Being overweight or obese can cause or aggravate numerous diseases. These include heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and arthritis.
Statistics show that 23 percent of adults who are overweight are diagnosed with arthritis. And 31 percent of adults who are obese have arthritis.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey notes that obese women have four times the risk of knee osteoarthritis compared to non-obese women, and that obese men have five times the risk than non-obese men.
Being overweight or obese causes several problems related to arthritis, including additional pressure on the joints and an increase in inflammation levels in the body.
Weight loss surgery improved the symptoms of arthritis and, in some cases, eliminated the need for medicine. This study showed that six years after surgery 74 percent of patients were in remission and that 28 percent did not need medication.
Reducing pressure on the knees through weight loss means less pain when walking and being active or completing activities of daily living such as taking a shower, working, driving, cooking, working in the yard, or getting the mail. Studies have also shown that there is less inflammation in the body when a person loses weight.
The following are benefits of weight loss to prevent or lessen the effects of arthritis on the body:
- Reduce pressure on joints
- Ease pain
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce disease activity
- Improve chance of arthritis disease remission
- Lower uric acid levels and chance of gout attack
- Slow the degeneration (wearing away) of cartilage in joints
If you are overweight or obese, consider weight loss (bariatric) surgery as a tool to improve your health.
Sources: Center for Disease Control and Prevention; Arthritis Care & Research; Arthritis Foundation; Arthritis & Rheumatism; U.S. News & World Report; Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center; National Institutes of Health; Arthritis & Rheumatology