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Four Hidden Health Conditions that May Be Affecting Your Ability to Lose Weight

Sep 24, 2010

There are a number of health conditions and even medications that can contribute to weight gain, loss and the prevention of loss. If you're working hard at losing weight and seem to be getting no results, you may want to explore some options and speak with your doctor.

1. PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

PCOS is a condition where the ovaries and adrenal glands produce too much male hormones. While the male hormones are not directly responsible for weight gain or stall, they do trigger your body to react differently. There are other symptoms, though they may be so subtle that you don't notice or they are attributed to other potential sources.

It may take years to test for PCOS, as it doesn't generally cause a massive weight gain, but instead tends to come on in little bits over the span of many years. This can be something as subtle as a few pounds from your teen years until after the birth of your first child. It's often noticed when you can't seem to lose the baby weight. These symptoms can include:

  • Severe Acne
  • Thinning Hair
  • Facial Hair
  • Impaired Fertility
  • Irregular Periods

These symptoms may come together or you may only experience one or two. If you're not trying to conceive or are using a method of birth control, you may never notice the last two symptoms. All of these can also be attributed to stress, lack of sleep, depression and other situational conditions.

2. Extreme Water Retention

You'll likely experience water retention during or before your menstrual cycle and can experience it from medications and other conditions. Extreme water retention, on the other hand, can be an indication of a severe medical disorder and should be checked out immediately. You can tell if you have extreme water retention by pushing your fingertip into your skin. If it doesn't spring back and leaves an indentation, you need to see your doctor. Excessive water retention can be a sign that there's something wrong with your heart or liver. Some other symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Decreased Urine Output
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Fatigue

3. Ovarian Tumors

Ovarian tumors can lead to an inability to lose weight and you may not even know they're there. Although if you do have that sensation of a "knot in your stomach" and it's not of the emotional or intuitive kind, make an appointment with your doctor. A quick ultrasound can determine if a tumor may be the cause.

4. Thyroid Conditions

Hypothyroidism, or an under producing thyroid, does not cause massive weight gain, but it does cause small weight gain over a long time period. In fact, you may never think of your thyroid as the problem because weight can slip on or refuse to slip off in a very subtle way. As this is a condition that can be treated, talk to your doctor about treatment options that may work for you. Though a thyroid problem doesn't cause massive weight gain, a thyroid that is unbalanced can keep you from losing weight no matter how hard you're working to lose it.

 

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