Effective treatment for autoimmune disorders typically involves medication that suppresses the immune system, with physical therapy, vitamins, or supplements prescribed as needed. When you suffer from an autoimmune disorder, it tends to be a chronic condition. That means that the goal of treatment is usually to balance the management of symptoms with the preservation of the body’s ability to fight off disease. However, you need to be careful when using immunosuppressant drugs to do that.

Over prescription of common medications, such as the steroid prednisone, can lead to serious side effects, including a higher risk of infection. Recent developments suggest an encouraging alternative, however: several studies have found that weight loss is actually an effective measure for patients seeking to manage autoimmune disorders. Additionally, some of these studies determined that weight loss could significantly reduce the chance of autoimmune disorders developing in the first place.

Findings indicate that three prevalent, chronic autoimmune conditions respond positively to treatment through weight loss: Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA):

  • A study from Arthritis Care & Research determined that people with RA who lost at least 10% of their body weight reported substantial reductions in pain and fatigue, in addition to improvements in overall joint function.
  • Crucially, another study published in the journal Rheumatology has found that weight loss was associated with a reduced risk of developing RA.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD):

  • A study from Gastroenterology found that people with Crohn’s disease who lost at least 10% of their body weight experienced decreased abdominal pain and diarrhea, in addition to reporting an increase in quality of life.
  • A related study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that weight loss was associated with a reduced risk of developing IBD.


  • Lupus has published a study claiming that people with lupus who lost at least 10% of their body weight reported decreased fatigue, pain, and joint stiffness.
  • Arthritis and Rheumatology, in another study, found that weight loss was associated with a reduced risk of developing lupus.

Although these studies are encouraging, you should exercise caution. Significant weight loss should still be overseen by your doctor or dietician, as it can result in a variety of negative outcomes: changes in metabolism, loss of muscle mass, gastrointestinal issues, reduced bone density, hair loss, and weakened immunity to disease have all been associated with unsupervised weight loss regimens.

At Chicago Arthritis and Regenerative Medicine, we’ve acted on emerging research through our Physician Monitored Weight Loss Program, which uses the powerful peptide semaglutide to manage metabolism, fat regulation, and appetite control. You might have heard this referred to by its more common brand names, Ozempic or Wegovy. If you’re struggling with both weight loss and an autoimmune disorder, combining peptide therapy with diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes can provide you with significant relief:

  • Semaglutide is well studied, has a proven safety profile, and is effective: in clinical trials, participants lost on average 15-20% of their body weight over the course of 68 weeks.
  • It’s also been shown to result in long-term weight loss rather than merely short-term gains. Through monitored administration and check-ins, we’ll ensure you won’t just gain it all back.
  • If you’re seeking help managing autoimmune disorders through weight loss, consider peptide therapy as an effective alternative to more drastic, potentially harmful fad diets.

If you are interested in learning more about our peptide weight loss program using semaglutide, please schedule a consultation today. We would be happy to answer any questions and help determine if our program is right for you.