Maintaining A Proper Bmi Can Be Key To Arthritis Remission
Weight management to help with arthritis isnt always about losing weight. A new study from Hospital of Special Surgery found that those patients with a BMI that was either too high or too low meant a shorter period of remission for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Although higher BMI was linked with more pain and inflammation, those who were severely underweight also had less chance of remission.
Susan Goodman, M.D., a rheumatologist at HSS, says this result was not expected:
Whats striking is that if you look at the BMI classifications, all the patients in the underweight or overweight categories were much less likely to achieve sustained remission compared to those with a normal BMI. Patients who were severely obese had an even lower chance of achieving sustained remission.
Managing weight to stay within your target BMI range may be key to remission of pain while decreasing inflammation. She also noted that:
Our findings represent the first study to present evidence that BMI should be considered among the modifiable risk factors for poor RA outcomes. There are many things patients can do to manage the disease. Along with timely diagnosis and treatment, weight control and other good practices can result in better outcomes.
Ditch The Potato Chips
You know theyre no good for you, but get this: One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found these fried slices may contribute to more weight gain per serving than any other food. And if thats not reason enough to pick a different afternoon snack, these and other deep-fried foods may contain unhealthy saturated and trans fats that may promote inflammation.
How To Lose Weight With An Arthritic Hip
Hip arthritis is a degenerative condition in which your hip joint and the cartilage that works as a shock absorber start to wear down, causing pain, swelling and discomfort. If you are overweight and experience hip arthritis, the added weight can place greater strain on your hip and aggravate arthritis pain. Combining a healthy diet with exercises that do not overly strain your hip can help you lose weight and feel stronger. Check with your physician before beginning an exercise program to ensure your hip is in good enough condition to begin exercising.
Eat a diet that focuses on whole grains, vegetables, fruits and lean protein. These foods are filling yet low in calories and can help you achieve weight loss. Your goal should be to consume fewer calories than you burn throughout the day. Combined with an exercise program, this will result in weight loss.
Cut out junk foods that have little nutritional redeeming value, such as alcohol, desserts and fried foods. These items tend to be high in calories and can leave you feeling sluggish instead of energetic.
Take a water aerobics class to burn calories without placing too much strain on your joints, recommends the Texas Hip and Knee Center. You may find water aerobics in heated pools especially beneficial because the warmth can help to relieve your arthritis pain and encourage hip flexibility.
Excess Body Fat Worsens Arthritis
It was previously thought that fat cells served only as dormant energy storage. Thanks to research, its now known that fat is chemically active. Fat tissue is an active organ that secretes hormones and other substances.
In fact, fat cells secrete inflammatory chemicals that damage joints and make arthritis worse, according to a study published in the journal Rheumatology. This means excess weight directly damages all of the joints in your body, not just weight-bearing joints.
How To Lose Weight
After reading all the above, your next step may be to lose weight and reap the health benefits. However, if you have arthritis, getting into the gym and doing an intense workout may not be wise. There are lots of ways you can lose weight that dont have to involve high-intensity workouts, such as watching what you eat and lowering your calorie intake.
Some people opt for cosmetic procedures like BodyTite liposuction which can remove excess fat. There are several benefits of a BodyTite Lipo which may sway you into choosing this option. Whatever route you decide on to lose weight, make sure to speak to your doctor first.
Arthritis symptoms like those above can massively impact your quality of life. To ease pain and discomfort, something as simple as dropping a few pounds could be the answer.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
About You / Highlights – Meghan lives in Ontario, Canada, and loves sports and the outdoors. She competes in Triathlon and enjoys hiking, camping, and canoeing. View all posts by Meghan L Scott, BScH, BScAHN, MBBS, RD
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Experiment With Herbs And Spices
This is a super healthy way to flavor food plus, herbs and spices offer a wealth of anti-inflammatory plant compounds, says Foroutan. Her favorite: turmeric, which you can add to soups and stews, sprinkle over sautéed vegetables, and even stir in scrambled eggs. Oregano is another potent flavor option that has lots of anti-inflammatory value, she says.
