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Does your doctor comment on your weight?

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Replies

  • kbmnurse1
    kbmnurse1 Posts: 316 Member
    Nope. My MD sucks plan on switching ASAP.
  • RaeBeeBaby
    RaeBeeBaby Posts: 4,323 Member
    Glad I stumbled across this thread! My annual exam is coming up and I have been a little lackadaisical about weight lately. I went back a year on MFP and see that I am 6 pounds heavier than at the same time last year. Time to start paying better attention!

    My doctor and I always touch on my weight, along with a whole checklist of other health concerns. She is very thorough. Two years ago (after a year on MFP) we had this conversation:

    Dr. Katie: Looks like you've lost some weight!
    Me: Yes (beaming)! I'd still like to lose a little bit more. (Me thinking 5-10 but I didn't say it).
    Dr. Katie: 15?
    Me: :/

    Last year:
    Dr. Katie: Wow, your weight is really great!
    Me: YES! and I'm feeling really good!
    End of conversation about weight. :smiley:
    Switch to discussion about exercise.

    Now, part of the reason I love my doctor is that she is a little overweight herself, so she totally understands the struggle. She doesn't give me a ton of grief about it but we do talk about it.

    I'm going to try hard to drop a few pounds before my appointment in a couple weeks. I want to continue the trend of doctor approval.
  • Mandylou19912014
    Mandylou19912014 Posts: 199 Member
    I 100% think that a doctor should comment on your weight if your having health implications that could be down to it. People are way too sensitive these days, if your overweight and suffering issues then it’s a bit of a no brainer to lose some weight
  • kami3006
    kami3006 Posts: 4,976 Member
    Both my GP and my psychiatrist go over my vitals every time I see them. "BP, looks good". "Weight, within normal range." Or, If I've just bulked, they will say they see I'm up a bit and once I tell them why, they say great, I'll note that.

    I would not be comfortable with a doctor that didn't bring up weight with their patients.
  • T1DCarnivoreRunner
    T1DCarnivoreRunner Posts: 11,415 Member
    shaumom wrote: »
    I have no problem with a doctor having a frank discussion with someone about their weight. However, based on my kid's experience and many others I know...that doesn't happen very often. The medical community seems to be unable, in many cases, to actually talk about weight in a helpful way.

    Doctors are notorious for putting on 'overweight' goggles and attributing ANY problems you have to weight, if you are overweight. Every time my kid (adult kid) has been overweight and comes in with a problem, the doctors quite literally attribute it to weight immediately. So until doctors can actually view weight with less bias, then I think they should think long and hard about whether to bring it up, personally.

    I am not saying that there aren't things that weight can cause. There is quite a bit, obviously. But a doctor needs to at least CHECK their assumption of causation, you know? And they aren't doing that. Even here, I'm seeing folks talk about doctors telling them what problems weight caused...and it doesnt sound like they had a discussion, they were just told. Whether it's right or not, it's really poor medical practice to just decide that without at least a small exploration of the assumption.

    Like, for example, if someone comes in with pain that has been going on 'for months now,' a couple questions would do the trick. 'What weight were you when the pain started?' and 'has this gotten worse or better with any weight changes you have gone through?'

    But these questions don't happen. As an example, my kid has been told that her joint pain is due to weight. They never ask questions to find out that she's had joint pain when she was barely 100 pounds and underweight, and that it does not seem to fluctuate with her weight but simply grows increasingly worse over the years.

    I have numerous friends who are overweight who were ill for years because of this, as no matter what they described, the doctors were sure it was simply because they were overweight. When one lost 100 pounds and the problem was getting worse rather than better, the doctor STILL told her that weight must be the problem. She ended up in the ER and had to rushed into emergency surgery, in the end.


    This is the same thing I get as a type 1 diabetic. Everything is attributed to diabetes. Doctors are not always thorough.

