We asked Dr. Scott Zashin, "What advice do you have for arthritis patients who are unhappy with their weight gain, but have made some effort to diet and exercise when possible, with little or no results?"
Dr. Zashin replied:
Diet is the key to weight control. Many patients tell me that they eat nothing but still cannot lose weight. In fact, many patients, once they gain the weight find it is difficult to lose it. In addition, they often will say that they eat well and eat the right foods. They don't realize that even eating 1 cookie daily can add a pound after one month.
I recommend my patients have a consultation with a dietician to formulate a plan. Some have had benefit from Weight Watchers. Limiting simple carbohydrates (such as white breads, pasta, cookies and cake) appears to be beneficial. Taking corticosteroids makes losing weight more difficult because it increases appetite and may also cause fat to accumulate in the body.
It takes fairly rigorous exercise to shed weight. Still, aerobic exercise can help prevent additional weight gain as well as contribute to cardiovascular health and improve your energy. Don't give up! If you can be successful in maintaining an ideal weight, you will reap many health benefits in the future.
Dr. Zashin is clinical assistant professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and an attending physician at Presbyterian Hospitals of Dallas and Plano. Dr. Zashin is author of Arthritis Without Pain - The Miracle Of TNF Blockers. The book is useful for anyone on one of the biologic drugs or considering the biologic drugs.