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I had a complete hysterectomy 6 years ago and I am now 44. I battle belly fat even after loosing 25 lbs. I've been told it is because I don't have hormones any more and I have never been on HRT since my hysterectomy. Would a natural HRT help me?

By Anonymous January 13, 2009 - 8:48pm
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I've been told without hormones, I will continue to store fat in my abdominal region, and there is nothing I can do. I recently lost 25 lbs. and still suffer from embarassment because of my dimpled belly fat. I vowed I would wear a bikini as soon as I lost weight, and fact is, I am repulsed at the sight of my own abdomen. I work out 5 days a week with no changes. Would natural HRT help me? I am not interested in pill popping, but hope maybe there is a natural alternative for me out there.

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(reply to Anonymous)

Some women do experience weight gain, due to hormonal imbalances. However, please know that some women do not, and it is important for you to talk with your doctor about your symptoms of weight gain (and perhaps to test if you have any hormonal imbalances).

Perhaps even more important in weight gain is your consumption of calories versus your level of physical activity. Weight gain almost always is a direct correlation to consuming more calories than you are expending (exercising) each day. You may also benefit from talking with a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) or Personal Trainer to make sure you are adequately exercising, as well as consuming the correct number of calories for your body.

July 10, 2011 - 7:40pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am 42 and had a total five years ago. I also had four c sections
my stomache is not really that big but I am upset because I do fight between size 12 -14 . I mainly gain weight in the back area. I do not take hormonal replacements since my mom had breast cancer. However, I was a lot smaller before the operation.

June 27, 2010 - 10:50pm
(reply to Anonymous)


Honestly, I think you are AWESOME for maintaining sizes 12-14 after having 4 c-sections and a hysterectomy! But I also understand what it's like to know that your "normal" size was always quite a bit smaller. Sometimes we just plain feel better at a certain size.

Do you exercise, Anon? Do you feel overweight overall? If so, how many pounds do you think you need to lose? Do you have a plan to do that?

June 29, 2010 - 9:17am
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for all your info on dry eye. I have had my tear ducts permanently plugged, and I use restasis twice a day along with eye drops. I have severe astigmatism and must wear hard contact lenses. Luckily I have a goddess for an optician who has been able to fit me so I can wear my contacts all day and evenings also.
I need to check into a heart monitor and determine my burn rate. I lost weight with Suzanne Sommers diet 5 years ago and have used her maintenance program, but still have no significant loss. I lose a pound and gain it back the next day. Very frustrating. I am on no sugar, alcohol, or white flour and eat lots of green vegetables as well as meat. My cholesterol is "highly desirable". My chiropractor has been able to reduce my goiter from 43cm to 36cm in just 6 weeks and my energy level has been improving. I do not take any thyroid medication. I now wonder if I should back off gradually on the ortho est I take and see if that contributes to the belly fat. Most of my problems seem to have a relationship to hormones! I don't see my obgyn until my regular visit in Nov. How long should I be taking estrogen and what are the benefits of continued use are questions I need to find answers to.

May 23, 2009 - 12:24pm

Anon - you had posted a response. Unfortunately, it got lost when I deleted an empty post right above yours. All I remember is that you were saying something about your dry eye.

My apologies - could you repost your response (and I promise I won't accidentally delete it!)?

May 22, 2009 - 4:12pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am a 61 year old who has always had a very small waist until the last two years. I have had a complete hysterectomy at the age of 48 and have been on estrogen ever since. I had migraines before the surgery and the estrogen helped eliminate them. I exercise every day with different combinations of walking, biking, swimming, golfing, Wii Fit and kickboxing, dance, and weight lifting classes.. I would like to take off the 15 pounds that have mainly shown up around my stomach and love handles. I also seem to have a thicker pubic mound than ever before. I am happy with my general muscle tone. I am just now reading up on estrogen imbalances and wonder if I should go off all estrogen and take a chance on my migraines. I have also noticed mood swings. I also have developed dry eyes.

