With obesity rates rising constantly, it is not surprising that 27 million Americans currently suffer from osteoarthritis. Although there are drugs that can help to control the pain and inflammation associated with the condition, joint replacement is the only current cure for osteoarthritis. However, losing just 10-15 lbs can reduce knee or hip pain and even delay the need for joint replacement surgery.
The link between joint damage and obesity has long been acknowledged due to the added pressure that excess weight can put on the cartilage in joints, particularly in the knees and hips. When joint cartilage breaks down, pain, swelling and joint stiffness arises, making normal movement difficult in an osteoarthritis sufferer.
Weight loss surgery is an effective way for morbidly obese individuals to lose weight quickly and consistently. The reduction in weight alleviates the additional pressure on the joints, relieving pain caused by arthritis and, in most cases, preventing further rapid deterioration of the cartilage.
Weight Loss Surgery to Prevent or Ease Osteoarthritis
The dramatic weight loss that results from weight loss surgery, such as lap band surgery or gastric bypass surgery will ease the pressure that excess weight puts on your joints. This will result in relief of osteoarthritis symptoms, can delay the need for joint replacement surgery, and even, in some early cases of the disease, prevent you from needing to have damaged joints replaced. Before and after your weight loss surgery, regular low-impact exercise, such as swimming, can aid weight loss and improve muscle strength, which will add further support to your damage joints and could further relieve pain.
Weight Loss Surgery before Joint Replacement
As being overweight can cause or exacerbate the stress and inflammation that causes, and is caused by, osteoarthritis, many orthopedic surgeons will recommend that an obese patient loses weight before joint replacement surgery.
By undergoing weight loss surgery in preparation for joint replacement surgery you will reduce the risks associated with your joint replacement surgery, improve healing time due to increased health and fitness levels and prevent further damage to your other joints.
What you eat not only impacts on your weight but some foods can cause more inflammation within the body. If you have a condition like osteoarthritis, where there is existing inflammation, eating these foods can increase joint pain and stiffness.
Inflammation is an immune response designed to protect your body. But sometimes inflammation can cause additional pain and discomfort. Eating plenty of fruit, vegetables, fiber and food rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation. There are some foods that you should avoid to reduce inflammation anywhere in your body. Limiting sugar, white grains, such as white bread and white pasta, which convert quickly to sugar, and alcohol can reduce inflammation and the stiffness and pain associated with it.
It is never too early, or too late, to make the decision to lose weight for good. If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or if you are at a higher risk of developing the condition due to your weight, lap band surgery, gastric bypass surgery or gastric sleeve surgery could reduce symptoms and keep you fitter, healthier and pain free for longer.
Why not try our weight loss surgery special chickpea and sweet potato recipe? It’s low fat and a great anti-inflammatory.