Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Acromegaly makes NYTimes THINK LIKE A DOCTOR column

Finally! One of the reasons I write this blog is because I want to raise awareness of acromegaly within the general public.  One of me dreams was to have acromegaly featured as one of the mystery diagnoses on the TV show House. There is a monthly column in the NY Times called Think Like a Doctor that is a real life version of the fictional plot of House- a patient presents mysterious symptoms that are difficult to diagnose, and after lots of trial and error, the cause of the patient's symptoms are finally uncovered.

Well guess what! Last week acromegaly finally made it! Here's the presentation of the mystery and the (spoiler alert, a little late I guess) long and winding process to diagnosis of acromegaly.

The diagnosis article asks, "How do we miss this disease?" I'll tell you: fat shaming. I attend an in-person acromegaly support group, and one thing I've heard from multiple acromegaly (and Cushings!) patients is that their diagnosis was delayed by years because their doctors saw that they were overweight, and then dismissed all their symptoms as a result of being overweight. "Go loose weight. You're fine." Weight already comes with so much judgement and assumptions in our society (people are "fat" because they are lazy, greedy, no self control, etc etc.), and here the overweight patient is blamed when really there is a dangerous underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed.

I hope that this article will help people realize that there are medical reasons for weight gain, and we should be more compassionate towards those who are overweight (including ourselves if that's the case!) because you never know what is going on with a person.

Thanks Carolyn from acromegaly.care for pointing the article out to me!