×
5 Deficiencies That Can Cause Weight Gain if One Isn't Careful | Ways to Avoid Them

5 Deficiencies That Can Cause Weight Gain if One Isn't Careful | Ways to Avoid Them

Losing weight can be hard as we age and there could be many reasons why our diets and workouts don't work.

Losing weight can get harder as we age and when there is weight gain unexpectedly, it can be even more perplexing. Sometimes, we could be working out and dieting and still not lose weight. It can be disheartening for us to put in the effort and not see the results.

There are many causes that can cause weight gain like vitamin, mineral, and hormone deficiencies. These conditions are linked to metabolic disorders that can affect our body's ability to manage weight. 

Here are five deficiencies that can lead to weight gain and how to treat them:

1. Serotonin deficiency

Source: Getty Images | Photo by Kanawa Studios

Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that regulates your mood, sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory, according to Healthline. It usually comes up during conversations about mental health but it also affects sexual function, bowel movements, appetite, and sleep cycle.

When there is a serotonin deficiency, people are likely to gain weight. That's because our body is unable to send our brain the signal that we are full. It can make us eat more than we need to get full. There are multiple ways to treat it like eating foods with vitamin D, working out, being in bright light, and more. 

2. Low magnesium levels

Source: Getty Images | Photo by John Lawson, Belhaven

In a longterm study, The Malnutrition of Obesity: Micronutrient Deficiencies That Promote Diabetes, that examined 18,000 adults of varying weights over seven years, it was found that obese folks had lower levels of the mineral magnesium. Magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesemia can affect our blood glucose levels. It can also cause cramps and is needed for mental health reasons. Eating seeds, nuts, cocoa, beans, and whole grains are good sources of magnesium, according to Healthline. This mineral can be found in both plants and animal-sourced foods. 

3. Vitamin D deficiency

Source: Getty Images | Photo by Ivan Nanita / EyeEm

"The VU University Medical Center and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands conducted a study where they examined how the amount of total body fat and abdominal fat measured in participants of the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity study related to their vitamin D levels," according to a public release.

Lower levels of vitamin D are connected to a greater amount of belly fat, according to the release. The researchers found that both total and abdominal fat were linked to reduced vitamin D levels in women. However, abdominal fat has more of an impact on men. Abdominal and liver fat was associated with lower vitamin D levels. We can increase vitamin D levels by taking supplements, staying out in the sun, and by consuming food that has vitamin D.

4. Underactive thyroid gland

Source: Getty Images | Photo by 10000 Hours

The thyroid gland is a huge part of our metabolism, growth, and development of the human body. It creates more energy when we need it like when our body is growing or cold. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland tells our cells how much energy it should be burning. When someone has hypothyroidism, our body doesn't produce enough of those hormones reducing the basal metabolic rate and the extra calories get stored as fat instead. There are medications to manage the symptoms and sometimes, working out and diet or a combination of all three can be used to improve the issue, according to Insider.com.

5. Iodine deficiency

Source: Getty Images | Photo by EMS-FORSTER-PRODUCTIONS

The right amount of iodine is necessary for our thyroid to work and if there is an iodine deficiency, it can slow our thyroid function. Iodine is crucial for producing the hormones T3 and T4 by the thyroid gland. These are the hormones telling our cells to burn more calories, and when that doesn't happen it can cause weight gain. Low iodine levels make our thyroid sluggish. 

According to the American Thyroid Association, humans need to consume foods with iodine as our body doesn't create it within itself. Iodine fortified salt has eliminated iodine deficiency in most places. However, 30% of the world's population still doesn't have enough iodine in their food. 

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/serotonin-deficiency#treatment

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3313629/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-deficiency-symptoms#TOC_TITLE_HDR_9

https://www.insider.com/deficiencies-cause-weight-gain-2018-10#an-iodine-deficiency-can-cause-the-thyroid-to-function-slowly-leading-to-potential-weight-gain-2

https://www.thyroid.org/iodine-deficiency/

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/esoe-lwa051718.php

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Recommended for you