Many women fear of gaining weight after hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure performed when a woman has certain health problems such as cancer of ovaries or fibroids in uterus. There are many types of hysterectomies performed namely; partial hysterectomy, total hysterectomy or radical hysterectomy. The type of hysterectomy has some amount of influence on whether the woman is predisposed to gain weight after surgery.
Partly the contributing factor for weight gain is what happens during the recuperating or recovery period after hysterectomy. Understanding the underlying cause you can take steps to avoid those extra pounds of fat that may build around your abdomen and hips. For those who have gained weight, simple dietary changes accompanied with exercise is useful to lose weight.
What Causes You To Gain Weight After Hysterectomy?
There are many reasons for gaining weight after a woman has undergone hysterectomy.
- Weight gain after hysterectomy may be influenced by the type of hysterectomy performed. Partial hysterectomy has lesser impact on weight problem. However in radical hysterectomy the whole of uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and cervix are removed. This is done in serious cases such as cancer of reproductive tract. It prevents the spread of cancer cells to other organs. After radical hysterectomy the woman abruptly moves into menopausal phase. The level of estrogen and progesterone becomes low. As a result the level of male hormones increases. This imbalance of hormones has its impact on body weight and in majority cases increase in weight.
- The second and most common reason for weight gain occurs during the recovery period after the surgery. During this period there is lack of physical activity. Patient tends to eat more due to boredom. This may lead to extra deposition and weight gain.
- Often hormonal imbalance can cause emotional disturbance and depression. Some women try to find relief by eating more food. This type of comfort eating may not do any good except increase weight.
- If the woman is already overweight before surgery, there is more risk of gaining weight in such women.
- Weight gain after hysterectomy is more likely to occur when ovaries are removed together with the uterus.
How To Prevent Weight Gain After Hysterectomy?
The risk of weight gain can be reduced after hysterectomy by following these simple steps.
- Follow healthy eating habits.
- Eat smaller meals 5 to 6 times in a day.
- Incorporate plenty of vegetables and fruits in your diet.
- Eat foods that increase your metabolism. Include foods such as meat, chili pepper, almonds etc.
- Exercise regularly after your recuperation. Consult your doctor before starting exercise. Swimming, cycling, walking, and other mild to moderate exercises will help to lose energy. In a long run it will help to maintain healthy weight.
- Drink enough water as it does not have any calories. Besides water can speed up metabolism.
- Avoid eating snack food during the recovery period.
- Emotional support is also necessary for some woman after hysterectomy. This may be helpful when the woman is feeling low.
If the woman follows all the above strategies during the recovery period post operatively at home, she is likely to avoid gaining weight. It will also benefit the overall health after hysterectomy.