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5 reasons why losing weight can help you deal with arthritis pain and improve mobility

Published on:12 October 2020, 14:41pm IST
On this World Arthritis Day, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why losing weight is the secret to tackling arthritis.
Geetika Sachdev
5 benefits of losing weight to tackle arthritis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Don’t we all know how obesity is the cause of most lifestyle diseases like heart attacks, stroke, or even diabetes? Even when it comes to arthritis, your weight could increase your problem, and add to your misery. That’s because the extra weight puts pressure on your joints, and that just adds to the pain and discomfort. 

Research studies attest this fact. According to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism of overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA), losing half a kilo of weight resulted in two kilos of pressure being removed in the knees. That’s exactly why maintaining a healthy weight is critical to deal with arthritis. 

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Without further ado, let’s understand some of the benefits of losing weight to keep arthritis in check.   

1. Reduces pain

There are several studies that show that weight loss can help to reduce joint pain. As per a 2018 study published in Arthritis Care and Research, the more weight you lose, the more your pain reduces.

Another study published in September 2013 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) says that adults with osteoarthritis who lost weight through a combination of diet and exercise over a span of 18 months, experienced less knee pain,

You can begin by losing 10-20% of body weight and notice better movement, relief from pain, and many more benefits.

rheumatoid arthritis
Proper medication and yoga might help you deal better with arthritis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
2. Improved joint function

Weight loss doesn’t just help with pain, but also improves joint function. That’s because mechanical pressures inside the knee joint get better with weight loss. Remember it is important to practice a healthy lifestyle by switching to a healthy diet and packing in some exercise.

Also, read: My mother-in-law has been battling arthritis for 38 years. This is what I’ve learnt from her

Try and take slow and steady steps by losing half a kilo every week, and within six months, the difference will be more pronounced. And that gives your joints a big reason to be happy!

3. Less inflammation

When you are obese and have arthritis, inflammation can become a regular feature. But when you shed some kilos over a period of time, it can go down considerably. That’s because fat is an active tissue and secretes pro-inflammatory chemicals. However, when you lose weight, the pain and inflammation levels in the body go down.

4. Improved disease activity score

Here’s another reason to lose weight when you have arthritis. A 2018 study published in International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology observed the records of 171 Rheumatoid arthritis patients and found that overweight or obese people who lost at least 5 kilos were three times as likely to have improved disease activity compared to those who did not lose weight.

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Disease activity score helps doctors determine the severity of symptoms in patients with Rheumatoid arthritis, and adjust treatment accordingly.

5. Improves sleep

Last but not the least, losing weight also helps you get better sleep. That’s because when you suffer from arthritis, pain can interfere with your snooze time, and cause insomnia over the years. When you shed unnecessary fat, then this issue is also tackled well.

So ladies, what are you waiting for? Consume a healthy diet and get moving to tackle arthritis like never before!

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Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.