Take Note Of All Your Meals Snacks And Beverages
Many weight loss experts recommend keeping a food diary. It helps to write down everything you eat including how much and when and review it carefully you could be eating much more than you realize, which could explain why the bathroom scale isnt moving. As you write in your food diary, be honest with yourself. A food diary is also helpful in tracking foods that may lead to flare-ups of your symptoms. Also, if you decide to work with a nutritionist, a diet journal could be a good starting point.
Body Weight Accelerates Joint Degeneration
Your weight-bearing joints are especially vulnerable to arthritis. The weight in your upper body puts pressure on your spine, primarily in your lower back. As a result, being overweight leads to facet joint arthritis in the vertebral joints.
Your knees and hips bear the brunt of excess body weight. Every time you take a step, the force that occurs when your foot hits the ground travels up your legs. Your joints then absorb and transfer that force, significantly contributing to the ongoing wear and tear that causes osteoarthritis.
Consider this: When you walk, the force on each knee is three times your body weight. When you jump, the load is 10 times your weight.
As you gain weight and add stress to your joints, the protective cartilage degenerates and wears away at a faster pace. Thats how you develop osteoarthritis.
What If My Patient Is Not Willing To Lose Weight
Because lifestyle changes are ultimately required for successful weight maintenance, your patients readiness to make these changes and willingness to commit to them over the long-term are crucial. Studies have shown that health promotion messages are most effective when specifically targeted to the patients level of readiness. For patients who are not ready to lose weight at this time, the goal should focus on strategies to avoid further weight gain through healthy eating and more physical activity. Because level of readiness changes over time, it is important to reassess motivation periodically. While you are respectfully accepting of your patients decision to not lose weight at this time, be sure and reinforce that when they are ready to lose weight, you will be there to support and help them achieve their goals.
Read Also: Is Broccoli Bad For Arthritis
Getting Weight Under Control
Helping your dog reach a healthy weight and maintain an ideal body condition is one of the most important things you can do to help manage his or her arthritis, improve and maintain joint health, and improve quality of life. Weight loss helps reduce the physical and mechanical stresses placed on joints. Second, when the lost weight is fat, fat cells produce fewer hormones and chemicals that promote inflammation which contributes to pain and discomfort.
Recent studies confirm the importance of weight management as part of an arthritis treatment program. Some of the most compelling evidence comes from a 14-year study of Labrador retrievers. In that study, dogs fed to maintain a lean body condition developed arthritis and other chronic diseases about two years later than control-group dogs . Researchers also noted that the heavier dogs had more visible signs of aging, such as graying muzzles, impaired gaits and reduced activity, at an earlier age than lean dogs.
In another study, overweight dogs with signs of hip arthritis back leg lameness were placed on a weight loss program. Not only did the dogs lose between 11 and 18 percent of their initial body weight, but their lameness was significantly improved. And in a study of obese dogs with signs of arthritis, dogs that completed a 16-week weight loss program lost at least 6 percent of their initial body weight. This weight loss was also associated with a significant decrease in lameness.
Study On Weight Loss Counseling Arthritis Patients
A CDC study found that healthcare professionals counseling for weight loss for adults with arthritis who are overweight or have obesity increased from approximately 35% in 2002 to 46% in 2014. Still, more than half of adults who have arthritis and weigh more than recommended are not receiving healthcare professional counseling to lose weight.
Healthcare professionals should talk to their patients about physical activity and nutrition options to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
A healthcare professional can talk to a patient with arthritis about weight loss options.
Recommended Reading: What Flares Up Arthritis
Do Any Foods Make Arthritis Worse
Some people feel that certain foods are bad for arthritis and that cutting them out helps with their symptoms. Some of the foods people worry about include:
- citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit
- vegetables from the nightshade family including potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, chillies and aubergines
- gluten, a protein found in pasta, bread and cereals.
Theres no evidence that diets where certain foods are cut out, also known as exclusion or elimination diets, are helpful for people with osteoarthritis. They have been shown to sometimes help people with rheumatoid arthritis, though the food that may cause symptoms is likely to be different for each person.
This could be for a number of reasons, including the person being allergic or intolerant to the food they cut out, rather than being directly related to the arthritis. If healthy foods are not affecting your symptoms, you dont need to cut them out of your diet.
If you want to try cutting certain foods out of your diet to see if it improves your symptoms, the important thing to remember is to speak to a doctor or dietitian first. Theyll be able to support you and make sure youre trying out the change to your diet safely. Some foods are present in things we dont realise, so they can also help make sure you really are cutting out everything you plan to.
