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13 Bizarre Things That Can Happen When You Gain Weight

Weight gain affects everything from your taste buds to your sex life.

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Weight Gain, food

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.

Related: If you drink this at breakfast you’ll burn calories all day long.

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Weight Gain, woman looking out the window

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.

Related: These healthy foods are actually dangerous to overeat.

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Weight Gain, Migraine

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.

Related: How to control migraines so they don’t interfere with your life.

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Weight Gain, woman laying in bed

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.

Related: These are the worst foods for your stomach.

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Weight Gain, bummed out

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.

Related: Here are nine “zero calorie” foods that aren’t really zero calories.

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Weight Gain, woman holding coffee mug

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.

Related: How your beauty products could be sabotaging your fertility.

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Weight Gain, couple not looking at each other

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.

Related: Nine things that happen to your body if you stop having sex.

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Weight Gain, sore muscles

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.

Related: Vitamin D may just be the answer to preventing this degenerative disease.

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Weight Gain, woman burping

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.

Related: Cures for heartburn that are right in your kitchen.

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Weight Gain, cozy bed

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.

Related: The most soothing yoga poses to help you sleep better.

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Weight Gain, DNA

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.

Related: Here are five shocking reasons behind your weight gain.

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Weight Gain, washroom

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.

Related: What you need to know about the science behind weight loss.

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Weight Gain, woman on her laptop

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.

Related: Follow this weekly meal plan and you may just lose weight.

Originally Published on Reader's Digest