Lose the Weight and

Gain Back Your Life!

  • Center of Excellence in Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery
  • Master in Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery
  • Award of Excellence in Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery

How Obesity Can Worsen Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful and sometimes debilitating autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the lining around the joints. This inflammation can destroy the bones and cartilage, causing pain, stiffness, swelling and limited motion or function of the joints.

For years researchers have investigated the link between RA and obesity. Not only has it been established that obese people are more likely to develop RA, but research also indicates that obesity can actually worsen cases of RA. Below, Dr. V. Kuzinkovas, a Sydney weight loss surgeon at Advanced Surgicare, explains why obesity and RA are a painful and dangerous combination.

Excess Weight Exacerbates Joint Inflammation

Fat cells create and release proteins called cytokines, which, in excess, can cause chronic inflammation in the joint tissue. Gaining weight leads to more of the cytokines circulating in the body, exacerbating inflammation and the severity of RA.

Lowers Treatment Response and Odds of Remission

Obese patients are less likely to respond to traditional drugs used to treat RA, including Remicade and Humira, than patients of a normal weight. Obese patients also have dramatically lower chances of reaching remission (i.e., having very few or no signs of RA).

Increases Risk of Other Diseases

The combination of obesity and RA can increase the chances of developing other serious diseases, such as:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • fibromyalgia
  • depression
  • lupus
  • hypertension

Increases the Risk of Disability

Obese or overweight individuals with rheumatoid arthritis have a much higher risk of disability; the increased inflammation and resulting pain, swelling and stiffness may make it difficult to move around.

Losing Weight Can Help People with RA

Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight may be challenging for people struggling with obesity, but it has been proven to help those with RA. Losing weight can lower inflammation, reduce the pressure and pain on the joints and decrease the risk of other dangerous conditions (e.g., heart attack, stroke, diabetes).

If you are overweight and have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, it makes sense to explore your weight loss options, including bariatric surgery, with a trusted doctor. To make your appointment with Dr. Kuzinkovas, please call Advanced Surgicare on 1300 551 533 or email on info@advancedsurgicare.com.au today.

Contact us Today

Schedule Your Consultation
1300 551 533

South Eastern Sydney
(Main Office)

Advanced Surgicare

Suites 501/502, Level 5

St George Private Specialist Consulting Suites

131 Princes Highway

Kogarah NSW, 2217

(entrance via South St)


Tel: 1300 551 533

Fax: 02 9588 9471

South Western Sydney

Advanced Surgicare

Macarthur Specialist &
Professional Consulting Rooms

Suite 114, Level 1, Building A, 4 Hyde Parade

Campbelltown, NSW, 2560


Tel: 1300 551 533

Fax: 02 9588 9471

North Western Sydney

Advanced Surgicare

Suite G3B, Ground Floor,
Norwest Private Hospital

9 Norbrik Drive

Bella Vista, NSW, 2153


Tel: 1300 551 533

Fax: 02 9588 9471

Western Sydney

Advanced Surgicare

My Health Medical Centre

Edensor Park Plaza

Corner Edensor and Allambie Rd

Edensor Park NSW 2176


Tel: 1300 551 533

Fax: 02 9588 9471