Weight fluctuations are small changes in body weight in the direction of increasing or decreasing, occurring in a short time. Often, weight jumps are caused by natural factors: errors in the diet, fluctuations during the menstrual cycle. Among the pathological prerequisites for weight changes, renal and cardiovascular diseases are distinguished. To verify the cause of the symptom, extended blood tests are performed, the hormonal profile is evaluated, and ultrasound diagnostics is used. To eliminate weight surges, it is necessary to influence the etiological factor.
Causes of weight fluctuations
Errors in weighing
Fluctuations in the mass within 500 g are associated with non-compliance with the weighing rules. As an electronic mechanism, scales can have technical errors, and when using mechanical scales, mass fluctuations reach 1 kg per day. Clothing matters: if you weigh yourself in jeans, bulky sweaters, the increase is several hundred grams. If you take measurements every day at different times, fluctuations of 200-300 g are possible, since the weight increases slightly in the evening.
Intensive aerobic training and exhausting physical labor are natural causes of profuse sweating and significant loss of water by the body, as a result of which the weight of a person decreases slightly. The situation is even more aggravated in the hot summer, with non-compliance with the temperature regime in sports facilities, production workshops. Such fluctuations are short-lived, after the water balance is replenished, the mass becomes the same.
The inverse relationship is observed with heavy strength training. Muscle overload causes the accumulation of lactic acid and water in the muscle tissue. Such changes provoke the development of puffiness of the whole body, which is manifested by an increase in the indicators of weights. With the observance of a rational rest regime, such weight fluctuations usually normalize during the day.
Weight indicators depend on the quantity and quality of the food consumed the day before. Overeating slows down the digestion and absorption of food, it accumulates in the intestines, the next morning the weight will increase by 0.5-1 kg. For lovers of salty and spicy, more fluid is retained in the tissues to maintain normal osmolarity of the blood, which also adds kilograms. The situation is similar with carbohydrates — each gram of glycogen binds about 3 g of water.
In the body there are natural fluctuations in the intensity of metabolism associated with the time of year. In autumn and winter, metabolism slows down, as a rule, it is directed towards the activation of anabolic processes: carbohydrates accumulate in the muscles and liver, lipids are actively deposited in subcutaneous tissue. The effect of this reason causes an increase in weight by 1-3 kg, and sometimes the increase is even more significant.
With the onset of spring, the metabolism in the body accelerates, catabolism reactions begin to prevail, fat reserves are intensively burned. A great motor activity in spring and summer becomes a contributing factor in weight loss. Therefore, in the warm season, weight loss occurs much faster and easier, even with moderate physical exertion, body weight decreases.
Monthly hormonal adjustment in women leads to weight fluctuations, which is considered a variant of the norm. Before menstruation, due to fluid and electrolyte retention caused by a sharp decrease in estrogens, the weight increases by 1-2 kg, and on the 2-6 day of the cycle it returns to the initial indications. During this period, urination becomes more frequent with the release of light urine. Similar reasons provoke fluctuations in the mass of adolescent girls at the stage of formation of ovarian function.
Under stress, fluctuations in the synthesis of hormones of the adrenal glands, thyroid gland and pituitary gland occur. These reasons cause changes in metabolism, so the weight fluctuates by a couple of kilograms for several days. Some people have an increased appetite under stress, which contributes to weight gain. Others, on the contrary, have an aversion to food, the weight decreases. If the weight changes rapidly by 3-4 kg or more, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
Pathological causes – cardiac and renal diseases – cause fluid retention in tissues and weight gain. If the symptoms are caused by heart failure, the patient’s weight increases in the evening. Patients often notice swelling on the back of the foot, in the lower part of the shins. In the most severe situations, ascites appears. Weight fluctuations reach 2-3 kg within one day.
With kidney damage and increased aldosterone production, fluid accumulation and swelling occur in the morning, especially severe swelling is observed in the eyelid area. Often they are combined with puffiness of the face. Sometimes a slight increase in weight is noted even before the appearance of external signs of “renal” swelling and indicates hidden edema. Such changes in mass are accompanied by general malaise and require medical attention.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome.
- The initial stage of endocrine diseases: diabetes mellitus, Itsenko-Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism.
- Food allergy.
- Taking medications: antisecretory, corticosteroids, progesterone derivatives.
In most cases, changes in mass are caused by natural causes. If significant daily weight fluctuations are detected, the consultation of a therapist or a family doctor is required. The specialist should collect complaints and anamnesis of the disease in detail, prescribe clarifying laboratory or instrumental studies. The following diagnostic methods are the most informative:
- Hormonal profile. Women need to measure the concentration of estrogen and progesterone on different days of the cycle. The amount of hormones of the adrenal cortex, which are often the cause of weight jumps, is estimated. For a detailed diagnosis, the levels of pituitary tropic hormones and releasing hormones of the hypothalamus are checked.
- Blood testing. In the general blood test, attention is paid to the level of leukocytes and the ESR index to exclude chronic inflammatory processes. To assess the function of the liver and kidneys, a biochemical blood test is prescribed. Additionally, the lipid profile of the blood is examined, the ratio of useful and harmful fats is determined.
- Ultrasound diagnostics. Ultrasound is a safe screening method that allows you to identify organic pathology of internal organs. Echocardiography is required to study the contractile function of the left ventricle and the ejection fraction. If necessary, a duplex scan of the renal arteries is performed.
Help before diagnosis
If the weight fluctuates slightly, there is no malaise, it is enough to change the lifestyle and eating habits. It is necessary to minimize the amount of table salt and fast carbohydrates consumed, eat often and in small portions. Sports training should be regular, correspond to the functional capabilities of the body. If fluctuations in body weight are combined with other symptoms or deterioration, you should visit a doctor.
Medical tactics depend on the cause of body weight jumps. Often, non-drug effects are enough: diet therapy, selection of the optimal training regimen, physiotherapy methods. Medicines are used for serious diseases accompanied by weight changes. The treatment regimen usually includes pharmaceutical products such as:
- Cardiotropic drugs. If the pumping function of the heart is insufficient, cardiac glycosides, vasodilators and diuretics are indicated. Medications reduce preload and postload on the myocardium, improve blood circulation and reduce the severity of edema.
- ACE inhibitors. Drugs make weight fluctuations less noticeable due to a decrease in aldosterone levels and a slowdown in fluid retention in the body. In case of side effects, ACE inhibitors can be replaced with angiotensin receptor antagonists.
- Antidepressants. With prolonged stress and chronic fatigue syndrome, it is necessary to prescribe selective serotonin receptor agonists. This makes it possible to improve the emotional background, normalize the processes of autonomic nervous regulation.