Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
Weight fluctuations are normal, and they happen to everybody. They can be caused by many different factors, such as consumption of a big meal, excess salt intake, water retention, constipation and hormonal changes. One thing you should know is that the extra weight that you see on the scale does not come from an increase in body fat; it can be water, waste products or other substances that are temporarily present in your body. Most dietitians tell their patients not to weigh themselves everyday, because they may see their weight fluctuate daily and lose faith in their weight loss program.Weight fluctuations may also occur due to edema caused by serious medical conditions such as congestive heart failure (CHF), cirrhosis, kidney disease, peripheral artery disease or a poorly functioning lymphatic system.In women, continued weight gain occurs with pregnancy, whereas a periodic weight gain may occur with menstruation. A rapid weight gain may be a sign of dangerous fluid retention.You cannot prevent all weight fluctuations. However, dietary and lifestyle changes may help limit them. Avoid water retention by controlling the level of sodium and water in your body. Limit your sodium intake less than 2,300 mg per day and increase your water intake enough to keep your urine color clear to light yellow -- approximately 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. If you are 51 years old or older or suffer from hypertension, diabetes or kidney disease, keep your sodium intake below 1,500 mg each day. Your fluid requirements increase during hot weather and during exercise.Symptoms:Symptoms may include:
Diagnosis:Medical history, family history, and physical examination are critical in finding the reasons for your weight fluctuations. Carefully chosen laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies can also provide valuable information.Treatment:
If normal weight fluctuations cause you distress, consider other ways to monitor your weight. Measure your weight loss by monitoring how your clothes fit or using a tape measure to measure the circumference of your breasts, abdomen, hips, thighs, calves and arms. Your doctor or local gym may help you track your body mass index or skin fold measurements, which help you monitor the amount of body fat you carry.If you chose to track your weight using a scale, you increase your likelihood of seeing your weight vary from day to day or week to week. Aim to weigh yourself at the same time of day, on the same day of the week, wearing the same clothes and using the same scale. This eliminates other causes of weight fluctuations such as the weight of your clothes, the last time you had a bowel movement, the size of your last meal and the water in your hair or on your skin after a shower.NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.