Combined Analysis Of Women With Ra And Matched Comparators
Figure 3 displays the multivariable HRs for the combined analysis of RA and matched comparators with stable weight comparators as the reference group. In this analysis, the 95%CIs were wide at the extreme weight change categories due to low sample size, particularly for women with RA. Women with RA had higher HR for mortality than comparators in every weight change category. The highest HR for mortality for both RA and comparators was in the severe weight loss category. Women with RA and severe weight loss in the peri-RA period had HR for mortality of 2.92 compared to comparators with stable weight. Comparators with severe weight loss had HR for mortality of 2.21 compared to comparators with stable weight. There was no statistical interaction for RA/comparator status and weight change category for mortality .
Multivariable hazard ratios for mortality according to peri-RA or peri-index weight change, combining the RA and comparison cohorts into a single analysis .
You May Like: Psoriatic Arthritis Hands Rash
Vegetarian And Vegan Diets
Many people choose to take up vegetarian or vegan diets for personal, religious, ethical, health or environmental reasons. Generally speaking, vegetarians dont eat any meat or fish, and vegans dont eat meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and other animal products.
Theres no evidence that avoiding foods such as red meat can help with rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating a plant-based diet has lots of health benefits, but its important to make sure youre still getting enough nutrients and making sure that any substitutes for animal products are still healthy choices.
Some people find that a vegetarian diet does help with their symptoms but before you change your diet, you should speak to your doctor or a dietitian to make sure youre still getting all the nutrients you need.
Extra Weight Increases Joint Pain
Extra weight puts stress on your hips, knees, ankles, and other weight-bearing joints. The hips, ankles, and knees are your primary weight-bearing joints. The joints of your spine, pelvis, and feet are also considered weight-bearing, but they do not take on as much stress.
Your weight-bearing joints are responsible for holding you up and supporting your movement. They carry your full body weight and the more they are forced to carry, the more damaged they can become.
Articular cartilage is primarily affected by excess body weight. It sustains more damage in daily use when there is more body weight. When cartilage is worn away, the bones cannot move easily and there is rubbing of bone against bone.
In addition, it can also break down from overuse, injury, and daily wear and tear over time. In some instances, genetics might be to blame for the breakdown of joint cartilage, especially when it affects younger adults and children.
Both obesity and inflammation contribute to OA pain. People who are affected by being overweight have more joint pain than those at a healthy weight. But weight loss can help to improve pain and joint function, and lower inflammation.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Rid Of Arthritis
Unintended Weight Loss And Ra
Appetite loss with RA may lead to unintentional weight loss. As one member described, Ive lost about 1213 pounds during this time and I didnt need or want to lose weight.
Being underweight can be a concern for people with rheumatoid arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, weight loss doesnt always occur as a result of decreased appetite it can also be caused by the condition itself. The pro-inflammatory substances that damage the joints and tissues, such as tumor necrosis factor , can also lead to:
- Muscle wasting
- Weight loss, a condition known as rheumatoid cachexia
If you dip below a healthy weight or experience symptoms of rheumatoid cachexia, your doctor may prescribe a TNF inhibitor to control your RA. They may also recommend healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating a balanced diet and not smoking. Additionally, your doctor may suggest that you start a regular exercise routine, or they may refer you to a physical therapist to find exercises that will build muscle without causing undue stress on the joints.
Side effects of medications and complications from RA can also cause weight loss. It is important to discuss any weight loss or decreased appetite with your physician. They will be able to determine the cause of the weight loss.
Diarrhea And Weight Loss
Diarrhea refers to stools that are loose and watery. Loose stools may be accompanied by changes in bowel movements, including increased frequency and/or urgency or fecal incontinence. Over time, increased frequency of stool may cause weight loss.
Diarrhea can be either acute, persistent, or chronic. Acute diarrhea lasts less than two weeks and is one of the most common illnesses in the United States.
Diarrhea that lasts between two to four weeks is considered persistent. Diarrhea that continues for longer than four weeks is characterized as chronic. Chronic diarrhea affects an estimated 5% of the population at any given time.
Also Check: Rheumatoid Arthritis And Itching
Mortality Rates After The Early Ra Or Matched Index Period
In the RA cohort, there were 371 deaths during 16,007 person-years of follow-up after the early RA period years, Table 3). In the comparison cohort, there were 2,303 deaths during 150,074 person-years of follow-up after the early index period years). The RA cohort had higher absolute mortality rate across all weight change categories than comparators .
Weight Change During The Peri
Table 2 shows the proportion of women in each cohort that were in each category of weight change during the peri-RA/index period. Stable weight was most common in both cohorts . More women with RA lost weight than comparators . A similar proportion of women in both cohorts gained weight during the peri-RA/index period .
Read Also: How To Reduce Arthritis Swelling In Fingers
Are There Any Foods That Help With Arthritis
Theres no specific food that will help with arthritis. But some people feel that certain foods help reduce their symptoms.
