Many people are affected by rheumatoid arthritis each year. In fact, the American College of Rheumatology said 1.3 million people in the U.S. suffer from this condition, which can lead to debilitating joint swelling, fatigue and stiffness. In many cases, symptoms can be so severe that people may not be able to work and will feel compelled to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.
Although the symptoms of this ailment may be severe, a recent report printed in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases said losing weight may help. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own connective tissues; only a minority go into remission when they start treatment.
According to results of this study, overweight patients were 33 percent less likely to have lower disease activity. Overweight patients reported more pain and were less likely to be in remission than those at a healthy weight. Body fat may be a contributing factor to many of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
“Our study shows that on a group level overweight and obese patients have less chance of achieving good disease control within the first six months, compared to normal-weight patients,” Maria E. C. Sandberg, who worked on the study, told Reuters Health. “However, obviously, there will be obese patients with good response and normal-weight patients without good response.”
If the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are such that a person can no longer perform the duties of past work or any other type of work, they should consider applying for Social Security disability benefits. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick Associates have successfully represented numerous clients with this ailment in obtaining disability benefits.