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Grrr! My GP! Help!

This morning had a phone call from my doctor's receptionist. She wanted to make an appointment for me to go and see my GP. I was a bit confused because I'm not having any ongoing health treatments (apart from the shakes!) and asked what it was all about.

She said 'the doctor has received some information from your chemist and would like to see you as soon as possible - are you free this afternoon?'

I went along and my doctor gave me a ten minute lecture on weight loss. She said that VLCDs were 'very dangerous' and that I shouldn't be on Lipotrim. She said I should follow a simple plan of eating low fat, complex carbs and exercise for half an hour a day.

I said that I had tried, and failed in many other weight loss programs - that my BMI was 32 and this made me obese and that Lipotrim was offered my many GPs, some hospital clinics and hundreds of qualified pharmacists. If it was dangerous, I didn't think it would be the case that this diet was so readily available for obese people from qualified health care practitioners.

She told me that there was, indeed, some disagreement on the nature of these diets and that she came down on the side of those who disagreed with the nature and existence of these diets. She was going to tell my chemist to discontinue any LT.

I said I disagreed with her and I would like a second opinion. In a flash, she went next door and brought another doctor from the surgery. She said 'This 27 year old man has a BMI of 32 and has recently started a very low calorie diet consisting of no food and a calorie intake of 550 calories a day. It is designed to put his body in ketosis. I have advised him that this is an unsafe diet and there are more effective and safer ways to achieve weight loss. He has requested a second opinion'.

She left the room - and the next doctor said almost exactly the same, but this time suggested maybe I should give Weight Watchers a try!

By this point I had been in my GPs office for 20 minutes. When I've been ill in the past - I'm lucky to get five minutes with them! I can't believe that now I've finally taken some responsibility for my weight and my health - all I'm getting is grief from my GP!

Eventually I ended up with both doctors telling me they will be instructing my chemist not to give me any further Lipotrim.

Arrrgh! Help!! I have no specific health problems, no diabeties, blood pressure is good etc etc.

Has this happened to anyone before? I didn't even realise that the chemist would inform my GP! I know I gave them my GPs details when I signed up... but I didn't know they would seek permission!

What can I do?!

Arrrgh! I can't stop now! I truly think this is one of the only diets that will ever work for me...
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S: 15st4.0lb C: 14st10.0lb G: 11st4.0lb BMI: 32.3 Loss: 0st8lb(3.74%)
How frustrating for you David, is it the only chemist in the area? I've found the medical profession like to stick together especially if they work in the same practice! I believe it's their personal opinion and you should keep with the programme if it suits you, where there's a will there's a way!
if its any help i dont think Prestwich tell your GP because mine certainly didnt know i was on it when i went in the other day, i know he is in the 50% who deffo dont agree with it but nothing got said so maybe just change pharmacies and do it on the sly .. but to be honest
I would talk to the chemist first they must be used to GP's who go mental over it when there is nothing to worry about

At the end of the day it is your choice to go on this diet your GP cannot refuse to treat you if you get ill tho he may suggest you find a new GP in which case contact the PCT , Salford Royal (Hope) ran the programme (until recently when the consultant left) and GP's referred to it so there cant be that much wrong with it!!

I work in a hospital i get a lecture every day from one of the consultants but i quickly shot him down today by pointing out that i couldnt exercise till i lost some weight as i weighed over 20 stones and it wasnt safe, i now exercise like a demon and my BP has also dropped so they cant argue there
I know! Aren't they awful!

I was wondering if perhaps I might go to a private GP (looks like it costs about £60 for an initial appointment which I think would be worth it!) and get permission from them?

I have enough shakes for today and tomorrow and I'm ignoring their advice to come off the diet immediately. You know she said I should go and eat large quantities of high carb food immediately to bring my body of out ketosis?!

That just shows how little she knows - after a period of no/low carb one should re-introduce carbs slowly - not bang them straight back into your system!

There are other chemists - but I'd still have to fill in my GP details so they would still find out about it.

I didn't even know that they would contact my GP!
That's really useful Gene - thanks.

I don't know what the protocol is about telling GPs - so maybe I will try switching to Prestwich. Even if my GP says no again - at least it will give me another week of shakes to find a solution to this.

Looks like I might be jumping on a tram to Prestwich on Wednesday!
David , there are private GP's who even dish out the goodies so you could possibly go and see one of them, there are deffo ones on the list on the LT website
I just spoke to Val at Lipotrim and she said that the doctor has no jurisdiction over the pharmacist and the he was a healthcare practitioner in his own right. She doesn't think he will stop supplying the Lipotrim.

