Gaining weight happens. For many of our patients, however, there is any number of contributing factors that can lead to weight gain.
Nature, Mood Disorders, Treatment & Weight Loss
Peri-menopause/Menopause: Women typically enter menopause between 45 and 55. Estrogen — one of the hormones responsible for regulating menstruation and ovulation — decreases as menopause occurs. This hormonal decrease can lead to weight gain around the abdominal region and the hips.
In these life stages, many women also experience depression, anxiety, and other emotional challenges, and they find some (short-term) comfort in eating unhealthy foods or binge eating.
Emotional Eating: When some become depressed or anxious, eating, especially the wrong foods, becomes a form of self-medication.
Foods high in carbohydrates (carbs), specifically sugar and other common sweeteners, like corn syrup, highly processed foods found in pretty much bagged or boxed food in the grocery store, and high “wrong” fat foods found at most drive-thrus in the U.S. not only contribute to weight gain but can become addictive. And not only does consuming these types of foods regularly lead to weight gain, but also poor physical health, like diabetes and heart issues.
Research studies have found that those who are obese have a 55% higher risk of developing depression over their lifetime compared to people that did not struggle with obesity.
A recent study found that the symptoms of people with moderate-to-severe depression improved when they received nutritional counseling sessions and ate a more healthful diet for 12 weeks.
Mood Disorders: Studies show that people who suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders are more likely to gain weight over time and become obese than people who don’t due to increased appetite, emotional eating, and decreased physical activity.
Anxiety: Many people who experience anxiety have trouble managing their weight because of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is released during times of stress, which means that it is also released during times of anxiety. Cortisol causes fat to build up around the mid-section and is one of the primary reasons that those with stress have trouble maintaining their weight.
Medications: Up to 25% of people who take antidepressants gain weight. SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), like Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft — can cause weight gain of 10 pounds or more.
Mood stabilizers used to treat bipolar disorder, including lithium (Lithobid), valproic acid (Depakene), divalproex sodium (Depakote), carbamazepine (Tegretol, Equetro, and others, can also lead to weight gain.
Schedule an appointment with your Certus Care Provider if you’re weight isn’t under control and you are challenged on what to do next.
Your well-being and the management of your condition and its treatment are our highest priorities. There may be alternatives to medications you are taking that can continue to support your treatment. There also may be options available that can help you better manage your appetite.
Take Full Advantage of our WEll-Being Program
We developed the Certus WEll-Being Program to help patients uncover the reasons for their weight gain and then offer the tools to help them lose weight and feel better emotionally and physically.
Follow these steps, and let’s work together in helping you find your path to a better sense of WEll Being!
- Discover how our own cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) process can help you focus specifically on the behaviors related to weight gain and weight loss.
- Learn more about diet and nutrition and the steps you can take better control your weight by eating well.
- Get active and burn calories through workouts designed for every fitness level.