Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

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Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby satt » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:52 pm

I'm 18, and I haven't had a period for about 8 months. My doctor says I have to gain weight to regain my period, so I've been cutting back on running (going from 7 days to 5 days) and upping my caloric intake. However, the nutritionist I've been working with as well wants me to gain up to 108 lbs, which is a lot from 89 lbs, especially on my 4'11" frame. I feel like 97-100 lbs is plenty, and I don't want to gain more than that. But I'm not sure how to address this with my doctor. I'm working through some eating issues, but I feel as if my weight concerns are more from a general health perspective rather than any disordered thinking. I'm willing to gain at least 5 lbs (I'm around 92-94 lbs now) but I don't want to go over 100 lbs. Am I being unreasonable? I feel like 108 is too high for me. I just don't want to keep gaining past what I need to to regain my period.
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby blinki » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:37 am

I imagine your doctor didn't just pluck 108 out of the air. There'll be a reason they said 108 and not 100 and whether you are being reasonable depends on how valid those reasons are. The only sensible thing to do is to go talk to them honestly about your reservations first because it sounds like you won't do it if you don't agree on a reason why you should and second because nobody on the internet is a substitute for your doctor. It might not be a comfortable thing to have to address with them but I don't think there's much for it other than suck it up and do it.
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby tal » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:00 am

Do what your doctor says.
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby Hiking Fox » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:15 pm

Your doctor is probably advising weight gain up to what is regarded as a "normal" BMI in medical circles. Body fat is important for insulation and energy reserves, and getting fat in your diet means your body can repair skin, have healthy hair and form new sheaths for brain cells. In other words, a diet too low in fat can affect your ability to have healthy hair, skin and brain.

However, it is your body and you are perfectly entitled to choose to be thin. Humans are not cars on a production line; there is no ideal body and mental state for everybody.

You have approached your doctor, so you clearly have some health concerns that you want help with, but why is the doctor's advice so unwelcome to you? I think you should ask yourself some questions about this.

1. Did you seek advice while looking for a challenge, or did you want the doctor to back up your current attitude to your body?
2. Why have you decided to be what our society and medical opinion regards as really thin, and why are you asking strangers about it on internet forums? What is the underlying issue for you, here?
3. Could getting counselling to tackle any issues with self-image help you more than reading comments by concerned people urging you to do what your doctor says?
4. Do you love yourself and your body, or do you look in the mirror and feel ugly and "wrong"?
5. Do you have supportive friends, who love you unconditionally? Can you ask them to help you deal with any health concerns you have, while not trying to impose opinions on you?
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby Hiking Fox » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:25 pm

[quote="satt"]disordered thinking.


Also to add that the very concept of "disordered thinking" is ideological, not medical. Who has told you that you have disordered thinking? Are they trying to make you feel "faulty" and how does that frame of reference affect your confidence and independence?

If you are on a journey to overcome trauma from you past, as most of us are, there may well be some self harm, self-loathing and pain to overcome before you get there. The idea that you are "mentally disordered" is not helpful to this, as it implies that you are faulty, rather than that society's materialist, short-term values and traumatic personal experiences have harmed you.

Asking yourself deep and personal questions about your body image and what you want from life, then seeking out the people and resources to help you overcome your struggles can be much more helpful than feeling pressured to accept advice that you don't welcome or aren't ready for.
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby vCLaW » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:27 pm

4'11" and 100 lbs is well within the 'normal' range for BMI.
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby baldy » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:10 pm

It sounds like you have a good team to support you with your Dr and Nutritionist. As you mentioned you have eating issues, could you trust your Dr and nutritionist while you get your body back to health weight and your periods return?
"A wise man once said, "It's easier to buy smaller clothes, than to put on 5kg." ... Buzz
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby mouche » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:44 pm

Your weight doesn't sound ridiculously low for your height and age, particularly with predominantly endurance aerobic training. I haven't had a period for four years now, which I understood when I weighed 48kg (105.6 pounds) for 1m63 (5'4"), but I now weigh 53kg (116.6 pounds) for the same height. Generally my understanding is that it is low body fat is the trigger for amenorrhea (absence of periods), rather than just body weight on its own.

However, as Hiking Fox said, you are obviously concerned by what your body is doing, and the weight that your doctor and nutritionist are suggesting you gain is also not beyond comprehension, so if you can accept gaining that amount of weight, I would recommend following their recommendations.

