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A Doctor Who Makes Sense

The Doctor, by Sir Luke Fildes (1891)

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One of the worst things about having a weight problem is not just society’s inability to understand or appreciate the reality of the problem – but also the medical profession’s general ignorance about how to treat it.

Doctors, for all that they’re well-meaning, can unfortunately, tend to see a series of symptoms, a pathology, rather than a human being with a problem that needs help. I’ve had doctors tell me just to do more exercise, or stop eating fat, or to “just go on a diet”.

Health professionals look at the results of the problem – your increasing girth – rather than the underlying causes. As a result, they usually miss the real triggers, the real causes, and therefore, miss treating the actual things that will make a difference.

This ends up translating into repeated, unsatisfying discussions with doctors. You go to your doctor for help with your weight, and you get a lecture on how to eat salads and vegetables. Or worse, you get a lecture on how you’re risking heat disease and diabetes because of your weight.

Yes. I admit it. When I hear those things now, I want to scream. Why? Because I live with this condition 24/7, and the last thing I need is for some over-busy doctor to toss a platitude or two in my direction, without also giving a toss about whether it’s going to help me or not.

When I go to a doctor for help, I want exactly that: help.

So it was with enormous surprise – and unmitigated delight – that I discovered this video from Dr Arya M. Sharma. It’s not aimed at those of us with weight issues – but at doctors. It’s a clear and concise list of things to do and say – and what not to say – to patients who ask for help. And I love it!

Take a look. And if you find your doctor doesn’t really get what you want from her/him when you ask for help with your weight, point them to this video. It’s not everything – but it’s a damned good starting point.