Arthrtitis and osteoarthritis are the degenerative disorders of the joints, causing many problems to millions of people worldwide. Only in the United States there are 27 million of people suffering from this condition. Arthritis causes joint damage, limits the mobility of the patients and may be associated with excruciating pain. Risk factors for developing this medical condition are: old age (people over 60 often develop arthritis), repeated usage of certain joints (seen in athletes and some similar professions), obesity and joint injuries.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Many of these patients use glucosamine chondroitin supplements, to ease some of the symptoms. These are naturally occurring substances in the human body, and together they form the cartilage of our joints. Chondroitin sulfate is important ingredient of the cartilage and complex carbohydrate in structure. It preserves cartilage flexibility and also inhibits enzyme degradation of the cartilage. Glucosamine is also present in the body as the sulfate, and it aids the production and the repair of the cartilage.
The cartilage doesn’t get damaged overnight, at least not normally. Aging causes the decreased production of these cartilage components and lead to osteoarthritis, which is the main reason for using glucosamine chondroitin supplements. These supplements are made of chondroitin from the cartilage of beef, cows or sharks and glucosamine from the shellfish shells.
Supplements are said to relieve the pain, reduce the inflammation and repair the joint cartilage. Recent studies have shown that there is also the possibility that these glucosamine and chondroitin supplements work much better with the added anti-inflammatory substance such as MSM. Researchers find out that these supplements also amplify the amount of the building blocks in the joint.
Although, chondroitin and glucosamine supplements have been used by many arthritis patients and recommended by doctors, there is no scientific proof that they actually work.
Always consult your doctor before you start supplementing glucosamine and chondroitin. In most cases, arthritis can be managed by the proper diet, physical activity and painkiller medications.
In most cases, these supplements are found out to be safe for the patients. Some people using them complained about the nausea, vomiting, stomach problems and diarrhea, but the serious side effects are rare.
Patients have to be careful, because they might be allergic to the supplements and develop swelling of the lips, tongue and throat and sometimes breathing problems.
There were several cases of stomach ulcers, liver damage, heart attacks and strokes caused by these supplements.