Arthritis patients often have weight problems. A person who experiences swelling and tenderness in their joints causing stiffness and pain has symptoms of arthritis. This condition often gets worse with age if left unattended.
There is a growing incidence of osteoarthritis worldwide. It is age-related degenerative cartilage in the joints. In addition to being related to a genetic element, this type of arthritis appears to be influenced by someone who is obese. Someone who has osteoarthritis and struggles with weight can experience joint stress.
Indeed, in rheumatoid joint inflammation, which occurs when the immune system begins to attack the body’s tissues, there is inflammation where there is limited movement.
According to Dr Chethana D, Consultant in Rheumatology, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore, there is more evidence that obesity and an increase in adipose tissue – fat cells in the body – tend to produce certain chemicals called cytokines or pro-inflammatory cytokines named. cause more joint problems if a person is obese because physical activity is limited.
“Cytokines are proteins that increase joint inflammation. The more obese a patient with rheumatoid arthritis is, the higher the levels of IL6 and other cytokines in the body. This will cause joint problems with further inflammation and damage,” says Dr. Chethana.
Another problem that a patient suffering from joint inflammation and obesity may encounter would be the treatment of rheumatoid and psoriatic joint inflammation with medication.
“Some drugs like methotrexate and leflunomide affect the liver. Therefore, when prescribing these drugs, we constantly monitor the liver and enzymes. Because they are obese, obese patients have impaired liver function, and moreover, it becomes very difficult to use these drugs, which work very well for joint pain, when they have a basic problem with their liver . Therefore, controlling obesity is very important for improving arthritis outcomes,” she says.
HOW CAN ARTHRITIS PATIENTS LOSE WEIGHT?
Effective weight loss for a joint pain patient involves a combination of exercise and diet. “A very obese person with osteojoint inflammation who would have pain in their knees should not be advised to run, jog and cycle as this will aggravate the pain and strain on their joints. They can engage in certain aerobic activities which can help them lose weight without putting too much stress on their knees,” adds Dr. Chethana.
He recommends walking slowly or briskly. “You can cycle locally and do indoor swimming or cross-training exercises. Water-based exercises in a hot water pool not only tone muscles, but are also a great way to lose weight slowly and effectively,” says Dr. Chethana.
Strength training of the upper limbs is advised. “They can carry weights of 2 to 3 kg if they don’t have major deformities in their hands. They can use dumbbells and do weight training,” she adds. When it comes to nutrition, Dr. Chethana recommends focusing on portion control and following a Mediterranean diet. “Any low-fat, low-calorie meal should be eaten alongside more protein from vegetarian sources or lean meats. Red meat should be avoided,” he said.
Also, some types of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory effects should be consumed. In addition to colorful fruits and vegetables, olive oil also helps manage joint inflammation on a weight loss journey. During this transformation, Dr. Chethana says weight loss can be extremely slow in severe cases of arthritis. “Most people are reluctant to start exercising. It takes a lot of motivation and hard work from doctors and family members,” he says.
However, if a patient manages to lose 5-10 percent of their body weight, the amount of pain will decrease by 20-30 percent, which can happen as early as 3-4 months.