Fatigue & Weight Gain—It Might Not Be Normal

Posted on: 29 April 2019

Many people associate increased tiredness and extra weight with the natural process of aging. Although you might not have as much energy as you did when you were a young adult, persistent fatigue is not normal. If you eat well and stay active and still see your weight creeping up, you might have an underlying problem. Here are some common reasons why adults might experience fatigue and weight gain that you should talk to your family doctor about. 

1. Unbalanced thyroid hormones.

Your thyroid helps to govern your metabolism, which affects how your body burns and processes food for energy. People who feel sluggish and have trouble with weight gain might have an underactive thyroid, which means they aren't getting the fuel they need, but they are also storing extra calories as fat at an increased rate. Your doctor can run a thyroid panel to check your hormone levels. If the levels are not correct, you can start taking hormone replacements to help get your thyroid back on track, You'll have more energy and you may have an easier time controlling your weight. 

2. Low levels of key vitamins and minerals. 

Low iron is a common cause of persistent fatigue, especially in adult females. Females lose blood each month as part of their menstrual cycle, which depletes their iron reserves. While not directly related to weight gain, the lack of activity caused by the fatigue could be a contributing factor to passive weight gain. Other deficiencies can cause similar fatigue, including reduced folic acid and low levels of potassium and vitamin B12. Blood tests can help determine which nutrients you might be missing in your life. A simple supplement could be the solution to your tiredness. 

3. Changes in sex hormones. 

Finally, changes in sex hormones can affect your energy levels and your weight. Men, for example, can experience low levels of testosterone. If the levels are below the normal range, they can feel tired and they will experience weight gain. Weight gain inhibits your body's ability to regulate its testosterone levels even further, so it's a vicious cycle that often needs treatment to break. Your doctor can prescribe hormone supplementation therapy to help you get your body back on track.  

Don't just accept tiredness as a fact of adult life. Consider talking to services like Burnsville Family Physicians to learn about underlying reasons why you could be gaining weight and feeling tired.