Is Weight Gain Inevitable After a Hysterectomy?
Perhaps because so many women who have partial or full hysterectomies gain weight and keep it on after the surgery, women have become somewhat conditioned to believe it is inevitable. Although weight gain usually does accompany this type of surgery, it is not a life sentence to being overweight. However, it does require diligence, determination and doggedness to ensure you don\\\'t join the statistics.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
There are a number of different factors that play into weight gain after a hysterectomy. Statistics show that the average amount of weight gained in the first year post-op is 25 pounds. After the first year, the gains seem to drop, but unless steps are taken to rein in the problem, it will persist. That is why it is important to go into the surgery cognizant of the potential outcomes and to be forearmed in order to prevent out-of-control weight gain. Prevention often is the best medicine.
Weight gain is the result of several factors - mostly diet and exercise (or lack thereof), as well as hormonal issues. Sometimes a condition or illness causes a woman to gain weight and keep it on. However, when it comes to weight gain after a hysterectomy, the usual culprits are hormonal imbalances and lack of exercise.
The benefits of exercise for physical, mental and emotional health have long been known and after a hysterectomy, activity will not only help keep weight manageable, it also keeps a person healthier all the way around. Exercise helps to burn calories while it encourages the release of endorphins, natural pain relievers and mood boosters. A healthy diet, high in fiber and nutrients and low in fat and sugars (calories) is also important to maintaining healthy weight. Water - the wonder drink - is essential for the cells in the body to function, recover, and maintain a healthy metabolism.
What You Can Do Immediately Post-Op
If you went into your surgery carrying excess weight, you may lose some after the operation, but because you will be quite restricted in your activities, you will likely gain it back and then some unless you decide right away to cut your caloric intake and walk as soon as you can. By cutting portion size by one-third to one-half you immediately reduce the number of calories you are taking in and then, by moving as much as possible as soon as you can after the surgery, you will put your body into more of a calorie burning mode rather than being sedentary. Have a chat with your doctor to determine the best type of diet for you. He or she may refer you to a nutritional consultant who can help you with your diet.