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.



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