Relieve Post Hysterectomy Depression
Many women arrive at the hospital on the day of their hysterectomy surgery prepared for the physical toll it's going to take on their body. However, other women are completely unprepared for the emotional toll a hysterectomy can have. It's easy to think, "well, developing depression after hysterectomy surgery wouldn't happen to me." Not only that, some women are completely blindsided by post-hysterectomy depression because it's the one thing no one warned them about.
Depression does happen though, and it can happen to anyone. Even if you aren't susceptible to anxiety or depression, you may still find yourself having a negative emotional reaction to the surgery.
Even though this is the case, there may be no way around having the surgery. Although not every woman will experience a negative reaction, it is best to be mentally prepared for what could happen. Or, maybe you've already had the surgery and are now suddenly left trying to pick up the pieces while you feel you are continually falling apart. What are you supposed to do?
Don't lose hope. It is my goal to help you better understand what happens to your body after a hysterectomy, and how you can begin to handle the emotional fall-out.
In this article:
- What Happens After a Hysterectomy?
- What Can You Do?
- A Few Closing Thoughts on Depression After a Hysterectomy
What Happens After a Hysterectomy?
Every year, thousands of women undergo hysterectomy surgery because of conditions like uterine fibroids or endometriosis. During the procedure, the uterus is removed, and in many cases, other parts of the reproductive system like the ovaries may also need to be removed.
But, there is more to it.
See, your body has glands and hormones that act like a sophisticated communication system called the endocrine system. You have the master gland—the hypothalamus. There is also something like a middleman gland—the pituitary. Then, there are unique pathways that run in a loop from the hypothalamus to the pituitary and on to other glands in the body like your adrenals and ovaries.
These pathways are continually sending, receiving, and transmitting important chemical messages. But, a hysterectomy is like a sudden shock to the body that confuses and disrupts this unique system. This is a sudden menopause. Actually, some people refer to ovary removal or an oophorectomy as surgical menopause.
Thankfully, the adrenal glands make the same hormones as the ovaries. However, the adrenals are only designed to produce a fraction of these hormones.
Without the ovaries, your adrenals glands start trying to pick up the slack. They are now overcompensating and spiking your cortisol levels while other hormones like progesterone and estrogen are still at a severe loss.
The overall changes to the endocrine system are what creates post hysterectomy depression or anxiety. But, what now?
What Can You Do?
There are several things you can do to relieve the pain of depression after hysterectomy surgery. Not only can these things help with your condition and symptoms, in many ways they will boost your overall health and well being.
Let me share them with you.
1.) Take Vitamin D3
Many people don't realize that vitamin D3 is much more than a simple vitamin. It actually works beyond just affecting your calcium and bones and works as a hormone. Taking vitamin D3 can help support a healthy and positive mood.
If you're feeling depressed after your hysterectomy surgery, you may want to try taking vitamin D3 to support your mood and overall health.
Get your daily dose of vitamin D3 by spending some time outdoors in the sun. For dealing with emotional symptoms like depression, you should spend at least 45 minutes a day in the beautiful bright sunlight.
2.) Try Progesterone Cream
The drop in progesterone levels during sudden menopause can trigger a cascade of mental and physical symptoms.
Progesterone cream is essentially a type of replacement hormone therapy. Often, progesterone cream alone can positively affect a woman's mental health after a full hysterectomy.
It doesn't stop there either. Progesterone cream may also help improve women's lives who enter menopause after a hysterectomy by:
- Reducing hot flashes
- Fighting fatigue
- Improving sleep
- Alleviating skin dryness, wrinkling, and thinning
- Preventing the loss of bone density (osteopenia)
- Increasing libido
- Fighting weight gain
You can find plant-based progesterone cream over the counter made from either soybeans or wild yam. This may be a healthy alternative for relieving depression following hysterectomy surgery when compared to progesterone pills, or for women who want to avoid synthetic progesterone.
3.) Use CBD Oil
One of the most important things you can do when you go into sudden menopause after a hysterectomy is to give your adrenal glands some extra attention.
At this point, your adrenal glands are overwhelmed, and anything you can do to limit stress and support the adrenals will have positive effects on your mental health as well as your overall health.
Many people have found success with CBD oil in helping relieve a variety of symptoms and conditions including pain and stress. In fact, CBD oil has special properties that help balance out the entire endocrine system and supports the adrenals.
CBD oil has also been known to help support healthy cortisol levels, which can have a major effect on symptoms like depression.
When you're ready to purchase CBD oil, look for some that is 100% THC free. THC is a cannabinoid that produces psychoactive effects. CBD is also a cannabinoid, but it provides only the benefits without psychoactive effects.
I recommend researching the company you want to buy CBD oil from and even contacting them to confirm their product is 100% THC. You can do this by asking them to email you proof that the oil was tested and is THC free.
4.) Take B Vitamins (Especially B1)
If you're struggling with the pain of depression after a hysterectomy surgery, you need to start consuming B vitamins. B vitamins are essential to your overall mental and emotional health-especially vitamin B1.
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is sometimes referred to as an "anti-stress" vitamin because it helps the body withstand stressful conditions.
Your body does not naturally produce vitamin B1, and it also can't store it. This means you have to consume B1 daily through your diet for it to be effective. Nutritional Yeast is a fantastic source of B vitamins including vitamin B1.
A Few Closing Thoughts on Depression After a Hysterectomy
If a woman has to undergo a hysterectomy, it is often because a serious condition is affecting their health or quality of life. Still, while many women may expect physical pain, the emotional pain that comes afterward can feel overwhelming.
Sometimes women don't seek treatment for the depression that unexpectedly overtakes them. This is not healthy. In other cases, women may prefer a more natural option than the treatment offered.
If you experience post-hysterectomy depression, it is crucial that you seek help from your doctor and follow the regimen they recommend. You may also want to speak with your doctor about a few of the natural options that are available for relieving depression after hysterectomy surgery.
Here are just a few more simple tips to consider as you ultimately conquer post-hysterectomy depression:
- Get plenty of Sleep
- Try new ways to relax
- Surround yourself with a solid support system
- Be open with your doctor and ask questions
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid sugar
- Try to keep in mind why the surgery was necessary