Weight gain and obesity are common issues that can lead to many health complications, including joint pain or autoimmune joint conditions. While the relationship between weight and joint health is not always clear, the two are related. To discover the secret to losing weight and reversing joint inflammation and pain, it is important to identify not only lifestyle issues, but metabolic imbalances that contribute to weight gain and interfere with weight loss despite taking typical approaches to diet and exercise.
When it comes to maintaining joint health, weight is a major factor. Gaining excess fat contributes to inflammation and can lead to arthritis and other autoimmune joint conditions. Inflammation leads to the production of molecules called cytokines, which can cause damage to the joints over time, leading to pain and stiffness. Keeping your weight under control is essential for reducing inflammation and keeping your joints healthy. Losing weight not only helps reduce inflammation but has been shown to improve joint health. Studies have shown that even a modest amount of weight loss – just 5-10% of total body weight – can decrease pain levels in people who suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
An anti-inflammatory diet is a great way to help with weight loss while also giving your body the nutrients it needs for optimal joint health. Incorporating foods like fatty fish, olive oil, fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, nuts, and seeds can all help reduce inflammation in your body. Additionally, limiting processed foods that are high in sugar, saturated fat, and artificial ingredients can help with controlling your weight. Not only that, but sugar intake can spur inflammation and joint pain, so limiting it provides benefits to both your weight and joint health.
Moderate exercise can be a great tool to help with weight loss. Not only does it help burn calories, but exercise also helps to support overall joint health. It can strengthen the muscles that support your joints and promote flexibility in your muscles and ligaments so you can move with more ease. With every extra pound of fat you carry on your body, there is added stress on the joints–especially those such as the hips, knees, ankles, and spine. That means regular physical activity is essential for achieving a healthy weight and preserving joint health.
Despite typical lifestyle approaches to improve diet and exercise, however, many individuals struggle to lose weight and reduce their joint pain and other symptoms. In these situations, it is important to uncover metabolic imbalances that interfere with weight loss despite these measures. Functional lab tests can be an effective way to uncover and monitor the inflammatory and metabolic effects of being overweight. These tests are not ordered by your traditional doctor’s office but are practiced by individuals who are trained in them such as functional practitioners.
Tests like C-reactive protein (CRP) and homocysteine can show how inflammation is affecting your body and whether you are at risk for certain diseases or conditions due to excess fat or obesity. Measuring sex and stress hormones, which when imbalanced can lead to issues with blood glucose, metabolism, and weight gain, can help uncover imbalances that can be approached with diet, lifestyle, and natural supplementation. Conducting stool tests can reveal the overgrowth of typical organisms or unwanted organisms in your gut such as parasites, bacteria, yeast, and fungus that can impact food cravings and other symptoms. Measuring the presence of toxins or the level of nutrients in the body provides helpful information to correct imbalances with detoxification or supplementation. Measuring blood levels of insulin and your A1C can provide insight into how your body is managing glucose.
While these are only a few ways of identifying metabolic imbalances, the bottom line is that supporting our metabolic functions appropriately can help drive a well-balanced metabolism. The only way to know where specific imbalances are is to test for them. If our metabolic functions are not working properly, this can affect our ability to process, absorb, digest, store, detoxify, and eliminate appropriately. This can lead to issues with inflammation, weight gain, pain, and autoimmune disease.
Doing the detective work to uncover metabolic imbalances, can help a practitioner to guide an individual with personalized recommendations for lifestyle changes even beyond diet and exercise. For example, functional lab testing and a functional client assessment may uncover hormonal imbalances related to sleep issues or excessive stress. Uncovering specific imbalances help a practitioner to focus with their clients on specific issues and contributing factors. This can help clients to more specifically address metabolic issues impacting their inability to lose weight and reduce inflammation and pain.
Overall, maintaining an appropriate weight, following an anti-inflammatory diet, and taking measures to consult with a functional practitioner who can use specialized functional lab tests to uncover your specific metabolic issues and help you correct them, can have a positive impact on your overall joint health. So if you’re looking to reduce inflammation, improve your joint health, and having issues with controlling your weight, seeking help from a functional practitioner is a great way to discover the secrets to losing weight and improving your joint health.
I am a Master’s prepared RN, National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Board-Certified Functional Wellness Coach, and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. I help people fix their chronic inflammation & pain with in-home lab testing, client assessments, personalized natural healing protocols, and online coaching to help them move from pain to peace so that they feel better, move better, and live better.