I am always pleased to see articles like the one in WebMD, that summarize what I talk about every day to my patients. At least once daily I have someone who says, “I am not doing anything different with my exercise or diet, but I keep gaining weight”. 50% of the time while obtaining a thorough history, I discover with the patient that actually there have been some changes that can affect weight, but they are not often thought of as a cause. This article points at several possible causes and I will list them here:
Sleep disruption, stress, antidepressants, steroids, other medications, low thyroid function, adrenal dysfunction, PCOS, slowed metabolism, and quitting smoking.
So how do we go about correcting this once the cause/s are discovered?
Testing for metabolism hormone function (thyroid, adrenal) are imperative. Sleep and energy are highly affected by these. Sleep and stress are also impacted by neurotransmitters such as seratonin, so supporting these levels are also of great importance. In addition, a complete medication review should be performed by the prescribing doctor.
Diet and exercise are always crucial, and the calorie/energy requirements of the body do change over time. Modifications here do not need to be drastic. Usually it is one or two small changes that need to happen, like avoiding coffee on an empty stomach (this increases cortisol secretion and causes sugar control disruption), or increasing protein intake in the morning.
Weight gain is not necessary as you age. Be sure to talk with your provider or make an appointment and we can go over a personalized plan together.
Azure Karli, ND