Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that primarily affects the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness. While RA itself may not directly cause weight gain, there are several factors related to RA that can contribute to weight gain.
One possible factor is reduced physical activity due to pain and mobility issues caused by RA. People with RA may have difficulty exercising or participating in physical activity, which can lead to a decrease in overall energy expenditure and contribute to weight gain.
Another factor is the use of corticosteroids, which are often prescribed to help reduce inflammation and pain associated with RA. Corticosteroids can increase appetite and cause fluid retention, which can lead to weight gain.
Additionally, some people with RA may have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), which can cause weight gain as well.
It’s important to note that not everyone with RA will experience weight gain, and weight gain is not a symptom of RA itself. However, if you have RA and are concerned about weight gain, it’s a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider for advice on managing your weight in a way that works for you.