What’s the first thing you think of when you see a curvy, plus-size female? Is your first thought: Whoa, girl, lay off the ice cream? Rest assured, you are not alone. Is the solution for being overweight that easy? Nope!
Since my daughter has been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, a disorder that shuts the thyroid down completely, I have learned a lot. The first doctor that she saw had only one bit of advice: Less food, more exercise. I took Bela to the doctor again two weeks later. In those two weeks, she had gained 30 pounds! We received the same advice as before. What???? After I got entirely fed up with that “expert,” I started researching on my own. I may not be a doctor, but I know my child best, and I am college educated. I can surely read and learn. I’m sorry so many doctors do not keep current on research. I consider that an obligation in whatever profession you choose.
I switched her doctor and took advantage of the endocrinologist who came to the office three or four times a year. I trusted the endocrinologist to know better. He did not. All I kept hearing was that Ysabela’s blood levels of TSH (http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/tsh-why-its-useless/) were “in the normal range.” Sorry, doc, but you struck out. Another change was in order. These doctors refused to listen to the patient (and parent). That’s a cardinal sin in my book. Doctors should never discount what a patient says.
Bela’s symptoms included hair loss (more than normal when showering and brushing), extreme fatigue, cold skin, low body temperature, constipation, unexplained weight gain and pale, dry skin. Thyroid problems run in our family. My mom and I have hypothyroidism, and Bela’s sister has hyperthyroidism. Even some cousins struggle with it. The bottom line was that Ysabela was not sitting around eating all day. After completing a food diary, the nutritionist said she was in the acceptable range of calories consumed daily.
Most doctors prefer to use only the TSH test, and research has shown that is not a complete picture of the situation. I finally found a doctor who listened to us! She didn’t bat an eye when I asked for a group of tests. She ordered them without a fight! I was so relieved that I cried. Finally, someone was listening. Our doctor got Ysabela an appointment at the Colorado Children’s Hospital in Aurora. The doctors there are professional and kind. Ysabela’s meds were changed, and her weight has pretty much stabilized. No more 30-pound gains! I realize we are not finished. Until her symptoms are gone, I will not be satisfied.
The next time you feel compelled to judge a plus-size woman, don’t. Many times, things are more complicated than you think.
For more information about thyroid disorders, visit http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ and http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hashimotos-disease/basics/symptoms/con-20030293.