Today, we did (6 moths ago) a fluoroscopic upper GI series on a patient, my age, who’s 700 lbs. I was so depressed when I saw her entire bare back with excess subcutaneous adipose tissue hanging in rolls behind her as she walks the hall into the fluoroscopy room. I rushed up to try to tie her hospital gown so she was not so exposed in public, but I was not very successful and she told me it’s alright. I looked down at her feet, and saw that her legs were red and scaly, likely from chronic venous insufficiency, and the flesh on her ankle literally spilled over out of her shoes. I felt so bad. I felt angry too. Angry at our government and schools for not educating us on healthy food and lifestyle choices.

Angry that our law makers are in the deep pockets of the big corn, big wheat, super processed food industries. Misinformation on what truly healthy diet is and purposeful lack and negligence on information against how harmful process foods are.

I’m certain that this 32 year old young woman has tried to lose weight, but how could she? When our government tells us that fat is bad and allowing all the food manufacturers to hide glucose everywhere in all the process foods from white bread, to chips, to sugary drinks.

Go to supermarket, notice how you are greeted with colorful boxes of food-like products (so processed that they are depleted of vital nutrients, and so enhanced that they are loaded with fatal toxic chemicals) that could last a lifetime with the amount of carcinogenic preservatives (some listed, some not even listed in ingredients, as FDA has allowed food companies to Not list ingredients < than a specified threshold percentage or weight.)

She is so young, she could have such a life. She did not become 700 lbs overnight. She must have tried, I know she did to shed weight. But she told me she thought fresh foods and vegetables are more expensive the than the ubiquitous process foods. It probably didn’t help her at all to have to walk to the every end of the supermarket just to buy some fruits and veggies, even when she was ½ her weight. She would have suffered quite a bit discomfort including joints pains from weighing 350 lbs and my height, 5’5”.

We modified the exam protocol for her because there is no hospital table that could bear 700 lbs. She had to stand while we use C arm to take images. She requested to sit down after standing for 2-5 minute interval. I felt her pain, only it wasn’t in my joints, it was in my heart.

After we finished the exam, I wished her good luck on her bariatric surgery and I shared that it would be great to watch a few food documentaries such as Food Matters, Fed Up. I told her how the food industry hooks us with sugar and use many toxic chemicals to stabilize their food-like products. I encourage her to go the fruit and vegetable sections and cook a few things.

I recently learned from the food documentary Hungry for Change that modern western people are not able to shed weight because they ingest so many toxic chemicals and their bodies natural response is store adipose tissue to buffer against the toxins and to protect vital organs from the toxins. Many of these preservatives, food stabilizers are fat soluble chemicals, in other words, fat can isolate the toxins from the blood (mostly water) and from the rest of the body. So when a human body is loaded with toxins, the body holds onto the fat or even make more fat whenever there’s an energy source, in order to store the toxins, away from the rest of the body.

So for those who try to work out really really hard, they are only burning some fat, against the body’s natural instinct to retain fat when there’s toxin around, and exposing themselves to toxins simultaneously.

Not only is it way harder to get the fat off, as one works against his/her body, but also the impact of losing some fat is not positive on one’s overall health.

So to achieve a healthy weight one should eat healthy, cleanse the body of the toxins from process, nutrition-less foods. When the toxins are gone, the body lets go of the fat it uses to buffer against the toxins. Additionally, when we stay away from the process foods and eat simple, wholesome fresh produce and protein sources, our bodies send signals of satiation as it gets the vital nutrients it needs. By switching from process foods to foods from Mother Nature, our body lets go of fat and let us know it’s happy and fed. Losing weight becomes a by-product of nourishing our bodies and protecting our bodies against toxins.

I hope the documentaries will empower her with knowledge to nourish her body appropriately. I pray that she will enjoy a full life as she is so young and has much to offer our society when she can get on her feet.

“There is in fact a stunning parallel between our physical morbid obesity and our financial morbid obesity.

We have expanded our lifestyle beyond control as a nation, 95% of sharing 5% of the national wealth,

and a great percentage of the 95% majority Americans are becoming the consuming poor,

forever buying, ever trapped in worsening poverty.”

It’s the same as the 700 lb 32 year old girl who was over-fed yet incredibly malnourished simultaneously. As a nation, we ought to start making healthier food, lifestyle, financial choices.

Don’t consume for consumption’s sake. Know the true value of what we consume, with our money and with our bodies. Our ultimate pursuit in life is happiness, joy, peace, of lasting qualities. Not fleeting sugar high followed by debilitating sugar crash, not the rush of endorphin from paying to possess a $500 purse. Let’s get back to our roots, create with our minds, help a neighbor out, gratefully take from Mother Nature, stop short-changing our bodies and ourselves with short cuts/processed food-like substances.

While we are conscious with our food choices and generally eat pretty healthy, homemade food from fresh produce and good protein sources, we give into our addition to process foods sometimes. We have lots of room to improve too. Will update you in a month on how we are doing.

Morbidly Obese & Morbidly Malnourished
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4 thoughts on “Morbidly Obese & Morbidly Malnourished

  • January 6, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Great post, thank you! I admire you for trying to see the issue from your patient’s point of view, rather than judging her. As someone who has always struggled with weight, I appreciate your empathy and common sense suggestions. You’re the kind of doctor I’d love to be able to work with. All the best!

    • February 23, 2018 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks, Sara. I hope you do meet truly compassionate doctors like my sister (the writer of the original post) was, in your personal healthcare journey 🙂


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