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The frustration

Posted Jun 11 2009 8:11pm
I visited an endocrinologist earlier this week. I made the appointment a while back after my PCOS diagnosis. I figured, I should check out my hormones and see what's what; maybe a specialist would be able to give me recommendations, and maybe help me figure out if my weight issues were due to the PCOS or perhaps an underlying cause. This doctor was recommended to me by two different sources. I figured she'd have the answers.

Well, she saw me for about ten minutes (a marathon in terms of usual doctor-patient conversation times), looked at my family history, and told me I should take Metformin. Metformin is a diabetes drug which is apparently shown to help women with PCOS lose weight. But I didn't go in there for a weight-loss miracle (though the extra pounds were, as usual, in the back of my mind). She gave me an annual prescription, an order for some bloodwork completely unrelated to blood sugar levels, and said she'd see me in three months.

I don't think she realized that she was giving a frivolous prescription to a woman who is marrying into a family of pharmacists.

I consulted with my future brother-in-law and he told me that it was troubling that she would prescribe me a drug used to treat insulin resistance when she didn't have any data proving I was, in fact, insulin resistant. Not to mention the other factors that could be causing my weight-loss difficulties (stress, other hormones, etc.). He recommended calling her and asking her if I should get further bloodwork to analyze my blood sugar levels. I like this guy. He owns multiple pharmacies and also has the intelligence to realize how over-prescribed medicine is in this country.

After calling her office the next day, I got a return call from a nurse who assured me that Metformin is the first step in medication for a woman with PCOS, and I should go ahead and take it because it would certainly help me lose weight. But my gut (sizeable as it is) felt that something was wrong with being pushed blindly into medicating myself.

I don't have a problem with doctors. However, I do have a problem with someone who glances at your family history, looks at you, makes assumptions, and takes out a pen and prescription pad without a second thought.

This kind of treatment makes me wonder why I'm about to pay $500 a month to continue to be ignored by highly educated people in white lab coats. What is is paying for? The ink refills? Or perhaps the doctors' own medical bills, which they incur due to their overuse of their writing hands and subsequent carpal tunnel treatments?


So I'm trying a holistic approach, recommended to me by someone who went through the same medical school as any other doctor, but who also chooses a holistic approach to health.
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