Health problems? They’re all caused by your fat, even the ones you had BEFORE you were fat!

Chai writes:

My problems began when I was involved in a gymnastics accident, that left me with recurring back, neck and left shoulder pain (still not officially diagnosed to this day). It left me unable to do anything more than mild exercise without pain. Two years later, I got an extremely bad flu which left me bed-ridden for 4 months. Over those 4 months I gained weight. I went from malnourished and underweight to overweight fairly quickly. From there on, I gained weight.

I will state now, that I am not yet morbidly obese, but I am fairly overweight.

I walked a lot, and used public transport. I couldn’t seem to lose any weight. After a long battle with Irregular bleeding I was referred to a gyno. The first lady was awesome. The problem was officially diagnosed as PCOS and she advised me to lose 5% of my weight, but understood that putting a number to my weight would do me more harm than help. My theory is that I could work on losing weight more effectively if I didn’t have to feel bad about the number that is my weight. She tried putting me on the pill to help with the PCOS, it didn’t help, it just made my problems worse.

In between appointments (which was a number of months due to the public health system) I changed GP’s. I found an awesome GP who understood my problem and didn’t judge me for it. She re- referred me to the gyno. I still see this GP.

The next appointment, I had this young registrar. I told her how bad things had gotten for me over the period between the first appointment and the current one. My life had gone to shambles. I’d gained more weight, been miserable, had no sex life (at this point I had been married just under a year…. No sex is sooooo not cool for newly weds) and was always tired. She gave me an exam and made the comment that I seemed to be so hairy. Then she asked if this was a recent thing. I answered truthfully and told her that my grandparents and parents had always said I used to be a hairy child (a fine blonde layer of hair (also co-incidentally a symptom of PCOS)).

Then this doctor changed tactics. First she accused me of not trying the pill (uh hello! its on my file that I tried it!), then she moved onto saying ALL my problems were caused by my weight. My lack of sleep, my bleeding, my pcos, my injury…. everything! Yes that’s right folks, EVERYTHING is caused by my weight. Now, I’m the first to admit that, yes, I need to lose weight…… But to be told my a medical professional that all my problems were caused by my weight (even my prior to weight gain problems), I cried on the inside. When I got home after the tests she ordered, I cried in my husband’s arms, not really understanding how a doctor could be so mean and dismissive of my problems, when I’d been referred there for a reason.

I went on to get mirena prescribed and I hope to god that I never meet this doctor again. Because I never want to feel as horrible as I did the day that doctor decided that because I wasn’t skinny, that my weight was the cause of all my problems.

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10 Comments

  1. While the Pill can help some women with PCOS, some find that it makes them worse, especially once they go off it. There are other options for dealing with PCOS.

    I have an ongoing series about PCOS on my blog that you might want to check out, and we’ll be talking in the future about different options for treating PCOS. Different things work for different people, and it’s worth considering all the various options and experimenting a little. Go to http://www.wellroundedmama.blogspot.com and read the category of “PCOS”.

    One thing that’s clear is that obesity does not cause PCOS. Likely weight is just another of the symptoms of the underlying metabolic or hormonal issues that cause PCOS.

    Reply
  2. Halla

     /  February 14, 2012

    Ugh, so sorry you got some crappy young upstart with no manners yet. I so wish that tales like these could be drummed into registrar’s heads *before* they’re let loose on unsuspecting patients. Funny how weight gain is never seen first as a symptom, always but *always* as a cause.

    Reply
  3. lilacsigil

     /  February 16, 2012

    Ugh, I also have PCOS and weight gain is a SYMPTOM of PCOS not a cause! What else has weight gain as a common side-effect? Oral contraceptives!

    Reply
  4. I had a similar reaction to the birth control pill when I was last on it, also when I was a newlywed. I certainly didn’t need to worry about having an unplanned child, I never wanted to have sex.

    It took nearly 15 years to be diagnoses with a thyroid problem and when I FINALLY went on thyroid replacement I started having a regular predictable period and felt like my old self. In the meantime I gained nearly 150 lbs, despite years and years and years of dieting and exercise. When I tell doctors that I didn’t eat enough to weigh as much as I do, they just accused me of lying.

