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Seven Strange Reasons why You Are Packing on Pounds

Update Date: Sep 30, 2014 02:59 PM EDT

Even though people know that eating bad foods and leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause weight gain, there can still be other factors at play. If these underlying factors are not addressed, weight gain could become unmanageable.

Here are 7 strange reasons why you are gaining weight:

1. Depression

Anti-depressant medications can lead to weight gain. People who start taking these pills can gain anywhere from five to 15 pounds. Since these pills are necessary for treating and managing depression, it is important to address the possibility of weight gain and take preventive measures. For some patients, they could switch medications under the care and supervision of their doctors. Other patients could try to incorporate healthy eating and exercise, which has been linked to improving moods.

There has also been evidence that people with untreated depressive symptoms are more susceptible to weight gain. These people might feel lonely and resort to eating foods that are not good for the body. In order to prevent this, people can consider joining different kinds of groups that provide exercise and support.

2. Medications

Aside from anti-depressants, there are many other kinds of prescription medications that can lead to weight gain. These medications include birth control pills, hormonal therapy, steroids, beta-blockers, and drugs used to treat breast cancer and seizures. These medications will not cause weight gain for everyone. But for those who suspect that their medications are contributing to their weight gain, consult with a doctor about changing medications that might not have the same side effect.

3. Slow Digestion

Digestive issues, such as slow bowel movements and constipation, could lead to weight gain. These issues can be caused by many different problems, such as a lack of fiber, dehydration, medications, or a lack of good flora in the gut. Experts recommend people with these problems to remember to stay hydrated. Adding more fiber-rich foods in their diets and/or including probiotics could also help.

4. Missing Certain Nutrients

If the body is lacking proper nutrients, it can negatively affect the metabolism. People who have low levels of vitamin D, magnesium or iron might feel more tired, making it difficult to exercise. On top of that, the low energy levels trigger the brain to crave foods, such as caffeine, sweets and simple carbs, which can lead to excess pounds.

5. Age

As people age, their metabolisms will slow down, which means that their bodies' ability to burn calories slows down. The best way to prevent drastic weight gain is to perform more exercises and eat a little less.

6. Musculoskeletal Conditions

Certain musculoskeletal conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, knee pain and hip pain can lead to an expanding waistline. People with these conditions cannot be as physical as they might like. Less exercise without any changes to one's diet can lead to weight gain. Ask doctors about therapy and treatment options that could help relieve pain.

7. Cushing's Syndrome

Cushing's syndrome is a condition that occurs when there is too much cortisol, known as the stress hormone, in the body. The syndrome is characterized by weight gain, hypertension, osteoporosis and changes in the skin tone and quality. People with the condition might notice that a greater fat distribution in their midsection. Getting examined by a doctor can help diagnose the issue and treat it accordingly.

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