You may have heard about a supplement glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate that helps rebuild joints and possibly reverses arthritis. They both are thought to help slow or prevent the degeneration of joint cartilage, the underlying cause of osteoarthritis pain. Among its most talked about effectiveness is its ability to rebuild tissue, a person may have lost in their joints. And at the same time help alleviate existing joint pain. The nutritional supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, have emerged as an alternative treatment or complementary treatments for some patients suffering from osteoarthritis pain. Presently, it is thought that unlike many medications available to treat arthritis pain and inflammation, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements have very few side effects.
Glucosamine is a natural compound found in the body. And is a form of amino sugar that is believed to forms the main ingredient for most of the connective and cushioning tissue in your body. It is the breakdown of these tissues such as cartilage and synovial fluids that causes the pain and immobility of osteoarthritis. The theory behind glucosamine supplements is that if you replace this important building block, your joints tissue will start to build up again. And it looks like the theory work. When combined with a sulfate, glucosamine apparently stimulates your cartilage to re-grow. And at the same time, it reduces swelling in your joints and eases the painful symptoms of arthritis. In studies, glucosamine has increased a patient mobility, and provided better and longer-lasting pain relief than ibuprofen.
Chondroitin sulfate is part of a large protein molecule (proteoglycan) that gives cartilage elasticity. Chondroitin sulfate helps give cartilage its elastic properties and is thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help to reduce the painful swelling in the joints that occurs when the exposed bones in the joint rub together In addition, chondroitin sulfate may also help slow the breakdown of cartilage and help restore cartilage growth to better cushion the joints
While glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin have been taken orally since the 1960ís in Europe, it is only recently that these supplements have been used in the United States as an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease.
If you are considering taking glucosamine and chondroitin nutritional supplements to help your arthritis consider the following:
* First, Talk to your doctor many are actually quite open to complementary treatments. These supplements are not appropriate for all forms of arthritis. Pregnant women and diabetics, for example, should always be cautious and talk to their doctor. Also, If you are allergic to shellfish, consult your doctor before deciding to take glucosamine.
* Don't stop your current medication unless under the advice of your doctor. You may need to take the supplements for a couple of months before you see any results, which makes it all that more important to continue your current treatments.
* Do some research find out about the supplement you are considering buying. For additional information on glucosamine, check the web site for the National Institute's of Health (www.nih.gov).
* Stick with a reputable manufacturer. Because these products are not regulated, standards can vary among manufacturers, so avoid brand names you don't know.
* If you experience some side effects, stop taking the product and report them to your doctor.
* When taking these supplements you should include a well balanced diet and exercise. Vitamin C and manganese can help increases the effectiveness of these supplements.