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Benefits Of Weight Loss When suffering From Arthritis

Updated: Mar 27

Weight loss and arthritis 

When it comes to our overall wellbeing, it is important to maintain a healthy weight. Having a healthy weight reduces our risk of getting diabetes, heart disease and cancer. At the same time a healthy weight has a positive impact on our mental health. But did you know that it can also help ease our arthritis pain? 

Here are some of the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight when you have arthritis: 

Helps ease pain. Multiple studies have shown that losing weight has a positive impact on arthritis pain. A study from 2018 showed that losing more weight resulted in more pain relief. The study followed older adults with knee osteoarthritis who were overweight or obese. It was found that greater weight loss resulted in better pain relief then losing a smaller amount of weight. A 10-20% weight loss had greater impact on pain, function and quality of life than losing only 5% of the body weight. 

Reduces inflammation in the body. Because fat is active tissue that creates and releases proinflammatory chemicals in the body, reducing the fat stores in the body of an overweight person, will make overall inflammation go down. In a 2018 article published in Autoimmune Reviews, it was explained how obesity can activate and sustain all-body-low-grade inflammation. This type of inflammation can gradually increase and then worsen autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and psoriatic arthritis, as well as their associated comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease.  

Reduces the load on the joints. A study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism showed, that overweight and obese osteoarthritis patients who lost just 1 pound had a 4 pound less load on their knees. I have personally experienced arthritis with a weight of both 112 and 232 pounds and I can say, without a doubt, that the 112–119-pound weight is much more pleasant for my knees. Also, when I am at that lower weight, I know that I do not put too much stress on my organs, like the heart and liver, and I feel the inflammation going down as well.  

Lowers disease activity. In a study from International Journal of Rheumatology, which was published in 2018, it was clear, that overweight and obese arthritis patients who lost at least 11 pounds had three times bigger chance of experiencing a drop in disease activity, compared to those who did not have a weight loss. 

Greater chance of remission. Patients who have rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis, and are also overweight, has less of a chance of experiencing low disease activity or even remission. This was the conclusion of a study from 2017, which followed 3,000 rheumatoid arthritis patients. The study found that the overweight patients had worse odds compared to those who were not overweight, when it came down to achieving and keeping remission in their arthritis. 


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