10 Reasons Women Gain Weight

frustrated woman on scale

Most adult women at one time or another have struggled with their weight, and recent research suggests that weight gain in women differs from that of men. There are many reasons why women put on the pounds and some of the factors that lead to weight gain in women are surprising.

Here are a list of 10 causes for weight gain that specifically affects the female population.

Celebrate great health! LIKE BlackDoctor.org on Facebook!

1. Pregnancy

Women are required to gain weight during pregnancy. However, many women consume too many calories when they are expecting. Guided by the idea of “eating for two,” many women overeat and gain more weight than is recommended by the medical community. A healthy woman with an average body weight should eat an extra 300 calories.

2. Menopause

During menopause, the hormonal changes may cause an increase in appetite and lead to weight gain. Your changing body composition may also make it more difficult to lose any excess weight.

3. Not Eating Enough

Studies indicate that more than 50% of the population of American women are dieting at any given time. Yet, the quest to lose weight often can do more harm than good. A reason why many women gain weight is because they don’t eat enough. When you aren’t consuming enough food, the metabolism slows down and the body begins to store fat.

4. Eating “Low-Fat” Foods

Female dieters may be seduced by packages with the words “low-fat” printed on them. However, these low-fat foods often contain as many calories as normal food items. Regularly consuming fewer than 20% of your daily calories from fat will put your health at risk in many ways. A diet too high in fat can also lead to problems—heart disease, diabetes, cancer and weight gain.

5. Lack of Fiber

The popularity of low-carb diets such as Atkins have caused fiber deficiencies among dieters. Fiber is essential to losing and maintaining a healthy weight. Not only does fiber promote bowel health, it also gives you a feeling of fullness which helps you to eat less.

6. Too Much Stress

The demands of having a career and managing a family may cause many women to pack on the pounds. Stress causes the body go into crisis mode. As a result, the body begins to slow down and store fat.

7. Lack of Sleep

When you’re sleep deprived, your body can’t work to its best ability. The body’s reacts to a lack of sleep by storing fat.

8. Depression

Many women engage in what is called “emotional eating.” This is a response to depression and an attempt to fill a void in your life through food. Comfort foods such as chocolate and other sweets may soothe the soul, but they expand the waistline.

9. Lack of Fatty Acids

Not all fats are bad for you. Fatty acids like those contained in flaxseed oil help you to maintain your metabolism and curb unhealthy food cravings.

10. Diseases and Illness

There are a number of diseases and illness that can cause weight gain. Ovarian cysts can cause a woman to gain up to 30 pounds over a short period of time. Problems with the liver, kidneys and heart can be associated with weight gain. Also, women who undergo breast cancer treatments often experience a fluctuation in weight.


Would you subscribe to a service where you can see a black doctor anytime via video chat for $19 a month?

Fibroid Embolization Less Effective In Women Under 40

african doctor examining female patient
Young women who have a minimally invasive treatment for uterine fibroids called embolization are more likely to have a recurrence than older women are, according to a new study report in Reuters Health.

Fibroids are very common, non-cancerous growths that form from muscle cells and other tissue in the wall of the uterus. It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of Black women will develop fibroids at some point by age 50.

Celebrate great health! LIKE BlackDoctor.org on Facebook!

In the new study, Italian researchers looked at long-term results from uterine artery embolization, in which tiny particles are injected into blood vessels leading to the uterus, cutting off the fibroids’ blood supply and shrinking them. Researchers found that out of 176 women treated with embolization, the “clinical failure” rate was 18 percent over seven years.

In other words, the fibroids grew back – typically after three years.

Women age 40 or younger were almost six times more likely to see their symptoms come back, versus women who underwent embolization after age 40.

Dr. Giovanna Tropeano and colleagues at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome report the findings in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

It’s not surprising that younger women have more recurrences, according to Dr. James Spies, a professor of radiology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the study.

Women who have fibroids treated after age 40 are closer to menopause, when fibroids will usually shrink on their own. But younger women have a longer time period in which a recurrence can happen, Spies explained in an interview. On top of that, fibroids that arise at a young age and/or in Black women are typically more severe.

According to Spies, women who need fibroid treatment should talk with their doctor about all their treatment options. The “right” therapy, he said, will largely depend on where you are in your life.

Fibroid Removal or Embolization: Which Is The Best Choice For You?

Fibroids often don’t cause problems. But many women with fibroids often have more problematic symptoms, such as heavy menstrual periods, bleeding between periods, abdominal or back pain, and abnormally large fibroid growth that can interfere with other organs, such as increased bladder/bowel pressure. For some women, fibroids make it hard to get pregnant.

The most common treatment is a hysterectomy, or surgical removal of the uterus. But women who want to avoid a hysterectomy have other options. Besides embolization, they can have a myomectomy, where only the uterine fibroids are removed. There’s also endometrial ablation, in which the lining of the uterus is removed (which, like a hysterectomy, causes infertility).

“For women in their 30s who want to become pregnant, myomectomy should be considered first,” Spies said.

That’s because, at least in the first few years after treatment, women’s fertility seems to be better after myomectomy versus embolization. However, if a woman is done having children, though, embolization has the advantage of a shorter recovery time, Spies said.

As far as fibroid recurrence, the odds may be similar, or somewhat higher, with myomectomy. Spies pointed to one study of women who were part of a large Washington State HMO: Of 628 women who had a myomectomy, 23 percent needed a repeat procedure — most often a hysterectomy — after five years.

The 18 percent recurrence rate in the current study is actually a little lower than what’s been seen in others. In his own study of 200 embolization patients, Spies found that 20 percent had a recurrence within five years.

When a woman has a fibroid recurrence, she can get a repeat embolization. Spies pointed out that the procedure works as well the second time around.

“It’s still the default in this country to offer hysterectomy,” Spies said. He suggested that if you want to avoid that, ask your gynecologist about the other options.