Monday, February 26, 2018

Weight Loss and Arthritis

Weight loss through diet and exercise may be an effective treatment for arthritis, specifically, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. First of all, there are important differences between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis. “RA is an auto immune disease. That means the immune system attacks parts of the body.” Whereas “osteoarthritis results from “wear and tear” on your joints ... .“ Osteoarthritis can result from injuries, age or obesity. Weight loss, or at least, maintaining a healthy weight can improve the symptoms of RA and osteoarthritis.

For a time, it was believed that obesity actually lowered the risk of death from rheumatoid arthritis. However, that belief may be in error based on one study. Indeed, maintaining a healthy weight may be warranted when a person has rheumatoid arthritis. One of the researchers of the study indicated that healthy weight loss may be beneficial to RA patients.

And with respect to osteoarthritis, one report suggested that "obese individuals have significantly more severe joint degeneration in the knees compared with normal weight or underweight individuals." Further, the report concluded that "Weight loss can prevent onset of osteoarthritis, relieve symptoms, improve function and increase quality of life."

And in another study, where 380 overweight men and women were investigated in a 96 months analysis, it was found that "cartilage degeneration was significantly lower among people who lost weight through diet and exercise or diet alone. [However,] weight loss through exercise alone showed no significant difference in cartilage degeneration..."

So, weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight can be beneficial in the treatment of arthritis. Healthcare providers can use this information in counseling sessions. The providers can advise patients that weight loss and weight maintenance can improve the symptoms of arthritis -- especially rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Knowing that there is something that patients, suffering from arthritis, can do to relieve the symptoms of arthritis can be very helpful to the patients.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Childhood Obesity and Asthma

Childhood obesity creates many problems. Those problems exist in childhood, and may continue into adulthood. The problems include hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and other illnesses. One illness that often receives little attention in relation to childhood obesity is asthma. It has long been believed that obesity during childhood can have negative effects on asthma, and now more has been uncovered about the childhood obesity-asthma relationship.

One study concluded that what a mother eats during pregnancy, and what a child eats during his or her early live can raise the risk of asthma during childhood.  If a mother consumes drinks with high levels of sugar and fructose corn syrup while pregnant, and if the child consumes large quantities of sugar and fructose corn syrup in drinks, the child's risk of asthma increases.

Indeed, the researchers performing the study indicated that "women who consumed the most soda and sugary beverages during pregnancy were 70 percent more likely to have a child diagnosed with asthma by mid-childhood than mothers who never or rarely had sodas during pregnancy." Further, the researcher suggested that "kids who had the most total fructose in their diets earlier in childhood were 79 percent more likely to develop asthma than children who rarely or never had fructose."

And some of the consequences of asthma on a child during his or her childhood have been established. It has been determined for example that "Compared to healthy-weight peers, asthma sufferers who were untreated and overweight suffered 37 more symptom-days -- more than five extra weeks -- per year."

So, healthcare providers should counsel patients on the risks of sugar sweetened beverages to children in general, and the asthma risks in particular. The providers should counsel pregnant mothers to limit their intake of sugar sweetened beverages, and discourage the use of sugar sweetened beverages by their children. 

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