Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why would someone suddenly gain weight?"


I've had weight problems since I was a kid, and I've never been thin but I've usually been able to keep it under control. But now, just in the last year, I've gained almost 28 pounds and I don't know why. Around the time I first noticed my weight gai I began having really bad abdominal cramps. What is happening to me?


There are several possibilities for your weight gain, and this amount of weight gain really does require you to talk with your doctor to make sure there is no underlying medical condition causing the weight gain. To begin, it would be helpful to think back to your food and exercise regimen over the last several months. You may even want to keep a diary of what you are eating and what exercise you do.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Internists near you

This information will be helpful to you and your doctor as you try to figure out whether most of the weight gain is due to lifestyle or to other medical factors. Abdominal cramps with weight gain are suggestive of a few things. Perhaps the most common would be constipation, which can produce abdominal cramps, and is associated with hypothyroidism, one of the most common causes of weight gain. Other symptoms of a hormonal, thyroid or otherwise, cause of weight gain would include changes in your body hair patterns, changes in the color and texture of your skin, and stretch marks or fat in unusual places such as between your shoulder blades. Another possibility would be an abdominal mass, such as an ovarian tumor, especially if you have abdominal bloating or distention. Regardless, the first step is to set up a visit with your internist as soon as possible!

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.