Although there is already a surplus of reasons to avoid excess body weight, a recent study done by the Mayo Clinic has provided yet another: fat cells contribute to the development of arthritis in more ways than we previously thought. We already know that joints overloaded by extra pounds are at risk for osteoarthritis, a form of arthritis caused by wear and tear on the cartilage and bone in joints. However, the Mayo’s new research has shown that the activity of the fat cells themselves may be more influential to the development of rheumatoid arthritis than the burden of the extra weight.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body itself attacks the lining of the joint which causes the painful damage that is indicative of the illness. Inflammation is the culprit in the destructive process of rheumatoid arthritis, and fat cells are what fuel the fire. Although we think of fat cells as obnoxiously just sitting around, they are actually incredibly active. Fatty tissues secrete proteins which activate inflammatory processes as well as the female sex hormone, estrogen. Estrogen may be linked to rheumatoid arthritis as 75% of sufferers are women.
Losing weight, especially fat, will not only unload your joints, but it helps stop inflammation that may lead to or worsen rheumatoid arthritis. Also, many people who are trying to control rheumatoid arthritis have found that losing weight helps the drugs work better. Now that is a reason worth noting!
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