Phew! Fingers crossed!


I will do this!!!
I dont understand this because im doing LT through my doctor and their fine with it. The only negative thing they said about it was that it doesn't always work for everyone. They think its the best thing for me and thats what my doctor said!
Just incase , i just called prestwich for you!
Asked them they said unless i was on any medication that caused concern to them they wouldnt contact my GP , made out I had an appointment tomorrow and was worried about a lecture!

Hope that helps


Gold Member
S: 19st4lb C: 19st4lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 46.3 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
I think we may have the same GP !! I've been going to Faith chemist by the uni and my GP gave me a lecture but I still went back to the chemist and "forgot" to mention what the GP had said and they continue to give it to me. Have you got any other health issues such as diabetes or similar as that


Gold Member
S: 19st4lb C: 19st4lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 46.3 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
may be why they are questioning it. Sorry I presed the wrong button. As an alternative you can go to the Alex hospital in Cheadle as they will give it to yuo as a private aptient and I understand its the same price for women (£36) but don't know for men. Good luck anyway
IMac! Yes! I think we probably do have the same GP....

Val at LT said that there were still many doctors who are opposed to VLCDs. She feels that this is outdated and ignorant of the medical research - but I suppose she would say that.

One thing I am sure of is that this is working for me - that's it the only thing that has EVER worked for me and I'm sticking with this come hell or high water.

Gene! That's so good of you to call them for me. I'm not convinced that the pharmacist will continue to give me the shakes - even though that's what LT advised. I'm pretty sure that they will follow the doctor's advice. So, if won't give me them on Wednesday - I'm getting straight on a tram to Prestwich!

Cheers for that!
surely they can't have the power to tell your pharmacist not to give you it on the grounds of 'they don't agree with it'. Yes if there was something medically wrong with you, but as it is her personal choice on whether she agrees with it or not she shouldn't have a say. I would speak to your pharmacist. Your pharmacist has informed your GP so as they can get permission on medical grounds, not personal choices of your GP. What a bint - i actually feel like slapping her and i don't know you or her!! LOL

good luck hun xx


Gold Member
S: 13st0lb G: 11st6lb
my pharmisist wrote to my gp just to advise them i was doing it never heard anything from them so assume that they approve hope you get it sorted at the end of the day everyone has the right to an opinion but it should be your desision, if lt was so dangerous surely it would be banned and not available at some nhs hospitals im for anything that makes me healthy
Vickie! I know! Isn't she awful! It totally took me by surprise. Also, don't you think they have more important things to worry about? If her precious 'eat low fat and complex carbs' diet was so bloody successful - why are over half of the country overweight?! Grr!

I was thinking of calling my pharmacist and seeing whether he would follow her advice or not - but maybe that would just rock the boat. I think I'll just turn up and say nothing - wait to see if he says anything to me.

Missy! Maybe that's what happens then. Maybe my pharmacist just wrote to my GP to let them know what I was doing and the GP didn't approve so called me in. It seems like it's not a 'permission' thing but more a 'let the GP know what is going on' thing.


Staff member
S: 18st2lb C: 16st3.5lb G: 11st2lb Loss: 1st12.5lb(10.43%)
Supplementary memorandum submitted by the Infant & Dietetic Foods Association (PAC 00-01/136)


The Infant and Dietetic Foods Association (IDFA) is the trade association representing UK manufacturers of infant and dietetic foods including formula slimming diets. Through its Slimming Foods Working Group, IDFA aims to promote high standards of safety and probity in the manufacture and marketing of slimming foods.

In February 2001, The National Audit Office (NAO) published a Report on Tackling Obesity in England which identified that:

  • — obesity in men and women has tripled since 1980;
  • — 1 in 5 adults is now obese, potentially rising to 1 in 4 adults by 2010;
  • — two thirds of men and over half of women are overweight or obese; and
  • — obesity in England is growing faster than in other European countries.

For the individual, obesity has severe health implications and is associated with a wide range of diseases including:

  • — coronary heart disease, including stroke;
  • — certain cancers;
  • — high blood pressure;
  • — diabetes;
  • — gallstones;
  • — osteoarthritis; and
  • — anxiety and depression.
For society there are also cost implications. The NAO estimated that:

  • — obesity costs the National Health Service up to £0.5 billion per year;
  • — total costs to the wider economy are over £2 billion per year;
  • — 18 million working days are lost due to weight related illness; and
  • — obesity caused 30,000 premature deaths in 1998 alone.

