Lesser Known Causes of Abdominal Weight Gain

Rapid Abdominal Weight Gain Causes

It’s common knowledge that poor workout routines and poor food nutrition can lead directly to weight gain. Perhaps less known, though, are weight gain factors tied to underlying medical conditions. Shockingly, more than one-third of American adults are obese, leaving more than just poor diet and lack of physical exercise to blame. Below are four other less-regarded weight-gain-inducing culprits and their descriptions:

Thyroid Disease

Your thyroid gland is located in the neck and releases hormones that regulate your body’s ability to use energy– as well as metabolism. Hypothyroidism, or the process of essentially having a slow, ineffective thyroid, often leads to slow metabolism and fast weight gain. What’s worse, underactive thyroids can cause people to retain water and salt, effectively blowing up their waistline as their abdominal area packs on unnecessary fat storages. But before you blame your ballooning belly on an underachieving thyroid, consider this– weight gain is rarely the sole symptom of thyroid disease, as other noticeable symptoms include debilitating fatigue, constipation, intolerance of cold temperatures, and thinning hair or hair loss.

Cushing Syndrome

When your adrenal glands produce too much of the hormone cortisol, Cushing syndrome often takes place. While cortisol is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure and helping to fight off infection and illness, too much of it can cause big trouble. Cushing syndrome can potentially cause what is called central obesity, or extreme abdominal weight gain. Because the weight increase occurs quickly, stretch marks may be prominent along the waist. The reason for this is that too much cortisol causes the release of glucocorticoids, a steroid that initiates weight gain. This is another reason why those taking certain steroid medications are prone to abdominal weight gain.

Liver Failure

When your liver fails, so can your battle against the bulge. Whether it’s caused from hepatitis or alcohol abuse, liver failure causes fluid called ascites to accumulate inside the abdomen, quickly leading to severe bloating and other abdominal health risks. Other indications of liver disease include easy bruising, jaundice and leg swelling.

Ovarian Disorders

Here’s another weight-gain inducer that can cause ascites. Sometimes, the bloating and/or weight gain is caused from fluid that’s accumulated in your abdomen because of a noncancerous ovarian tumor, potentially leading to Meigs syndrome. Another ovarian problem, olycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, can also result in copious amounts of abdominal weight gain. PCOS can lead to cyst formations on the ovaries along with hormonal imbalances that perpetuate increased weight.


Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Tony Alter

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