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Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Sudden Weight Gain
I have not changed my diet or exercise regime in any way except that I have started eating a little less since I noticed a weight gain. I am not on medication of any kind. The only unusual thing I have noticed recently is that I had a migraine for the first time in years last weekend. I have now gone from a size 8 to a size 12 in less than three weeks. What on earth is happening to me?
It is difficult to imagine exactly what is going on here. Some questions that occur to me are:
- Have you changed your diet so that it contains more salt and/or more water?
- What parts of your body are larger: your abdomen, legs, etc.? Have you specifically noticed swelling of your feet, legs, or face?
- Do you have a history of either heart or kidney problems?
- Have you recently been started on any new medications?
Depending on your answer to the above questions, as well as your age, gender, and underlying medical conditions, your weight gain may be caused by a variety of disorders such as: heart failure, protein leakage from the kidneys, oversecretion of hormones by the adrenal glands, liver problems, or malignancy. You should see your physician as soon as possible for a thorough history, physical exam, lab tests (including both blood and urine tests), and possibly imaging studies (such as a CAT scan or ultrasound).
Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University