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    Archive for the ‘arthritis’ Category

    Numbers Game: Answer

    nurse taking blood pressureCardiovascular disease risk doubles for every 10-point increase in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) and every 20-point increase in systolic blood pressure (the top number).

    This serves as a perfect reminder of the domino effect of poor health.

    It also illustrates why maintaining a healthy weight is important.  It deeply frustrates me when people argue that weight gain should not be demonized, and that all body shapes should be accepted.

    I certainly back up that argument from a social and body-image standpoint.  No one should be made to feel inferior — by others as well as themselves — because of their waist size.  The fact that you’re ten or fifteen pounds overweight doesn’t negate the fact that you can be — and feel — sexy.

    From a health standpoint, however, getting rid of excess weight is crucial.

    Not only does excess weight increase cellular inflammation (THE most important factor behind the development of a number of degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease), it also sets off a chain of symptoms and conditions.

    Excess weight increases blood pressure, lowers HDL cholesterol levels, and increase LDL cholesterol levels, thereby increasing cardiovascular disease risk.

    It also increases arthritis risk and puts excessive force on joints, often making exercise painful and difficult (thereby creating a powerful barrier against regular exercise).

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    knee_painFive pounds of excess weight increase your risk of arthritis by 25 percent.

    This helps explain why overweight and obese individuals have higher rates of knee replacement surgery than their healthy-weight counterparts.

    An study published in the August 2009 issue of the journal Radiology concluded that “for every one-unit increase in BMI (body mass index) there was an 11% increase of cartilage loss” in the knees.

    I bolded and italicized “cartilage loss” because, once cartilage deteriorates, it does not grow back.

    Arthritis is now even seen among children as young as seven due to skyrocketing pediatric overweight and obese rate.

    Remember — excess weight produces high amounts of inflammation.  Chronic inflammation, in turn, is linked to higher risks of developing degenerative diseases like arthritis along with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

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    Numbers Game: The Invisible Effects of Excess Weight

    arthritis-3Five pounds of excess weight increase your risk of arthritis by ____ percent.

    a) 8
    b) 15
    c) 25
    d) 32

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Tuesday for the answer.

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