OSTEOARTHRITIS AND NATURAL REMEDIESIt is not often that I think, "would've, could've, should've". But in this post on osteoarthritis, it will all be said. If I could have known the importance of properly caring for my joints I would have taken the right steps nutritionally including vitamins and supplements to insure their health for future years. But I will plead ignorance to what I should have done and say that gratefully, it wasn't too late for me.
In my 20's and 30's I was raising a family and taking care of a household pretty much on my own. This involved a lot of physical activity both inside and outside the house. With a diet that wasn't the best nutritionally and overexertion of my body, I soon started developing numerous joint aches and pains. They seemed to take turns in my body's different joints. One day my fingers would hurt, another day it was my knees, neck or shoulders. Tylenol became a daily part of my life. Finally, in my late 30's I was in the doctor's office looking for answers. Routine blood work was done and also testing for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc. The tests came back negative, I was told it was osteoarthritis and a prescription for Naproxen was ordered. A few times I had steroid shots in my thumb and index finger because they were swollen and difficult to bend. This was my treatment for a couple years. But the Naproxen was causing a lot of gastrointestinal problems for me and I had to stop taking it.
At the end of my 30th decade and into my early 40s I started listening to a radio show with an alternative doctor. It was all so new to me and my upbringing on traditional medicine. But slowly, so much of what he said made complete sense to me. This was when I first heard about the use of glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate to not only ease the inflammation and pain in joints, but help reverse and repair the degenerative process! These substances are classified as amino sugars and are used in the structure of body tissues including tendons, ligaments, bones, skin and joints. I started taking the supplements and within a month, improvement started. Not only was I finding relief from the discomfort and pain in my joints, but further destruction was being halted while cartilage was being rebuilt. Now, almost 25 years later, they are a daily part of my vitamin and supplement regiment.
It is important to take them regularly and consistently. Our joints take a beating for years, it stands to reason they can't be repaired over night. In cases where there is very little cartilage left in a joint, there may not be a chance for improvement. But I know for a fact that the cartilage in my knees is in pretty good shape. Both times the meniscus was torn in my knees, the MRIs showed very little loss or degeneration of the cartilage in either knee.
An excellent book on osteoarthritis is "The Arthritis Cure" by Jason Theodosakis, MD. It goes into great detail on the subject and also discusses the use of ASU which is derive from avocado and soybean oils. I used this product when experiencing the meniscus tear in my right knee. Taking MSM supplements every day has also enhanced the health of my joints by relieving inflamation
There are many other natural treatments for osteoarthritis discomfort and pain but I am not sure of anything else that actually helps rebuild cartilage like glocosamine and chondroitin. The sooner a person starts taking care of and halting damage to their joints, the better. I am pleased to say that being physically active in my 60's and not facing joint replacements, is something I am grateful for each day.
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I am not a doctor and do not claim to be one. These are just my experiences and conclusions.