Tag Archives: Weight loss

Watch your weight to improve arthritis symptoms

There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis. However, there are some things you can do to help manage the disease and improve your symptoms.

No cure but you can improve symptoms

One of the most important is to keep a healthy body weight, mainly for protection of your knee joints. Being overweight is a major risk factor for knee osteoarthritis. It increases the risk of OA developing and makes the symptoms worse.

OA happens when cartilage, the tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint, breaks down. There are two main ways for OA to develop. The first is through forces acting upon the joints. The second path is through an increase in inflammation, which leads to an increase in pain. Fat creates and releases chemicals within the body that promote inflammation.

Body weight directly influences both pathways. Being overweight not only increases the load placed on the knee joints which can help to speed up the breakdown of cartilage, it also makes the condition worse.

What does your doctor mean by cardiac risk?

Cardiac risk calculators are frequently used to predict the chances of people having heart disease.

Population statistics are used to work out the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease, things like being overweight or smoking. This information gives doctors a good idea of what your heart attack risk is, based on your lifestyle.

What’s your cardiac risk?

Reducing the risk of heart attacks and stroke for people as they get older can be helped by changing individual factors. Age is one risk factor that cannot be modified, but others such as cholesterol and blood pressure can be.
Using these early predictions for a raised risk of a major heart event within 10 years is a guide for lifestyle changes and medication that can bring the predicted risk down. If you are at higher than average risk of heart problems you may find your GP prescribes you statins or blood pressure drugs, for example.

Ask one of our pharmacists if you want more information about cardiac risk calculators.


Daily weigh-in the secret of weight loss

Weighing yourself frequently and plotting your progress on a weight chart every day is an effective way to lose a modest amount of weight and, just as importantly, to keep it off, according to a recent study in the Journal of Obesity.

Weighing scales

Standing on the bathroom scales regularly forces you to be aware of the link between your weight and what you eat, it appears, although the researchers found this method seems to work better for men than for women.

In the two year study, participants who lost weight in the first year were able to keep it off through the second year. This is significant because around 40% of weight lost through dieting is often put back on within a year, and within five years, all of it is regained.

As little as 5% weight loss has been shown to be clinically significant in overweight people, so keeping the weight off is worth working for.

Statistics, skirts sizes and breast cancer…

What will they measure next? There is a lot of evidence to link a high body mass index to an increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Another suggested risk factor is adult weight gain, usually associated with an increase in body fat.

Waist size

Now a research team at University College London has used the self-reported skirt size of 94,000 women, over a number of years, as a proxy measure for their change in weight over those years, and investigated how this has affected their risk of getting breast cancer.

The results show that, for women aged between 25 and postmenopausal age, an increase in skirt size by one unit every decade increased the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer by 33%. However, a decrease in skirt size was associated with lowering of risk.

Something to think about…