Sudden excessive weight gain may indicate abnormal growths, pregnancy, fluid retention, constipation or hormonal changes caused by menstruation or menopause, explains Healthline. People may also gain excessive weight when taking medications such as birth control pills; prescriptions for blood pressure, diabetes or heartburn; steroids; antidepressants; or anti-anxiety medications.
Excessive weight gain may be caused by lifestyle habits such as chronic stress, lack of sleep and changes in eating habits, according to WebMD. Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes also cause weight gain when not managed or treated properly. Cushing's syndrome, a condition where the stress hormone cortisol, causes excessive weight gain.
People with digestive problems or slow bowel movements as well as individuals who do not consume enough fiber or experience dehydration may be prone to sudden, excessive weight gain, explains Prevention. A lack of nutrients such as vitamin D, iron or magnesium can affect energy levels and a person's ability to exercise as well as alter metabolism, which can lead to weight gain. Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals also compromise the immune system.
Age is a contributing factor to weight gain because people to not burn as many calories when they are older as they used to when they were in their 20s or 30s, according to Prevention. Aging individuals require more exercise and less food to boost their metabolism.