Insensitive Endo

I was diagnosed almost three months ago with type 1. I have always been thin, about 55 Kg. I lost about 8 kilos before i was diagnosed, bringing me to 47. Anyway, in the last three months since being on insulin i have put on 12 kilos and am 59 kilos. only 4 kilos heavier than i have ever been…

So, i went to see my Endo the other day for my check up and she goes… ‘well, you’ve put on a bit of weight. You don’t want to keep putting it on at that rate, do you?’

I was already a bit sensitive about it and have been trying to eat better food when trying to control hypos. I am hardly taking any insulin as i’m in the honeymoon period and i keep having hypos even after only having 3 units with my meal. It’s hard to exercise because i will almost always have a hypo. My dietitian keeps telling me to eat eat eat.

After hitting me with that blow my Endo didn’t give me any advice on what I should do to fix the situation. I left feeling hurt and confused.

Have any of you dealt with a situation like this? Or had an insensitive Doctor say something to upset you?

I have not been in this exact situation, but I won’t let that stop me from making a suggestion.

Next time, instead of keeping quiet and feeling hurt, tell your endo what you just told us. In short, never leave the doctors office hurt and confused. Don’t leave until you fully understand the plan of treatment and you’re sure the doctor understands, too.

Your endo needs to know this stuff. It sounds as if the doctor doesn’t know you were trying to regain lost weight, but that’s something she should know. She should also know that you’re working with a dietician. If she didn’t know this stuff then she SHOULD be concerned about the rate of your weight gain, she was right to say something about it and you should have clued her in. If she does know about it, you need to tell her to bring in the dietician so the three of you can work together and decide how quickly you should gain weight, for how long and to what point. That way the dietician and the endo won’t be giving you conflicting advice and you won’t be confused.

it can be difficult to speak up to a doctor because many of us have been conditioned to put them on a pedestal. They know more about medicine than you do, but they don’t know as much about YOU as you do. You have to tell them. You are now going to be working with doctors perhaps more closely than you ever have before, so you need to learn to speak frankly with them.

I had trouble with being too timid with my physicians at first and it was tough to speak up. But once I did it became easier and easier. The doctor is part of the team - you’re in charge - the endo works for you. If they say something you don’t like, or something out of ignorance - like not knowing that you are trying to regain lost weight - you have to tell them.

YOU have to tell them. You HAVE to tell them.

I’m sorry to sound school marmish or shrill - some people are advocates for different aspects of diabetes care, I advocate for the patient taking control of the physician/patient relationship.


I gained about 45 pounds in 5 or so months after diagnosis… I was on way too much insulin and low all the time, and I think that for me, stress is a serious contributing factor of weight gain. I also think it takes your body a little time to get used to the change. After about a year, my weight had gone back to normal on its own.

Your endo was out of line, but probably didn’t understand what a sensitive point it was. Physical body changes that are out of our control are really awful, and stressful, and complicated. Do you think it would help to tell him how you feel?

If you feel like he is disrespectful in other ways, or if he’s insensitive about more than just the weight thing, could you find a new endo?

Best of luck to you. You’ll be fine… just give your body some time to get used to all this new stuff! :slight_smile:

It’s sometimes hard to say with doctors. It could have been an insensitive remark or maybe not. Tell him the next time, and if you’re uncomfortable talking to him, look for a new endo. Communication is essential with your management plan. Yesterday, I was at my endo, and he is leaving the practice so I was bummed. He’s been great. We got to talking about any other endo recommedations, and I thought how great it would be if you actually went to an endo who had diabetes. I believe no one truly understands this unless you are living with it or possibly a parent caring for a child, who is still young enough to be dependent. My point is is that some doctors really don’t have a clue and may say someting insensitive just because they have no idea what living with diabetes is about.

I’d tell him how wrong that is for him to say such a thing. Of course you’ve gained weight. Most people have lost a lot of weight before diagnosis because their body was feeding off of their fat for energy. My son lost 1/3 of his body weight! I would only say something instead of never seeing him again because he could say such a nasty thing to another new patient. You do have to have confidence in your doctor, but I know how hard endo’s are to get sometimes. I’ve gone through a similar thing with my sons pediatrician, which is a whole nother thread but he thinks he’s an endo, tried to take over, and he told me that mercury in vaccinations are great for the body (he wanted Tony to get 8 vaccines within a week of him being home from the hospital)! So I’m trying to find another one, but of course I corrected him on what he’s told me.

You actually bring up another good point. In this day and age with a lot of information out there, you almost have to be your own doctor or question, question, question when your doctor wants a course of action. A few years ago, one endo wanted me to start a med, and I saw no reason for it. Being in the scientific field myself, I told him I’d read up on the study. It turns out the key pivotal study was sponsored by the pharmaceutical company wanting doctors to recommend this particular med! I couldn’t find one independent study. But then again, look at the visitors in the waiting room the next time you are there. 9 times out of 10 you’ll see a well dressed person briefcase in hand who just happens to be a pharmaceutical rep.

exactly! My grandmother was on a med that her doctor said was necessary. They could barely afford it. My grandfather went to a local senior center for help, the aide asked him to look around the doctors office and notice pens, papers, pamphlets-they all were advertising for this particular med! They switched docs and he said that this particular med wasn’t needed and they now can afford luxuries like food and shelter-sad how they take advantage of people like that!
When I was a teen I had digestive problems and a doctor prescribed me some pills to help. My mom picked up the prescription, read into it and he prescribed me a med for schizophrenia!

Have I ever had an insensitive Doctor say something to upset me?

