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Medical Conditions that Cause Weight Gain

You may be unaware that there are a few medical conditions that cause weight gain. They are rare, but, if you have faithfully stayed with a low-calorie diet with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, low in fats and sugary, processed foods – plus 30 minutes of daily exercise for several weeks and are not losing weight, you should ask your doctor to help you figure out why.

It would also be helpful to keep an honest food journal for about 12 weeks to take with you to the doctor to prove that you are eating correctly (and not overeating). The main reason to do this is because of the tendency in the medical community to disbelieve an overweight person when they say they are not overeating. A daily journal will support your request, and you can validly demand to be tested for conditions that could be preventing weight loss.

Below are a few issues that could be a problem:

  • Adrenal Fatigue – Adrenal fatigue can develop because of a steady diet of the wrong kinds of foods over an extended period of time. The danger foods are: caffeine, white sugar, and processed chemically-enhanced foods. Stress can also cause adrenal fatigue by increasing the level of Cortisol in your bloodstream. Steps to alleviate this problem are 1) Remove the danger foods from your diet. 2) Add organic, fresh whole foods. 3) Find ways to reduce (or at least manage) stress.
  • Depression – No one knows for sure which comes first – depression or weight gain. But, it is a well-known fact that weight gain and depression usually go hand-in-hand. If you struggle with both problems, it is important to do some serious introspection and find out if you are using food as a drug to numb your feelings. If you are, it would be wise to seek professional help in finding healthier alternatives to deal with the problems in your life (other than food).
  • Genetics — There are a number of genes associated with obesity and physical disorders that are tied to obesity. Two of them are Bardet-Bedl Syndrome and Prader-Willi Syndrome.  If a child is morbidly obese, parents should check into genetic counseling. Even though it is rare for genetics to be the root of the problem, it should not be overlooked if everything else has been tried.
  • Medications – There are a number of meds that can cause people to gain weight: steroids, blood pressure medications, anti-depressants, corticosteroids, hormonal birth control, and seizure meds are among the ones that can be problematic. There have been cases when people have gained over a100 lbs with the wrong medication. When a patient is placed on a new medication and begins to gain weight (especially 20+ pounds), the doctor should try an alternative drug if at all possible.
  • Thyroid Problems – The thyroid gland is located on the right side of your neck and secretes hormones related to metabolism. If you have faithfully stayed with a low-calorie diet with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, low in fats and sugary, processed foods – plus 30 minutes of daily exercise for several weeks and are not losing weight, one test that you should ask your doctor to run is your thyroid function.  Hypothyroidism means the gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone and the problem can be solved by taking medication. The challenge is to find a doctor who knows how to test the thyroid properly.

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