Understanding Arthritis: The benefits of weight management


Arthritis is a condition that affects tissue lining the joints. Symptoms include pain, aching, swelling, and stiffness. It is estimated that by 2040, 26 percent of adults will have arthritis. There are many ways to manage the disease including healthy diet and physical exercise.

Nearly 68 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. According to the Arthritis Foundation, losing weight, no matter what the amount, can significantly improve your health by reducing pressure on your joints. Studies show that by losing just one pound of weight, you can reduce up to four pounds of pressure on your knees. Additionally, weight loss may ease pain and inflammation, and lower risk of other diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancers.

If you suspect that your weight is contributing to your arthritis, consult a physician. Your physician can consider risk factors, like your age, activity level, health, body mass index and family history of weight related problems, in order to provide you with help and resources.

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