Does Having Surgery Slow Down Your Metabolism?

Lounge By KidMcWonder Updated 4 Nov 2008 , 1:30am by tchrmom

KidMcWonder Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 4:06am
post #1 of 15

Everyone else I talk to about this thinks I'm crazy, so I'm coming to you guys.

I've always been very skinny, very know, the lanky awkward-looking kind of girl. Could eat whatever I wanted, whenever. It just burned right off, and I didn't have to work out or anything.

This past summer, I had an emegency appendectomy (stupid, worthless organ!!) and I recovered very well. Except...I've put on some weight. And it's not going anywhere.

I work out all the time now, and am even dieting. Nothing. It's still just hanging around.

Could this be from my surgery? What can I do to get rid of it? I don't want to go back to being so super skinny, because that was kind of gross. But geez, I'm just so ... SOFT all of a sudden! I'd like a happy medium, please.

Thanks for any advice you might have...

14 replies
redpanda Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 6:18am
post #2 of 15

You might have put the weight on initially because of a change in activity levels while you recovered from major surgery. I don't know why your metabolism would have changed from that type of surgery, though.

When you say you're "soft", is it all over, or basically in the abdominal area? If it is in the abdominal area, you might have had some after effects from the surgery, especially if they had to cut through muscle or if the abdominal recti (sp?) were pulled apart. I had that happen during pregnancy, (made worse from c-section) and it was re-separated during abdominal surgery 10 months later.

It might be worth mentioning to your physician, to make sure that you don't have anything wrong, such as a thyroid problem. (I have vague recollection that in very rare cases, anesthesia can trigger thyroid issues in some people. I could be misremembering, though.)

KidMcWonder Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 3:14pm
post #3 of 15

It's mostly in the abdominal area, but there have also been some definite changes in my rear and chest areas too. icon_redface.gif

It's good that you've got me thinking about the thyroid thing grandmother had thyroid problems, and I had a weird thing going on with mine a few years ago when some nodules were found in mine...they were non-cancerous, so I just kind of stopped worrying about that. But now I think I might give my doctor a ring.

Thanks so much!

indydebi Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 11:39pm
post #4 of 15

I was the stick-figure girl who could eat her weight in Dairy Queen sundaes, pop over for a couple of Big Macs and a pound of fries ..... and that was my snack!! ... and never gain a pound. I was 5'6" and stayed under 120 lbs without even trying.

I'm now hovering around 200. I remember specifically when it started to pile on. But we are never taught that if we GAIN weight, there might be a problem. No .... if you GAIN weight, ti's because you're just a fat, lazy slob who is "letting herself go". So it never occured to me that it might be a medical problem.

My thyroid is now practically totally shut down. Get it tested. Today.

SugarFrosted Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 11:55pm
post #5 of 15

I agree with indydebi, completely. Get your thyroid levels tested.

There is one other it possible you might be pregnant? Get a pregnancy test if there is the slightlest chance. When I was an ER nurse, we had at least two people come in (during the 10 years I was there) for abdominal pain or other symptoms, and they were in labor, having no idea they were pregnant. They'd gained weight, bigger boobs, but no morning sickness, etc. Just a thought...

KidMcWonder Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 12:58am
post #6 of 15

Oh no, no pregnancy here. I've tested myself just to make sure, and everything's right on schedule anyways.

So I'm thinking it could be the thyroid thing, especially since I've changed my eating habits and have been working out. My job isn't very sedentary, either (did I spell that right?). I'm running around for nine hours a day!

All the women in my family have been super-skinny too, and THEN put on weight once they had children. But no children here...

Are there any other symptoms of thyroid-related conditions I could be looking for? I would go on Web MD or somewhere, but those sites tend to scare the crap outta me. And my doctor usually has a pretty intense waiting list...

KidMcWonder Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 1:01am
post #7 of 15

Oh, and thanks so much, you guys. You all rock!

-K8memphis Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 1:20am
post #8 of 15

Yeah over the years my weight crept up to about 185 and I did The Firm routine for 45 mins three times a week lost not one ounce--sure I was trim-ish but 185 is 185 and I crept up to 199--just on the brink of 200 icon_biggrin.gif and I went on South Beach diet actually just to help my daughter loose a teeny bit of weight for her wedding-- and dude I dropped 40 pounds from January to April--kid you not.

But it's like walking a tight rope. Well no it's more like falling off a tight rope alll the time.

My thyroid is growing me a beautiful goiter--I hate that word--most inglorious word on the planet--so I have this lump in my neck--it's gotten some bigger--I've taken thyroid meds for ever.

I'm in the 170's now and gaining--when the election is over I'll get back to basics--I'm really stressed. I cannot maintain my weight and eat anything but a rigid rabbit food and twigs diet. sighhhhhh

So I don't have any great wisdom for yah but this really sucks. I hope you're younger and I hope you don't have this.

With thyroid you are tired and you crave sugar to boost you up because you get so low then you crash off the sugar and blablabla

The test is easy peasy--just a blood test. See if your doc's office will let the nurse poke you and send off the test. (Yay --maybe that could be useful) Check you neck--do you wear necklaces?? They getting shorter??

