Health eNewsLetter - July 2015

Walk to cure Arthritis

Rheumatology and Dermatology staff and friends joined the Walk to Cure Arthritis June 6th 2015, in Shelby Farms, Memphis TN.
 
Over 500 people participated in this walk to raise money for arthritis research.

There are over 300 types of arthritis, and some even affect kids. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation tells us that over 6700 children in Tennessee suffer from varieties of juvenile arthritis. Over 1.2 million adults in Tennessee suffer from adult types of arthritis. The key to improvements in treatment lies in medical research. Check out Arthritis Foundation.org.

And Dr. Chapman has been a long-term advocate for the Arthritis Foundation.

 

"Get moving....."

22 Years of Practice

Drs. Chapman and Woodbury celebrated 22 years of practicing together in Memphis TN on June 25th 2015.

Our clinic - Rheumatologyand Dermatology Associates - is one of a half dozen combined clinics in the United States focusing on these two specialties 
  

What is the "Heavy" on being Heavy?

Everybody in America knows that being overweight has consequences for your health. Rheumatologists have long known that excess weight contributes to the development of Osteoarthritis a.k.a. Degenerative Arthritis. However, newer research has shown that obesity contributes to most types of arthritis including Rheumatoid Arthritis. This occurs when fat tissue produces proteins known as lipokines and adipokines that damage the joint.


Currently, the only way to beat these damaging proteins is to lose weight.  The good news is that research shows that only about 5% of weight loss  will slow down the progression of the arthritis. Ten percent weight loss may actually stop the deterioration.  For example, if you are a 5' 4" woman of
average build and weigh 200 pounds, your ideal body weight is around 120 pounds BUT if you can lose just 10 pounds you can help your joints and 20pounds will make a dramatic difference.  Everybody who has needed to lose weight knows that losing weight is difficult.

 

Rheumatology and Dermatology Medical Assistants Vicki and Shirley encourage all to "get moving," for both the health of your joints and your heart and lungs.

There are many weight loss programs available. However, the best are those that allow you to eat much like you normally do but with long term sustainable changes. Consider making a list of all the food you eat in a day and find just one or two things you can change. For example, that late evening snack, that can of cola at lunch daily, that dessert after dinner, or that fast food French fries. Even these small changes can result in ½-2 pounds weekly weight loss. It doesn't sound like much but in 6 months that could be 50 pounds! Note that artificial sweeteners tend to increase the appetite for sugary foods so try to avoid "diet" drinks.

 

Don't forget exercise. Exercise is not one size fits all. Depending on the amount of arthritis you have, level of fitness, and interests, your "work out" may vary from the established fitness center routine. Swimming, water aerobics, exercise bike/elliptical, just plain-ole-walking are excellent activities. The key is to find something and do it regularly. If you have arthritis, avoid high impact activities such as kick boxing, basketball, and FYI stair masters, all of which are bad for arthritic knees. If you find you must stop your routine for any reason, just get back at it when you can and modify it if you need to. Stretching is also important to decrease stiffness and improve mobility. Do not do anything which hurts but if the stretching is challenging that is fine. Yoga and tai chi are good stretching activities. 
 

Although there is no cure for most types of arthritis, new information about the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis is being discovered almost every day. Keep fighting the pain and stiffness of arthritis and enjoy your life!
 

Cathy Chapman MD, 06/08/2015

 

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