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VERIFIED CONTENTAuthor: lek. Patryk Jasielski

Excessive body weight can be caused by many factors. Incorrect eating habits, a small amount of physical activity, medications, but also diseases are among them. It is worth getting acquainted with those diseases that can slow down our efforts to lose weight. This will allow you to seek specialist help, diagnose and start appropriate treatment.

The weight loss process is usually lengthy. It requires a lot of patience and persistence. In addition to caring for a proper diet and physical activity, it is important to monitor your overall he alth. In some cases, shedding unnecessary kilograms can be especially troublesome. It is especially aboutdiseases that make it difficult to lose weight .


This is a condition where lowered thyroid hormone levels lead to a set of specific symptoms. The most common cause is Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune disease in which the body destroys its own thyroid gland.

Thyroid hormones play a number of key roles in the body. They answer, inter alia, for the proper course of metabolic processes in the body (they stimulate the metabolism). The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:

  • weight gain,
  • easy freezing, feeling cold
  • weakness,
  • sleepiness,
  • decreased ability to focus
  • dry, brittle hair,
  • hyperkeratosis of the skin,
  • constipation.

Interestingly, hypothyroidism slows down the breakdown of substances called glycosaminoglycans. This may contribute to the retention of water in the body, which causes the formation of edema (manifested by thickened facial features, swelling of the eyelids).

Exchanged: weakness, fatigue or drowsiness may contribute to the limitation of physical activity, which may additionally lead to the formation of unnecessary kilograms.

Cushing's syndrome

This is a group of symptoms resulting from an excess of glucorticosteroids. It can be either an endogenous cause (an increase in the production of steroid hormones in the body) or an exogenous cause (the use ofcorticosteroids). Excessive appetite is indicated as the main cause of obesity in patients with this syndrome.

Typical features seen in Cushing's syndrome are:

  • dominance of central obesity (adipose tissue is located mainly in the abdomen, face and neck),
  • presence of thin limbs,
  • the face has a round shape - called "lunar",
  • the present neck fat - called "buffalo neck"
  • additionally there are red stretch marks and thinning of the skin.

Police Ovary Complex (PCOS)

Another disorder is characterized by excessive levels of androgens, which are sex hormones. They normally occur mainly in men, but in women in much lower concentrations. In women affected by this syndrome, there are, among others:

  • insulin resistance,
  • irregular periods,
  • problems getting pregnant,
  • acne,
  • hair loss.

About 50% of women with this syndrome are obese. It is worth noting that obesity may not only be a symptom of PCOS, but also a consequence of insulin resistance. Therefore, it is very important to control body weight in patients with this syndrome.

Genetic diseases

Predisposition to obesity may also result from genetic inheritance. Problems with losing excess kilos appear in them due to many, often not fully understood mechanisms.

The following genetic syndromes include:

  • Prader Willi syndrome,
  • Down syndrome,
  • Klinefelter syndrome,
  • Turner syndrome.

Most people with Prader Willi syndrome develop hyperphagia in childhood - that is, excessively increased appetite. Other characteristic features are short stature and facial developmental defects.

It is estimated that obesity affects the majority of people with Down's syndrome. The causes of obesity are the lack of control of food intake and low physical activity due to co-occurring heart defects.

Another syndrome associated with excess body weight is Klinefelter's syndrome. It is also characterized by, among others, the presence of hypogonadism (i.e. testicular malformation) and reduced insulin sensitivity.

Women with Turner Syndrome are also prone to excess body weight. They also show symptoms such as:

  • short stature,
  • amenorrhea,
  • webbing of the neck,
  • low set ears
  • and a low hairline on the head.


In the part of the brain called the hypothalamus there are centers of hunger and satiety. Many reasons can lead to its dysfunction. The most common processes are:

  • injuries,
  • inflammatory processes
  • cancer

The above can damage this area, leading to a disturbance in the regulation of food intake, which in turn may contribute to gaining weight and problems with the loss of excess kilograms.

Night eating syndrome (NES)

Night eating syndrome is a mental he alth disorder. It is a condition characterized by insomnia, a tendency to eat meals late. More than half of the daily food requirement is eaten after 7 p.m. It is accompanied by a feeling of hunger in the morning.

Binge Eating Syndrome (BED)

It is estimated that it affects from 7 to 12% of obese patients. It manifests itself by binge eating and losing control of the amount of calories consumed. This disorder is associated with a significantly difficult implementation of an appropriate lifestyle conducive to slimming.

That is why it is so important to diagnose and implement appropriate treatment as early as possible. This will prevent many years of ineffective weight loss attempts.

Not only diseases

The problem with difficult weight loss is complex, so it is worth seeking specialist help to achieve the expected results more easily. We should not forget that obesity may also have its cause in the side effects of drugs such as steroids or antidepressants. Both the search for the cause of unnecessary kilograms and further treatment should have a multidirectional dimension.

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