18:30 PM

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Weight Loss?

CreakyJoints reports on the association between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and weight.

CreakyJoints spoke to Caroline A. Andrew, MD, medical weight management specialist at HSS, who explained RA can decrease your appetite, and aches and pains can be a factor as well. “If a person has significant joint pain and cannot move easily or exercise, there may be a loss of muscle mass, causing weight loss,” said Dr. Andrew. If RA symptoms improve with treatment, a person can start to do physical therapy and exercise and start to regain muscle mass. Appetite may also improve, added Dr. Andrew.

Being overweight with RA is also concerning. Dr. Andrew detailed, “Carrying extra weight places increased pressure and stress on the joints, which can worsen the pain and stiffness associated with RA. Every pound of excess weight places about four pounds of extra pressure on the knees.” Furthermore, Dr. Andrew concluded, “Studies have shown that some DMARDs [disease-modifying-anti-rheumatic drugs] may not be as effective in subjects who are overweight or obese. One study showed that regardless of the type of initial treatment, subjects with RA who were overweight or obese were significantly less likely to achieve sustained remission compared to subjects with a normal weight.”

Read the full article at CreakyJoints.org.