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Helping to Have Healthy Joints Through Weight Loss

Being overweight may involve choices we make in our diet, but obesity is now proven to have consequences to our joints so that we are much healthier if we control weight according to nutrition and health care provider experts. So here are some tips on what we advise.

1. Find a health care provider to understand this, and help you negotiate strategies that keep you healthy. It’s not about the scale, it’s about being mobile and having less pain as well as long term healthy joints.

2. Stiffness in the morning that persists for under 30 minutes, in those over the age of 45, and pain in specific joints are signs of osteoarthritis, “arthritis.” This is the most common form of aging related problems with our joints

3. Like any chronic illness such as diabetes and hypertension arthritis will be a life long condition, even if with medical management you have controlled your BMI, your weight and your body fat.

4. Eating better reduces many medical issues including heart health. Mediterranean diets are the best. Improving your risk of heart disease doesn’t equate with improving your numbers on the scale.

5. Genetically obese patients are driven to eat more. Ways that can help reverse these food intake drivers are critically important to long term success

6. Stress reduction improves joint pains. Meditation and mindfulness has been proven to work, neither have side effects that are unwanted, either!

7. Medications fundamentally treat some of the genetic mis-coding, if you do chose surgery as a pathway out of obesity, remember this surgery will causes malabsorption of fundamental nutrients. You may be trading one sort of diet struggles with another. Weight loss in the range of 5-10% of your body weight over a year is realistic with appetite suppression medications, and losses in the 15-30%. range have been achieved with the GLP-1 medications, and 20-30% loss with GLP-1/GIP. Bariatric surgery reliably decreases body weight about 15-40% or more.

8. Fitness programs that are stable will not increase weight loss, you have to up your fitness game if you want to lose weight without dropping your calorie count much. Exercise alone (150-600 minutes/week) useful to prevent weight gain, and important for health. .

9. Your body does want to hold on to fat. This is somewhat true of fat removal, there are individuals that will have their fat come back in areas of removal if they don’t control their eating, their gut biome or their hormones.

10. The body has a ‘set point’ type of physiology, once you lose the body triggers many factors to slow metabolism, and the secretion of ghrelin that triggers you to eat more. We encourage you to think of our journey as nutrition management, rather than ‘a diet.’

11. Dieting on one’s own usually has a loss rate of about 3% per year, which is still meaningful, but won’t get you to your wellness and fitness goals. Hiring dietitian and nutrition programs offer losses of 5-10%/year.

Weight loss goals and health benefits of overall weight loss, will include improvement in body fat percentage, changes to healthier types of body fat, decreased visceral abdominal and hepatic fat, improved mobility, decreased inflammation, improvement in blood pressure and other cardiovascular markers, decreased risk of diabetes, decreased cancer risk, healthier pregnancies, decreased joint pain, decreased hot flashes, decreased hormonal problems (such as PCOS), and increased mobility, joint health, and long term lower risks of death. Risks of weight loss mostly center on weight reduction that is too rapid, too restrictive with respect to nutritional components, complications of the medication (bowel, gallbladder, pancreas), or complications due to muscle loss.

For nutritional monitoring, advice about mindfulness and medication management call WHP Health at 217-356-3736 or Hatha Yoga and Fitness at 217-693-5713.


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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