Why does my doctor want me to gain 15 - 20 pounds when my BMI is normal?
December 6, 2012 7:51 PM Subscribe
Female, 32. 110 pounds, barely 5'3. Why does my doctor want me to gain 15 - 20 pounds when my BMI is normal?
posted by kitcat to health & fitness (30 answers total)
I've been at this weight with tiny fluctuations for 6 months. This is a new GP. I've actually never had one before, the closest being my psychiatrist, whom I've seen at least 3 times a year for 7 years, and who has never commented on my weight, which has gone from a long-time standard 135 pounds to a post-pregnant 175 and over a year and a half down to 110. And I saw my psychiatrist last week. Data point: unconcerned psychiatrist is stick-thin. Concerned GP is by my eye-balling, moderately 'overweight' in BMI terms.
GP does not even know that my previous normal weight was 135. She does know that I lost 65 pounds post-pregnancy, but mostly intentional and maybe 5 - 10 pounds due to stress. Anyhow, who cares that I lost that much weight when it was over the course of such a long time?
I came to her with concerns about one cyst and two lumps (groin, armpit), which I am genuinely concerned about, but are likely nothing. I am a smoker. I've had bronchitis and have a bad cough. I am very visibly under extreme stress right now, probably come off to a doctor as anxious and depressed (mostly true), am not looking so great admittedly, and yes, am somewhat gaunt in the face, but that much of a weight gain? What would be the medical rationale if my BMI is 'normal'? I was in the middle of asking her why very meekly, but then my husband arrived and I was in shock and got sidetracked. She did say that BMI at lower weights in unreliable (I have no idea how true this is).
I would like to gain about 10 pounds so that I can look healthier. So, yes, for vanity reasons. Yes, I have some weight issues. Yes, gaining weight scares me a little. Yes, I am doing some depressive/anxious under-eating. But I don't understand a medical reason to gain any weight at all, much less 15-20 pounds. What is going on?