5 Health Conditions That Make it Harder to Lose Weight
Losing weight is often a difficult process, with most people experiencing setbacks and plateaus along the way. However, if your weight loss has stalled and you’re finding it difficult to shed the pounds, there may be a medical reason. Here are five health conditions that can make it harder to lose weight.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone-related condition that affects millions of women. PCOS is characterized by multiple small cysts on the ovaries and an imbalance of hormones, which can lead to a range of symptoms, including weight gain, irregular bleeding, disruptions to the menstrual cycle, difficulty getting pregnant, miscarriage, thinning hair, acne and excess body or facial hair. Women with PCOS often find it difficult to lose weight, although successfully managing the condition usually results in weight loss.
Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the hormone needed in order to burn fat, resulting in a slow metabolism. Hypothyroidism can run in families, so if a close family member has been diagnosed with the condition, it’s important to get checked out, as untreated thyroid problems can lead to complications. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, depression, constipation, hair loss, menstrual problems, sensitivity to cold and swelling of the thyroid gland.
Insulin resistance, sometime known as Syndrome X, is a condition in which the body has become resistant to insulin. Insulin resistance makes it more difficult to balance blood sugar levels, causing a range of symptoms, including weight gain, tiredness and fatigue. Insulin resistance can lead diabetes, heart disease and other serious health conditions, so it’s important to seek medical advice. However, most people can control the condition by making a few simple diet and lifestyle changes.
Hormonal changes in women can also cause weight gain and make it more difficult to lose excess weight. Hormonal changes may be caused by specific health conditions, but they can also be caused by normal life changes, such as the onset of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause. Many women also experience changes in weight during the period leading up to menopause. The symptoms of normal hormonal changes can sometimes be treated or managed with the help of lifestyle changes, hormone therapy and other treatments.
Mental Health Conditions
Stress, depression, anxiety disorders and other mental health conditions can cause changes in the body and affect hormone production. Some mental health conditions can lead to the production of hormones that cause the body to store extra weight in certain areas, such as around the waist. Successful treatment of depression, anxiety and chronic stress usually reverses hormone problems related to mental health, but it may take time for your body to adapt and return to a healthy weight.
Losing weight is rarely a simple process, as most people will experience plateaus along the way. However, if you’re finding it difficult to lose weight, a medical condition could be the cause. Polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, hormonal changes and mental health conditions can all cause weight gain or make it more difficult to lose excess weight.