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Customer Discussions > Weight Loss forum

Why is weight loss a cure-all?

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Showing 1-25 of 29 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 29, 2012 2:32:58 PM PST
I'm 22 with arthritis in my hips and hands. My doctor kept telling me, over and over again, to lose weight. When I explained to him that the pain pills he was giving me weren't strong enough (and irritated my stomach) to keep the pain at bay to actually workout he just repeated that I needed exercise and lose some weight. I've noticed a lot that doctor tend to tell patients that if they lose weight things will be better when that's not necessarily true? (especially with things such as arthritis). If anything weight loss (which I've achieved without exercise so far) has actually made my pain a little more apparent.

*Side note: While I know exercise would help my pain much more than weight loss will, it's not possible until I find a doctor who will listen to me and put me on the right treatment plan, not just shove pain pills at me.*

Posted on Feb 29, 2012 7:38:57 PM PST
While weight puts stress on you joints and contributes to arthritic pain, your problem is inflammation. You need to get on an anti-inflammatory diet quickly! Eliminate grains, legumes, dairy and sweeteners and I am 99% sure your arthritis will be ameliorated!

Posted on Mar 1, 2012 3:49:02 AM PST
Since I don't believe in diets (or eliminating foods from my diet) I probably won't do that. I can always see eliminating sweeteners (as long as they're artificial-why is everyone against natural sweeteners like fruit?) as they're not natural but those other things don't make sense to me. My greatest pain is in my hands...why couldn't the doctor see that I really needed treatment for that, not just my hip. I have no sign of damage on any of my joints btw.

Posted on Mar 15, 2012 7:20:00 AM PDT
I've lost about 60 pounds and have less arthritis in my shoulders and feet. Inflammation is made worse by expanding against extra bulge in the body. My knees feel much better when they are in motion. I had back surgery and my doc said on my last follow up that weight loss is the best thing I've done for my back. My meal plan includes dairy, legumes, and grains in addition to protein and vegetables. Sorry you are in pain.

Posted on Mar 15, 2012 6:23:30 PM PDT
Oh I know extra weight is bad for my body but my problem is that I don't weigh very much (I just started losing weight for some reason a few months ago and went from a tight size 10 to a loose size 8-everyone can tell I've lost even though I don't really see it in the mirror). So, even with my current weight loss, I've having more pain-like my shoulders just started giving me trouble a few days ago (like a deep achy feeling). My knees have issues sometimes too (like my cartilage is being squeezed). I don't know, I just personally feel that weight loss is not helping my pain at all and exercise makes it worse.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2012 12:24:49 AM PDT
Swedey says:
Then perhaps the issue isn't with the weight loss, it's finding a new doctor who can address your health concerns effectively.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 4:13:04 AM PDT
Eat lots of antioxidants for sure. Blueberries are great.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 4:13:56 AM PDT
I am sorry you are in pain from arthritis. I hope you feel better soon.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 6:44:30 AM PDT
I am going to find a new doctor soon. I just got off my mom's health insurance but have to wait until I get confirmation of my own in the mail to go to the doctor.

Posted on Apr 4, 2012 2:42:29 AM PDT
Alpha says:
Any extra weight puts a strain on your whole system- it makes your body work harder to do it's job efficiently. Your musculoskeletal system is strained from the extra pounds, which could have contributed to your arthritis issues. Losing weight is a logical step toward alleviating your pain. Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, natural pain killers. Combine the exercise with weight loss and proper diet, you will see dramatic reduction in your levels of pain. It's all connected. But the truth is that many of our medical issues can be controlled or eliminated through weight loss. Diabetes, heart disease, sleep disorders, even depression can be helped when people lose weight and start to feel better about themselves.
5 herniated discs in my back, my right hip has already been replaced due to degenerative arthritis. I once weighed in at nearly 300 pounds. After I decided to help myself out, the pain eased up. I noticed also that when I slack and start to put weight on, my pain comes back.
And try cannabis to help with your pain management... It won't upset your stomach.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2012 4:44:20 PM PDT
Swedey says:
Good. Be prepared to hear again that you need to lose weight if in fact you do. Overcoming obesity isn't just about feeling better. Good luck and I hope you find the help you need.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2012 6:10:25 PM PDT
It's not's that obesity is the excuse for things that annoys me. I'm not obese by any means-I never have been. I'm above what BMI says is healthy but my body can't maintain itself at that weight, nor do I want to be that skinny (b/c for some reason, when I hit the normal range, I get tiny). Thanks for the luck though! I'm going to need it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 9:13:14 AM PDT
TinkHerToy says:
I was under the impression that it's obesity that is the CAUSE of things, not an excuse. The science is there. Obese people don't want to hear the truth. It's too hard and too much work and too expensive and too embarrassing to change.

