As we get older many of us including myself suffer from some joint pain from time to time. Many times it could be overworked joints but sometimes it's a more serious condition like rheumatoid arthritis. Being overweight or even obese can really put extra stress on those joints and affect your quality of life. Everyday normal routines can become very painful and unbearable.
Recent studies conducted in Oslo, Norway show that being overweight can affect Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in some other ways as well. Patients with RA and who are obese are more likely to suffer greater pain, increased fatigue, decreased physical function and an overall worsened quality of life score. The
researchers tested over one thousand patients who had RA. They grouped them according to their body mass index levels and came up with three groups, normal weight,overweight and obesity. Over one hundred people fell into the obesity category while three hundred sixteen were in the overweight and the remaining were either normal or underweight. All the obese patients reported having higher levels of pain and feeling more fatigued and worse physical function than all those in the normal group.
Being overweight reduces the chance of RA going into remission. Remission helps reduce the long term affects of Ra because symptoms like inflammation go away. The researchers found after a 12 month study and treatments that 58 percent of the normal weight patients who were on a placebo went into remission while only 35 percent of overweight and 25 percent of obese patients were in remission.
Because fat tissue produces pro-inflammatory molecules, it puts overweight patients at an increased risk of inflammatory complications. The head doctor in the study used Remicade plus a combination of therapy. It was found that being overweight didn't seem to affect those taking Remicade plus therapy. She believes Remicade may act on the inflammatory molecules allowing obese people to be able to go into remission.
There's obviously more to be done to reach conclusive results, but one thing is for sure, being overweight can have many negative affects on our health and quality of life! The one thing we all can do for ourselves which will have a positive effect is to eat right and exercise and maybe we can end the need for such studies and research.