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.
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For More Information About Safe And Effective Methods Of Weight Loss
Weight-control Information Network is a national information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , National Institutes of Health
Institute of Medicine. Weighing the Options: Criteria for Evaluating Weight-Management Programs. Washington,D.C., National Academy Press 1995.
Is Diet Or Exercise Best For Losing Weight With Knee Osteoarthritis
Both work well, especially together! Definitely approach weight loss with both a diet plan and a fitness plan. Combining the right diet plan with appropriate exercise, along with learning tools that change ingrained behaviors, is the best way to lose significant weight, according to the National Institutes of Health .
Losing weight slowly is best for the body, the NIH says. A reasonable time period is six months to drop 10 percent of your body weight.
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Exercise Gives You More Energy
Maybe the thought of hauling your painful joints off the couch makes you tired, but know this: as you consistently exercise, losing weight and building strength and flexibility, your body actually has more energy.
Researcher Patrick OConnor, PhD and co-director of the University of Georgia exercise psychology laboratory in Athens, Georgia recognizes that it may be hard to believe.
A lot of times when people are fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise, but if youre physically inactive and fatigued, being just a bit more active will helpit may be that lacing up your tennis shoes and getting out and doing some physical activity every morning can provide that spark of energy that people are looking for.
It Can Be Disheartening
But then you have to remember how much more disheartening and frustrating it is for the patient. So you focus on the task. You learn from your mistakes. You build up your knowledge, as well as your skills and resources, and you form a partnership with the patient.
Dr Jill Thistlethwaite
As a result, Dr Thistlethwaite has improved her approach to her patients weight management over time. When I was a less experienced GP, it was all black and white. I would just tell patients what they needed to do and expect theyd get it done, she says.
However, as I got more experienced, I learnt to see people as individuals. It was in the mid-1990s that it became clear for me that as with medication adherence, just telling a patient what to do is rarely successful in the longer term.
This approach has enabled Dr Thistlethwaite to identify that osteoarthritis is an opportunity for her to discuss and monitor weight loss with her patients over time.
The development of early stage osteoarthritis can be a trigger to help patients with the motivation required to lose weight. It can also help them be more agreeable to exercise if you provide an updated understanding of osteoarthritis that its not a wear and tear disease and that exercise will not cause damage to the joint, says Dr Thistlethwaite.
For patients with advanced osteoarthritis who are waiting for joint replacement surgery, its not too late to stress how beneficial weight loss is, she says.
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Best Foods For Arthritis That Help You Lose Weight
Losing weight is a good thing for people with arthritis, even if theyre not obese or considered overweight, since losing just a couple of pounds can take a significant burden off the weight-bearing joints.
In fact, studies show for every pound lost, the result is 4 pounds of strain taken off the knees. Plus, if you lose a few extra pounds , youre not only helping to reduce arthritis pain, you are also decreasing inflammation in the body since too much body fat increases inflammation.
Also, something to consider: if you take off excess weight, there may be other unexpected benefitsfor instance, you may not need to take pain medications for your arthritis as often or you might begin to sleep better because you have less joint pain.
Best Foods for Arthritis
What are some of the best foods for arthritis? Here are tips for choosing foods that will strengthen and protect your joints as well as support weight loss.
1. Choose Calcium-Rich Foods: To maintain healthy bones and joints, you need calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Choose foods that contain high levels of these nutrients such as:
- Lowfat milk, cheese and yogurt
- Milk alternatives enriched with calcium, such as soy and rice
- Canned salmon and sardines
- Chard and other leafy greens
Foods to Avoid with Arthritis
How Your Weight Affects Your Joints
Did you know that every five pounds of extra body weight increases the pressure on your joints by 25 pounds? Many of our patients at Pennsylvania Orthopedic Associates come in for help with knee pain, and that isnt the only joint affected when youre overweight. Excess weight also strains your hips, ankles, and other weight-bearing joints.
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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.
How Can My Diet Affect My Condition
Eating a balanced diet and having a healthy lifestyle such as regular physical activity, not smoking, not drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can have a huge impact on arthritis and our health in general.
