Endometriosis Weight Gain: Causes, Management, and More

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Some women report weight gain with oral contraceptives and other hormone medications. The synthetic version of progesterone (progestin) is likely the culprit.

Although researchers have concluded that hormonal birth control doesn’t directly cause weight gain, they do agree that certain side effects may be to blame. This includes fluid retention and increased appetite.

A total hysterectomy is a surgical treatment for endometriosis where the uterus, cervix, and both ovaries are removed from the body. Removing just the uterus may not be effective, as the ovaries are what produces the estrogen and can create pain in tissue throughout the body. This intervention is usually saved for the most extensive cases of the disorder.

After a hysterectomy, you can no longer get pregnant. Without your ovaries, your body effectively enters menopause. You may experience a range of symptoms that result from the lack of hormones estrogen and progesterone. These symptoms include anything from hot flashes to sleep problems to vaginal dryness. Weight gain and slowed metabolism are other common symptoms of menopause.

When menopause occurs naturally, symptoms start gradually. When menopause happens more abruptly, like as a result of a total hysterectomy, your symptoms may be particularly severe. In one 2009 study, women who had a hysterectomy before reaching menopause experienced the highest risk for weight gain in the first year following surgery.

Again, research is mixed on whether or not endometriosis directly or indirectly contributes to weight gain. Still, if you believe you’re gaining weight as a result of the disorder, there are some lifestyle changes you can make that may help.

This includes:

  • eating a balanced diet
  • adding exercise to your routine
  • considering alternative treatment options
The foods you choose have an impact on your weight. You may have heard to shop the perimeter of your grocery store — that’s actually solid advice, because that’s where the whole foods are. Whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Eating whole foods versus packaged foods gives your body the nutrients it needs to thrive while avoiding empty calories, like added sugars, that add to weight gain.

You should

  • Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. Other good foods include whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  • Choose healthy cooking methods like baking, grilling, or sautéing instead of frying. Read labels on packaged foods to evaluate their salt, sugar, and fat content.
  • Pack your own healthy snacks so you aren’t tempted by convenience foods when you’re out and about.
  • Speak with your doctor or dietitian for specifics about how many calories you should eat each day, as well as other advice specific to you and your unique needs.

Experts recommend getting between 150 minutes of moderate activity and 75 minutes of a more vigorous activity each week to maintain and lose weight. Moderate activity includes exercises like walking, dancing, and gardening. Vigorous activity includes exercises like running, cycling, and swimming.

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