Can we agree some boundrys here about how to re... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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Can we agree some boundrys here about how to respond to peoples disclosed weight issues.

It has happened on a few occasions that I have disclosed my weight issue as a side issue to my post only to find it has been like a bit of a red rag for lots of usually unhelpful, irrelevent and often patronsing advice on how to lose weight or even admonshments about not taking care of myself,comments like 'do somethin about you weight' as if I hadnt noticed it.

When I attend at Gp surgery I walk out if I am given any unasked for advice about my weight. I find it offensive that a doctor is assuming I do not know the percieved health risks when it is impossible to avoid the constant barrage and for the most part doctors who do this are insensitive and sometimes hateful towards fat people.

This forum is normally a safe place to get excellent advice and I have no objection to dietary advice to help manage my symptoms or thyroid health. I have every respect for suggestions to cut out gluten to help reduce anitbodies or sugar to reduce hypoglycemina but Ifind it disrespectful and demeaningto be given unasked for weight loss advice espcailly when it is so basic as joining a slimming club.

I do not try to lose weight. I find it as a goal in life unhelpful. I aim to eat a wide variety of food in moderate portions aiming for as much as possible of it too be organic. Refined sugar makes me ill so I avoid it as much as possible. I record my calories to ensure that I do not over eat. I aim to eat mindfully and with dignity and I aim to take moderate excerise. I also aim to meditate, have fun and occupy myself meaningfully. I also work to optimise my thyroid treatment.Any weight loss is in my eyes a side effect of these actions and not the reason for them.

I belive that most of the problems associated with being over weight are the result of untreated thyroid disease and I as a fat woman am a deeply contented, confident and beautiful woman.

Whether you agree with these actions and attitudes or not, whether you feel my goals are irrisponsible or whether you think I shouldbe doing more or would get on better of I followed your path and not mine then these are your problems and frankly none of my business. Your need to express them needs to be done on a post of your own and not mine. Maybe you could put up a post about some great diet you have tried or maybe you could politely ask fat people to help you understand the issues involved. But dont jump on the band wagon of giving unasked for weight loss advice.It is rude.

29 Replies

Referring to yourself as 'alarmingly overweight' is why I referenced it in my comment on your previous post. That description of your weight sounds like you have concerns so maybe to avoid confusion, if your weight isn't relevant to a post, then just don't mention it?

in reply to NatChap

Yes I can see that it might cause a bit of confusion but it has happened on other posts recently. Often the weight is relevent but not the issues I am asking for help with but people seem to jump in wanting me to do something about my weight, assuming that I am not and sometimes the advice is so patronsing its a very insulting to my intelligence or anyones elses. Another post I did a while ago was regarding my weight which has been fluctuating wildly, such issues as gaining 12 pounds in a week and losing 14 the next.This is very unusual, my Gp unable to make sense of it and this forum is good medicallybut all the responses were dietary advice 'join weight watchers, talk to a dietician to get help losing'. I am imagining that these response are from people who do not have a significant weight problem and never have had or there would be a bit more understanding. Maybe I am a bit different in that most people with a weight issue have lowself esteem, feel they desearve to be talked down to but Idont.I would expect this kind of advice if I put up a post saying that I was unable to lose weight.I would be gratefulfor the responses if I did this. ButIam not doing that.Ijust happened to mention that I wanted to avoid antibiotics due to its affects on weight gain in this post and whether I discribed myself as alarmingly over weight or notis not really relevent. I did not ask for help to lose weight the post was about breathing. People love to feel they can fix people and it seem especially fat people and it is usually people who do not have the first clue who stick thier oar in and it gets rather wearing by the time you get to 52. I feel a bit grumpy and as if I am being ungrateful, that people probably mean well but it is insulting and unhelpful and I think a discussion about it might help people think a bit before they jump in.

Hennerton profile image
Hennerton in reply to

I am sorry to say this but I think you can rest assured that members will not feel inclined to answer any of your posts from now on.

Answering posts take time and if somebody bothers to use their time answering your post, the best course of action is to thank them, not berate them.

NatChap profile image
NatChap in reply to

Breathing problems can be linked to being overweight so I don't think that it's irrelevant at all. Maybe folk just care about your health and that's why they offer advice.

Rsst assured I will leave commenting on your posts to others in future x

To be brutally honest, the fact you are writing lengthy posts here about your weight suggests you do think about it a lot. Why would you even mention it otherwise? People here are only trying to help. It is up to you whether to follow the advice. There is little point in posting then getting upset by the replies. This is a forum where we try to help and support one another through our experiences. Good luck for the future.

