Indeed, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are two of the worst side effects of obesity but there is another side effect that’s been ignored completely and its arthritis. Arthritis remains one of the most common but least understood diseases. In fact, it is not one single disease but an umbrella term used for joint pain/diseases. Obesity has the ability to increase the risk of some forms of arthritis while making all forms of arthritis worse.
The Fatty Connection between Joints
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis remain the top-most forms of arthritis affecting most of the world’s population.
Osteoarthritis (OA): Physicians advise patients to lose weight before knee pain strikes them. Its not rare that knee pain or joint pain strike overweight people and it seems 100% logical. When we apply more pressure on the joint there is more stress onto it and this makes it wear away faster than expected. Your weight determines how much stress you impose on joints, especially those such as the hips and knees, in common any weight-bearing joint. To make this simple, for every extra kilogram of weight you carry there is about 4 kilograms of pressure forced onto the knees. If you are 10 kilograms overweight then you are exerting 40 kilograms of extra pressure on the knees. This is definitely huge and there is no doubt that your weight-bearing joints are sure to suffer from early damage. This surely makes any obese/overweight person at a maximized risk of osteoarthritis. Moreover, the fat also releases chemicals that promotes inflammation and these chemicals surely promote the development of OA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): In RA, our own immune system attacks our joints causing inflammation anywhere in the body and resulting in joint pain. The chemicals that promote inflammation in OA are the same ones in RA too that affect various joints. RA can affect even those with a normal BMI as it has the ability to alter body composition such that the individual has more of fat and less of muscle. This makes it indispensable for the person to watch his/her diet and exercise plan. Individuals with RA are at a 50% increased risk of mortality due to heart disease and hence, ensuring to keep heart-related risk factors under control exists as the primary aim in RA patients.
A new study shows that obese patients have a greater chance of doubling their disability risk compared to those patients who are overweight. The researchers focused on more than 20,000 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and observed that extreme obesity was linked to rapid progression of the disease. Sadly, those who lost weight were at an even greater disadvantage of getting disabled rapidly, all the truer in the case of individuals who are thinner from the start. Individuals start losing weight as they grow old and suffer from illnesses. It makes sense when overweight/obese people lose weight intentionally but when someone loses weight without efforts it’s a sign of concern. Such unintentional weight loss is also an indication that the person is becoming frail and has every chance of catching hold of some new disability. When individuals lose weight unintentionally, it is required to put them onto strength training, physical therapy and other practices for avoiding disability.
Obesity may cause grave consequences in people with rheumatoid arthritis but there is an equal chance that people with immune system disorder can also become obese due to this disease. RA causes pain and disability which makes the patient sedentary leading to weight gain. But there is an equal opportunity that obesity can cause joint damage alongside RA. All these make us come to the conclusion that while healthy body weight is desirable it is ok to target being overweight too, for the time being when the RA patient is suffering from severe obesity problems. While the overwhelming concern about getting into overweight ranges from obese category seems on the cards why don’t you aim for the best with the help of the best dietitians and nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com who specialize in weight loss diets?
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.