Obesity rates in the U.S. remain very high. In fact, over one third of American adults are obese. The obesity epidemic has taken a toll on Americans. From negatively affecting people’s health to being an expensive healthcare cost, there are many reasons to combat this epidemic.
Additionally, people who are obese often have higher levels of chronic pain. While it has been known that the extra weight takes a toll on your body’s load-bearing joints (lower back, knees, and hips), it is less known that carrying the extra weight can also increase pain in other areas of the body and can lead to other conditions such as fatigue and depression.
According to a recent study published in The Journal of Pain, researchers found that a 10% or more decrease in body weight lead to significant improvements in pain levels, depressive symptoms, and energy levels. During this study, 123 participants were placed on a 12-week low calorie diet. 99 of the participants were able to lose at least 10% of their body weight.
After the completion of the study, the researchers found that pain levels were reduced in not only the load-bearing joints, but also in areas such as the abdomen, jaw, and chest. Additionally, the participants who met their weight loss goals reported more energy and better mental health than those who did not reach their weight loss goals.
Another interesting finding of the study was that there was an increase in the anti-inflammatory molecule called interleukin-10 after weight loss. This molecule plays an important role in reducing inflammation, which can help with pain symptoms.
If you are overweight or obese, losing weight has benefits beyond reducing pain. Carrying extra fat can also lead to type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, heart disease, and some cancers. Reductions in weight can help lower your risk for some of these diseases. For example, a 5% to 10% reduction in body weight can lower your risk for heart disease.
If you are wondering whether a weight loss plan can help you manage your pain, consult with your pain doctor. Your doctor will need to determine if you are healthy enough for a calorie-restricted diet.
If you are looking for pain doctors in Las Vegas, contact Apex Medical Center. We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of painful conditions. We are a comprehensive practice and also offer services beyond pain management.
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