We're making lifestyle changes. Eating better when we can. Not stressing too much when we don't. Life is better when it's balanced.

Posted on May 18, 2012 10:10:53 AM PDT
I'm sorry to say but if you're above your BMI then you really do need to lose weight. My weight fluctuates (which isn't good) and when it gets close to the top of the normal BMI for my weight I begin to feel the aches and pains. You say that you're between a size 8 and a size 10 but you don't say how tall you are. You have to realize that the more weight that you carry means that there's that much more stress on your joints and your organs. I don't think that finding a new doctor is going to help you. If you are above your BMI then the next doctor is going to tell you that you have to lose weight and so is the one after that and the one after that. It's the same as if you were a smoker...every doctor is going to say to quit smoking. You need to stop making excuses like "my body can't maintain itself at that weight". Your body will maintain itself at that weight and you will feel so much better. Re-read Alpha's post and take it to heart...they lost the weight and feel better and so will you. If you need help losing the weight I can help you but until you face the fact that you need to lose nothing will help. Sorry to be so harsh but it needs to be said. Let me know if I can help.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 5:52:49 PM PDT
You obviously don't understand. My aches and pains started when I was young, well before I even gained weight. I was a healthy, active child who still had issues with my joints and muscles hurting. I went to doctor's then who continued to tell me it was growing pains. Being overweight isn't embarrassing at all. And losing the weight isn't either, it's just ten times harder to want to lose the weight, to get the energy to lose the weight, when you're always in pain. I worked out this morning and had to take pain pills afterwards because of how painful it was (I'm trying to avoid pills, if I have to take more in order to workout then what's the point). Obviously you've never been in serious continuous pain, at any weight, so I don't really need your opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 6:06:17 PM PDT
BMI tells you nothing. It's a big joke and if you do believe in it, then you're ignorant. I'm 5'6, between a size 8 and 10, I have curves (granted I have a stomach, but I also have quite a chest and a nice butt so when I say I'm curvy, I mean curvy). My body doesn't maintain anything under 160 by itself. I've tried to do it and it doesn't work, even when I'm working out regularly and eating right. Heck, I'm not even that big!!! I weigh 178...which I know according to BMI is overweight but when you have a significant amount muscle, you can't count on that. What really annoys me is that people who have never been through the constant struggle to just make it day to day and get out of bed and go about regular tasks, try to tell others that they're just making excuses. You have no clue and so you cannot say that someone's that they're not facing the fact when you've never went through what they're going through (everyone's pain is different-my happens to be a little more on the extreme side for someone my age).

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 4:40:53 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012 4:41:21 PM PDT
Swedey says:
How can you tell any poster here that you don't need their opinion when you started a thread on a public forum asking for help? And then they attempt to give you some help and you snot them down?

So what if she's off the mark? The wider you throw your net out for answers the bigger the catch will be. And amongst that catch could be a lead for you. People care.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 5:51:19 PM PDT
I was looking for real answers...not "you're overweight so you need to lose weight" answers. It's not all about weight and I was wondering if anyone else had similar issues. When you go to doctor after doctor and no one knows what's wrong or can give you an answer on how to exercise even though you're in pain exercising, you know they're just telling you something to get you out of the office.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 9:40:40 AM PDT
Swedey says:
Well go ahead and cut posters down who are trying to help you then. Be rude. See how far that attitude helps you in your search for answers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 9:49:24 AM PDT
Swedey says:
You're asking the wrong source btw. You need to visit a physical therapist. One who specializes or understands about chronic pain. Your local hospital might have some support groups too. Chronic pain support groups. While the group itself might not be helpful it could be a good place to mine informtaion. Just leave your snotty attitude at home though or no one will respond. I think sometimes people with chronic pain issues don't have a clue as to how snotty they sound. Nor do they even care. AND, people who've never dealt with chronic pain at all, don't cut them a break when they obviously need one desparately.

B!tching on an online forums isn't going to help you get answers although it might make you feel better inside for a moment.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 2:46:21 PM PDT
leila says:
I'm a doctor, and I'm going to do my best with your question. The problem is, you don't specify what kind of arthritis you have. "Wear-and-tear" arthritis (osteoarthritis) doesn't usually affect people as young as you, but it does hit younger and harder in people who are very overweight, because of the extra stress on the joints. So even if you have another type of arthritis (for example, rheumatoid, which is caused by the body attacking its own joints), staying heavy is going to add a second joint problem to your current one as the years go by.