    Not all health issues in an obese patient are caused by weight. However, it is still a good idea for people to achieve a healthier weight. Physicians should still bring it up.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,765 Member
    shaumom wrote: »
    I have no problem with a doctor having a frank discussion with someone about their weight. However, based on my kid's experience and many others I know...that doesn't happen very often. The medical community seems to be unable, in many cases, to actually talk about weight in a helpful way.

    Doctors are notorious for putting on 'overweight' goggles and attributing ANY problems you have to weight, if you are overweight. Every time my kid (adult kid) has been overweight and comes in with a problem, the doctors quite literally attribute it to weight immediately. So until doctors can actually view weight with less bias, then I think they should think long and hard about whether to bring it up, personally.

    I am not saying that there aren't things that weight can cause. There is quite a bit, obviously. But a doctor needs to at least CHECK their assumption of causation, you know? And they aren't doing that. Even here, I'm seeing folks talk about doctors telling them what problems weight caused...and it doesnt sound like they had a discussion, they were just told. Whether it's right or not, it's really poor medical practice to just decide that without at least a small exploration of the assumption.

    Like, for example, if someone comes in with pain that has been going on 'for months now,' a couple questions would do the trick. 'What weight were you when the pain started?' and 'has this gotten worse or better with any weight changes you have gone through?'

    But these questions don't happen. As an example, my kid has been told that her joint pain is due to weight. They never ask questions to find out that she's had joint pain when she was barely 100 pounds and underweight, and that it does not seem to fluctuate with her weight but simply grows increasingly worse over the years.

    I have numerous friends who are overweight who were ill for years because of this, as no matter what they described, the doctors were sure it was simply because they were overweight. When one lost 100 pounds and the problem was getting worse rather than better, the doctor STILL told her that weight must be the problem. She ended up in the ER and had to rushed into emergency surgery, in the end.


    Unfortunately doctors aren't any better than the rest of us at figuring out how to use statistics properly. Any patient who is not a "typical case" is likely to be ignored. The problem is that "typical" often means less than half of all cases!

    Swollen calf, possible blood clot? Flex your foot, if it doesn't hurt it must not be a blood clot. But this sign is only present in about 30% of cases. That's a significant number, but not enough that a lack of it should be used to rule out a problem which may suddenly develop into a life threatening pulmonary thrombosis!

    Obese adult presenting with diabetes? Must be type 2! Except some obese adults do develop type 1 - and it usually takes a year of useless medication for doctors to investigate further.

    Slender woman younger than 50 with chest pain? Probably a panic attack or pulled muscle - until the woman keels over dead.

    I'm not sure how to correct this error in thinking. Doctors already take statistics. And we don't really want them to ignore the most common possibilities. But humans are just not good at thinking outside the box.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,428 Member
    edited July 2018
    I went to a new doctor 4-5 months ago. I was weighed, etc and asked about everything including my sex life except my weight. I am about 20 lbs overweight I know and carry a lot of weight in my belly but my doctor did not tell me I was overweight or speak about weight at any of my appointments. I was not asked if I had gained or lost weight. General recommendations of more vegetables, lower fat intake and regular exercise were brought up but no mention of weight management. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, probably perimenopausal and weight was not brought up. My blood pressure and cholesterol were a bit higher than they should be and there was no mention of weight.
    I was surprised. I thought weight would be at least mentioned briefly considering a family history of diabetes, heart disease, cancer. I guess I don't need a doctor to tell me I am overweight and should lose weight to reduce health risks. The doctor doesn't really know that I know that though.
  • JLG1986
    JLG1986 Posts: 196 Member
    It’s really sad to me that doctors are choosing not to mention weight problems to their patients.

    Would a doctor ever feel like it was awkward or uncomfortable to tell their patient they needed to take high blood pressure medication? Would a doctor avoid offending a patient by simply not telling them they had diabetes? No!

