Hysterectomy Community
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Avatar universal

Weight Gain And Hysterectomy

Hi, I had a partial hysterectomy that was done through my abdomen.  My doctor did an excellent job.  But I noticed my shape has changed since, it was immediate.  My waist got wider and my stomach bigger.  This must be a hormone thing, that is what my doctor said.  He also said I was going through perimenopause.  I thought after the hysterectomy I would lose weight because I wouldn't have to be on oral contraceptives anymore to control my hemorraghing.  Has this happened to anyone else?  Also, my second day at the hospital my doctor told me that my uterus was sent to the lab for a biopsy and they found beginning stages of endometrial cancer.  I was very blessed to had had the surgery when I did.  The hysterectomy was done because my hemorraghing problem was not going away and I had this problem since 15 years of age.  
8 Responses
648632 tn?1223823532
I had a complete hysterectomy at 35.  I am 44 and was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis two years ago.  I, too, gained a significant amount of weight following my hysterectomy.  I am on Estradiol, have been for nine years.  I think the estrogen may have something to do with the weight gain.  I know that I am also estrogen dominant.

Hang in there.....there has to be a solution!!

Avatar universal
OMG!  I too gained weight.  I'm finally at the point that I can't take it anymore.  Today my doctor suggested that I try the South Beach Diet.  It sure can't hurt. I've gained about 35 pounds.  Losing any amount would be a blessing.  I've also started taking premarin and that has really helped.  

I can't believe so many women go through the same side effects but no one tells us the facts prior to surgery.  It would have helped had I known to come up with some type of plan.  

Stay positive!
Avatar universal
I have gained weight also, and here I mistakenly thoought it was the three candy bars a day I have been eating. Phew that was a close one!
637613 tn?1281043164
LOL...I would rather blame any upcoming weight gain on the candy bars and the recovery process. How can you not gain weight while doing NOTHING...LOL.

I am getting ready to have my hyst on the 29th...I am too fat already. YIKES
106886 tn?1281295172
I can recommend two books. First, "Outsmarting The Midlife Fat Cell" by Debra Waterhouse, M.P.H., R. D. First time since I had my hsterectomy in 2000 did I find a good explanation as to why the body shape changes during menopause. And, if ovaries are removed, the transition seems to happen quicker. I can only speak from personal opinion. I wish the book addressed surgical menopause in more depth. The author does comment briefly about why some women need supplemental estrogen.

Fitness is the answer... Aerobic type exercise (I am not fond of the coined phrase "Cardio" that overtook the name "aerobics" ... which thorougly changed my life for the better since I started aerobic exercise back in 1982... but, sorry if I sound crabby. It will always be "aerobic" for me :) along with weight training is essential so that the fat cells which make estrogen (Estrone) after menopause can utilize the estrogen effectively rather than get stored as fat. Again, the book explains all this beautifully... I wish I could!

The other book I like is "Screaming to be Heard." It is by Elizabeth Vliet, M.D. and although it was written in the 90's and revised in the 2000's the material seems very valid today and supported by info that she has on her website "Herplace"... NOT THE HERS FOUNDATION!!!!.........

Also explained in depth in Vliet's book is the thyroid connection. It is my understanding that Menopause and thyroid go hand in hand. I am hypo... I see there is a poll going on !  I will stop by that thread later. I am on Synthroid and Cytomel.

I gained 25 pounds in the three months after my surgery (Ovaries and everything removed when I was 47 back in Sept. 2000). I was devastated, to be honest. Of course I was glad that no more cancer was found other than what was in the cyst that was drained a month before the hysterectomy. But, I was very heavy growing up and carried a lot of Psychological baggage from those days. I lost a ton of weight in college and kept it off for years and years.....and once I hit Perimenopause, the weight battle started again and it was a battle. I was not prepared for another battle after my hysterectomy. I  have had to chose to look at this as a "Non-battle" if you will... only because if I start thinking negatively about it all the time, I am doomed.

So, if my hormones are in line... I am currently changing what I do and trying to follow Vliet's recommendation... Higher dose of Estrodiol (Vivelle patch) and no progesterone (after using progesterone for years) and of course, Testosterone. I am feeling better lately compared to how I have felt this past year. My estrogen was too low and my dosage of Bioidentical progesterone was way too high. Then Vliet comes along in my life and says that women without ovaries cannot utilize Progesterone. So, all due respect to the work of John Lee (coined the "Father of Progesterone") this whole notion that EVERYONE has to be on Progesterone is just wrong. OK... so, after I picked up the pieces... I am on a quest again.

