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Does Hypermobility Cause Weight Gain? Find Out Now!

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Do you often wonder whether hypermobility causes weight gain? In short, hypermobility isn’t the direct cause of people piling on the pounds. But, it is common for it to contribute to it.

In this article, we’ll look into the link between hypermobility and an increase in weight and the interesting ways this medical condition can affect your BMI.

Does hypermobility cause weight gain?

In general, being hypermobility doesn’t mean you’ll gain weight. However, if you’re significantly affected by the symptoms of hypermobility, you’re likely to gain weight.

Hypermobile symptoms including pain, fatigue, dislocations, subluxations, and poor sleep, all of which can affect your ability to exercise. As a result, it’s easy to put on a few pounds when these symptoms affect you.

Related Post: Are you getting enough sleep for your hypermobile body?

What causes weight gain in hypermobility?

Aside from the symptoms mentioned above, medical conditions linked to hypermobility can also cause weight gain.

Lipedema, for example, is described by NI Direct as ‘a long-term condition where there’s an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the legs, thighs and buttocks, and sometimes in the arms.’ Patients with lipedema will gain weight because of their condition.

Hypermobility and lipedema often go hand in hand. One study found that more than 50% of participants with lipedema were also hypermobile.

Similarly, people with hypermobility are also at greater risk of developing fibromyalgia. Weight gain of up to 30 pounds is normal when you’ve got fibromyalgia, according to Everyday Health. But is hypermobility the reason for this?

Well, the answer is yes and no. Fatigue and pain from hypermobility and fibromyalgia make patients less likely to tolerate exercise. The medications given to people with fibromyalgia are also well-known for causing weight gain, including pregabalin.

Can you be fat and hypermobile?

Absolutely!

Personally, before I was diagnosed with hypermobility, I thought that hypermobile people were skinny gymnasts, acrobats, and similar. I’d never heard of anyone ‘big’ being hypermobile.

But I was completely wrong! Like most medical conditions, hypermobility doesn’t discriminate. Anyone of any size can have hypermobile joints, although people with a genetic history of hypermobility are more likely to be diagnosed with it.

What is the best diet for hypermobility people?

Now, we’ve established the link between hypermobility and weight gain, it’s time to think about diet. I’ve covered the most effective diets for hypermobility before. To recap these are:

  • Gluten-free
  • Low FODMAP
  • Vegan
  • Dairy-free
  • Sugar-free

How to lose weight with hypermobility

If you’ve gained weight because of your hypermobility, all is not lost as it is possible to lose weight. You don’t have to follow one of the diets mentioned above to do it either.

First of all, review your calorie intake. The below table will help you to ensure you’re eating the right amount.

Activity LevelMen (Calories)Women (Calories)
Sedentary (little or no exercise)2,000 – 2,4001,800 – 2,200
Lightly Active (light exercise or sports 1-3 days/week)2,200 – 2,6002,000 – 2,400
Moderately Active (moderate exercise or sports 3-5 days/week)2,400 – 2,8002,200 – 2,600
Very Active (hard exercise or sports 6-7 days/week)2,800 – 3,200+2,400 – 2,800+

Personally, I prefer using a TDEE calculator to figure out the number of calories I need. This measures your Total Daily Energy Expenditure and works out your Basal Metabolic Rate. This is the TDEE calculator I use.

Make sure you stick to healthy foods that are good for people with hypermobility. This means avoiding processed products as much as possible and sticking with fresh produce.

You also need to aim to exercise as much as is comfortable for you. There’s no point going from doing nothing to pledging to hit the gym 5 days per week. Start by making small changes. This could be doing the school run by foot instead of in the car, parking the other end of the supermarket car park, or doing a 10 minute Pilates session in the morning.

As your body gets used to the exercise and you feel more comfortable doing it, slowly increase the amount you do. As long as your calorie intake is within the recommended guidelines, you should start to see your weight drop.

Author

  • Amy

    Amy lives with hypermobility spectrum disorder (HSD). She spent years not knowing what was wrong with her body, before eventually being diagnosed in her 30s. She has two young children - both of whom are hypermobile.

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