There’s nothing more frustrating than realizing you’re gaining weight when you’ve been working extra hard to lose it. And sometimes it’s not your fault at all. Unexplained weight gain could actually be a side effect of a number of underlying health conditions you might not even know you have.
Because an expanding waistline often isn’t the only downside to conditions like these, making an appointment with your doctor at your body’s first signals of distress can save you months, even years, of pain and frustration. A health professional may diagnose you with one or more of the following conditions, then get you started on treatment for any other symptoms you might be experiencing, and even help you manage your weight.
Your thyroid gland, and the hormone it produces, controls your metabolism. But according to Mayo Clinic, when your thyroid stops producing enough thyroid hormone, your metabolism can slow as a result. This condition, called hypothyroidism, often causes fatigue and weight gain. Since these symptoms are also common in conditions like depression, your doctor will check your hormone levels to diagnose or rule out thyroid issues when you present these or similar complaints.
Though there is no cure for hypothyroidism, your doctor can prescribe an oral medication to help supply your body with the right amount of thyroid hormone to get your metabolism back to normal.
Next: This one only affects women.