Joint Health Before and After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

hands on joints

According to a study in Arthritis Care and Research, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis were on the rise, along with other diseases. In just 5 years, the diagnoses of those joint diseases increased by 34%. Hospitalizations of patients with those diseases also increased, by 22%. The study concludes there is a high possibility that these are linked to obesity.

Obesity-Related Joint Diseases


Between joints, which are where two bones meet, are cushions of cartilage. These cushions are the “shock absorbers” of the body. Osteoarthritis occurs when these cushions become worn out over time. It is an inevitable result of aging. However, certain conditions can cause early osteoarthritis through over-stress of the cartilage. Obesity is one of these. The added weight of a person puts more stress on the cartilage, wearing it out faster.


Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning your immune system mistakes your healthy cells for foreign ones, and attacks them. Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation of the joints, swelling around the area, and of course also pain in using those joints. It was found that those who have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 and above were more at-risk of rheumatoid arthritis. The body’s fat-storing (adipose) cells are a factor in autoimmunity.


Gout is caused by uric acid building up as crystals in the joints, due to too much uric acid in the body. This uric acid, a result of the body breaking down purines in certain kinds of fish and in beer and wine, usually passes through urine. However, obese people may have a high buildup of uric acid which the liver and kidneys can no longer keep up with. In certain people, the uric acid will crystallize and cause swelling and pain around the joints.

The Effect of Gastric Sleeve Surgery on Joint Health

There are some cases in which proper diet and exercise can no longer cope with obesity. Joint disease is one of those cases. Attempting the normal forms of exercise, even light jogging or walking, may cause joint injuries you cannot fully recover from. Remember, using your joints increases the body weight being placed on them.

For example, consider your standing body weight as the normal body weight. When you walk on a straight path, you are placing 1 and ½ times your body weight on your joints. Just getting out of your chair can put 2 and ½ times your body weight on your joints. The more strenuous the exercise, the worse the effect on your joints.


Gastric sleeve surgery causes an average weight loss of 30% from your full BMI. Just 5% weight loss causes an 18% improvement in joint disease symptoms. In your pursuit of a life of health, gastric sleeve surgery is a great first step. It not only clears the way for effective dieting by reducing the stomach size, but also lowers the risks to your joints as you begin to exercise.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: A Way to Joint Health

Joints do age and become less healthy over time. However, no one wants their joints to become difficult to use before it is time for them to stop. For an energized lifestyle that stretches as long as you can manage it, gastric sleeve surgery is one way to reduce wear and tear on the joints, and increase your chances of doing what you want to do in life.

Long story short, gastric sleeve joint health is a major reason to have gastric sleeve surgery.

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