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I think my consultant has dismissed me because of my weight.

For as long as I can remember I have been overweight. I have to admit its a problem but I have never ever had a health issue due to my weight. I am not diabetic I do not have high cholesterol and I only eat out once a week the rest of the time all my meals are freshly prepared low fat meals. In fact I must be one of the healthiest overweight person I know apart from the MS that is. Yes I may be overweight but I am fit and healthy. My last biannual neurology appointment was last month and I have just come to the conclusion my consultant just dismissed my fatigue problem as me being overweight. As I have explained I am a fit overweight person. Since my diagnosis five years ago one of the biggest problems I have with my MS is fatigue. So having thought things through I have been doing a bit of compare and contrast between things I did five years ago compared to what I do now due to the fatigue. 1. I work in the same job and yes work has made some allowances as in I get my rest days together instead of single rest days in a week due to not resting properly. This I asked for a year ago as my fatigue was getting worse. And I have to say it helps. But yet I am still doing the same 10hr shifts at weekends and working 6-7 days in a row. Yes I do get tireder quicker but you know I have MS. 2. I am roughly the same weight as I was five years ago having recently lost 3st and you know what even with the weight loss my fatigue has not gotten any better. 3. I do not wash my hair as often as I used too because standing under a hot shower leaves me drained for the working day and I now leave washing my hair till my days off as I need to use the shower longer to wash my hair. And no I refuse to have colder showers. 4. I try every so often to get back into an exercise regime. I used to ice skate 3-4 times a week but balance issues laid that one to rest now I try swimming which I love and walking and yes for a while it helps but then I can have a week of bad fatigue and I end up back to square one. So am I being unreasonable by suggesting my consultant was in some way discriminating against me because of my weight, he blatantly told me not for the first time either that my fatigue is mostly due to my weight and not a symptom of my MS? Every biannual appointment I tell him about my fatigue and never am I offered any tips and now this last one just got me thinking. Should I change consultants to one that will listen and not just look at my size? Clare

hi clare

that sounds like bad relationship, have you pulled him on this issue?

its not as if you’re not aware of your weight.

i really dont know what to suggest, hope someone comes along with useful advice

take care

carole x

Hi Clare I am about four stone overweight and have been all my adult life since being diagnosed with PCOD as a teenager. My consultant has never once mentioned it and when I discussed the weight issue with my nurse, she basically said that MS deprives you of enough without worrying about diet too!! She also said that extra weight is useful for later on in the disease when you’re not hungry or have trouble with solid food. I guess what I’m saying, is that perhaps your consultant is focusing on the wrong issue ? Is he/she an MS specialist ? Catherine Xx

Clare,

He/She sounds like a prat. I am in the same boat as you - I am overweight but I go to the gym 2-3 times a week and I also go dancing. My fatigue gets worse because of the weather etc and not because of my weight - otherwise it wouldn’t come and go. And its not like fatigue is a not a well documented sympton of MS (sorry is my scarcasm showing!!)

I would ask for a second opinion - you know your body best.

take care and look after yourself

Kelly

Yes time for a change of consultant I think. I have been thinking this through for a while and this time I’m changing. Deal with my MS not my weight problem I know what way I tick not someone who only sees me for 5 mins every 6 months (or so). I’m going now to get a GP appt and arrange to change neurologist. Clare

Hi, I m appalled at your neuro for making you feel bad about your weight.

And yes, of course, it is possible to be overweight, if you go by the skinny charts.

There are lots and lots of heavier people, who are fit and well.

Your neuro is so wrong to dismiss your fatigue. We know only too well, that fatigue is a serious problem in MS, regardless of weight issues.

Your eating regime sounds very healthy to me and why shouldn`t you have a weekly treat anyway?

I also am a few stones overweight, but follow a pretty good healthy diet, with occassional treats. Being a full time wheelie user, it`s hard to get fit anyway.

So if it is possible to ask your GP for another referral to a different neuro, then go for it.

luv Pollxx

Gone Anon for this because it contains a bit of very personal stuff.

I used to very overweight. VERY overweight. (More than 25 stones at the worst point)

I had some health problems (Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure) but considering how fat I was they weren’t actually that horrendous (as my Diabetes consultant actually admitted). The big problem was that any health issues I had were always put down to my weight whatever they were.

I had terrible falls for no reaon that ended up with me in A+E but, even though, the doctors were recognising that there was something VERY wrong about a someone falling over for no reason (not tripping up, not drunk, not falling over running down a slope etc etc) it always got put down to me being “fat and clumsy”.

Statins caused me to lose all mobility in my shoulders and upper arms - I still can’t put a bra on normally - and that was put down to me being fat too! Although why that could be the cause of an adverse reaction to a prescription drug is still beyone me!

I then had a gastric bypass. Lost over half my body weight. And what do you know? The next time I fell for no reason and lost the ability to talk clearly I was immediately referred to a Neuro!

Looking back it is clear that I was having episodes of my RRMS for a very long time. The last couple of neuros I have seen agree that this has been the case too and that an earlier diagnosis might have given them some more room to work towards slowing down progression of my symptoms.

But for years (decades to be honest) no-one in the medical profession ever looked beyong my Body Mass Index.

Bad cess to the lot of them!!

Hello there.

I have been reading this post with interest and I would say that it is probably typical response fromyour neuro? I am not overweight, but I know very well that neuros are ready to rule out other things before they start treating you drugs and stuff.

For example, when I was going through the fatigue assessment, by neuro remarked that I was very pale. I said, that it is just how I look, and a blood test WILL come back normal and I am not anaemic. He said he wanted to do it anyway. Lo and behold, it came back normal. THEY need to be satisfied, that is the thing, and I reckon that if you are overweight or pale or anything else they can see, then they are going to respond to what they are presented with regards to the possibility of fatigue despite you knowing otherwise…

Steffi