-K8memphis Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 1:32am
post #9 of 15

Here's an idea that's not exactly working for me but it might help somebody but I mean I'm still doing it though because I like cookies. I can't go the whole dang rest of my life without eating a cookie. I am a baker. Bakers eat cookies.

Anyway--I been subbing *almond meal for about a third of the flour in some recipes. It's of course got lots of lovely protein so it's not pure bad carbs and sugar that ruin the blood chemistry. It anchors the treat a bit so your system doesn't just shoot way up and slam back down hard if you get what I mean.

Sure it's more calories--I'm not saying it's perfect I'm just saying that's what I been doing. Great snickerdoodles!

You can get it in the health food section of the big grocery stores. I get Bob's RedMill brand almond/meal/flour. Good stuff.

jjkarm Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 1:39am
post #10 of 15

I've had hypothyroidism since I was eleven. I can usually tell when my medication needs to be adjusted by the way I feel.

The most common symptoms are:
1. Unexplainable weight gain- you can't seem to take the extra weight off and you don't know why you gained it.
2. You feel tired all the time- even though you get your normal amount of sleep plus take extra naps, you're still soooooooo tired.
3. You are always cold. It's unlike any cold you've ever felt feels like the wind blows right through you, and you'd swear even your bones are cold! Some people will have an actual drop in body temperature. You could check your temperature to see if it is lower than normal.
4. The thyroid gland in your neck will enlarge. This (plus weight gain), is how they found it in me. When I tilted my head back there was a large bulge in my neck.
There are other symptoms, and everyone is different, but these are probably the most common ones.

I once had a doctor tell me that if you have to have a disease, this is a good one to have. All you need to do is take one pill a day and have it checked every few years. I've had it for 34 years now and it really hasn't been a big deal, plus it's easily treated.

HTH thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

KidMcWonder Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 2:03am
post #11 of 15

Thanks, guys.
Well my necklaces still fit. And I don't have a bulge in my neck. And I'm not all that cold all the time.

I have felt strange "flutterings" there before though, like right at the base of the throat where the collarbone dips, and have reported them a few times to my doctor, who said it was just stress(this was after getting the nodules tested, which was NOT a pleasant experience - a needle right into the throat...yeesh!).

I think I'll go get that blood test at some point. Soon. I'm sure it's ok, but it would be better to know now than later, I guess!

-K8memphis Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 2:19am
post #12 of 15

Hey JJ, I had that cold thing really really bad and it got out of control. If I got cold I would get real sick and I could not get myself warmed back up --I had to use a heating pad. So I was real real careful about not letting myself get cold.

I mean even room temperature air moving across my skin could take the heat out and down I would go. The cold would go all the way through like I was dead--sounds creepy huh--and it would travel up my arms--I mean all the heat left. So I had to be careful. Had this for years.

So last year we had to up my dosage of synthroid a tad--I take a low dose anyway--and I alternately took one regular dose and one a bit higher for a couple months and this somehow lit the pilot in my internal furnace (is that the hypothalmus) and I do not have that awful cold problem any more--go figure.

I have a couple other health issues too so the combination of course is what I deal with. But being able to balance the heat in my body is a wonderful thing.

jjkarm Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 2:34am
post #13 of 15


You did a great job of describing how cold it actually feels. It's hard to understand until you experience it yourself! My family gives me a hard time because I'm still a little on the cold side most of the time. My oldest son was diagnosed with this a couple years ago. He lost 60 lbs in 6 months. He does have some sympathy for me.... because now he gets cold pretty easily too. icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif (I wanted to say na nana na naaa na to him, but I was a good Mom and resisted the temptation!) icon_rolleyes.gif

-K8memphis Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 3:26am
post #14 of 15

Yeah I would freak people out if touched them--the cold just kept on coming--great for Halloween actually icon_biggrin.gif . I would layer clothing like nobody's business. I would wear those 99 cent stretchy gloves because anything that would massage my skin like that could help me avoid getting cold.

I mean I would wear them at work & stuff. People would see the gloves while I was at the computer indoors and they'd go "Oh are you cold?" "Agh no not if I keep the gloves on." It gets old y'know. I'm really thankful that this'll be my second winter without that thing being out of control. I hope.

Not to worry the weight's still out of control so... one down one to go.

tchrmom Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 1:30am
post #15 of 15

Low thyroid can also cause changes in hair and skin and nails. For hair, it's sometimes hair loss. I can't remember the nails and skin part. I had mine out about 9 years ago. It was due to nodules that were not cancerous, but were starting to affect the function. My doctor was great. I now take synthroid and it really is no big deal, as someone mentioned before. I was glad to hear someone mention that they take one dose one day, and one the next. i just went up a little on mine, and it may be too much. My next suggestion to my doctor may be alternating, so I am glad that some people do that. I would definitely get your thyroid checked since your grandmother had problems, and it does tend to run in families.

For the surgery causing weight gain, I'd be surprised since it seems to be lasting quite awhile.

Good luck.

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