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Dropping a few pounds

Hello all, I'm sure this has already been asked but I thought I'd throw this out there. Does anyone really struggle with keeping weight on with ra? I know some struggle with too much weight but I'm the other way around. I'm currently 5 ft4 and am just below 8 stone. My gp says I am still just within the bmi but my appetite has changed so sometimes don't eat as much as I used to.

I find it really hard to eat the right amount of a calories daily, even though most days I eat a good amount, most of the food isn't that high in calories and pretty healthy. I don't go a bundle on puds, and I'm also a coeliac .

This is well controlled and I eat gf bread and pasta so not cutting out any foods particularly. I also cook loads and enjoy making food for others then find I can't eat it ! I just get worried as I would like a bit more weight and cannot seem to gain it, then worry more ..and I know anxiety can also lessen the appetite! It's a viscous circle! Any thoughts? Or anyone else in the same boat? Xx

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Although health professionals use the BMI it really is only a guide & as long as you're not too much over or under for your height I wouldn't be overly concerned. I'm the same height as you & don't fluctuate much from 9 stone & it's never queried so my thinking is as long as you're eating as healthily as you're dietary requirements allow I wouldn't worry.

If you don't feel like eating once you've cooked maybe someone else could share cooking the family meal so you're more tempted to eat, even if it's only a couple times a week. My mum was just the same so I know it can be that way & they worked out that if my dad was home at a reasonable time he cooked the dinner which did help encouraging her to eat on those days.

As you say worrying won't help the situation so try not over think & get too anxious about it. Again, calorie intake is only a guide & often our meds can affect our appetite so as long as you're not losing weight & feel ok I wouldn't fret.


Thanks for reassurance nomoreheels .. I have appeared to have lost a few pounds as used to be just over 8. I will suggest to hubby about him cooking more ..haha, not sure if that will happen though!

I'm pretty active and quite an anxious person so this probably contributes to the weight loss, I seem to lose it far easier than putting it on! Grr..just hate being too skinny!

Yes you are right re the meds..I'm on full dose of sulphasalazine and embrel so maybe it's this that's effecting my appetite.

Thanks again for the reply xx


I am 5ft 4 and was 12st 13ib a year ago and now 9st 7ib filling my self up with chocolate buns ect I was in heaven at first ,I was told I have rd last October ,I was only talking to my doctor today about this he said it is because I am not controlling my rd and I have to sort my meds out ,


Hi Tessthomy,

My partner has the same problem due to recent development of diabetes. Do you eat nuts? Macadamia nuts offer the highest calorie return per gram, avocados are also high in calories and are a quality food. Some seeds on your porridge would help and full fat milk, butter, cheese and yoghurt if no cholesterol issues ( go organic on dairy products if you can afford to do so due to the antibiotics that can be in non organic milk products... As a farmers daughter I can tell that a milking cow can be on antibiotics for something and her milk is still acceptable according to the milk marketing boards standards dispite the fact that the antibiotics will leach into her milk!).

A good protein based breakfast will help - scrambled eggs, baked beans, mushrooms etc kinda affair.

We got a soya protein supplement to add to stews and soups it has a calorific value of 350 cals per 100 grams when buying such things look at the percentage of proteins given on the front as the higher % the better ours is 90% and we got it from a specialist health shop. I don't use it as I am busy working off excess weight (I don't like to say 'loosing weight' as it implies a carelessness about the process and to lose something is negative which in my case is not!). The make we got is 'Pulsin' but there are others on the market :)

Oh and dark chocolate, again go for the highest value you can eat (90% cocoa).

Take care



Since diagnosis I've focused on the quality of the food I eat more than anything. Vegetables don't pack a lot of calories, but a diet rich in a wide variety of veg is bound to do us good and help offset the impact of the disease on our bodies. Oily fish, pulses, fruit, some lean meat ..... you might still be very slim if you manage to eat these types of foods. I think a good range of foodstuffs matters most because there are so many important trace elements and vitamins that just might help boost health but are easy to miss out on if your diet is limited.

I understand you'd like to gain a few pounds but in terms of fighting the disease, being a bit too slim is probably loads better than being overweight. And the nice thing is that some of the freshest, most nutritious food is quick and easy to prepare.

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Thank you all for your advice. You have made me feel quite a bit better. I will look into that protein powder, and yes being on the slim side is probably better with this disease than being overweight. Thanks again xx


I find that when my RA is very active, my weight drops. I presume (unscientifically) that my body is so fired up with inflammation that it's burning calories more quickly. I seem to gain a lot more easily when my RA is less active. Some of the drugs will also reduce your appetite. Apparently Hydroxy is one of those, though it doesn't seem to affect my appetite - lol. Best of luck.


Thanks karen77. Funnily enough I have had a few flares since stopping mtx as (it didn't agree with me) I am still on embrel and now sulphazalazine , full dose.

The consultant gave me a steroid jab 2 weeks ago to tide me over but I too was wondering if the flares make me lose weight.

It does seem feasible that your body burns up fuel with all the pain and inflamation going around it. I had hoped the steroid would increase my appetite but it's still waning, I do try to eat as many calories as poss..and as Ali_H says I will try to eat more nuts as snacks! TT x


Hardboiled eggs are good too! :) Sugar will increase your appetite, but it will also increase your inflammation, so probably not a good thing. Good luck. I've never been given a steroid injection, so I don't have any first-hand experience with that. I just know that when I am badly flaring, I can eat as much chocolate as I want and still lose weight.

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Hi i lost a lost a lot of weight when i was on sulpha one and a half stone because i could not face food did not enjoy it any more ended up coming off it but most people seem fine on it hope it settles for you

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Hi Tessthorny, I have RA & cannot gain weight either. I can eat anything & a lot of it but nothing makes me gain. I am a vegetarian but there are quite a few overweight ones out there. I am 5"3' and weigh 102 (most of the time). I'm not much of a cook though. I take a multivitamin to make sure that I am covered-food wise. Everyone above had great suggestions, I might even try some of them.

Good luck,


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Thanks for that Tinwoman2, I've only just managed to see this. Yes I find it v difficult to maintain my weight. People say I look ok but would just love to gain a few pounds. I eat as many calories as I can manage but still no weight gain. Ah well will keep trying!


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