 9 hours of sleep. More than 6,000 persons aged 32 to 59 participated in the research. Bottom line; get at least 6 hours of sleep every night. It removes you from the list of people that will likely suffer obesity.

In another separate study, it was found that 12 young men who had only 4 hours of night rest for two consecutive nights, felt more hunger bites than when they slept for 10 hours. The first category of men craved for more high-calorie and high carbs.

Sleep deprivation can lead to worsening diabetes, hypertension, and blurring on one’s reasoning ability.

Stress and anxiety

Stress adversely affects every organ of the body, with the heart, thyroid, brain and the immune system. You might be wondering how this affects your weight.

Stress can cause the body produce more cortisol, which is responsible for Cushing’s syndrome. However, patients suffering from stress tend to have higher levels of cortisol.

One this for sure is that stress and anxiety makes one crave for unhealthy food which will inevitably lead to weight gain.

If you sense you have been suffering from chronic stress, it is best you seek the help of a medical expert. Treatment for stress and anxiety mostly come in the form of Medications and psychotherapy.

Below are some tips offered by National Women’s health, in coping with stress. This tips should not replace your medication or therapy

  • Get lots of exercise
  • Seek advice of friends
  • Give help to others
  • Have a journal
  • Find a hobby
  • Use your time well
  • Put limits around yourself



As earlier discussed, cortisol has a hand in stress and weight. The same goes for Depression. Depression left unchecked can ruin one’s health. Treatment takes the form of medication and counseling. Bear in mind that certain diseases can lead to depression

Treating depression can help stimulate weight loss. Seek help from medical experts, as an emergency room doctor can provide help whenever it is needed.

Some medications

Certain medications have been responsible for weight gain. This is saddening considering the fact that some other medications can help fight weight gain. Common medications that lead to weight gain include; steroids, anti-depressants, migraine, blood-pressure medications.

Antipsychotic and anticonvulsant drugs are also culprits.

Consult with your doctor to know medications that aren’t friendly to your body. Never self-prescribe medication for yourself.

Obesity in family history

If your parents are suffering from obesity, the chances of you having one, is very high. Both your genes and environment play big roles in your development. Nature sometimes simply gets unfair to some people.

However, never rush into conclusion in blaming your bloodline. Obesity in the last 40 years has increased by 40%, yet genes have not really changed that much. For considerable genetic change to occur, 100,000 years has to pass.

There is fierce debate among medical experts concerning the effect of heredity on obesity. Most of them believe that choice of lifestyle, and not heredity, is the major cause of obesity.

There isn’t one particular cause of obesity. This means there isn’t one particular way of losing weight.