Ask the Nurse

I have a question about HRT and severe weight gain. I had a full hysterectomy one year ago. I am age 45 now and I have gained nearly 30 pounds. I am on the highest dose of the Vivelle dot patch. I work out 5-6 days a week, running between 3-5 miles every day. I eat about 1600 calories a day. I have always been about 130-135 pounds and am 5’7", but now I am about 163 pounds. My workouts are strenuous, and I run trails and do about 9-10 minute miles. Never before have I had trouble dropping fuve pounds by increasing my workouts and being diligent with eating healthy, small portions. I csannot drop one pound no matter how hard I work out. My diet needs to remain the same for I need the fuel for my workouts. Have I gained weight because I have no ovaries? Or is the patch making me fat? My body has never been like this and I am so physically uncomfortable. I will make an appointment to see my doctor, but in the meantime, I need your help as today I gained another pound. Please help!

Don’t give up. You are commended for working so hard. Surgical menopause can be associated with weight gain, especially if you do not have adequate HRT. You should see a hormone specialist and have your estrogen and testosterone levels checked, as well as DHEAs and thyroid functions, including T3.

It is important to try and do the following:

  • Get 8-9 hours of sleep
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat a high fiber
  • Higher protein, lower carb diet

Working with a nutritionist can be very helpful along with journaling your food intake, exercise regimen and your emotions. Don’t get overly fixated on the weight, but focus on your fitness level and health parameters.

There are some new weight loss medicines that may help jump start your metabolism. If you are low in testosterone, which 1 in 6 women post full hysterectomy are, you may need some replacement, which helps muscle mass and metabolism.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

December 31, 2013 at 7:12am