13 Bizarre Things That Can Happen When You Gain Weight
Weight gain affects everything from your taste buds to your sex life.
Food tastes blander
While it’s tempting to blame weight gain on loving the taste of food too much, it might not be true — in fact, it appears to be exactly the opposite. Inflammation from weight gain can reduce our taste receptors by 25 percent, according to a new study published in PLoS Biology. This may lead people to overeat even more, as they try to get the same flavour reward from their favourite foods that they used to, compounding the problem.
Leaving the house suddenly feels terrifying
Feeling anxious? When you gain weight it can increase anxiety levels, according to a study published in Menopause. Researchers found that women with a higher waist-to-height ratio were far more likely to suffer from anxiety than their peers. Losing weight helped lessen their symptoms, perhaps because dietary patterns can alter brain chemistry and the formulation of neurotransmitters like serotonin. Although serotonin is well known as a feel-good chemical “in the brain,” it’s estimated that 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract and influenced by microbes there, which are in turn influenced by the foods we eat.
Migraines rear their ugly head
Suffering from migraines like never before? Weight gain can bring them on. More than 20 years of research has shown that going from a normal weight to overweight significantly raises your risk of getting these splitting headaches, and people who are obese are more likely to suffer from chronic migraines, according to the American Migraine Foundation.
Serious stomach pain sidelines you
Suddenly feeling sharp, stabbing pains in your back or upper abdomen? It could be gallstones, and gaining weight significantly increases your risk of getting the painful condition and the severity, according to research from Harvard. The real kicker is that if you end up getting your gallbladder removed you may have a hard time eating high-fat foods for the rest of your life.
You’re super bummed out, and nothing cheers you
One of the most compelling findings from the Harvard study was the strong link between weight gain and depression, say the researchers. Obese people have a 55 percent higher risk of developing depression over time compared with people of normal weight, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Mood disorders and weight gain can become a vicious circle, as the study also found that depressed folks have a 58 percent higher chance of becoming overweight.
You have trouble conceiving
One of the most heartbreaking consequences of weight gain is an increased risk of infertility, in both men and women, according to the Harvard study. Having extra adipose tissue can disrupt hormones and make it harder to conceive.
Viagra ads suddenly catch your attention
Having a difficult time performing in the bedroom? Erectile dysfunction (ED) increases with weight gain, Harvard researchers say. It can also be a sign of a more serious health condition. Thankfully, ED responds quickly to losing even a few pounds.
Your muscles are sore and you didn’t hit the gym
Unexplained muscle soreness, weakness, and fatigue are one sign of a vitamin D deficiency. What does a vitamin have to do with your weight? Overweight people are more likely to be deficient in this important nutrient, according to a study published in Nutrients. Why? Even if you’re getting enough vitamin D through sunlight or supplements, it gets diluted in the extra fatty tissue. Weight gain can also put you at a higher risk of other vitamin and mineral deficiencies, they added. The good news is, restoring vitamin D can help you lose weight.
Painful burps after dinner become the norm
Heartburn is the worst. The fiery chest and throat pain can seriously take the fun out of eating a delicious meal. If you’ve suddenly started having more or worse flare-ups, it might be time to check the scale. Gaining weight puts you at a higher risk of heartburn, according to the Harvard study. Excess body fat around the middle can increase pressure in the stomach and cause the sphincter muscle between the stomach and esophagus to open when it shouldn’t.
You start snoring like a freight train
Does your partner gear up for bed with earplugs, a white noise machine, and snore spray at the ready? It’s a good sign that your snoring is out of control. One cause of loud, persistent snoring is sleep apnea, a condition that causes you to stop breathing many times during the night, and can be brought on or worsened by weight gain, according to a study published in Chest. The good news? Chronic snorers who went on a healthy eating plan saw improvements in their sleep within eight weeks.
Your DNA changes
It’s long been thought that some genes may cause weight gain but the opposite can also be true — weight gain changes your genes. Gaining weight has the power to change your body on its most basic level, by altering gene expression in your DNA, according to a study published in Nature. The genes that experienced the most significant changes had to do with metabolism and inflammation, they found.
Peeing three times a night becomes the new normal
Midnight potty trips are a punchline for many jokes about aging, but if you’re consistently having to pee during the night it’s no laughing matter, as it can be an early warning sign of chronic kidney disease and failure, says the National Kidney Foundation. What does your weight have to do with your kidneys? A lot. Obese people are seven times more likely to get kidney disease and even people who are mildly overweight are 90 percent more likely to develop end-stage renal failure, according to a study done by the University of California.
Online shopping or gambling are eating up your savings
Wondering why you’re suddenly struggling with self-control? The scale might have some answers. A 10 percent weight gain is enough to change your brain in significant ways, according to research published by the Association for Psychological Science, and that can alter your personality. People who gained weight scored much higher on impulsivity and were less likely to resist temptations of all kinds, the researchers found.
Originally published as 14 Bizarre Things That Can Happen When You Gain Weight on ReadersDigest.com.