Try this: Do a deep knee bend, as deep as you can. Now try it again, this time with a forty-pound bag of mulch or cat litter in your arms. Feel the extra complaint in your knees and hips? Now imagine how much happier your joints could be if you lightened their load with weight loss.

It sounds like you don't trust your doctor and maybe don't understand what arthritis is and how it's treated. I suggest you ask the doc to tell you exactly what type of arthritis you have and answer your questions about what causes it and what improves it. Then do your own research. Just beware of fringe treatments, New Age quackery unsupported by evidence, and people trying to make a buck off your desperation.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 3:05:07 PM PDT
Thanks. I don't trust my doctor. They don't listen to me and when I try to tell them I'm in pain, they act like I'm just trying to get more pain meds out of them (which I'm not-I'd rather not be on medicine but if I have to be, I'd rather it be something that doesn't make me sick to my stomach). Maybe they're weary to give me certain things because of my age but they should at least believe me when I say I'm in pain (instead of looking at me like I'm lying).

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 3:12:17 PM PDT
I'm really not trying to be snotty, or b*tchy. I just want legit answers. Saying "oh well, since your BMI is over normal, you need to lose weight" isn't helpful. Especially since BMI is so old school and doesn't account for things like muscle mass (which I do have plenty of). Assuming that someone who weighs over a certain weight needs to just lose weight and that's the reason for their pain is rude-it's like ignoring everything else about a person and discriminating them based on weight, which I've seen plenty of from doctor's already and don't need more of from online people I ask for advice from. If I had someone in real life to go to for advice, I'd go to them but I'm not lucky enough to have a support group of people who actually believe my pain is real (even nurses look at me and assume I'm just trying to get more pills). I'll take your advice though, and check out what the hospital has in terms of support groups. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 3:49:47 PM PDT
leila says:
From a doctor's perspective, here are some of the underlying issues that make medical people "look at you funny."

First of all, sadly, there are PLENTY of patients who fake pain in order to get opiates - either to feed their own addiction or to get fast cash by dealing and passing the addiction on to others. Doctors have to wonder about a person with unexplained pains, and be careful not to flood the neighborhood with addictive medicines.

There are also plenty of basically healthy people who have aches and pains -- very real to them -- with no objective explanation. We hate to start these people off on a life of pain meds... but on the other hand we don't have much else to offer a person with an invisible, inexplicable symptom. Sometimes depression, poor sleep habits, overweight, and anxiety are the true causes of pain. (This doesn't mean you're crazy.)

Next, please understand that arthritis has no actual cure. It can often be managed with pain meds and anti-inflammatories, but there isn't any magic bullet out there, that your doctor knows of but is withholding from you out of sheer malice. (You'll probably find people who'll recommend, "Avoid gluten!" or "Take chondroitin!", and hey, why not: anything's worth a try.) The doc is doing his/her best. He/she would love to "fix" you and send you away a satisfied customer, but can't. He/she probably feels anxious walking in to see you, knowing that on past visits you've been frustrated and disappointed and "unfixable". That makes the doc more likely to hand you a prescription and rush you out the door, because he/she feels helpless and 'on the spot' to deliver a nonexistent magic bullet.

Next, you are too young for osteoarthritis. If you have another type (rheumatoid, lupus, Still's Disease, whatever), there should be blood tests and xray data that prove it. If all your tests have been negative but you come across negatively as, "I'm miserable -- now cure me!" you will be viewed with less sympathy than if you adopt a positive attitude of, "I have chronic unexplained pain but I want to live the best life I can: with weight loss, gentle exercise, using pain meds as little as possible, keeping working, living a full life, and not blaming my doctor for failing to cure my mystery pain."

You have a right to respect and answers from your doctor. But she's a human being just like you, and the science of medicine doesn't have all the answers. I know that's disappointing to anyone in chronic pain, though.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 5:51:15 PM PDT
Thanks for you answers. All my blood work is negative (I've kind of been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia) and x-rays come up clean on every joint they test (my unexplained weakness and pain in my hand was what started it off). I did have rheumatoid when I was younger but those test have been negative since I was 13. I understand they don't want to just put me on stuff but I also try to stay positive about it. I try explaining the problem in detail so that they understand but maybe they really just don't know what's up. I know there's no cure all but something is better than nothing (i know part of it is my sensitive stomach but there has to be something out there). I'll keep trying to find ways to relieve it but I guess I just don't know how and am not getting the answers from doctor's that I need in order to help fix or at least help the problem. Thanks again. I'll keep your advice in mind when dealing with doctor's in the future.
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Discussion in:  Weight Loss forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  29
Initial post:  Feb 29, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 14, 2012

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