Although there are no diets or supplements that will cure your arthritis, some people do find that their condition is affected by what they eat, how much they weigh and their physical activity levels.
There are many types of arthritis, and there are differences between people, so what works for one person may not work for another.
When it comes to what we eat, the two things that can have the biggest impact on arthritis are:
- Your weight being overweight can increase the strain on your joints, so keeping to a healthy weight can help. Being overweight can also increase your risk of developing certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
- Eating a balanced diet eating a diet with all the vitamins and minerals you need is important for everyone, but for people with arthritis it could help reduce the side effects of some drugs and protect you from conditions affecting the heart and blood, which can be a complication of some forms of arthritis.
Changing your diet probably wont have as great an impact on your arthritis as medical treatments, and its not recommended that you stop any of your treatments.
You should always speak to a healthcare professional before you make any major changes to your diet and lifestyle.
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Diet And Exercise Advice
Once a patient is motivated to lose weight, the first-line management is usually diet and exercise. But which one is better?
The answer is theyre better together. A 2013 RCT of 339 patients with knee OA found that while the amount of weight loss achieved by exercise alone was 2 kg, and for diet alone 9 kg, diet and exercise combined achieved a loss of nearly 11 kg.13
Fortunately, the recommendations for what to eat and drink, and what exercise to do, are closely aligned between OA-specific and general weight loss guidelines. They include the following advice.
Can My Diet Affect Medication
Its important that you take any medication youve been given as youve been told to by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Some drugs need to be taken in a specific way, such as before or after food, or with water you should be told about this, but the information leaflet included with your medication will also explain this, so make sure to read this carefully.
Taking certain drugs with food or after youve eaten can help to reduce the risk of certain side effects such as indigestion, stomach ulcers, feeling sick or vomiting. It can also help your body to absorb the drug properly and can make sure its not washed away by food or drink, for example if you use mouthwashes or gels.
How Much Do I Need To Lose
Even small changes in your weight can make a difference. If you shed just 1 pound, you’ll take 4 pounds of pressure off of your knees. Drop 10 pounds and you’ll take 40 pounds of pressure off.
The more pounds you lose, the better. If you’re overweight, experts suggest you aim for 10% of how much you weigh now.
Research backs that up. In one study, people who lost at least 10% of their weight had more relief in pain and inflammation than people who lost less than that.
Try to set a 10% goal for yourself. For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds now, try to lose 20 pounds. Aim for a loss of 1-2 pounds a week.
You can try diet, exercise, or a combination of both. If you’re very overweight or have other health problems, talk to your doctor about other options like low-calorie diets, gastric surgery, or weight loss medications.
Body Weight Affects Joint Inflammation
Fat cells release substances that promote body-wide inflammation. If youre overweight, youll have more of those unwanted chemicals circulating through your body. The inflammation triggered by fat cells aggravates the joint inflammation already caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
People who are overweight or obese and who also have rheumatoid arthritis experience more joint pain than patients with a normal weight. However, weight loss can lower inflammation, improve joint function, and help reduce your joint pain.
If youre overweight and you struggle with knee pain, or pain in any of your weight-bearing joints, we can treat the problem in your joint and relieve your pain, while also recommending gentle exercises that will help you lose weight without further aggravating your joints.
To get started on the road to joint health, call Pennsylvania Orthopedic Associates, or schedule an appointment online.
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Less Weight Less Stress
Maintaining an ideal body weight is important, and if overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds can decrease the progression of your knee osteoarthritis by 50 percent, according to a published study, says rheumatologist Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, director of Cleveland Clinics Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Treatment Center. This is clearly a modifiable risk factor.
Studies consistently show that overweight people have higher rates of osteoarthritis than people who arent overweight. One study found that those who are obese are four to five times more likely to get arthritis in their knees.
If you have weight-induced joint pain, losing pounds and taking stress off your joints may ease your symptoms. While your body cant reverse arthritis or regrow cartilage, losing weight can help arthritic joints feel better and prevent further excess damage.