Making changes to your diet might help you, but this shouldnt be done instead of treatments youve been given, and its a good idea to speak to the person treating you before making any big changes.
Many foods have been said to help with arthritis or have anti-inflammatory effects. However, theres no evidence that things like apple cider vinegar and manuka honey can improve symptoms, and they can be expensive. Some people say they have helped, so theres no harm in trying them, but you should keep an open mind about whether theyre helping you or not.
Its important to have a healthy, balanced diet when you have arthritis, but there are some foods, vitamins and nutrients you may need to make sure you get enough of, to reduce the chances of other health problems, which are covered in the following section.
Resolve To Lose Weight To Reduce Arthritis Pain
Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for overall health. Most Americans know its importance in reducing risks of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. However, many may be surprised to learn excess weight not only exacerbates pain from arthritis, but significantly increases the risk of a patient developing arthritis in the first place.
According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five Americans has been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. However, that number jumps to one in three among obese people. Studies have shown obese women are at nearly four times the risk for osteoarthritis of the knee compared to non-obese women. For obese men, the risk was nearly five times greater.
There are two key reasons to explain the connection between obesity and arthritis. First, excess weight increases the load on the joints, particularly on the hip and knees, causing wear and tear of the cartilage. While walking across level ground, the force on your knees is the equivalent of 1½ times your body weight. Going up and down stairs, that number increases to four to 10 times your body weight. That means a 200-pound man will put from 800 pounds to 2,000 pounds of pressure on his knees while climbing the stairs.
Dr. Matthew Levy sees patients in Solon, Independence, Warren and downtown Cleveland. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Levy call 440-349-7137.
Read Also: Rheumatoid Arthritis Thigh Pain
How Your Weight Affects Inflammation
Cytokine levels are already high when you have inflammatory arthritis obesity takes it up a notch. In fact, a research review of 329 studies found that obesity can lead to more active and severe rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.
Extra weight also places increased pressure and stress on the joints, which can worsen the pain and stiffness associated with inflammatory arthritis, says Dr. Andrews. Plus, obesity may also impact how well your meds work. One study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research showed regardless of the type of initial treatment, people with RA who were overweight or obese were significantly less likely to achieve sustained remission, compared to those with a healthy BMI.
The basics to losing weight apply to everyone, whether you have arthritis or not: Eat a variety of fruits and veggies and choose whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. Watch your portions, have regular, balanced meals, and of course, exercise more.
One Brenda keeps her advice simple and to the point: Eat whole fresh foods! Get rid of the processed crap!
Here are 12 more tips to help you shed unwanted pounds and help your joints feel better:
Can Arthritis Be Spread
In rheumatoid arthritis, the bodys immune system targets affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling. The outer covering of the joint is the first place affected. This can then spread across the joint, leading to further swelling and a change in the joints shape.Arthritis NHS
Don’t Miss: Elevated Rheumatoid Levels
Staying Fit Can Lower Your Risk For Diabetes
Did you know the risk for diabetes is 50% higher if you have psoriatic arthritis? Inflammation in your body may be one reason why, but lifestyle choices like poor diet or inactivity can also play a role, says study author Daniel Solomon, M.D., from the division of rheumatology at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston. Consider that another nudge to stay active or talk to your doctor if pain is making it difficult to exercise.
The Link Between Your Weight And Arthritis
There are good reasons to make losing weight a top priority if youre overweight and have arthritis. Carrying excess weight places a burden on your joints, contributes to joint pain, and negatively impacts joint function.
The good news is that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight not only improves your overall well-being and reduces your risk of chronic diseases, but it also eases arthritis pain and improves joints.
When you have arthritis, you need a skilled physician on your side. Rely on internal medicine physician Samuel I. Fink, MD, to help you manage your arthritis so you can live a full, healthy life. You can take a proactive role in your arthritis treatment. Learning more about your weight and arthritis is a good place to start.
Read Also: Arthritis Flare Up In Hands
Weight Loss Is A Key Part Of Arthritis Management
Extra body weight and arthritis in dogs seem to go paw-in-paw and for good reason. Consider these facts:
- Nearly 56 percent of dogs are considered overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Preventions most recent survey.
- Arthritis is the most common form of degenerative joint disease in adult dogs, affecting one in five dogs .
- Extra pounds put added stress on dogs joints, especially joint cartilage and ligaments.
- Fat cells secrete hormones, such as leptin, and other chemicals that cause and heighten inflammation throughout the body and in joints.
- Arthritis is the leading cause of chronic pain in dogs.
- Both obesity and arthritis contribute to reduced activity in dogs and ultimately can result in reduced quality of life.
The good news for dog parents is that veterinarians have learned a lot about canine arthritis, inflammation and chronic pain during the past 25 years. Read on to learn more about arthritis in dogs and, more importantly, what you can do to help your dog.