causes of weight regain

Medical Issues and Causes of Weight Regain & Weight Gain

July 12, 2021

Causes of Weight Regain & Weight Gain: Have you been doing a good job of eating right, moving more, and generally taking great care of yourself? Do you find that all of this hard work is not translating to any movement of the scale in the southern direction? Or maybe the scale is moving but in the wrong direction.

If any of these are the case, instead of a strict extended fast or crazy restrictive diet, maybe you should confirm whether or not there is a medical reason to consider.

There happen to be a number of medical conditions that are known to hinder weight loss or, in some circumstances, lead and are causes of weight regain. 

Below is a list of the nine most common medical reasons that may be the culprit.

9 Common Medical Reasons and Causes of Weight Regain


The thyroid gland produces thyroxine which works to keep a healthy metabolism and regulate your body temperature. Sufferers of hypothyroidism are not making a sufficient amount of this hormone to ensure that their metabolism runs smoothly.

If your thyroid’s function is underactive, all of your body’s activities can slow down. The metabolism may likely be the first thing to slow, which can lead to weight gain. It has several other fun side effects such as night sweats and sensitivity to cold. 

Luckily, there are many oral medication options on the market that can help.

Hashimoto’s Disease

Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism have similar symptoms and similar outcomes. Sufferers of Hashimoto’s have a chronically inflamed thyroid gland that causes the thyroid to become underactive.  

One key difference between the two is that Hashimoto’s is what is known as an autoimmune disease. That means that antibodies attack the thyroid, and the result is inflammation. 

As is the case with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s Disease is also treatable with oral medication.

Cushing Syndrome

Cushing Syndrome is a condition that causes the adrenal glands to secret too much of the stress hormone cortisol. The reasons can be due to extended exposure to corticosteroid medication or even a benign pituitary gland tumor. 

No matter the cause, the outcome of too much cortisol is fat storage. Fat can accumulate in the upper back, face, and abdomen. It can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as high blood pressure, acne, or even muscle weakness.

The good news is that the condition is treatable with either medication or surgery.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS develops in women during their teens to late twenties and is the result of a hormonal imbalance. It can affect the body’s response to insulin. Thanks to this, the body struggles to obtain energy from glucose. In most women, this often leads to weight gain. In addition to weight gain, other symptoms include facial hair, acne, and irregular periods. 

The good news is that PCOS can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes.

Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is the result of weakened heart muscles that do not allow the heart to pump as efficiently as it should.  Since the heart is not able to meet the body’s needs, the result is blood and fluid buildup.  This type of swelling can result in rapid weight gain. Other symptoms are excessive urination, joint swelling, and coughing. 

There are plenty of medical options for treatment depending on what stage of heart failure you are currently in.


Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can include either the inability to fall asleep or the inability to stay asleep. In addition to being both irritable and tired due to a lack of sleep, your body’s circadian rhythm is also a giant mess. This begins the disruption to your hormones. That includes the hormones that are responsible for both your hunger and satiety. You may find yourself eating more and struggling to stay active.

People living with Insomnia have many treatment options available to help them. You can check out this Insomnia program that can help!


Some of the symptoms associated with depression include lack of motivation, emotional eating, poor sleep, excessive fatigue, and appetite changes. Unfortunately, overeating can result from all of these symptoms.  Couple that with reduced activity levels and a reduced metabolism, you now have a recipe for weight gain.  

Mindful meditation, exercise, therapy, and medication have all proven effective in treating depression. 


During menopause and perimenopause, hormonal shifts can lead to weight gain. Many women find that their metabolism slows down, and fat storage speeds up. Gaining abdominal fat is very common in menopausal women. 

Changes to eating habits, regular exercise, and a solid self-care routine have been shown to improve these symptoms.

Low Testosterone

Women are not the only ones who get to have all the fun when it comes to weight control. Men also have their struggles. As they age, men’s testosterone levels will eventually begin to decrease. As this happens, they tend to see fat storage around the abdomen. Fatigue, reduced muscle mass, reduced libido, and trouble concentrating are other common issues men face as a result.   

There is no need for concern, however, because a medical professional can assist men in supplementing testosterone.


If, despite all of your best efforts, you find that you are still struggling to shed some unwanted pounds and are not sure of the causes of the weight regain, consider if there is a medical condition that very well may be the cause.

Do not delay it any longer. Speak with a healthcare provider as soon as possible and ask what options are available to you. As soon as you can get treatment plans that work for you, you will be on your way to better health and weight loss success.   

causes of weight regain
Candice Seti


Dr. Candice Seti, Psy.D., of Me Only Better is known in the community as "The Weight Loss Therapist." Dr. Seti is renowned for her expertise in applying cognitive therapy to weight loss and weight management and extensive knowledge of nutrition and exercise applications to a weight management program. This is an area Dr. Seti has been passionate about for many years after her own weight loss experience. Read more articles by Dr. Seti!