You’re hitting the gym, counting those pesky calories, and doing everything right, but that trusty scale isn’t budging. If this sounds familiar, welcome to the club.
But before you blame it on that one time you couldn’t resist the chocolate cake (we get it, it’s chocolate), you might want to consider that it’s not your lack of willpower — it’s probably your health. Shocking, right? So, here are 12 medical conditions that might be messing with your weight loss efforts.
This condition is like that lazy coworker who never pulls their weight in group projects. The thyroid gland is supposed to be the all-star player, producing hormones that keep your metabolism on its toes. But when it decides to slack off, stimulating too little thyroid hormone – a condition cheekily called hypothyroidism – it’s like a sudden productivity drop in your body’s energy department.
Your cells struggle to use and store energy; instead of burning it off, you might store it as extra padding. So, if you’re feeling tired and getting nowhere with your weight loss, give your thyroid a performance review.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects women of reproductive age and can affect your waistline. Put simply, when the body produces too much of the male hormone testosterone, it can interfere with estrogen levels — leading to irregular periods, acne, and unwanted hair growth.
It can also lead to insulin resistance, a condition in which your cells don’t respond to the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. This can lead to unwanted weight gain around your midsection — not ideal.
Diabetes is a condition that affects how your body’s cells use and store energy. When the body can’t convert glucose into energy, it starts to build up in the bloodstream — which can lead to weight gain, especially around the midsection.
The good news is that with the proper treatment, you can get back on track without exercise or dieting — though they still help. But at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that if you think your weight is being affected by diabetes, talk to a doctor and get checked out — they’ll be able to give you the advice and support you need.
Cushing’s Syndrome occurs when your body produces too much cortisol, a hormone that helps regulate metabolism and weight. When you’re chronically stressed, your body pumps out too much cortisol, increasing fat storage around the midsection.
Sleep apnea is when a person’s breathing stops and starts during sleep, reducing the amount of oxygen in the body. This can interfere with your metabolism — leading to weight gain, especially around the midsection.
We all know that our eating habits tend to take a hit when we’re feeling down. But if you’ve been feeling more than just your run-of-the-mill blues, it might be worth considering depression as a cause of weight gain. People who suffer from major depressive disorder often turn to food for comfort — leading to an increase in calories and weight gain.
When your heart is too weak to pump enough blood throughout the body, it can lead to weight gain. When the heart muscle becomes weaker, fluid build—up leads to swelling around the midsection and an increase in weight. So, if you’ve noticed changes in your body that seem out of character, talk to your doctor.
Kidney disease is when your kidneys can’t filter out waste and regulate fluid levels in the body. This leads to an increase in water retention, especially around the midsection — leading to weight gain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can affect any joint in the body — including the joints around the midsection. When inflammation sets in, it can lead to weight gain, fatigue, and pain.
Some medications can interfere with your metabolism — leading to weight gain. Suppose you’re suddenly packing on the pounds despite sticking to a healthy diet and exercise plan. In that case, it might be worth talking to your doctor about your medications and whether they could contribute to your weight gain.
We all know that too much stress can wreak havoc on our bodies — but did you know it can also affect your waistline? Chronic stress increases the production of cortisol, a hormone that helps regulate metabolism. When you produce too much cortisol, it increases fat storage — often around the midsection.
Hormonal imbalances can affect your body in several ways — one of them being weight gain. When the hormones that regulate metabolism and hunger, like insulin and leptin, are out of balance, it can lead to increased fat storage.
Aside from these conditions, several other factors can contribute to weight gain, like diet, lifestyle choices, or genetics. So if you’re feeling like no matter what you do, you can’t shift those extra pounds, it might be worth chatting to a doctor about the potential underlying causes. They’ll be able to give you advice and support on how to get back on track — and help keep your weight where it needs to be.
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