Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.
Weight Loss
Moderators: spoiled_candy, Mollybygolly, devilish_patsy, nycgirl

sudden weight gain

Quote  |  Reply

Hello everyone, this is my first time posting so I hope I am doing this right! I am a 26 year old female 5'8 140 pounds. My problem is that I am usually not 140 pounds. My usual weight is 120 pounds give or take 3 or so depending on the weather, tom etc. All of a sudden I have gained 20 pounds in a month. I haven't changed my eating habits and I am not taking any medication except I did stop taking birth control for a few weeks. I am really upset because I have this huge distended stomach and none of my clothing fits. Really nothing fits! What is going on? Has anyone had this happen to them before? Thank you for your time.

16 Replies (last)
It sounds like you may be pregnant?
I take it you've ruled out the obvious (pregnancy).  Also, have you been having regular bowel movements?  If not, this could be a cause.

Not to scare you, but if you truly haven't changed anything, I would suggest seeing a doctor. A sudden, unexplained weight gain can be a sign of any of a number of medical conditions (such as Cushings, ovarian cancer, hypothyroidism or an excess of cortisol hormone). 

I don't think water retention would explain 20 lbs, so it's better to be safe than sorry.
Quote  |  Reply
I had a blood test done, I'm not pregnant even thought that was my first thought because I had missed two periods. I finally got it two days ago though. I thought maybe some weight would come off but it didn't. Thanks for the reply!
I would also suggest seeing a doctor.  FWIW, that is what happened to me when I discovered I was hypothyroid; I gained 15lbs in less than two months without making any changes to my eating an exercise habits.  It could be a number of things tho.  Get it checked out.
Quote  |  Reply

My bowel movements are very well. So I have an appt. this Thursday to have some more bloodwork done. The only thing that came back last time was high ammonia levels. I am going to lower my caloric intake and add some more exercise into my day. Thank you everyone.

Quote  |  Reply
Ask your doctor about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.  Missed periods, weight gain, and a bunch of other factors are signs of the condition.  It's possible that the birth control was keeping your hormones somewhat in check, but ask your doctor. 
Quote  |  Reply
Thank you for the great advice. This will make it so much easier for me to talk to my doctors.
I had the same thing happen to me last year - gained 20 lbs in a disturbingly short period of time, but for me I think it was over two months, not one.

I had been put on nexium for acid reflux, so I thought it was that. However, I'm back on it again and this time no weight gain. So I'm not sure now. But, that's why I joined C-C. And I have lost the weight again, so don't worry too much about that part. It just took a LOT longer than it took to pile it on. :-(

All my bloodwork continues to come back normal, but there is something going on with me, because I continue to have the acid reflux and now I'm also having what is probably going to ultimately be dx'ed as autoimmune arthritis (joint pain, including swelling sausage fingers - as of this weekend). I don't know if that could cause weight gain - I've never heard it.

As others have said, it could be due to numerous causes. Definetly include an OB/GYN visit on your list, to rule out PCOS or ovarian cancer or something hormonally related.

Is it just your tummy that's distended? Or have you gained weight elsewhere? I think that's an important question. I am an apple shape so when I gain, I do gain a lot in my belly. But last year when I gained it wasn't JUST my belly... I also gained in my hips, thighs, arms, and an extra chin. 
Quote  |  Reply

Jenmcc, I am so sorry about your reflux problems. ouch! I joined this site for the same reason. This way I can track everything I eat. And I love the grading to see how well/not so well, I eat.

My stomach is really my only problem. Just slight weight gain in my hips and legs but other than that, the rest of me is the same. My stomach usually sinks in really far to where my hip bones and ribs stick out really far (not proud, but it has always been my shape) Now I can't even see them. Hubby is happy but I am concerned that it may be more than just normal weight gain.

Thank you for your reply! Best wishes to you

Hi Nicole36, This is my first time posting, too.  

I think the exact same thing is happening to me.  I am 5'7" and normally weigh 128 lbs., give or take 2 lbs.  Within the past couple of weeks I suddenly gained 10 lbs without any changes in diet or exercise!  I also stopped my birth control for a few weeks (lost a pack and had to wait to get new one).  I'm freaking out.  I started exercising and eating less and gained 3 more lbs in a few days.  I've been back on the birth control pill for about 2 weeks.  

Did your issue ever resolve itself?  Did you lose the weight?  I didn't gain the weight in my stomach...I tend not's pretty much all in my butt and thighs.  Still, I wonder if it is related to the birth control pill.  

Please let me know what ever happened with your sudden weight gain, I'd really appreciate it!! 


I know this is pretty much an old topic but the same thing has happened to me. I was 8st 8lbs (120lbs) and would stay around that give or take 2 or 3 pounds here and there.

I quit smoking in February and came off the pill in March. I initially gained about 10 pounds which I put down to eating more after quitting smoking. Although I had definatley been eating more i was still surprised by how much I'd gained. So I set about counting calories and exercising more.

I had 3 periods since then (with one being 2 weeks late) and I also got back to my original weight of 120 by the end of May.

Since then I have not had another period and my weight shot up to 139lbs. Its not muscle because my clothes dont fit either. Its mostly on my belly (I also carried a little weight on my hips beforehand anyways) and also on my thighs. I cannot understand how this has happened but I'm putting it down to coming off the pill more and more...

Update.... I've just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism - an underactive thyroid gland. So thats why I gained weight and my periods stopped.

hi im 18 and im always like 123 now im like 140 i wounder if i have a tyroid problom

If you've gained the weight without changing your eating habits you could be. Also, I cant lose any weight. I'm eating 800 cals a day and still gaining, just not as quickly as I do when I eat more. I start meds on Monday though so hopefully will be able to start eating more and lose then.

If you google it, you'll find a list of symptoms for hypothyroidism. Like feeling cold and tired a lot. Heavy periods are also a symptom but with me my periods stopped, so it goes to show it can affect people differently.

A simple blood test at the doc would determine whether or not you are. Let me know if you ever do decide to get checked... :)

Original Post by iyuyu:

hi im 18 and im always like 123 now im like 140 i wounder if i have a tyroid problom

You're 18.  You're probably growing, as is normal for someone of your age.  Likely, your hips and chest are filling out a bit - which makes you a little heavier.  It is totally normal to gain some weight at your age.

16 Replies
Recent Blog Post
Jenny found Calorie Count when she decided to stop dieting and start living better. She started logging her food, and was shocked by how many calories she was actually consuming. By making smarter choices, and being kinder to herself, she was able to reach her weight loss goal. Now, at 60 lbs. lost, and 4 months maintaining her weight, she is more confident and living a healthier and happier life.

Continue reading...