Having said that, body issues are hard to deal with, and there is no point being healthier if you won't be happy with the way your body looks or feels. Symbolically, moving from a 2-figure number to a 3-figure number is a big step especially if you have issues with your weight or body image. So before you make any decisions, as the others have said, I would strongly encourage you to speak to your doctor and nutritionist about your reservations. If that doesn't put your mind at ease, or if they prove unhelpful, it might be worth speaking to a counsellor. I went to counselling when I realised I needed to gain weight, but just couldn't face watching the number on the scales go up.

In short, I don't think you are being unreasonable, but I do think it's vital that you make your doctors aware of your reservations, so that whatever you choose to do proves to be a success in terms of your health and happiness goals.
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby beforewisdom » Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:19 pm

[quote="blinki"]I imagine your doctor didn't just pluck 108 out of the air. There'll be a reason they said 108 and not 100 and whether you are being reasonable depends on how valid those reasons are. The only sensible thing to do is to go talk to them honestly about your reservations first because it sounds like you won't do it if you don't agree on a reason why you should and second because nobody on the internet is a substitute for your doctor. It might not be a comfortable thing to have to address with them but I don't think there's much for it other than suck it up and do it.


+1

Posts like these are one of the reasons I like this web board.
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby beforewisdom » Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:20 pm

[quote="vCLaW"]4'11" and 100 lbs is well within the 'normal' range for BMI.


That doesn't mean that it is healthy or optimal. The BMI was developed by the UN to help evaluate whether people were starving to death or not. The BMI is used as a standard because there isn't any other standard available.
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby loveliberate » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:30 pm

Just wanted to say that I really appreciate all of the solid, helpful & compassionate posts folks have shared here! :)
“I do not love the bright sword for it's sharpness, nor the arrow for it's swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend." http://www.a-human-right.com - http://www.aware.org
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby JP » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:36 am

hey just a thought, the goal weight wouldnt change what to do right now, right?

as in, this question only comes relevant a bit further down the line when you have already gained some weight?

would be good to hear about your progress, keep us updated please :D
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby Ombah » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:06 am

I'm 169cm tall and the last test I did said that my ideal weight is 62kg. My current weight is 52kg so I guess a doctor would tell me to gain weight. I have tried to gain weight since I was 15 but my metabolism is too good!
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby ColleenE » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:02 am

[quote="satt"]I'm 18, and I haven't had a period for about 8 months. My doctor says I have to gain weight to regain my period, so I've been cutting back on running (going from 7 days to 5 days) and upping my caloric intake. However, the nutritionist I've been working with as well wants me to gain up to 108 lbs, which is a lot from 89 lbs, especially on my 4'11" frame. I feel like 97-100 lbs is plenty, and I don't want to gain more than that. But I'm not sure how to address this with my doctor. I'm working through some eating issues, but I feel as if my weight concerns are more from a general health perspective rather than any disordered thinking. I'm willing to gain at least 5 lbs (I'm around 92-94 lbs now) but I don't want to go over 100 lbs. Am I being unreasonable? I feel like 108 is too high for me. I just don't want to keep gaining past what I need to to regain my period.


Hey Satt,
I think I remember your saying a few posts ago that you lost 20 lbs relatively quickly and this is probably what is causing the menstrual problems. Your doctor is basically asking you to put back on what you took off because he knew you were functional at that point. Your language "i'm willing to gain at least 5lbs" shows that your mindframe at this point is centered not on your health, but image. I know that's hard to change. Maybe you could talk to him about gaining 5lbs, and if that restarts your period, then that is all you need to put on. But if it doesn't, try to be open to considering more. Your body is telling you something is wrong. I struggled with eating disorders/body image distortions for many years and let me tell you if you don't get your period normally you will have much bigger problems in life.
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Re: Doctor wants me to gain too much weight?

Postby JP » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:26 am

[quote="Ombah"]I'm 169cm tall and the last test I did said that my ideal weight is 62kg. My current weight is 52kg so I guess a doctor would tell me to gain weight. I have tried to gain weight since I was 15 but my metabolism is too good!


can you write down for few days what you actually eat :)

the metabolism differences are usually quite small percentage wise, so that should not be stopping you! Differences in appetites are much bigger.
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