I'm sorry you feel like this but this is a forum where people respond to what they are being told and as posters we try to give the picture of our current health issues and the ones replying who know very little about us try to work with any information given. Weight is an issue many of us have come across whether it be a lot orc little it is still a problem associated with having a thyroid problem and in the main suggesting that something isn't quite as it should be or as we wouldn't want it to be so I can only surmise that in the main people are concerned because it is a well known symptom andxthey weakly want to offer advice on how they have been helped on this particular problem. They aren't laughing at you, quite the opposite, they are trying to be helpful and share what has worked for them. The fact that you are so dismissive is your problem and I'm sure many will find your response as hurtful and you feel about theirs. We all have or have had a problem so we are here to try and help others and we aren't in the main medically trained but we do know what has worked for us and many of us are well familiar with the long list of thyroid symptoms. So I would suggest no one is trying to upset you but are trying to help you in the only way they know, often past e perience. That is surely the point of the forum. No one is saying or expecting you to take all on board, as individuals we make our own decisions and rightly or wrongly we can dismiss what we don't want to hear. I can understand you don't want to talk about it so just dismiss it but I also think that it is asymptom and if you don't want it talked of as such then just ignore it or don't mention it in the first place. Just don't alienate those who are trying to help.

in reply to silverfox7

Thank you silver fox. I think lack of sleep has made me overly grumpy perhaps and I think you are right people do mean well and I just need to ignore the unhelpful.

silverfox7 profile image
silverfox7 in reply to

We can all have days like that I'm afraid. It's always difficult writing on forums as well as we try to keep things short and it doesn't always give the right impression. I appreciate your reply and I'm sure others will as well. Take care

I feel for you, really! Last time I saw lipids doctor he had a skinny nutritionist with him who gave me the usual advice to eat less and move more and I just smiled and left but really I wanted to shout at her ‘I run and afterwards my hips and knees and buttocks are agony, I go to bed hungry every night and don’t lose a pound’! Yep people know nothing. However, on here, people will comment on everything that is mentioned so if you don’t want comments on your weight, just don’t mention it. X

Hi JAmanda,

I don't know all your circumstances re. your lipid doctor and your nutritionist but I wonder why you didn't tell them about your running and hunger. I'm not having a go at you, but it is some thing I've noticed a lot in the posts.

To me, the more you tell the health professionals the more information they have and the better choices you your health professional can make.

I know from personal experience that it can be very frustrating telling your doctor everything about your signs and symptoms and then having to go through it all again with a new health professional. This can be even more so if the health professional is the orthodox Endo type thyroid patients encounter.

But I also know from personal experience and others that the more information you share - without shouting- more often than not better outcomes are generated.

Just a thought.

in reply to holyshedballs

the thing isholyshedballs is that t is very unlikely that she would be believed, if shedid try to explain the running and the hunger,the eyes would role, unbelving comments such as you must be eating in secret or you would be thin in ethiopia only upset you more. It islike banging you head against a brick wallandI think theprofessionals feel the same way.I thier eyes it is simple and they cannot comprehend you not taking the advice.It is just a matter of going on a diet.for them it feelke banging thier heads against a brick wall too. I dont think I have ever been able to convince people whohave the mindset otherwise. You just have to walk away, be polite,thank them and carry on.Something I need to persist in doing when I feelI havea similar response here.Idont thinkthere is anyway around it.thebest option might beto write a list of symptoms ask for itto beadded to youe notes, talk about the efforts you make to lse weight in it and ask for it not to be discussed.

holyshedballs profile image
holyshedballs in reply to

Not to labour the point but I work as a regulator in a health setting but I'm not a doctor. I look at thyroid matters with my regulator's hat on. You may see a theme to my posts that reflect that.

My perspective is that

1) The more doctors are told about the symptoms and other ways of dealing with thyroid matters or weight gain, the more they will eventually start listening to patients as they see the pattern emerging so to speak.

2) I also think that telling the doctors every thing covers you because the doctors can easily say "of course I went down path X - the patient didn't tell me everything! If I knew all the information, i would have acted differently".

3) And from a more formal and legal point of view, if you tell the doctors everything and they still do down path X that can lay the foundation for complaints and legal action for negligence etc.. We shouldn't have to think this way but we do.

i was passed from GP to Endo to Chronic Fatigue Specialist to Community Weight Loss nurse and then I went to the private Endo. The CFS "specailist" was terrible and the community nurse was kind and sympathetic. I told her that weight loss wouldn't happen due to diet and exercise alone, I needed thyroxine. I told her my story mainly about being fatigued and brain fogged so that I couldn't exercise and that I suspect that a lot of my excess weight is mucous. She took me seriously but her speciality was community health. Lo and behold I only lost 2 lb over 3 months. I cooked healthily (low carb no bread) and ate smaller portions. She was surprised that my prediction came true.

