Top 4 Lab Abnormalities that can lead to Weight Gain

We all know that feeling when we step on the scale and see the number has gone up, even though we swear we’ve been eating healthy and working out regularly. It’s frustrating, and can be discouraging to our weight loss goals. But did you know that there are some common laboratory abnormalities that can lead to weight gain? Knowing what these are can help you better advocate for yourself with your healthcare provider, and get to the root of your weight struggle. Here are the top 4 lab abnormalities that can lead to weight gain:

B12 Deficiency

B12, or cobalamin, is a water soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in production of red blood cells, nervous system function, and energy metabolism. Red blood cells are necessary for delivering oxygen throughout the body. Inadequate B12 levels will inhibit the conversion of energy stores within the adipose tissue. Therefore, if you are deficient in B12 this could leave you feeling easily fatigued at the gym. It also helps make up the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects our nerves, and allows electrical impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently along the nerve cells. If you are experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, swollen tongue, pale skin, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, infertility etc.; it may be signs of low B12 in the system.

High TSH Levels

TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone, is responsible for regulating metabolism, among other things. If TSH levels are too high, your body won’t be able to burn energy efficiently and this can lead to an increase in appetite as well as hypothyroidism which is characterized by weight gain due to water and salt retention. This leads to inflammation and difficulty losing weight. So if you’ve been feeling hungrier than usual recently, make sure to check in with your doctor and have TSH levels tested.

Low HDL, High Triglycerides and High Glucose

Do you feel like you’re gaining weight no matter what you eat or how much you exercise? While it is important to rest and relax to recover from high levels of exhaustion, if you’re constantly feeling tired all the time, it could mean your blood sugar handling mechanisms are imbalanced. This lab imbalance trifecta will indicate the presence of a metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is increasingly common in the US. Essentially, the mechanism your body uses to process carbohydrates and its blood sugar and insulin levels is malfunctioning. This affects more than just the number on the scale though; high levels of fatigue have been linked with high levels of triglycerides and glucose, lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or ‘good’ cholesterol, meaning it is important to not ignore this fatigue and make an effort to do something about it. Studies have found that one possible solution to alleviate this kind of imbalance is carbohydrate restriction – by consuming fewer carbohydrates we can maintain our energy levels throughout the day, allowing us to stay active and healthy! Supplementing a quality omega 3 with EPA and DHA can help combat high triglyceride levels in the blood as well. However, we want to think of supplements like an insurance policy, they are not meant to replace healthy diets and exercise.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Taking Vitamin D supplements or spending time in the sun are great ways to ensure that you’re getting enough Vitamin D so your muscles don’t weaken too much. About 42% of the population is deficient in Vit D. Because vitamin D acts as a hormone once circulating in the bloodstream, it is quite important in maintaining blood glucose and fat metabolism. Common symptoms of low vitamin D include, hair loss, depression, weight gain, repeated infections, bone/ joint pain and feeling tired and sluggish. If a deficiency is present based on your most recent blood labs, we recommend supplementing with a liquid vitamin D to ensure it is absorbed into the body.

So, if you’ve been noticing any of these changes in your body and are concerned about weight gain, it’s important to speak with your doctor. They can run tests to check for conditions that may be causing the issue and help you develop a plan to get things back on track. In the meantime, click here to learn more about how metabolic levels affect weight gain and what you can do to keep yours in check.