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Causes of obesity: Know 3 diseases that can lead to weight gain

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Obesity is a chronic, frequently progressive metabolic illness that affects more individuals and is linked to higher mortality and morbidity rates. Long-term positive energy balance, which happens when energy intake surpasses energy expenditure, is what causes it. Many medical professionals and patients hold the opinion that obesity is caused by poor and unhealthy lifestyle choices made by the person. However, obesity can be caused by a variety of factors such as genetics, ageing, lifestyle choices, drugs, hormone imbalances, etc.

Genetics and obesity

Genetics can directly contribute to obesity in specific illnesses such as Prader-Willi syndrome and Bardet-Biedl syndrome. According to studies, the genetic contribution to adult body mass index (BMI) ranges between 40 and 70 percent in most people.

causes of obesity
Keep a check on yourself! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

However, genes do not necessarily foretell future health. For a person to be overweight, both genes and behaviour may be necessary. Occasionally, a person’s risk for obesity may be increased by several genes and may also need environmental conditions, such as a plentiful food supply or minimal physical activity.

Conditions associated with weight gain

Here are a few health conditions or diseases which can cause obesity:

1. Hypothyroidism

Overt clinical hypothyroidism patients commonly gain weight, some of it as a result of increased adiposity. The weight gain is typically not significant. Although therapy of sub-clinical hypothyroidism does not appear to be associated with weight loss, boosting serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentrations within the normal range has also been connected to a minor rise in body weight in adults. Observational data suggest that obesity may increase the risk of hypothyroidism, raising doubts about the relationship between the two.

2. Cushing’s syndrome

Patients with Cushing’s syndrome frequently have progressive central obesity affecting the trunk, abdomen, mesentery, and mediastinum. In addition to larger dorso and supraclavicular fat pads, the face and neck are typically where fat tissue accumulates. Although they are typically spared, the extremities frequently exhibit muscle wasting.

causes of obesity
Cushing’s syndrome may cause you to gain weight. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Hypothalamic

Hypothalamic obesity is a type of obesity that is caused when the hypothalamus doesn’t function normally. One of the most common reasons for a child to develop hypothalamic obesity is the treatment for a brain tumour impacting the hypothalamus. Any injury to the hypothalamus can cause the condition. This syndrome may be brought on by a tumour (most frequently a craniopharyngioma), trauma, radiation, surgery in the posterior fossa, or elevated intracranial pressure.

In fact, these parts of the brain are in charge of fusing afferent sensory information about food availability with metabolic information about nutritional reserves. Damage to the ventromedial hypothalamus results in hyperphagia, a decrease in energy expenditure, and obesity.

Other health issues including an excess of insulin and a lack of growth hormone can also contribute to obesity.

Medications associated with weight gain

A number of medications used to treat common health problems have been linked to weight gain. These medications include:

1. Antipsychotic medications: Many antipsychotic medications are associated with weight gain. However, the effect can opposite too.

2. Antidepressants: A number of antidepressants, including tricyclics, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been linked to weight gain.

causes of obesity
Consultation is important before you take any kind of medication. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Antiepileptic drugs: Several antiseizure medications, most notably valproate, carbamazepine, and gabapentin, which are used to treat seizures, neuropathic pain, and psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder, have been linked to weight gain.

4. Hormonal contraception pills: Steroid hormone medications like prednisone or birth control pills can also contribute to weight gain.

5. Medicines for diabetes: Diabetes medications such as insulin, thiazolidinediones, and sulfonylureas can have an impact on your weight.

Obese patients should be evaluated for medical conditions that cause obesity and treated as soon as possible!

 

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