I also know that when you are fatigued its a real struggle to think about what to have for a meal, the prospect of preparing and cooking the meal, and then clearing away and washing up. Sometimes that prospect, especially if you have come in from work late, means that the takeaway is an easy option. it was in my case, but not too often. So the hypothyroid made taking exercise a struggle and painful, filled me up with mucous and made me tempted to eat takeaways.

When I started on 125 of thyroxine, my brain fog lifted and I lost 4lb by just feeling good about eating well. I told the Community Weight Loss Nurse this and she will be looking out for similar patients. She said that she knew of 3 or 4 others already and will take a different tack with them.

in reply to holyshedballs

Yes I agree legally its good to make sure all your symptoms are recorded and it is good to discuss these issues with openminded professionals. i have a good relationship with my GPwho is very sympathetic to both weight issues and my own self treatment and I will discuss allsorts of issues relatd to thyroid with professional but I am not going to set myself up to be hurt by trying to reason with anyone who is dogmatic about things they dont understand. I have to choose my battles and i try to go for ones I might win. But yes you are right the symptom must be recorded but better in these situation I think is a letter to go on your notes.Some people just can not be educated as they have closed minds.

The trouble is that most of us assume that because we are talking, someone is listening. Repeated experiences at the hands of medical professionals has illustrated what shockingly poor listeners, and accurate recorders, so many health professionals are. My daughter and I have taken to writing to the Dr, prior to the appt, to update current status and state of play, so there is a record in her words (not a subjective 'interpretation' of her words); something which also has the affect of setting the agenda of the appointment too (something we have found to be useful).

in reply to halftime

I think this letter before hand is a good tactic.

Yes totally agree. I have written to my doctor stating all my symptoms, the possible causes and what I expected to happen. i gave my GP print outs of the studies and medical papers to back up my point of view. He then referred me to the Endo. I wrote to the Endo who had all my papers on his desk but still did not acknowledge the evidence. I made notes of my consultations in my note book just in case I needed them. Luckily, thanks to the Professor, I don't need them, but it would be very good evidence at a hearing.

vocalEK profile image
vocalEK in reply to halftime

I tend to do that too.

in reply to holyshedballs

I do want to add that I am finding your contributions to this forum very helpful holyshedballs and you are giving important insights and advice. I do agree that we need to be talking to as many professional as possible about these issues and I think thatall the petitions in the world will make very little difference untill we have them on board.I do draw the line at trying to covert bigots but other than that I am with you all the way.I have been thinking about writing to my previous endo whose advice led to a serious deteroration in my health for a while and you comments about the legal need to do this sort of thing and the importance of giving as much information as possible will ensure thisis done. I have been worried for a while that an emergency addmission to hospitalwill depriveme of much needed hormones and have realised the importance thanks to you of having all the information on my notes.

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to

The professionals like that don’t have the slightest comprehension of thyroid disorders or how impossible it can be to loose weight with hypothyroidism due to its physiological effects on the metabolism. Do you think you might have been vacillating between hypo and overactivity as your thyroid was attacked by antibodies and dumped some extra thyroxine into your bloodstream leading to your weight going up and down? I got hyperactivity with this vacillation - I’d go bonkers racing about like a crazy thing, even getting into fights then back to feeling like I was comatose. May be someone suggested it in the earlier post. I can see your point - I put on five stone with overt hypothyroidism and couldn’t shift an ounce - why waste energy on what you can’t change when there are other things you can do. I think people here are just trying hard to help however they can.

in reply to TSH110

yes I think they mean well on the whole. Sometimes I idealise this forum and expect too much of people. I have had my antibodies checked, both types and clear so I dont think I have hashis, just some kind of genetic thyroid resistance. The closest me and the GP have got to finding out why this is happening re weight up and down is a bottom of the range albuman.This apprently effects osmosis in the body and causes both fliud retention and discharge of fliud. I nursed somebody with very low levels and hislegs were so heavy almost impossible to liftand then fliud was comming out of his legs at times soaking the bed.I am eating two eggs a day to help. I will look up this vacilliation though it might be relevent and my child who is thyroidy is normally very tired and quiet and has gone bonkers today. he is elated, excited, fighting his brother and laughing his head off.It is great to see but something is going on.