Sorry, but this is all I can contribute here... I know it is frustrating. And, my goal is not to depress anyone... but, maybe by being prepared for this, you can avoid some of the struggle I went through. Be prepared and do the research... and, be proactive. It is not about the candy bars (well..maybe a little. But I had to give those up when I was 13. Seriously... but I found other ways to make things that tasted sweet, thankfully). And, of course, when you are very fit, you can have that candy bar once in awhile and not worry about it... "Fit or Fat" by Covert Bailey is my all time favorite "Health Book"... it really changed my life.

Time to go to the basement and get on my rebounder! (yes... sometimes it is a struggle to get myself downstairs, but once I do, I am usually ready to go).

Wishing everyone well,

Avatar universal
Thank you for your information.  It looks like I maybe going through a laproscopic full hyst. and Dr. will put me on estrogen only... maybe testosgerone later he said.  Since you mentioned the HERS foundation... I will go ahead and say that is the website I found and posted questions to where I was berated for considering a hyst. (I am in constant pain from large fibroid and sis. had OVCA).  I'm worried about weight gain that I can't control... even with working out.  I have always been a runner and love working out, but what I read was no matter what you do the estrogen will make you gain?  and also will make you more fatigued?  Is this true.  I'm terrified.
106886 tn?1281295172
Oh my gosh, that is too much about the HERS Foundation! I am so glad I mentioned it. I am so sorry you were berated by them for mentioning a Hysterectomy. I have had very poor experiences with that group. I hear being an advocate for yourself and also I understand you have the right to know your options and not be put under anesthesia only to wake up to find, "Oh, and by the way, we gave you a total hysterectomy, hope you don't mind" ....as apparently some women have experienced, thus the group. But, geez.... their tactics are BAD, in my opinion.

OK... try not to freak out and do get hold of the books I mentioned. Acording to all of the research I have read as of late (and experienced, I am glad to say) Estrogen cannot make you gain weight.. now, having said that, you do not want an excess in your system. Read Vliet's work... you will be happy you did. It is apparently the lack of estrogen that makes you gain. And, don't forget the testosterone... read her work on that, too, so that you are getting the right dose. She says most practitioners give too much... although in my case, I use probably more than she would recommend, but she would see that my blood values are right where she would want them. And, I have no symptoms of excess.

If you see Vliet's work on Testosterone, just know that this info is covered in "Screaming to be Heard." Although at this point, I have those two books plus "It's My Ovaries, Stupid."

Drop me a PM if you want... especially if I am away from the site from time to time. I don't have a computer at work, and sometimes I am doing prep work at night (I teach) but I had a few days off over the past few weeks so I was on here more regularly.

I was afraid, too, but I think I am figuring it out. I got into trouble when they lowered my estrogen dose and raised my Progesterone. I have said for years that balance is the key (from all of my readings) but Vliet and a few others dispute that saying I don't need Progesterone since I do not have ovaries and so I cannot utilize the progesterone. I started years ago on a very small dose (2%) and felt wonderful after I started, but after that, after a few years, I started to have struggles...actually, right around the time I would have naturally gone into menopause. So, I am attempting to raise my estrogen and get the Progesterone out of my system. And, I use the testosterone every day.

Just keep researching...  and keep working out (if you are out of whack hormonally you won't feel like moving, so do keep up the research and keep advocating for yourself).... I also know that these comments are not going to apply to every individual, but I your kind of remind me of myself... so, I am thinking that you could possibly have a similar reaction post Ovary removal... thus I am sharing a few ideas.

Keep in touch.

106886 tn?1281295172
I forgot to mention that the dose of Progesterone I was on before I figured out that perhaps this was just not working for me was about 20%....way too high.. and, probably not needed at all...

I am sure someone might ask me why I am so willing to switch to someone else's method after all of the publicity about how wonderful it is to be on Progesterone (and my firmly held beliefs, too) but honestly I know how I have felt these past two years and I did not want to believe the problem was my beloved Progesterone... Also, the way I look at it, I am not ancient, but I don't have 40 years either to figure all this out. And, since I have changed a few hormone doses I have felt better than I have in a long time... and, the extra weight is coming off...(diligent exercise and careful diet, too)... I am just hoping my doctor with whom I have been working for two years does not send me packing. THEN I WILL freak out... he is a huge believer in the Progesterone... but again, I am living it...hopefully he will listen.

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