    It’s important to be kind and considerate when talking about a sensitive issue (e.g. weight), but not talking about it at all does a disservice to the patient.
  • wmd1979
    wmd1979 Posts: 469 Member
    shaumom wrote: »
    I have no problem with a doctor having a frank discussion with someone about their weight. However, based on my kid's experience and many others I know...that doesn't happen very often. The medical community seems to be unable, in many cases, to actually talk about weight in a helpful way.

    Doctors are notorious for putting on 'overweight' goggles and attributing ANY problems you have to weight, if you are overweight. Every time my kid (adult kid) has been overweight and comes in with a problem, the doctors quite literally attribute it to weight immediately. So until doctors can actually view weight with less bias, then I think they should think long and hard about whether to bring it up, personally.

    I am not saying that there aren't things that weight can cause. There is quite a bit, obviously. But a doctor needs to at least CHECK their assumption of causation, you know? And they aren't doing that. Even here, I'm seeing folks talk about doctors telling them what problems weight caused...and it doesnt sound like they had a discussion, they were just told. Whether it's right or not, it's really poor medical practice to just decide that without at least a small exploration of the assumption.

    Like, for example, if someone comes in with pain that has been going on 'for months now,' a couple questions would do the trick. 'What weight were you when the pain started?' and 'has this gotten worse or better with any weight changes you have gone through?'

    But these questions don't happen. As an example, my kid has been told that her joint pain is due to weight. They never ask questions to find out that she's had joint pain when she was barely 100 pounds and underweight, and that it does not seem to fluctuate with her weight but simply grows increasingly worse over the years.

    I have numerous friends who are overweight who were ill for years because of this, as no matter what they described, the doctors were sure it was simply because they were overweight. When one lost 100 pounds and the problem was getting worse rather than better, the doctor STILL told her that weight must be the problem. She ended up in the ER and had to rushed into emergency surgery, in the end.


    The original cause of the joint pain may have not been weight, but I can guarantee you the excess weight isn't going to help that joint pain any. Doctors will always look for the most likely cause to any ailment and work from there. If you don't feel they are adequately triaging an issue and exploring all options then find another doctor who will. There is a wide range of issues that can be caused by obesity so it makes sense to focus on an obvious way to prevent further medical issues.
  • MikePfirrman
    MikePfirrman Posts: 2,966 Member
    edited July 2018
    I remember one doc we went to commenting, "well, you'll die of heart disease like everyone else does". That was about it. It was some health scares outside of the docs office that led me to lose 60 plus pounds and keep it off for around 5 years and running now. In his defense, they only are allotted like 15 minutes a patient. I'm sure that many really wish they could mention weight. But would that open up a debate? Some people insist they are fat but bit, yada, yada. Others would want hormones tested, etc., then the doc would have to explain that they'd have to make a separate appointment for that (I would think). It's more the system than the doc in my humble opinion. They are supposed to be like GreatClips, 4 patients an hour, just enough time to prescribe a pill and next one!
  • lorib642
    lorib642 Posts: 1,915 Member
    My dr tells me the advantages to losing weight. She encourages me to lose but does not shame me
  • funjen1972
    funjen1972 Posts: 949 Member
    I mention my 30 lb weight gain to my endocrinologist (thyroid issues) and she dismissed it. She said it's not that bad, I weighed 175 at 5'6 5", which for me was very high. I wasn't obese by comparison, but certainly was trending towards obesity.

    I never went to her again.

    I wish she would have helped with suggestions or even acknowledged an issue instead of giving positive reinforcement.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    If a doctor does not comment on weight (significant over/under or change vs prior visit) they are ignoring the elephant in the room (no pun intended) as to possible health issues.
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,256 Member
    If I had a doctor who did not bring up potential health risks....I would find a new doctor.

    I don't pay money to professionals to paint rosy pictures...I want an honest assessment. My primary care physician just retired and my endocrinologist is nearing retirement, meaning I need to find a new physician who puts patient care above political correctness.