My main reason for not trying to lose weight is that doing so seems to stress me out, as does all the health warnings about weight gain and this stress seems to affect my eating and must affect cortisol levels and often setting weight loss goals can make me try to hard, leading to my eating too little. It did usually mean that I lost weight but there was often a rebound of over eating and gaining more than I lost. It is a pattern I see in my freinds as well and with a few of them it seems tohave been connected with possile resulting health issues. I am reallyhappy with my eating theses days. I never binge,I dont think about food except when hungry.Ican leave abag of donuts in a cupbard and forget about them or eat half a bar of chocolate and find the rest of it festering at the bottom of my bag two weeks later. Dieting led to my becomming obbessed by food for decades and it has taken a huge amount of work, thought and meditation to free me of this. I would not exchange this freedom from what was an obsession for all the slimbodies in the world. I do track my calories to make sure I am not going over the top and as evidence for my GP and I should be losing a lot of weight but since I was ill when an endo took me off thyroid hormones 18 months ago it does not seem to be happening. I am not worried about weight loss but things like breathing issues do make me feel I ought to explore whats going on.

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to

Sorry to assume you had autoimmune thyroiditis although some people do not test positive for antibodies but ultrasound shows damage to the thyroid as per autoimmune attack on it. I beat myself up about my weight exhausting myself trying to exercise when I was in no fit state and my metabolism could not turn all my food into energy only fat stores because of the hypo. I agree temporary dieting is not good long term.

My breathing is a bit suspect especially up stairs. I have heard iron deficiency can cause it. In my case I suspect it is blood pressure. Mine was always very low but these last few years the systolic has gone up quite a lot but the diastolic has not. It is hereditary (I am just like my father who got breathless up stairs) and medication lowers both so you can end up passing out as the diastolic can go loo low. I also have orthostatic blood pressure where I feel faint if I get up from kneeling or squatting too quickly so have to take my time. I don’t think that affects the breathing tho. I also developed angina with the hypothyroidism (one chamber does not work correctly) which is intermittent but has never properly resolved. The medics dint seem bothered about it and it has been going on for 30 years now! My old man lived independently and nearly made 90 so the blood pressure was a menace but not totally debilitating.

I have never talked about anybodies weight other than my own and I agree that it's rude and patronizing.

My question to you is this if you medicate why are you so angry? Please stay in the GAP

I can understand your frustration with replies to your posts. I believe it might be a communication mistake.

It is easy to post in a way that leaves the readers unsure about what our real question is. It is also easy to read without due care so that we pick up the wrong things from a post - and then give an inappropriate response.

I, too, have sometimes been given totally irrelevant and unwanted advice, bearing no relationship to my question. It happens to us all!

I suppose that all we can do is to try to be very clear In our posts, and our reading of other people’s posts, to maximise our chance of sticking to the point. After that, we need to be accepting of the fact that there’s always a margin for error, but it is probably well-intentioned.

PS This reply is not intended to be a lecture for you, mandyjane, but as food for thought for anyone who read your post!

in reply to dolphin5

No thank I am not taking is as a lecture and I think I just wanted my post to be food for though both ways.I was thinking athat an open disussion might help us all communicate.

Hi mandyjane, if I’ve ever said anything to upset you, it wasn’t intentional.

There are so many people on this site I wouldn’t remember what you’ve said here today even if you post again, sorry. Perhaps it would be more effective to mention your concerns about specific comments by making specific replies to comments you find offensive so we don’t all feel accused, and we could learn where we overstep the mark so to speak.

Have a good day x

in reply to Aurealis

Thank you Aurealis. I wouldnt remmber if you had ever upset me I am the same as you unable to remmber onepost or person from the next.Iam sorryif everyone feels accused.I felt making specific replies to perceived paronising comments would be really ungrateful and was hoping that wider discussion would cause less offense but I seem to have upset everyone.I am sorry if you felt accused.

Hi Mandyjane i think i was on a particular post of yours when weight was mentioned by maybe a couple of people, i would never refer to someones weight as being a problem in their issues unless the person posting it saw it as a problem, however im sure forum users thought they were being helpful😊 i can see you are a confident sassy lady-good for you and why not, i stand by my comnent that you are a curvy sumptious lady!!(not a fat lass) your words not mine)lol. We are all beautiful.xxx

Thank you. We are all beautiful.I think I was having a grumpy menopausal moment with this. I think people do think they are being helpful but I find attitudes towards fat people infruiating at times and people have been pressing my buttons and it may be that they do not hold those negative attitudes but I am perceiving that they do and am not well enough with this cold to keep my cool as I should.

Thanks for raising this topic - all the replies are interesting. I’m taking the line of being polite with nutritionists but truth is having dieted since I was 12, I can tell you the calories in anything. I went in a fab holiday with The Body Retreat in May, tiny calorie counted meals, exercise all day - everyone lost 11 pounds, I lost 3. (No alcohol!!!)

Never mind the nutritionist at the lipid clinic, my biggest annoyance is that he didn’t consider my raised tsh and the nice guidelines around levo to lower cholesterol! Bah, so many things!

Anyway, went swing dancing last night - I recommend for fun, exercise and meeting people!!

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