Obesity

Top 10 Surprising Reasons of Obesity

Apart from the overeating, faulty genetics and lack of exercise being responsible for obesity, there are, surprisingly, a few other factors that may contribute.

1. Hypersensitivity to certain food items

Food allergies set off an autoimmune response in your body. The resultant reaction can include skin rashes, joint pain, headache, indigestion and joint swelling. These physiological reactions may result in decreased metabolism, leading to weight gain. Inflammation also causes fluid retention, which exacerbates the situation.

2. Hypothyroidism

In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, which depresses your metabolism. Along with a host of other symptoms, unintentional weight gain and swelling of arms and legs are common in hypothyroidism.

3. Prescription Drugs

Hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills containing estrogen can cause fluid accumulation in the body and an unusual increase in appetite. Corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anti-depressants and drugs to control blood sugar can cause abnormal weight gain.

4. Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease is a condition which causes upper body obesity. It is caused by the increased production of the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) produced by the pituitary gland. It increases the levels of Cortisol or the stress hormone in the body. This depresses your metabolism and causes weight gain.

5. Liver, Kidney and Heart Disease

Major ailments of the liver, kidneys or heart can cause fluid retention and hormonal imbalances, which may make weight loss difficult. Your overall strength and fitness may also be severely compromised depending on the acuteness of the disease.

6. Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is also believed to precipitate abnormal weight gain. Normal vitamin D levels contribute to healthy cholesterol and body weight maintenance. Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin. Approximately 10 minutes of face and arm exposure to the sun supplies your RDA of vitamin D in the summer. In the winter, you may need as much as 40 minutes of exposure.

7. Diabetes

Blood sugar imbalance can cause serious metabolic problems. Maintaining a steady level of blood glucose is one of the keys to staying satiated between meals. When there is an abrupt drop in the blood glucose levels, cravings for sugary food increase and lead to excessive calorie consumption and weight gain. Type 2 diabetes risk increases dramatically with obesity, and by losing weight, you can reduce your risk.

8. Depression

Depression and mental stress leads to overeating. A lot of people find solace in eating during stressful times. The eating is more psychologically induced rather than having any physical connection to it. Brain chemicals have a major role to play in emotional eating. The brain chemical serotonin is secreted less when the body is stressed or does not get enough sleep. Serotonin is a “feel-good” chemical and can behave as a major regulator of appetite.

9. Essential fatty acid deficiency

Deficient intake of essential fatty acids like the omega-3 fats found in fish, flax seeds, and hemp seeds can increase cravings for high-fat foods and contribute to weight gain.

10. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Six out of every 10 women who have PCOS struggle with obesity. Because the ovaries do not properly develop and release egg sacs, a hormonal imbalance is created that contributes to obesity.

References

Hypothyroidism; MayoClinic.com;
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothyroidism/DS00353

Weight-control Information Network; Understanding Adult Obesity: Other Causes of Obesity;
http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/understanding.htm#othercauses

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