Dr. Dean

How Can I Lose This Post-Hysterectomy Weight Gain?

Posting Date: 06/24/1999

Kim: I take Premarin because I had a total hysterectomy five years ago.

For years I weighed 117 pounds. Over the last three years I went up to 130 pounds.

I can't get my weight down, even though I diet and I walk. It's very discouraging and depressing.

Dr. Dean: Please do us both a favor and buy my book ("Eat, Drink, and Be Merry"). Read the chapter on obesity and weight loss, and then relax. My goodness, life is too short to be discouraged and depressed about your weight.

Weight gain after a hysterectomy often has nothing to do with the surgery. I wish I could say that it does.

As we age, every year there is a relentless march toward lower metabolism. Even men who are marathon runners will gain weight year after year. These are guys who burn thousands of calories a day.

There is nothing you can do about that change in your metabolism. Your body is saying, "Hey Kim, 130 pounds is what I need to be right now."

By fighting it, you are resigning yourself to semi-starvation for the rest of your life. Being skinny and starving is not the path to happiness.

Now, I don't know what gives you joy, but for me, it's food. Food is one of life's most sensuous joys.

I am going to add something here that I actually hate to leak to you. About two weeks ago, a report came out saying that a touch of testosterone added to the progesterone and estrogen pills of post-hysterectomy women will help them lose weight, lose fat tissue, and gain muscle tissue.

The testosterone also increases libido. If increased libido is a problem, we call it a side effect. If increased libido isn't a problem, we call it a benefit.

In women, testosterone increases the size of the clitoris and the libido. It's an aphrodisiac for women.

For men, testosterone doesn't do that. Men who think it does are kidding themselves. Higher doses of testosterone in men increase the risk of prostate cancer.

The belief that happiness comes only to skinny people is a ruse. Don't let a moderate weight gain defeat you, all right?