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7 Weird Side Effects Of Rapid Weight Gain

Putting on weight is generally associated with eating a poor diet or living an unhealthy lifestyle. Though these things can certainly cause us to gain weight, there are so many other factors that could be contributing to a rapid change in weight. Some things to consider are activity levels, chronic illness, medications, and mental health. Any sudden change in weight needs to be discussed with a healthcare professional as soon as possible. This is to ensure that there is not an underlying condition causing the weight gain. 

Just know that gaining weight can lead to a range of well-known problems. These include a higher risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. However, it can also lead to a range of weird and totally unexpected conditions as well. Here’s a rundown. 

Digestive Issues

According to clinical researchers, people eating high-fiber diets should have two or three bowel movements per day. That’s because bacteria feast on the fiber in food and grow in numbers tremendously in the colon, encouraging us to go to the bathroom more frequently. However, when you gain weight, digestion becomes sluggish, limiting bowel movements in general.

But what causes this? Primarily, it has to do with changes in the function of the bowel itself. Obesity can often lead to a slowdown in the action of the stomach wall, reducing its ability to move food through the digestive path. Sometimes, it can become stuck and form hardened masses called bezoars. These can then become infected, leading to stomach complaints and constipation. 

Facial Swelling

Facial swelling isn’t something that any of us want. But it can happen in cases of rapid weight gain. People who are overweight are at a much higher risk of a condition called edema. This is where fluid rushes to various parts of the body, causing them to swell. It can happen on the arms, legs, feet, hands, and, occasionally, in the head as well. If you notice that your head is beginning to swell up, seek medical attention immediately. Edema is a dangerous medical condition. 

Temperature Sensitivity

You would think that rapid weight gain would make you more resistant to the cold. But, as it turns out, that’s not the case. People who put on weight rapidly can become much more sensitive to the cold for reasons that science is still trying to understand. Researchers think that it might have something to do with the body’s reduced ability to regulate temperatures close to the skin. This produces an overreaction to the cold, even if conditions are quite mild. 

Hearing Loss

As researchers learn more about the effects of obesity, they are discovering all sorts of strange things. One is that people who are severely overweight are much more likely to experience hearing loss. It’s believed that this has to do with damage to the sensitive tissues in the inner ear. Weight gain blocks the arteries that supply the machinery of the ear, leading to degradation over time. 

Hair Loss

Weight gain is also associated with hair loss. Researchers think that this might have to do with changes in the hormonal environment inside the body. Weight gain changes the ratio of various hormones which can subsequently lead to reductions in hair distribution across the body, including on the head. 


Being overweight can also lead to a condition called malaise. This is where the affected person doesn’t have any energy to carry out their normal daily activities. However, there are many causes of malaise. This is why it’s important to seek advice from your doctor.

Simply physically moving from one location to another is exhausting for many overweight people, potentially leading to fatigue. Obese people may also have worsening blood sugar control which also leads to changes in energy levels. When sugar is too high or low, it can lead to lethargy. 

Changes In Menstrual Cycles

Rapid and sustained weight gain can also lead to changes in menstrual cycles. Again, it comes back to the various changes in the hormonal environment. Weight gain can affect the cycle and make it last longer than usual. It can also shorten it and lead to heavy flow. 

Weight gain, therefore, can affect multiple body systems. While most people are aware of the common consequences, such as sore joints and a higher risk of disease, they’re not generally conscious of the wider problems associated with it. 

**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Women’s lifelink, its owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors, and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.


About Madeline

Madeline is a mid-west mom of three who spends most of her time refilling ice trays and changing toilet paper...just kidding. She is a high school guidance counselor, all around funny gal, and a writer. Her first book, Be Happy Already!", is in the works.

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