How Weight Affects People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be a debilitating disease. It causes inflammation in the body, but it can harm more than just the joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the skin, lungs, eyes, heart, and circulatory system. Doctors have long known that excess weight can stress arthritic joints, but new research indicates that obesity might accelerate and worsen RA symptoms while weight loss may indicate other kinds of problems.


Senior Care in Bay Minette AL: Weight & Rheumatoid Arthritis

Senior Care in Bay Minette AL: Weight & Rheumatoid Arthritis


RA and Weight Research

A study published in Arthritis Care & Research examined how obesity affected the way RA progressed in more than 25,000 people. They found that people who were very obese got worse faster than thinner people. And, the amount of inflammation they had didn’t seem to matter. They also found that RA patients who unintentionally lost weight also experienced disability sooner.

The researchers say that the results of their study indicate that more attention needs to be paid to the weight of people with RA. People who are overweight can benefit from losing some weight. In addition, weight loss without trying may indicate a poor prognosis, particularly if they are thin to begin with. Finally, they say that their study shows that RA treatment should include strategies for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.


How Obesity Affects RA

The Arthritis Foundation states that around 66 percent of people with RA are overweight. Although obesity isn’t good for anyone’s health, it creates special problems for people who have RA, such as:


Increased Inflammation: Fat cells send out proteins that cause inflammation. Therefore, the more fat a person has, the more of these proteins are released and the more inflammation is present.


Interaction with Drugs: Excess fat can make some kinds of RA drugs less effective. Some research indicates that obese people experience 50% less effectiveness from biologics than people at a healthy weight.


Joint Damage: Extra weight places more stress on already damaged joints, especially those that bear weight.


Elderly care can be an effective way to help your aging relative with RA reach and stay at a healthy weight. Elderly care providers can cook healthy meals that include lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which may help with weight loss. If the senior has difficulty grocery shopping on their own or cannot drive, the elderly care provider can drive them to the store and shop with them. Elderly care providers can also help your aging relative to be more physically active. They can take them for walks, drive them to exercise classes or supervise them while they exercise at home to make sure they stay safe.

If you or someone you know needs Senior care in Bay Minette, AL, please contact the friendly caregivers at  Hughes Home Care. We provide quality and affordable care for your elderly loved ones in our community. Call Us Today 251-517-9901.  Serving Mobile & Baldwin County.