(The following article was provided by Dr Hani)
Obesity can adversely affect the quality of life of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Obesity is a significant risk factor for heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis and associated with increased risk of death. Some of the treatment given to rheumatoid arthritis patients may turn them obese. The commonly used drugs like prednisone and TNF blockers (Tumor necrosis factor inhibiting drugs such as Remicade) can cause obesity. The other major cause of obesity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients is an inactive lifestyle due to pain associated with RA and resultant joint damage. Gastric bypass surgery can help these patients to lose weight and thus reduce the intensity of symptoms related to rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, the symptoms related to RA in obese individuals are less likely to respond to disease-modifying drugs like Arava.
C-Reactive Proteins, Obesity and Rheumatoid Arthritis
In any sort of inflammation in the body, levels of special proteins called C-reactive proteins or CRP raise in the blood within 2-6 hours. C-reactive proteins are produced by the liver in case there is an inflammation in any part of the body. If you are dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, your healthcare professional would check your CRP levels to determine the severity of the diseases and inflammation. The normal CRP levels should be 0-1.0 milligram per deciliter (mg/dL).
Positive Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery on CRP Levels
Recent studies have shown a positive link between obesity and C-reactive protein levels. Other studies have shown that consistent CRP levels are a risk factor for stroke and heart problems. A study conducted to evaluate the role of gastric bypass surgery in altering the CRP levels showed that there were significant reductions in CRP levels after gastric bypass surgery. This is encouraging news for obese patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery as it shows the beneficial effect of weight reduction on lowering the inflammation in the body
Obesity and Rheumatoid Arthritis Combination
If you’re obese and also dealing with rheumatoid arthritis then this combination may turn to be detrimental for your health. In obese individuals, extra weight puts extra pressure and strain on affected joints due to rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, studies have shown that obesity decreases the chances of remission in rheumatoid arthritis.
Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs after Gastric Bypass Surgery
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are often prescribed to rheumatoid arthritis patients to reduce inflammation and pain due to rheumatoid arthritis. It is noteworthy that NSAIDS should be used with great caution in patients after a gastric bypass surgery. If you are currently using NSAIDS and have gone through gastric bypass surgery, don’t use NSAIDS without prior consulting with your healthcare professional or rheumatologist.