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Weight gain - unintentional
Alternative namesInvoluntary weight gain
DefinitionUnintentional weight gain is an increase in body weight that occurs when caloric intake exceeds body requirements, causing increased fat storage.
ConsiderationsAlmost 40% of all Americans are overweight . Aging, which is generally accompanied by a slower metabolism , can cause weight gain unless accompanied by a reduction in food intake or adequate exercise.
Weight gain can be a significant symptom of several endocrine diseases such as Cushing's syndrome or hypothyroidism. It may also be caused by heart or lung disorders as well.
A progressive weight gain occurs with pregnancy; whereas, a periodic weight gain may occur with menstruation. A rapid weight gain may indicate dangerous fluid retention.
Home CareImplement a proper diet and exercise program. Counseling or psychological help may be beneficial for some people.
Set realistic weight goals to maintain a weight consistent with good health. Consult with a health care provider about specific measures.
Call your health care provider if
Your health care provider will perform a physical examination, measure your weight, and ask questions about your weight gain, such as:
Weight gain caused by emotional problems may require psychological counseling. There should be some discussion of an appropriate diet and exercise program as well as realistic weight loss goals. If weight gain is caused by a physical illness, treatment (if there is any) for the underlying cause will be prescribed.
If weight continues to be a problem despite diet and exercise, there should be some discussion with your health care provider about other treatment options including medications and surgery.
Update Date: 10/6/2003Tarun Jain, M.D., Endocrinology & Infertility Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT