Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
(603) 742-5252
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
Physicians
Pay Your Bill Online
Pricing Estimates
Financial Assistance
Health Library
Health Insurance Marketplace Assistance
Interpreter and Communication Services
Surgery Preparation
Medical Records
Accountable Care Organization
Advance Directives
Clinical Research & Trials
Food and Nutrition Services
Back to Health Library   Print This Page Print    Email to a Friend Email

Aerobic exercise
Aerobic exercise


Isometric exercise
Isometric exercise


Calories and fat per serving
Calories and fat per serving


Definition:

Unintentional weight gain is an increase in body weight that occurs when a person takes in more calories than the body needs or uses.



Considerations:

Almost 40% of all Americans are overweight . As we age, our metabolism slows, which can cause weight gain unless we also reduce the amount of food we eat and get adequate exercise.

Weight gain can also be a significant symptom of several endocrine diseases such as Cushing syndrome or hypothyroidism. It may also indicate a heart or lung disorder.

A continued weight gain occurs with pregnancy, whereas a periodic weight gain may occur with menstruation. A rapid weight gain may be a sign of dangerous fluid retention.



Common Causes:
  • Alcohol use
  • Certain drugs such as corticosteroids, cyproheptadine, lithium, tranquilizers, phenothiazines, some antidepressants, and medicines that increase fluid retention and cause edema
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Eating too much and exercising too little
  • Emotional factors such as guilt, depression , and anxiety
  • High-carbohydrate, high-calorie diet
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Slower metabolism, which is normal with aging
  • Quitting smoking


Home Care:

Take action by starting a proper diet and exercise program. Counseling may be helpful.

Set realistic weight goals to maintain a healthy weight. Consult with a health care provider about specific measures.



Call your health care provider if:

Contact your health care provider if the following symptoms occur along with the weight gain:



What to expect at your health care provider's office:

Your health care provider will perform a physical examination; measure your height and weight to calculate your body mass index (BMI ); and ask questions about your weight gain, such as:

  • Are you anxious, depressed, or under stress?
  • Did you gain the weight quickly or slowly?
  • Do you have a history of depression?
  • Do you use alcohol or street drugs?
    • Does the weight gain cause you much concern?
    • Has your participation in social activities decreased?
    • Has your physical activity been restricted due to illness or injury?
    • Have there been changes in your diet or appetite?
      • How much weight have you gained?
  • What medications do you take?
  • What other symptoms do you have?
  • When did the weight gain begin?

Tests that may be done include:

  • Blood tests including chemistry profile
  • Measurement of hormone levels
  • Nutritional assessment

Weight gain caused by emotional problems may require psychological counseling. Talk to your health care provider about an appropriate diet and exercise program and realistic weight loss goals. If weight gain is caused by a physical illness, treatment (if there is any) for the underlying cause will be prescribed.

If weight continues to be a problem despite diet and exercise, talk with your health care provider about other treatment options, including medications and surgery.



References:

Jensen MD. Obesity. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 239.




Review Date: 11/6/2008
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Find What You Need

Events
Careers
Foundation
About Us
Contact
Directions
News
Social Media Agreement
Joint Notice
Web Privacy Policy
WDH Staff Portal

Centers & Services

Cancer Center
Cardiovascular Care
Joint Replacement
Women & Children's
Physician Offices
Other Services

Conditions & Treatments

Health Library

Support Services

Support Groups
Care-Van
Dental Center
Social Work
Food & Nutrition
Integrative Wellness
Spiritual Care
Concerns & Grievances
Homecare and Hospice

For Patients

Pay Your Bill Online
Pricing Estimates
Financial Assistance
Interpreter Services
Surgery Preparation
Medical Record Request
Advance Directives
Clinical Research & Trials

For Healthcare Professionals

Work and Life
Financial Well-Being
Career and Growth

The Wentworth-Douglass Health System includes:

 

Address

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100