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We have all experienced weight gain at some point in time, especially around Christmas, but sometimes the weight gain is very sudden, and we end up scratching our heads trying to figure out why.

We have all experienced weight gain at some point in time, especially around Christmas, but sometimes the weight gain is very sudden, and we end up scratching our heads trying to figure out why. We tend to start counting back what we’ve eaten lately, how much we’ve eaten, or if we’ve been drinking a little too much alcohol, as that is a known weight gain culprit. But what if none of these things are responsible? Then what could it be? Here are 10 common causes of sudden weight gain.

An Underactive Thyroid

The medical terminology for an underactive thyroid is hypothyroidism. Your thyroid is a gland, and when it is underactive, it doesn’t produce enough of the thyroid hormones. It is these hormones that regulate your metabolism, so when it is underactive, the metabolism slows, which results in the gaining of weight. 

Although more common in older women, hypothyroidism can affect people of any gender at any age, and is easily treated with medication, namely hormone replacement treatment.

Cushing’s Syndrome

This is a very rare condition that can be caused by either a particular type of tumor or by taking steroids over a long period of time. Cushing’s syndrome is when the body creates high levels of a hormone called cortisol, and the most common symptom is weight gain, especially on the face, stomach and chest. The weight gain takes place because high levels of cortisol results in the redistribution of fat to those parts of the body. This can be treated in two different ways, depending on the underlying cause. If there is a tumor, surgery can remove this. If it is due to steroid treatment, these can be either withdrawn or reduced.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Many women suffer from PCOS without even realizing it, until the symptoms become severe. PCOS is caused by multiple cysts appearing on the ovaries, as well as an increase in body hair growth and difficulties with menstruation or fertility. The number one symptom is weight gain. Although the exact cause of the weight gain is unknown, it is believed to be caused by hormone problems, namely too much insulin. Sadly, when you gain weight you produce more insulin, which results in even more weight gain. 

This is a vicious cycle, and changes in your diet, exercise regime and medications may be needed to bring about change.

Liver Failure

If you were suffering from liver failure you would definitely know about it, but it is worth mentioning because of the weight gain that can occur suddenly. The common causes of liver failure or end stage liver disease are alcohol abuse and hepatitis, and as the liver function fails, fluid can accumulate in the abdomen. This fluid is called ascites, and is usually painless but can lead to serious complications if left untreated. 

Ascites of the abdomen is often mistaken for weight gain, but if you do suffer from liver failure, get any weight gain checked out immediately.

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