May 21, 2009 - 7:17pm
(reply to Anonymous)

We just had an interview with one of our medical experts about dry eye:

AUDIO: Dr. Robert Latkany - Learn Everything You've Asked To Know About Dry Eye

Read more: Dry eye empowHer Encyclopedia

With all your exercising, have you considered taking a harder look at your eating regimen? Do you use a heart rate monitor during your exercise? Have you ever determined your fat burning zone (of exertion)?

May 21, 2009 - 7:57pm

I've been fighting the battle of the bulge for several years. It started creeping up on me in my late 40's, about when menopause hit. It's the main reason why I started running, then marathon training. I'm still fighting the bulge, although it's not as prominent, anymore, and fighting the weight issue. My body shape has changed, albeit slowly. But, the muffin top is still an issue.

Anyway, my OB/Gyn wasn't a huge fan of HRT, and I couldn't tolerate what she did try to put me on. So, we just opted to let nature takes its course and deal with it as best I could. Who knows whether or not HRT would have helped, had I been able to tolerate it (I have lupus and a multitude of sensitivities to a multitude of substances).

On the Flat Belly Diet, I have the book. Interestingly enough, I've been a MUFA maven for most of my life, without knowing it. All the same, I'm still trying to deal with the subcutaneous fat, let alone the fat, period!

Well, while I'm still trying to deal with that, I call myself the "Slow Fat Runner," and even have a running team by that name. We're mostly women who, for whatever reason, fight the bulge, but are also distance runners. At least, we're rather fit.

Thanks for your inspiring story! It makes me feel that there's still hope, even at my age.

February 5, 2009 - 10:08pm

Hey Anon, we asked an Ernestine Bustamante Roman, MD, FACOG of New Horizon Women's Care for her thoughts on your post and here's what she shared with us.

"This patient needs to have a complete history and physical exam. She needs a consultation to discuss the risks and benefits of HRT.

Some of her risks of starting HRT will depend on whether she had her ovaries removed at the time of hysterectomy. If she had her ovaries removed, called a bilateral salpingoophorectomy or BSO, that would make her 6 years menopausal.

Women who are many years menopausal and then started on estrogen preparations do have an increased risks of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. If she did not have a BSO at the time of hysterectomy, she could be perimenopausal. (average age of menopause in the United States is 48 to 52 years old.) And would be a better candidate for HRT.

There are many formulations of HRT: patch, pill, vaginal preparations. There are "bio-identical" options out there. As these are not well regulated by the FDA. I often hesitate to prescribe these.

The decision to place her on HRT would largely depend on her symptoms and her knowledge of the risks of starting HRT. The present recommendation for patients is to try the lowest dose possible for the shortest time possible. However, If I have a patient who has been on HRT for years and never had a problem and is otherwise healthy, I don't stop their HRT. These patients have proven themselves, "estrogen worthy".

Interestingly, the professional group who use HRT the most... ob/gyns."

February 5, 2009 - 9:30am
EmpowHER Guest

Diane, I changed what I ate and portion size. I try to eat salmon and another white fish every week. I didn't watch "calories" just what I ate and amount. I find that if I eat as soon as I get hungry, I stay satisfied throughout the day. I believe in eating every two hours. It might just be a handful of almonds or a piece of fruit, whatever healthy item I can think of. I have also been trying to incorporate more MUFAs such as almonds and olives, etc., and that seems to be helping too. I do splurge on weekends but I continue to watch my portions. So I will order say, a hamburger but only eat half of it. It takes will power and if I fail, I just change the next day. In other words, if I eat all the french fries, I don't beat myself up. I just eat really good the next day. Life happens, and as long as I don't go crazy day after day, I should be able to maintain. I watch what I eat Monday thru Friday, slack on Saturday night and Sunday. Works well for me! Best of luck to you on your weight loss and DO throw yourself a party when you hit that 25 lb mark! :o) Anon

January 26, 2009 - 7:45am
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