New research suggests that both obesity and unintentional weight loss can mean greater disability for patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but the severity of the disease varies. In some patients, RA can cause severe pain and permanent disability.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic autoimmune disorder that occurs when your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the synovial tissues within your joints, causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness. In approximately 40% of people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation caused by the disorder, can affect more than just the joints. It can also have a negative affect a person’s entire body including the; skin, eyes, kidneys, blood vessels, nerve tissue, bone marrow, heart, and lungs.
A study published April 30 in the journal, Arthritis Care & Research, found people with rheumatoid arthritis who are severely obese have a much more rapid progression of disability. Conversely, the results also showed that people living with rheumatoid arthritis who experienced significant unintended weight loss were also more likely to experience a more rapid progression of disability.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, evaluated more than 25,000 patients with rheumatoid arthritis over 15 years. They found patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are also obese, could benefit from intentional, controlled weight loss. However, unintentional weight loss, especially if the patient is already thin, could be a signal of worsening disease.
The symptoms of RA including pain, stiffness, swelling, fatigue, fever, sweating and loss of appetite can all lead to a decrease in activity, which for many RA sufferers, results in obesity. Obesity worsens the symptoms and patients experience worsening disease.
Stem cell transplant at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica, may help improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Stem cells are able to suppress the immune system, reduce inflammation and repair tissue.
In two clinical trials, patients treated with stem cell therapy experienced a reduction in the symptoms associated with RA and did better overall than patients that did not receive stem cell therapy.
Because of their immunosuppressive properties, anti-inflammatory capabilities and cell regenerative properties, mesenchymal stem cells are a promising treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, contact the professionals at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute to learn more about the power of stem cells.