Unintentional weight gain is when you gain weight without trying to do so and you are not eating or drinking more.
Gaining weight when you are not trying to do so can have many causes.
Metabolism slows down as you
Drugs that can cause weight gain include:
- Birth control pills
- Some drugs used to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression
- Some drugs used to treat diabetes
Hormone changes or medical problems can also cause unintentional weight gain. This may be due to:
- Cushing syndrome
- Underactive thyroid, or low thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
Bloating, or swelling due to a
If you quit smoking, you might gain weight. Most people who quit smoking gain 4 – 10 pounds in the first 6 months after quitting. Some gain as much as 25 – 30 pounds. This weight gain is not simply due to eating more.
Do not stop any medicines that may be causing the weight gain without talking with your health care provider.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Contact your health care provider if you have the following symptoms with the weight gain:
- Excessive weight gain without a known cause
- Feel cold more often than before
- Swollen feet and
shortness of breath
hungeraccompanied by palpitations, tremor, and sweating
- Vision changes
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and calculate your
- How much weight have you gained? Did you gain the weight quickly or slowly?
- Are you anxious, depressed, or under stress? Do you have a history of depression?
- What medicines do you take?
- What other symptoms do you have?
You may have the following tests:
- Blood tests
- Tests to measure hormone levels
- Nutritional assessment
Your health care provider may suggest a diet and exercise program or refer you o a dietitian. Weight gain caused by stress or feeling sad may require counseling. If weight gain is caused by a physical illness, treatment (if there is any) for the underlying cause will be prescribed.