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Glucosamine as a supplement for osteoarthritis

What is osteoarthritis and why does it occur?

One of the most frequent forms of arthritis is osteoarthritis, and it tends to affect joints of hands, hips, knees, back and neck. If a person is diagnosed with it, it means that the cartilage in the affected joints has worn out. The real cause of this disorder is not really clear in the majority of cases, but it has been proved that obesity, aging, injury or stress of the joint, or weakness of the muscles may lead to osteoarthritis, as well as that this condition may be inherited. Since this is also degenerative disease, it means that it gets worse over time and that it cannot be cured. However, it does not mean that the symptoms cannot be kept under control with the help of several methods of the treatment.

When it comes to the treatment, it usually consists of the medications such as NSAID’s or those that work as pain relievers, although physical therapy, as well as wearing braces or special shoe inserts can also help significantly in relieving the symptoms. Extremely severe cases require a surgery, but whether it will be the one to replace the joint, or to realign or fuse the bones, it depends on the case. Alternative medicine also offers a few helpful solutions.

Can glucosamine supplements help in the treatment of osteoarthritis?

The fact is that every cartilage of the joints contains amino sugar called glucosamine, along with chondroitin sulfate, and that they are responsible for the stimulation of the body to create more cartilage. This is probably the reason why many manufacturers began to produce and advertise certain glucosamine based supplements, claiming that they help in rebuilding the cartilage. Many studies and scientific research has been done on this issue, but unfortunately, it was not proved that glucosamine supplements have the stated ability. In some cases, slowing down in the development of the disease has been noticed, but it has not been noticed in all cases. There were some people who practically did not react to this supplement at all, or their reaction was not different from the reaction of people who were treated with the placebo. Still, it has been concluded that it is necessary to wait for at least 6 months to see if there are any positive results, and since there is no evidence about side effects of glucosamine supplements when used in the long run, it is best to consult a doctor and give it a try, because there is nothing to lose.

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