Common causes of sudden weight gain

Weight gain is most often a gradual process and happens over a long period of time. It commonly occurs as a result of unhealthy eating habits and a lack of exercise. In some cases, however, weight gain can be rapid and quite inexplicable at first.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks thyroid hormone and as a result a person experiences slow metabolism. Hypothyroidism is caused by thyroid gland failure, but can also occur following treatments for thyroid cancer or other thyroid-related conditions. Other symptoms would include fatigue, weakness, dry hair and skin, hair loss, cold intolerance, muscle cramps, constipation, depression, abnormal menstrual cycles etc.

A tumour is a swelling inside the body caused by an abnormal growth of tissue. Ovarian tumour is a common cause of weight gain in the abdominal area given that the tumour continues to grow. Tumours can be either benign or malignant (cancerous. Other symptoms would include abdominal pain, trouble eating, irregular menstruation, painful intercourse etc.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a syndrome which affects ovaries, ovulation and hormones in women. It consists of multiple tiny cysts on the ovaries, productions of male hormones (androgens) and irregular period. Women with PCOS tend to have insulin resistance, therefore increasing the risk of obesity and, eventually, Type 2 Diabetes. Other symptoms include acne, excessive hair growth, balding, dark skin patches around the neck and other areas etc. Although there are no cure for PCOS, there are medications designed to control the side effects of PCOS.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition where bacteria normally found in other parts of the gut starts growing in the small intestines. The bacteria produces methane gas thereby affecting the functions of the small intestine causing more calories to be absorbed by the body. It also slows down the body metabolism thus affecting insulin resistance. Other symptoms include stomach pain, cramps, indigestion, constipation, gas etc.

Cushing syndrome
Cushing syndrome occurs when your body is exposed to excessive cortisol hormone for an extended period.Because cortisol plays an important role in regulating blood pressure, blood sugar and managing how the body uses carbohydrate and fat,exccesive exposure can create an imbalance in these functions. Symptoms include fat deposits around the midsection, neck, between the shoulders and upper back, pink or purple stretch marks, skin thinning, acne, muscle weakness, fatigue etc.

It is very important that you consult with a physician if you suspect that you suffer from any of these symptoms. Most of these conditions can be treated or, at the least, managed.

Other common causes of weight gain include digestive problems such as constipation, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux disease and certain food intolerance. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can also cause weight gain, notably during and after treatment. Other types of medications, including birth control pills, can cause weight gain as a side effect.

The most important point to remember is that regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you to combat the negative side effects of your condition. This means giving up certain types of food which is not suitable to your body. It is important that you check the packaging for information on nutrients in processed food items. Carve out a time during the day for a quick burst of exercise to keep your body active.

Easy ways to conserve water (and reduce your bill!)


Did you know that not only is it financially effective to conserve water, but it also helps in the preservation of our environment? Think about it; a reduction in our water use means a reduction in the energy needed to process and deliver it to our houses, buildings, farms and the community as a whole. This therefore conserves fuel resources and reduces pollution!

Continue reading “Easy ways to conserve water (and reduce your bill!)”

What is that dark patch in my ceiling?


Over time, the conditions of our house will change and we may begin to observe the noticeable differences in the walls and ceilings of our home. One of the most common ones are the dark patches in the ceiling which appear like rings of brown stain.

Quite unpleasant to look at, these brown stains can signify plenty of issues that you need to take care of urgently. The most common issue is a possible leak above the ceiling of your house.

Hole in the roof
If the stain is brown, the water appears to be dirty and water drips only during and after a rainfall, then this may indicate a potential hole in your roof. You will have to have your roof inspected to repair or patch over the roof. It is important to note that damage caused as a result of wear and tear may not be covered by your insurance policy hence why it is important to identify and rectify the issue as quickly as possible. If damage was caused as a result of a storm, for example a fallen tree or debris fell over your roof during a storm, then your insurance policy may cover the cost of the damage.

Burst water pipe above the ceiling
If the water appears fresh, the stain continues to widen and the drip is fairly consistent regardless of the weather, there may be a leakage in the water pipe above your ceiling. Depending on the type of insurance coverage, damage caused as a result of burst water pipes may be covered under your policy. Nonetheless, it is important that you act swiftly to identify the issue as a weak roof can collapse under pressure and may cause severe injury to occupants as well as further damage to household contents.

Mould or mildew in the bathroom
Given the prevalent use of water heater, the bathroom is one of the most common areas for dark stains. Poor ventilation can cause water to condense above the ceilling and form a wet patch. With a combination of dust which accumulates in the house, the wet patch becomes darker when it dries. Ensuring that your bathroom is properly ventilated during and after a shower will allow the hot air to escape rather than condense on the cold surface of the ceiling. Vacuuming or dusting the bathroom, including the ceiling, may also minimise dust pile up in the bathroom. Unfortunately, damage from poor ventilation will likely not be covered in your insurance policy which is why it is important to ensure that your house has appropriate ventilation.

Your neighbour above you may have a leak
If you live in an apartment complex, the dark stain in your ceiling may result from your unaware neighbour above. Apartment complex normally have connected plumbing systems. This means that any minor problems that your neighbour has may also be felt by you. Unknowingly, your neighbour may be experiencing some plumbing issues when water evacuates down the drain, either in the kitchen or bathroom. A leak in the drain may cause water to escape down into your apartment and may cause damage to your lighting fixtures, ceiling and contents of your house.

An accidental leak may be covered by your insurance policy depending on the plan you have, however you may want to check with your insurance provider if it covers a leak resulting from your neighbour’s appartment. The owner of the building complex may likely have an insurance for the building and its fixtures, but it is unlikely that this will cover your personal contents. This is why it is important for tenants or apartment owners to take out a Contents policy.

For information on Householder’s Insurance, contact us on 429 5000 or