Hysterectomy refers to the surgical removal of the uterus. Weight gain is reported by a majority of women who have undergone this surgery. The following HerHaleness write-up provides information on the side effects of hysterectomy.
What is Hysterectomy?
Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. It is one of the most common gynecological surgeries. It is classified into the following three types:
- Total Hysterectomy: Removal of cervix and uterus.
- Subtotal Hysterectomy: Removal of only the uterus.
- Radical Hysterectomy: Removal of cervix, uterus, upper vagina, and parametrium.
It is usually performed in women affected by uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse, etc. Even though this surgery is comparatively uncomplicated, certain adverse effects might develop post surgery, which could prove to be very irritating. Weight gain, which is one of the most common effects of this surgery, can become a cause of major concern.
Weight Gain and Hysterectomy
Most women who undergo a hysterectomy, report bloating and loss of the vitality that they had earlier. Another effect of hysterectomy, is weight gain, which will be the main focus of this article.
Causes of Weight Gain After Hysterectomy
Weight is gained mainly due to the reduction in the levels of estrogen, in case of women who undergo the surgical removal of uterus, as well as the ovaries.
Another cause is the decreased metabolic rate. Decreased metabolic rate, mainly caused due to lack of activity after any major surgery, triggers weight gain in women, after hysterectomy. Usually, the waist is the problem area in most women. Specific post-hysterectomy exercises will help in dealing with this problem, to a certain extent.
Dealing With the Extra Pounds You Gain After Hysterectomy
Since the weight gain is caused by a sudden imbalance in the hormone levels in your body, consult your doctor to find out whether you are a suitable candidate for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). If you are, you can go ahead with it, as this will reduce the weight from piling up exponentially.
Following a healthy diet and minimizing the intake of foods that are difficult to metabolize, or those which are laden with calories, will certainly help.
Precautions Post Hysterectomy
After the surgery, you will be advised to take complete rest for a few days. However, as soon as you feel you can start moving around, start taking small walks around the house. Performing light exercises post surgery will help in the long run.
Follow a strict diet program along with an exercise routine to lose weight after a hysterectomy. Only dieting will not help, and exercising too much will tire you out. Balance the diet and exercise, and do both in moderation.
Other Side Effects
Basically what happens after a hysterectomy, is that the estrogen level falls. It is believed that estrogen lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is why, reduced estrogen levels after the surgery are linked with an increase in the risk of cardiovascular diseases. According to a few studies, there is also a greater vulnerability to osteoporosis, after a hysterectomy.
Testosterone levels dip in women post hysterectomy, and there may also be problems with the functioning of the bladder. Hot flashes are also amongst the common side effects of this procedure. Mood swings and decreased muscle mass are other side effects of hysterectomy. Fatigue, depression, hair loss, anxiety and vulnerability to thyroid problems, are some other side effects of hysterectomy.
On a concluding note, weight gain after hysterectomy is due to the hormonal imbalance that occurs after the removal of the uterus and ovaries. However, women can deal with weight gain by eating right and staying physically active. A majority of the women who undergo this surgery experience a feeling of ‘inadequacy’.
They feel that they are lacking the essence of being a woman. This feeling should be addressed with the utmost priority. There is much more to being a woman than just having a uterus, and bearing children! Try to keep yourself as cheerful as possible, and take care.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.