YES. My fave remains the woman doctor, who when I limped into her office with my leg numb up to the knee, greeted me by saying, “What a day! You’re my 3rd disk this morning” like it was hilarious. Then gave me a sheet of back exercises, told there wasn’t anything else she could do about it, and then ushered me out of the office with this cheery exit line: “Call me if you lose bowel or bladder control!”

Like I wouldn’t??? you can imagine the fun I had over the next few weeks waiting to see if it would happen to me!

It was only 10 years later than I learned that studies have documented that this happens, literally to one person in OVER a million.

And then there was the dermatologist who took one look at my 4 year old son who looked a lot like a tree covered with red bark at the time and informed me he had an inherited genetic disorder for which there was no cure and would be like this for the rest of his life. Next patient!. Both his father and I felt like monsters for a month for giving him that kind of gene. Fortunately, I took him to an allergist for something else and he explained–correctly–that all he had was an unusual reaction to poison ivy! And cleared it right up.

People like these are menaces.

When I was fifteen, my new, female endo told me, “You want to be careful about putting on weight. It’s almost swimsuit season!” It was a sign that we weren’t ever going to get along. At my appointments, she spent all her time trying to get me to admit to having sex so she could give me a talk about diabetes and sex. Our whole relationship was antagonistic.

It’s hard to know what to say when someone says something outrageous and doesn’t even realize it. Obviously, your weight is your doctor’s concern, but the way he brought it up was insensitive and condescending. It’s helpful to always be prepared with an “I can’t believe you said that” in an unemotional tone.

I met someone who trains doctors to give physical examinations last weekend. She said that part of her job was to tell the trainees when the way they said something made her uncomfortable. Doctors have to walk a very thin line discussing sensitive subjects, and they’re bound to make mistakes. We can help them by pointing out when they’ve made us uncomfortable.

In my opinion, all doctors need to have a pretty high EQ. They deal with people on a day to day basis and not being able to be tactful and stuff will land them in hot soup with us.

I put on more weight than expected when I was on insulin. And after hearing your story I’m truly thankful that all my endo said was “just try to lose some of it” (I’m slightly overweight, but since I began on Metformin it’s going down slowly) and explained that being on insulin makes it harder for me to lose weight. She understood that I needed to snack at times.

The most uncomfortable I’ve felt with a doctor is with a male gynaecologist. But I reckon that is because I’ve got some sort of a bias against them. Heh.

I would definately tell him how that made you feel, next time you go in. While it was a little harsh, it may not have been meant that way. My endo has two sides, the really friendly side, and the down to business - do what I say - tone. I’m not a fan of the second, but I also realize that’s his way of trying to getting through to me. I can be a bit defiant at times, and I actually need this approach. Your endo may not be sensitive to how you need to hear things or how you react. I think that is why it is important to let them know. If after talking to him, he still continues being insensitive, I would consider a change.

I’m biased against male gynos, too. It’s bad enough when a woman says, “you’ll just feel a little pinch.” (It sure isn’t for me). If a man said that to me, I’d probably say, “you’re just going to feel a little kick.”

I think it’s time for a new endo!

My endo is a she. Don’t know if that makes any difference. :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the advice everyone. I totaly need to let her know she offended me next time i go. I guess some people communicate differently. And some people your just never gonna get along with… and some poeple are just tactless. :slight_smile:

Wow, I’m even more surprised at how insensitive she was, now knowing the doc was a woman. Maybe she thought she could be that way because of her sex, but usually I would think they would be more aware of the female-weight sensitivity thing!

Very good … don’t you love it when Doctors make fools of themselves … I have a doctor recently tell me that, because I took so little insulin that I must make some of my own insulin ?? After 49 years of being a type 1 diabetic and taking injections sense I was three. I said, ahh … I didn’t and he replayed … I did. So I said (playing dumb) isn’t there a test that would show whether I did or not. so of course, the blood work showed that I did not make any insulin. Amazing

My son lost 20 pounds at diagnosis and this was on a thin frame. He gained back 25. That was a good thing. From your photos you look healthy! I would also talked to your doctor. You have to be your own advocate. I have had many doctors make bad decisions and give bad diagnosis - a pediatrician told us my younger son was a healthy boy with a single kidney (after finding out he only had one) - turns out he had reflux - I took him to a pediatric urologist on my own and this was found. Recently a family doctor was sending my husband to physical therapy for his shoulder when in fact the MRI showed his bicep tore from the bone near his elbow where the pain was! If there are other doctors in the area and you continue to feel there is a disconnect in the patient/doctor relationship, you always have the option of finding another doctor. Ultimately, you are in charge of your own health. :slight_smile: And we love my son’s endo by the way. :slight_smile:

Here’s my ID story.
About 6 years ago I had a very bad trek through retinopathy. (I’ll preface this by saying that currently I can see fine.)
Anyway, within the span of an hour I found out that I had a detached retina, would need surgery the next day and would have to recover by laying face down, not moving, for the next seven days. The doc said that at least I didn’t need general anesthesia - I’d just be sedated.
Later that afternoon I got a call from the surgical nurse to go over some of the details about the next day’s operation. She said “ok, now it says that you are going to have general anesthesia, so it’ll take awhile to come out of it”. I told her that no, I was not. We argued back and forth and I agreed to call the doc’s office.
When he got on the phone, he yelled impatiently, “I changed my mind - you’re TOO EMOTIONAL to just be sedated - we have to knock you out so I can do my job”. He then hung up the phone.
Well, now, I have no idea what else was going on in the office that afternoon. I only knew that I was shocked and terrified, and just trying to understand all that was going to happen the next day. Of course I was emotinal. That f–khead.

All I can say now is that the surgery was successful and I recovered well…but, his attitude needed some improvement.

I’m glad that outcome was good, but I can’t believe after that phone call, you let the man operate on you! That’s inexcusible.