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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content

Slow metabolism after surgery

I have noticed that it is very easy for me to gain weight since my two back to back surgeries being in now 2014 for tvt and then repair surgery. I have always been thin. Even after two kids. Now I feel I can take a bite of something and gain weight from it. My metabolism has always been super high. Before surgery, 5.4"weighed 118. Now I weigh almost 128 and its going up daily and I am trying to even watch what I eat.will my body correct itself to my old metabolism?how?Is there a chance it won't?
  • 39 years old
  • Complaint duration: 90 days
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian / White
  • Height: 64
  • Weight: 120lbs
  • Medications: Vit c, none
  • Conditions: None

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Featured Answer

8 UpVoted this answer
It would be helpful if you would mention about the anesthesia method used in your surgery. It is most likely, that your Tension-Free Vaginal Tape (TVT) surgery for stress incontinence was performed under general anesthesia, although local anesthesia is widely used for TVT or its TOT modification (transobturator surgery).

Post-surgical weight gain (especially after general anesthesia) is very common. The following mechanisms are in charge:

(1) FLUID RETENTION (edema): Water is retained in the interstitial (visceral) space– between the organs. This leads to weight gain.

(2) TRAUMA: You may know that trauma and stress cause inflammation, which in turn leads to fluid retention.

(3) STRESS triggers a plethora of hormonal imbalances, resultant in excessive fluid retention. Surgery related stress results in high levels of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) or vasopressin, which makes the kidneys conserve the body’s water, by inducing translocation of aquaporin-CD water channels in the nephron collecting duct plasma membrane. This leads to unseemly weight gain too.

(4) STAGNATION: After surgery, especially of that type (vaginal reconstructive), patients are most likely to reduce their physical activity.

(5) POST-SURGICAL MEDICATIONS: The oral drug intake requires drinking a certain amount of liquids. The more drugs you take the more liquids you drink per day. Also, the fluid shifts caused by intravenous drugs can also cause water retention.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: Reduce daily intake of salt, sugar, and liquids. Reduce the processed food in your menu. Increase your physical activities, but don't carry more than 2 kg weight. The main triggers of ADH in serum are sodium, potassium, chloride, and CO2. Therefore, avoid beverages, like coke or soda water. Address your thirst problem by consuming more fruits and rough vegetables. Don't salt your salad. Don't drink alcohol.

Certain drugs increase the ADH secretion: acetaminophen (Tylenol), antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Often check your blood pressure and discuss with your primary healthcare provider whether you need diuretics. Your condition is transient and please do not worry too much.
5 UpVoted this answer
Make an appointment to visit your personal Physycian; OK??!! Thanx & GOD Bless....
2 UpVoted this answer
you have to have an extensive hormonal panel done with a naturalistic doctor, just to understand the relation between the, in particular adrenal/thyroid.

2 UpVoted this answer
Improve your circulation and you will improve your elimination. The body gains weight when it is not eliminating its waste products. So I would suggest daily light exercise such as swimming or walking, taking l-arginine to improve circulation, magnesium oxide to improve elimination and 4 liters of alkaline water at a pH of 9.5 to improve hydration, circulation and elimination. You are dehydrated so start drinking alkaline water.
2 UpVoted this answer
We have learned that weight-gain/loss is complex. Sex hormones begin changing for a majority of patients in their late thirties, which can contribute to weight gain. A thorough evaluation of Progesterone, Estrogen (E1/E2/E3), Testosterone and cortisol would be a great first start. A thyroid panel with antibodies would be a very important aspect of evaluation. Some patients experience temporary weight gain after use of steroid use for back pain. If you took antibiotics before or after surgery, your gut flora could also be disrupted which in turn can also lead to weight gain. Finally, most pain management centers pair with a psychologist. Being in pain for as long as you have can cause small imbalances which could lead to changes in your eating. It sounds like you are feeling discouraged, start with a psychologist who is trained in pain/weight issues, and you will be headed in the right direction!
2 UpVoted this answer
It is also possible that the antibiotics you were given for the surgery have caused a yeast overgrowth. The latest clinical studies show that gut bacteria play a crucial role in weight gain/loss.
1 UpVoted this answer
Your metabolism may have slowed down because you may have become less active due to the surgeries. It may help eliminating sugar, soda and salt from the diet. Also, try to consume more whole foods and vegetables, eliminating red meat. Drinking tons of water helps to flush away toxins and alleviate excess pounds.
Margaret Bailey
1 UpVoted this answer
The possibility you ned to get checked out VERY thoroughly is that you have become hypothyroid (underactive thyroid function). The thyroid is the main hormone/ gland regulating metabolism. The problem is that the medical profession, even endocrinology, is usually extremely poor at diagnosing (esp. minor degrees of) hypothyroidism. If you don't find a practitoner who treats thyroid with both T4 and T3, you can consult me in Tucson AZ - in person if you live nearby and by phone if you are far away (anywhere in the world).