Understanding Arthritis

Arthritic pain can be debilitating, decreasing the quality of people’s lives. There are two main forms of arthritis; Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The main difference between the two is that Osteoarthritis is the result of wear and tear on the joints, whereas Rheumatoid is an autoimmune condition where your body attacks itself, resulting in swelling, inflammation and pain. It is important to talk to your doctor about your pain as prescription medicines are available and can make a huge difference. However, there are many non-prescription medications out there to help with arthritic pain. Here are a few of the most common complementary medications used.

  1. Fish oil - Current evidence suggests that fish oil is most effective in reducing inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis.  It is likely that it works similarly in osteoarthritis, however there is not sufficient evidence to confirm at this time. The dose needed to get anti-inflammatory effects is high and the easiest way to achieve this is to take a good quality, liquid fish oil. One teaspoon of a good quality liquid can equal 8-10 fish oil capsules.
  2. Glucosamine - Make sure you are taking the sulfate form as this is the one with the clinical evidence behind it. There is very good evidence to suggest it is effective in treating symptoms of osteoarthritis as well as slowing disease progression.[i]
  3. Turmeric - The anti-inflammatory part of turmeric is called Curcumin. Curcumin is effective in decreasing morning stiffness and swelling, while increasing walking time. In a recent study, curcumin was found to be more effective than Diclofenac (Voltaren) 50mg[ii] for Rheumatoid arthritis. Evidence also suggests effectiveness in osteoarthritis and a significant decrease in the need for anti-inflammatory medicines.
  4. SAMe - Multiple studies have found that this naturally occurring molecule may be as effective as some standard treatments for Osteoarthritis, such as prescription anti inflammatories, including Celebrex[iii].  

Visit Community Care Chemist to discuss how we can better improve your quality of life with arthritic pain. We have a WHOLE HEALTH approach, embracing traditional western medicine and natural, complementary medicine to deliver the best health management solution for you.


[i] Braun & Cohen (2015) Herbs and Natural Supplements pg 473

[ii] Braun & Cohen (2015) Herbs and Natural Supplements pg 1014

[iii] Braun & Cohen (2015) Herbs and Natural Supplements pg 858

 

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