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Worried friends medical issues being ignored by doctor (weightless/hormone related)

(12 Posts)
lillypond123 Tue 19-May-15 01:28:28

Sorry if I am asking on the wrong forum, I'm new and wasn't quite sure which was the best.
My lovely friend in medical terms is basically quite a bit overweight, though not quite obese. She has been going to the gym every day or every other day for the past year, and eats very very healthily, I'm talking fruit or vegetable smoothies for breakfast, salads for lunch and quorn for dinner with steamed vegetables and carbs only every two days (we live in a shared house so I would know if she was sneaking or buying treats, not that I check up on it just that I would notice and ask for a share haha).
Despite this she doesn't seem to be loosing weight at all, and it's been a year and she really has stuck to it, she's gorgeous either way but it's very clear that her weight and lack of weight loss is really getting her down.
I'm a bit worried that her periods might be linked, as she has constant irregular periods, as in a period every two/three weeks, and went to the doctors for help with this but rather than investigating they just put her on the pill, which isn't working as she still hasn't gone more than two or three weeks without a period in the seven months she's been on it.
I don't want to worry her on push her into having screenings for hormonal imbalances, and also I wouldn't want to bring attention to her lack of weight loss myself, but I feel so sad for her that she is trying to hard and not loosing weight or being listened to by the doctor and am worried that something is genuinely quite wrong. I was just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience or knows any way to pressure the doctor into conducting tests, and could give me advice on how to sensitively suggest she goes for them?

Thanks so much for any answers!

snowglobemouse Tue 19-May-15 02:34:44

I understand that you're worried about her but it's not your issue. If she is unhappy with her weight/worried about her periods, it's up to her to speak to her GP about it. In the kindest way; back off

lillypond123 Tue 19-May-15 02:48:36

The thing is that I really don't want to get involved. I love my friend and hope she is happy as she is, but I also am experiencing her depression due to her weight (which, might I stress, I don't feel any need for her to change, I am only worried about her own feelings of depression due to her weight not going down). What worries me is that if this keeps continuing she will lose a lot more of her confidence, as she has already spoken to the gp and came out saying "well, I'm just fat", and has definitely lost her confidence in speaking to him as she feels very low.
To make this clear, I don't care that she is overweight. Her weight is not a symptom I am trying to 'cure', I am just worried about her low moods due to her lack of weight loss and her frequent periods, and if this could be linked and if someone has experienced it?
Again I am not trying to butt into her life, I just wanted another perspective to give to her as she is currently very low and feels she is trapped inside her body and complicated menstrual cycle, has been offered little help from her GP and I don't want her to feel this way. As we live together, it is not as simple as butting out, as despite being friends rather than partners her kids and mind are effectively a family together and I do worry about her emotional state and the effects it has upon her as I am seeing it all of the time.

CaspoFungin Tue 19-May-15 03:54:25

She might be lying about how much she's eating if she's only eating fruit and salad and not loosing weight or maybe she's eating huge portions.

Most often when people are overweight due to medical issues it's because the tablets cause them to over eat rather than the tablets just making you fat.

I know there are some exceptions like underactve thyroid so it is worth going to the GP to rule anything.

Talismania Tue 19-May-15 04:02:06

I think she does need to go for extensive tests, and I would be pushing it. This is because I have known someone who had the same combination of problems and it turned out to be due to a very serious medical condition that was overlooked by doctors for such a long time that by the time they identified the problem it was too late to do anything about it.

I don't say this to alarm you, since it's also probable that your friend does not have a serious medical condition, but I think it is important to have a doctor who looks for the rare or unexpected potential causes of symptoms when dealing with patients. It is always better to have lots of tests that come back negative than not enough tests and have an overlooked problem that could've been treatable if caught.

mum2cjt Tue 19-May-15 04:13:43

She could have some baseline tests run, I would be thinking PCOS and insulin resistance which would cause difficulty losing weight as well as erratic periods.
If she had a fasting insulin level, LH FSH and free testosterone done this would look at both of these.
However for the LH FSH and free testosterone she would obviously need to be off the pill.

TandemFlux Tue 19-May-15 04:31:08

Yes I was wondering about polycystic ovaries too

Gym sessions can bulk people up if they do lots of weights. Aerobic excersise is better for weight loss.

Also has she ever tried the app called 'my fitness pal'. It might help her work out if her intake is too high/low.

RonaldosAbs Tue 19-May-15 04:48:23

TandemFlux - You don't get bulky from normal weight use, strength training is actually very good for weight loss, please don't perpetuate that myth. Strength training is key for a toned strong body.

OP, being overweight can mess with your periods in itself. Also, she is eating more than she is burning off if she isn't losing weight doing the regime you describe. Smoothies, salads etc are arbitrary and not healthy by default, a "smoothie" could have 50 calories, or it could have 500 depending how it's made etc.

Medical conditions don't make as much of a weight loss difference as people would have us believe, yes some can make it harder to lose weight, but only slightly, but if she hasn't lost a significant amount of weight on the regime you describe, she is still eating too much, whether in front of you or not.

Plarail123 Tue 19-May-15 05:11:27

Does she drink alcohol? Loads of calories in that. She should try no booze for a month. Also you need to work hard in the gym for it to work.

mum2cjt Tue 19-May-15 05:25:14

Although the problem of insulin resistance which will cause higher insulin levels will tend to make you store what you take in.
It is a bit chicken and egg though as it is the central fat that is metabolically acvtive and resists insulin but this is where fat is stored when insulin levels are high.
Also due to the way fat effects hormone levels this can also mess with periods.

CaptainZoot Tue 19-May-15 06:28:33

Sounds like a thyroid problem to me, hypothyroid is very common and it makes losing weight a struggle. It can sometimes wreak havoc on the menstrual cycle too. Her GP will be able to order simple blood test for this.

Her hormones are out of whack, this is extremely common and diet is a huge factor. The contraceptive pill won't help in the long term, it does irreversible damage to gut flora which will exacerbate things even more.

A typical 'diet' for losing wieght is low fat, high sugar and full of processed carbohydrates (think Muller yogurt, 'healthy' wholegrains and lots of cereal etc). This is a disaster for a digestive and metabolic system which was designed to run on healthy fats and protein.

Find a diplomatic way to get her in for a blood test. If she's willing, a grain free and sugar free diet will guarantee weight loss and restoration of endocrine/metabolic balance.

mum2cjt Tue 19-May-15 07:00:28

Yes sorry, worth checking TFTs too, but make sure TSH and T3 and T4 done too as better to look at the whole picture

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