    Reply
  5. Jules

     /  February 28, 2012

    What a crappy doc. :/ I went in for my annual today and, at 5’8″ and 217 lbs. (about 50 pounds overweight), they more or less went off on me and talked to me like I was human garbage. Surely I could NOT be the heaviest person in their office today or any other day! My cholesterol and glucose are normal, but in the last few months my blood pressure has been high. In some of the comments they made and their general attitude toward me, it was obvious that they linked my weight with my blood pressure. Oddly enough, one year ago, I weighed about 270 pounds and my blood pressure was normal. You just can’t win I guess.

    Reply
  6. Rachel D

     /  March 3, 2012

    I wish like hell that I could say that surprised me, but there’s been such an increasing demonization of any and everything “fat” that it’s turned into a catchall for everything under the sun. I can completely empathize with this since I suffered an injury (being jumped on by a coworker while I was doing a side-lying floor stretch) that’s destroyed my mobility and left me disabled for what (despite all prior “you’re too young for this” and “you’re only in pain in your head” and, of course! “you’re in pain because you’re fat”) appears to be permanent. Especially since eight years have gone by since it happened and I’m no closer to an answer or ANY treatment outside of pain medication. WC and the specialists harped on about my excess weight (which was and for the most part, still IS 100lbs over) despite it only happening AFTER I got hurt. Of which there’s photographic evidence. I even went to the obesity center they sent me to and stumped all the nutritionists who can’t figure out why I’m not losing any weight since I’m moderately active three days a week at least and don’t eat anything resembling the caloric intake I “should” be eating to be my size. I actually had to ADD random snacks into my day just to take my intake up to what they considered healthy. In the end, they shrugged and suggested I might be insulin resistant, and tossed me back at the other doctors.

    But! All my pain and mobility issues are still because I’m fat! And it’s just how we’re punished for being big fat pigs! Maybe if we stepped away from the buffet tables and cake, we’d actually get well! God forbid the doctors actually do, well, their actual job…

    Right. Honestly, those idiots would blame getting fat on being fat if they could do it without sounding even more ridiculous. Instead they just make innuendos about how you must live in front of the fridge and barely move as far as the bathroom during a day. Unfair, stupid, prejudiced, and blazingly unprofessional; yes. But that’s humanity and society. Yay for us, right?

    At any rate, refuse that doctor and fight it if you have to. Don’t let them force you back to her because if they try, just tell them if they insist, you’re suing her for discrimination. And one thing I’ve learned from being disabled this long? Bother the ever-living hell out of them. We pretty much have to do our own research and come up with viable theories and treatments and such. Horrid though it is, it’s still the truth. But when you find something, just keep calling people, sending letters, emails, anything you can think of. They’ll try to ignore you, sure, but they’ll crack eventually. And hopefully then, you’ll get a real doctor who’s interested in listening and helping instead of making a snap-judgment and refusing to look further.

    I have faith in you, hon. Stay strong; cry out your hurt when you’re among your loved ones because you’ll have a total breakdown if you don’t, but then pick yourself back and up go at them twice as hard as before!

    Reply
  7. Lynn

     /  March 9, 2012

    Rachel D – You sound like your thyroid is seriously underactive. These weight centres tend to underestimate calorie intake, so if you can’t eat enough by their reckoning, your thyroid is surely way off. Check out http://www.stopthethyoridmadness.com for great info on this subject.

    Reply
  8. Flynn

     /  April 1, 2012

    WTF? The registrar is at total idiot; aside from all the rest, this is a demonstrable fact as it’s extremely well-known that in PCOS patients, hard-to-control weight gain is caused by the PCOS, not the other way around.

    Reply
  9. Chai

     /  June 28, 2012

    I thought I’d update you all. After having had the Mirena for a few months, I’m proud to say its actually helping. My irregular bleeding is still there but nowhere near as bad. I feel free. I can got out without being paranoid now :) And as it turns out, after a massive fight with my family after my procedure, I have found out that hypothyroidism runs in my family.

    Well I just wanted to let you all know anyway, that it worked :)

    Reply
  10. Do you happen to live in PA? Because I went to a doc who asked me the same stupid question, “Have you always been this hairy?” after seeing my test results with high testosterone. She then proceeded to tell me to “walk around the mall a few hours”, despite the fact that I’ve had period irregularity since I was 16 and weighed 120 (I’m 5′ 2), well within the normal range. I left her office crying, called my husband, bawling on the phone, “She called me fat and hairy!” Needless to say, I ditched her and my new doc hasn’t said one thing about my weight, which is a blessing, since I’m trying to get pregnant and read some other horror stories from women like me on this site.

    Reply

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