Womens Health

Weight edging up 8 months after hysterectomy

I had a hysterectomy 8 months ago. Previously I was very slim and fit, though I always watched my weight. I have found in the last few months that my weight has increased by around 16-20 pounds.

Although I have returned to the gym and work out regularly and am following a low fat diet, the weight seems to be edging up rather than down. I cannot accept this is a permanent situation. Any suggestions as to whether progesterone cream, kelp or any other supplement may help?

Did you have the ovaries removed at the time of the hysterectomy? Did you just become menopausal naturally around the time of the surgery?

I didn't have my ovaries removed, I was 39 at the time of surgery and not menopausal. Is there any hope for me losing this weight over a period of time - especially if I continue a healthy eating and fitness regimen?

Yes. The only way to lose weight is over a period of time is by establishing permanent eating habits that result in less calories in than out. Most women actually have eating habits that would result in weight loss if it weren't for the once-in-a-while splurges.

For example, if you have an extra 700 calories a week over what you expend, you will gain a pound every 6 weeks (at about 4000 cal/lb) or about 9 lbs a year. As you know, many people have at least one 700 calorie splurge weekly. I'm not familiar that progesterone cream or kelp will actually help with weight loss.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was by a physician who was a diabetic himself. He said the ideal diet was to calculate approximately how many calories you consume on an average, daily basis and eat 100 calories less than that for the rest of your life. (I wish I had the discipline to do this myself.)

Does natural menopause cause any weight gain?

Can menopause itself, not hysterectomy or removal of ovaries, cause any weight gain?

I must admit, I thought menopause itself would explain some of the weight gain that women experience. Apparently it doesn't. See the abstract from the Framingham study that follows.

Hjortland MC, McNamara PM, Kannel WB
Some atherogenic concomitants of menopause: The Framingham Study.
Am J Epidemiol 1976 Mar;103(3):304-311

Longitudinal assessment of the effect of change in menopausal status on seven biologic concomitants was made in 40- to 51-year- old women from the cohort of 1686 women premenopausal at the initial Framingham examination and subsequently followed for nine biennial examinations.

Within this age range, women of any specific age undergoing natural menopause were leaner at the exam prior to menopause than their controls; while women undergoing surgical menopause with bilateral oophorectomy were heavier.

Hemoglobin levels rose after menopause. There was a rise in serum cholesterol levels between the premenopausal and menopausal examinations in natural menopause and in surgical menopause with bilateral oophorectomy. This rise was not seen in surgical menopause without bilateral oophorectomy.

No significant changes in weight, blood pressure, blood glucose or vital capacity were found to accompany the menopause.

Table of Contents
1. Post hysterectomy concerns
2. Bone loss?
3. Weight gain
4. Losing the weight
5. More on weight loss
6. Menopause and weight gain
7. Orgasm after hysterectomy
8. What about PMS?
9. PMS symptoms reduced!
10. Hysterectomy for PMS
11. Hysterectomy for prolapse
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