Just a quick post today. I watched this TED talk the past weekend and broke down in tears.
Insulin resistance is one of the symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). I was diagnosed with PCOS about three years ago after decades of weight gain despite my efforts to lose and painful–as in birthing a baby without drugs painful–periods and so many more female problems. It did my heart good to hear this doctor’s story and apology because I’ve been the woman he talks about, not because I’m diabetic, but because I’ve had doctors who couldn’t see my problems because of their bias about my weight–on more than one occasion.
One such instance happened before my PCOS diagnosis. I was having horrible back pain for weeks on end. My family doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong after all my tests, including a urine test, came back fine. She sent me to a urologist. The urologist, not a slim man himself, told me I was just fat and needed to lose weight if I wanted to see any relief. I left there irate and ashamed. He wasn’t the first doctor to say those words to me but was, by far, the rudest.
I went back to my family doctor and told her what happened. She gave me a prescription for antibiotics and pain meds and sent me for a CT scan of my kidneys. The pain was clearing up by the time that the test results came in. I had a kidney stone and a severe kidney infection. The infection showed up in my blood, not my urine. I could very well have lost the kidney or had a life threatening infection throughout my entire body had I listened to the urologist.
As a nation, we need to assess our bias where over-weight people are concerned. We need to stop believing that thin means healthy–many thin people are not healthy despite diet and exercise. As the doctor in the video learned, weight may very well be a symptom, not the cause.