Obesity occurs when an individual gains enough weight such that it seriously endangers health. Some people are more susceptible to weight gain for genetic reasons, but the main cause of obesity is consuming more calories than we need in our daily life.

There are many reasons why this might happen including eating too much, increased sedentary lifestyle, age, gender, genetic and environmental factors. However, changes in dietary habits in recent years have contributed to a situation where we take in more energy than we need.

There are many effective ways to lose weight including increased physical exercise, drug therapy, surgery, dietary advice, and formula slimming diets. It is important to match individuals to specific treatments. Some of these methods are best suited to particular degrees of overweight and often more than one option achieves the best results.

Prevention is also important particularly as being overweight can lead to obesity. Overweight is also easier to treat than obesity, so methods of weight loss that really work are necessary even for the pre-obese.

The NAO report identified that only 13 per cent of Health Authorities have a plan in place specifically to prevent or treat obesity and that management of overweight and obese patients within the NHS is patchy. It also acknowledges that support and counselling are important elements in successful intervention. The NHS could not cope with an increasing overweight and obese population. Private sector options are, therefore, essential.

The NAO makes recommendations about the co-ordination of government policy on the management of obesity. IDFA supports initiatives on healthy eating and increased physical exercise, but these initiatives alone will not be enough. Overweight and obesity arise for a variety of reasons and require a variety of solutions. Clinically proven formula diets are one such solution. As proven safe and effective weight loss methods they should not be overlooked as one tool in the fight against overweight and obesity. IDFA seeks a national weight management policy that encompasses all successful options for losing weight—including formula slimming diets.

Formula slimming diets are nutritionally fortified and balanced, calorie restricted products which help individuals achieve an energy restricted diet without sacrificing nutritional requirements. They:

  • — provide guaranteed nutrition delivering exact energy and nutrient intakes without calorie counting or fuss;
  • — are clinically tested for safety and efficacy, are backed by 20 years of scientific research, and have been used successfully and safely by millions of people world-wide. Studies show that they can also be used successfully in maintaining weight loss;
  • — comply with European legislation and UK standards. European regulations specify the composition of specific categories of slimming products, labelling and advertising. Very low Calorie Diets, soon to be regulated under EU law, currently comply with Department of Health recommendations. Advertising is also subject to The Advertising Standards Association, British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion;
  • — are convenient and easy to use providing a temporary break from food preparation allowing time to re-evaluate lifestyle and re-educate eating habits. Many dieters find that the use of such products keeps them motivated to stay on their diet; and
  • — are palatable and enjoyable enough to be used for long periods—essential since it can take several months to achieve a target weight.

18 April 2001
Source: House of Commons House of Commons - Public Accounts - Minutes of Evidence

The Food Education Society

Reports on tasks

for scientific cooperation (SCOOP)

Task 7.3 – Collection of data on products intended

for use in very-low-calorie diets.

Report September 2002

Reports submitted on behalf of the VLCD European Industry Group to the SCOOP working group on very-low calorie diets between 1998 and 2001, consolidated 2001.

John Marks MA, MD, FRCP, FRCPath, FRCPsych Life Fellow, Girton College, Cambridge CB3 0JG
Jaap Schrijver . Manager Corporate Regulatory Affairs for foods for particular nutritional uses (PARNUTS) - Royal Numico NV

Marks and Schrijver

The above makes for interesting reading.

Love Mini xxx

Notice Important

As Lay people on the forum our advice is not medical and you should always consult your local Pharmacy/Doctor/Health Nurse.
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Gold Member
S: 13st0lb G: 11st6lb
i think it was in just in case i was ill or anything the doc knew i was doing LT in case it was anyway related
That sounds very frustrating- I know opinion differs on these diets, but that is a whole lot of drama for someone who is trying to improve their health!

At least your GP cares I guess!

For me it was weighing up the options- the potential effects on your metabolism and the consequences of rapid weight loss vs the health problems associated with being obese. Any sensible person can weigh the pros and cons, and if they chose to go ahead with the diet, they should be allowed to.
Thanks Mini. The problem with this kinda stuff is that as soon as I produce it - the doctor will produce a stack of stuff that says they are dangerous. It's so contradictory! Especially the gall bladder stuff...

Missy - yeah I don't mind that so much. It makes sense that my GP knows what is going on in case I get ill while I'm on the diet - or I have to go to hospital and then it's on my notes etc.

But I don't want to have to seek permission from her!


Gold Member
S: 13st0lb G: 11st6lb
totally agree people should hear the facts whether they are positive or negative and make their own mind up

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