Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Weight gain can result from an increase in body fluid, muscle mass, or fat. An increase in body fluid can come from medications, fluid and salt retention, intravenous fluid infusion, kidney or heart failure. An increase in muscle mass is commonly seen with exercising. An increase in body fat is commonly seen as a result of diet or lack of exercise as the body converts muscle to fat. An excessive weight gain is referred to as obesity. Obesity is a function of environmental (diet, exercise, lifestyle, etc.), hormonal, and inherited (genetic) factors in varying degrees. Weight gain is a normal part of pregnancy.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Causes of Weight Gain
Autism Spectrum Disorder (In Children and Adults)
Autism in children and adults is a developmental disorder, characterized by impaired development in communication, social...
Binge Eating Disorder
Characteristics of binge eating disorder include eating more quickly than usual, eating until uncomfortably full, eating a lot of...
Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart's ability to pump blood is decreased because the heart's main pumping...
Restrictive cardiomyopathy, the rarest form of cardiomyopathy, is a condition in which the walls of the lower chambers of the...
Fast-food consumption and lack of exercise are just a couple of causes of childhood obesity. Health effects of childhood obesity...
Congenital Heart Defects
Congenital heart defects are heart problems that are present at birth. Genetics may play a role in some heart defects. Symptoms...
Cushing's syndrome, sometimes referred to as hypercortisolism, is a hormonal disorder caused by prolonged exposure to high levels...
Cystic fibrosis is a disease of the mucus and sweat glands. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease. The outcome of the disease...
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one...
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are...
Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Signs
Pregnancy symptoms can vary from woman to woman, and not all women experience the same symptoms. When women do experience...
Emotional eating can be detrimental to one's efforts at weight loss. Learning to identify the situations and emotions that...
Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of disease. Regular exercise can also reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety....
Holiday Depression, Anxiety, and Stress
Though the holidays are a fun time for most, for others, they're a sad, lonely and anxiety-filled time. Get tips on how to avoid...
Hypothyroidism is any state in which thyroid hormone production is below normal. Normally, the rate of thyroid hormone...
Kidney Failure (Symptoms, Signs, Stages, Causes, and Treatment)
Kidney failure can occur from an acute event or a chronic condition or disease. Prerenal kidney failure is caused by blood loss,...
Obesity is the state of being well above one's normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be obese if they are...
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), also known by the name Stein-Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal problem that causes women to...
Pregnancy (Week By Week, Trimesters)
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but...
A skin tag is a small benign growth of skin that projects from the surrounding skin. Skin tags can vary in appearance (smooth,...
Sleep apnea is defined as a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep. The three types of sleep apnea are central apnea,...
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However,...
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition where symptoms are produced from compression of nerves or blood vessels because the...
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which a person's pancreas does not produce enough insulin to meet the needs of the body....
Other Causes of Weight Gain
- Intravenous Fluids
- Medications (Both Prescription and Nonprescription)
Examples of Medications for Weight Gain
Find out what women really need.