The Connection between Obesity and Joint Arthritis

There is a strong connection between the body weight of an individual and joint disorders such as Osteoarthritis. Knees are one of the major weight-bearing joints of the body, and an increase of even 10 pounds of body weight, will cause an increase of 30-60 pounds of force with each step taken.

According to the data provided by National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the risk of developing osteoarthritis in overweight females is increased by four times, whereas the risk is increased by five times in overweight males.arthritis pain picture

One of the main connections between obesity and development of joint arthritis is that increased weight exerts an additional load on the joints; this increases the stress and thus hastens the process of cartilage breakdown. The additional weight adds extra pressure on the weight bearing joints and causes premature damage.

There is a hypothesis that excess fat in the body, which is an active tissue, creates and releases chemicals in the body, which promote inflammation. It has been noted that being overweight or obese is also linked to development of osteoarthritis in hands. These are not the typical weight bearing joints. This can be due to the chemicals released by fats, which cause breakdown of joints. For this reason, it is important that anyone who is already suffering from osteoarthritis keep their weight in check.

Besides osteoarthritis, the other condition which affects joints is Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is an auto-immune disorder, where joint erosion is caused along with intense pain. One of the inflammatory chemicals released by fats is called adipokines. These are responsible for promoting inflammation, which does not work well in cases of RA. However, there is one type of adipokine called adiponectin, which is good for the heart, as it has an anti-inflammatory effect on arteries. But, this particular adipokine causes inflammation in the joints.

Studies have also shown that excessive hormonal and cytokine dysregulation along with joint loading is responsible for developing osteoarthritis.

People suffering from RA also have another problem to deal with. Their body composition is changed due to RA, which causes more fat and less muscle in the body. This leads to weight gain.Weight Loss Straight Ahead pic

It is important to lose weight to reduce the risk of developing arthritis. A little weight loss can go a long way in providing relief to the weight bearing joints. Study has found that losing even 11 pounds of weight will cut down the risk of developing arthritic knees by as much as 50%. Weight loss can also help in reducing the pain associated with arthritis, according to a study.

Once the assessment has been performed for overweight or obesity, using parameters such as BMI, Waist circumference etc. weight management can be planned for the patient. Weight loss can be managed by changes in eating, behavior and physical activity levels. The patient should be made to understand that losing weight is part of arthritis management. A target weight loss of even 10% will help in managing the arthritis considerably. Once weight loss has been achieved, the next target should be weight maintenance.

Medifast Weight Control Centers can help you lose weight, which may help your joint pain considerably. There are 5 locations throughout the Valley, and initial consultations are free. Simply call (602) 996-9669 today.




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