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A2-2) What if the doctor wants to weigh me?




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This article is from the Big Folks Health FAQ, by sharon@ecs.ox.ac.uk (Sharon Curtis) with numerous contributions by others.

A2-2) What if the doctor wants to weigh me?

What about getting weighed at the doctor's office? There's usually no
need for you to be weighed at the doctor's office if you don't want
to. Doctors want to weigh you every time you come into the office for
two reasons.

First, they want to keep track of whether you've had any sudden
changes in weight, as this is generally a bad sign. Sudden changes in
weight up or down should be reported to your doctor. (Even if you
don't weigh yourself regularly, you'll probably notice significant
weight changes because your clothing will fit differently.)
Unfortunately, some doctors assume that any loss of weight for a large
person is positive. If this happens to you, explain to them that you
were not dieting and this is not usual for you, and make them look
into it. Also, some doctors assume that weight gain by large folks is
simply evidence that they're eating too much. Again, insist that this
is not the case, and insist they run tests for conditions that could
cause it.

Second, they want to know your body weight so they can prescribe the
correct amount of drugs. However, almost no drug scales linearly with
weight, and the dosages for most drugs don't depend on weight at all.
If it turns out they need to prescribe you one of the few drugs that
they do prescribe differently for different weights, they can weigh
you then. Or they can ask you how much you weigh, if you know.

So whether you get weighed in a doctor's office or not is totally up
to you. Some people on a.s.b-f don't get weighed because they think
it is unnecessary, they want to head off possible lectures, or they
don't want to know what they weigh. Other people on a.s.b-f think
that being weighed is no big deal, provides the doctor with useful
information, and they do it without a fuss. How the people in the
doctor's office react if you refuse to be weighed may be a good
indicator of how a large patient will be treated in that office. If
they are not open to being educated, you may want to find another
doctor.

If you are being weighed, and you have an idea of what you weigh, you
may want to set the scale to the correct numbers yourself, rather than
weighting for the person weighing you to slowly increment the scale.
If you don't want to know what you weigh, there's no need to look at
the numbers on the scale. Look in the scales section in the Big Folks
Resources FAQ for how to be weighed if you're heavier than the highest
number on the scale. (People in doctor's offices should know how to
do this, but a surprising number don't.)


 

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