Do You Gain Weight When You’re Sick

Do You Gain Weight When You’re Sick?

When you’re feeling under the weather, the last thing you may be concerned about is gaining weight. However, many people wonder if illness can lead to weight gain. Let’s explore this topic and address some common questions related to weight gain during sickness.

Illness and Weight Gain: Is There a Connection?

1. Can being sick cause weight gain?
In general, illness itself does not directly cause weight gain. However, certain factors associated with being sick can contribute to weight gain.

2. Why do people think they gain weight when they’re sick?
Weight gain during sickness is often attributed to water retention or fluid buildup in the body. Some illnesses, such as the flu or cold, can cause temporary water retention.

3. Does water retention lead to weight gain?
Water retention can cause temporary weight gain, but it is typically not significant or long-lasting. Once the illness subsides, the body naturally eliminates excess fluids, and weight returns to normal.

4. Can certain medications cause weight gain during illness?
Some medications prescribed during illness, such as steroids or antibiotics, can cause temporary weight gain. These medications may increase appetite or lead to water retention.

5. Can lack of physical activity during illness contribute to weight gain?
Lack of physical activity during illness can lead to weight gain if calorie intake exceeds energy expenditure. However, this weight gain is usually minimal and primarily due to a decrease in physical activity.

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6. Can stress during illness contribute to weight gain?
Stress during illness can potentially lead to weight gain. Some people may find comfort in food during times of stress, leading to overeating or emotional eating.

7. Does the type of illness affect weight gain?
The type of illness can impact weight gain. Illnesses that cause loss of appetite or gastrointestinal symptoms, like stomach flu, can lead to temporary weight loss instead of weight gain.

8. Can dehydration during illness lead to weight gain?
Dehydration can cause temporary weight gain due to fluid retention. However, it is essential to stay well-hydrated during illness to support recovery and maintain overall health.

9. How can I prevent weight gain while sick?
To prevent significant weight gain during illness, focus on maintaining a balanced diet and staying adequately hydrated. Choose nutrient-dense foods and avoid excessive consumption of sugary or high-fat foods.

10. Can illness cause long-term weight gain?
While illness itself does not cause long-term weight gain, certain factors associated with being sick, such as changes in appetite or medication use, can contribute to weight gain. However, with proper self-care and a return to normal routines, weight gain can be managed.

11. How long does temporary weight gain during illness last?
Temporary weight gain during illness, primarily due to water retention, typically lasts only as long as the illness itself. Once the body recovers and normal fluid balance is restored, the weight should return to baseline.

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12. Should I be concerned about weight gain while sick?
Minor weight gain during illness is usually not a cause for concern. However, if you notice significant or persistent weight gain, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying conditions.

13. How can I lose weight gained during illness?
If you have gained weight during illness and wish to lose it, focus on returning to a balanced diet and gradually increasing physical activity once you have recovered. Consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized guidance.


While illness itself does not directly cause weight gain, certain factors associated with being sick can contribute to temporary weight fluctuations. Water retention, changes in appetite, medication use, and decreased physical activity can all influence weight during illness. However, with proper self-care and a return to healthy habits, any weight gained during sickness can be managed effectively. Remember to prioritize rest, hydration, and balanced nutrition to support your body’s recovery.


  • Laura @

    Laura, a fitness aficionado, authors influential health and fitness write ups that's a blend of wellness insights and celebrity fitness highlights. Armed with a sports science degree and certified personal training experience, she provides expertise in workouts, nutrition, and celebrity fitness routines. Her engaging content inspires readers to adopt healthier lifestyles while offering a glimpse into the fitness regimens of celebrities and athletes. Laura's dedication and knowledge make her a go-to source for fitness and entertainment enthusiasts.

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