Obesity is a metabolic disorder that is affecting people all over the world including those in the developed countries. There is a direct relationship between obesity, arthritis and heart problems. If you are obese, you are directly loading your weight-bearing joints resulting in damage to the cartilage lining as well as putting stress on the heart.
Knee joint is one of the major weight-bearing joints in the body. Bones in the knee joint are covered by a special lining called the cartilage. When this lining is subjected to repetitive high stress, it loses its nutrition and elasticity, which in turn results in early wear and tear. There have been studies showing the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and development of knee pain and early osteoarthritis of knees. Like the knees, weight gain has a direct impact on the heart. As your body mass grows, the risk of coronary heart disease grows. Due to weight gain, the arteries carrying blood to the heart get clogged, resulting in angina and even heart failure.
Extra body fat in obese people releases a hormone called leptin, which some researchers believe accelerates the development of osteoarthritis in the knees. High fat content in the body releases substances that promote inflammation, which also damages the cartilage. Extra fat also makes the blood vessels work extra hard to pump blood. It also leads to increase in heart rate that can be dangerous.
Obesity is a disorder that can be cured by making just a few lifestyle changes that will reduce the amount of stress you are putting on the knees and heart.
- Strict diet control leads to loss of body fat, muscle, and protein. There will be noticeable weight loss but this in turn could lead to weakness that may damage the joints.
- Exercise without diet control would make the person fit only to a certain extent.
- A balanced combination of diet control and exercise will help in losing excess fat, preserve muscles and alleviate fitness levels. While weight reduction leads to lesser load on the leg joints, strong and fit muscles protect the joints.
- Weight loss takes time. With persistence and strict control on diet, results are sure to show. Do not think of a balance sheet of ‘calories in and calories out’ in a day.
- Skipping meals is a bad idea. Don’t following ‘three meals a day’ concept. By skipping a meal, your body metabolism slows down and may not burn calories from the next meal.
- Count your snacks. There is a misconception that the snacks taken in between meals need not be counted, but these snacks make all the difference in marring weight loss.
- Take dietary supplements. Worried about deficiency of vitamins and other essential nutrients with strict dieting? Take dietary supplements like calcium, vitamins and Iron on medical advice.
- Drink plenty of water before a meal. It is best to drink almost two big glasses of water 20 minutes prior to your meal.