Glucosamine for Arthritis

Glucosamine for Arthritis

In the beginning, conventional medicine found little that could deal with arthritis pain. Then along came NSAIDS – Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. These now household names were once new drugs, with common names like Aspirin and Ibuprofen and later Naproxen Sodium. They were pretty good at covering up arthritis pain. However, they had some pretty severe side effects if taken for long periods of time at the dosages needed to cover up the ever increasing pain. Everything from stomach bleeding to the breaking down of your lower digestive tract to liver failure is possible if not inevitable. Little did we know at the time that we might be making arthritis worse with long-term NSAID use.

Along came COX-2 Inhibitors, the supposedly more “selective” medications. Generally available only with a prescription (and costing far more than over the counter NSAIDS), brands such as Vioxx®, Bextra® and Celebrex® quickly rose to “stardom” in the arthritis pain relief realm. In fact they were one of the most heavily prescribed class of drugs. Vioxx® was removed from the market in 2004 and Bextra® was removed in 2005. Their removal from the market was the result of 1000’s fatal side effects of COX-2 inhibitors, including kidney failure, stroke and heart attack.

Glucosamine and its effectiveness for arthritis in humans and animals has been in progress for more than 20 years both in America and abroad in places such as much of Europe, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Glucosamine is different than NSAIDs or COX 2 drugs. Glucosamine works in a much different way than NSAIDs or COX-2 drugs because it is natural. Glucosamine builds and maintains cartilage, tendons and other connective tissues in the body by acting as a building block for these materials and inhibiting enzymes that destroy cartilage. When the body does not have an adequate supply of glucosamine, arthritis – most commonly osteoarthritis – can develop. This debilitating condition that afflicts millions of people worldwide is characterized by a breakdown in the “shock absorbers” of the joints, particularly weight bearing ones such as the hip or knee. Glucosamine works by preventing the cartilage destruction, joint pain, swelling and loss of flexibility in a natural way and without the harmful side effects that are associated with NSAIDs or COX-2 drugs. Not to mention the fact that glucosamine is far cheaper (about a dollar a day) and derived from natural sources.

Glucosamine cannot cure your arthritis, but it will do wonders for your arthritis and joint pain. Because glucosamine works from within, bathing your joints in a proverbial warm and protective solution and working to heal your joints instead of merely cover up pain, results take a little bit longer than NSAIDs or COX-2 drugs. Once you have achieved relief, however, glucosamine works to protect your joints from further damage while continuing to stave off further damage. Contrasted to glucosamine, there is evidence that many of the NSAIDs can actually work against your arthritic joints, to cause your arthritis pain to become even worse by breaking down your joints.

If you need immediate pain relief, glucosamine can be taken with traditional NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc) if you need temporary pain relief while the glucosimine gets to work rebuilding your cartilage and reducing your pain. Note that most clinical trials tested 1,500 mg of glucosamine per day. Also, many people find Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM to be helpful for their arthritis pain, so consider a product that contains them as well, if possible. Be sure to explore the Glucosamine Product Guide for a fair comparison of the leading glucosamine products available today.