The Three R’s of Arthritis

Did you know that over 16,500 Americans die unnecessarily annually from arthritis medications? Although these medications can sometimes be helpful, natural remedies and supplements have been shown to be more effective — and very safe. In addition, they help heal your joints, as opposed to medications which may actually accelerate arthritis.

Arthritis, a universal disease, affects over 28 million Americans alone. And yes, there are prescription drugs available to help slow degeneration or alleviate symptoms, but there are a great many natural supplements available that can alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as well as help to successfully treat the conditions. These natural supplement therapies can be more effective than prescription medication at managing pain and possibly healing damage caused from arthritis.

The three “R’s” to follow to be successful in a natural supplement therapy are:

  • Repair
  • Reverse (inflammation)
  • Restore Function

Here are a few natural supplements to consider trying in place of prescription medication to help repair damage, reverse inflammation and restore functionality.

Krill Oil: Fatty acids play an important role in reducing inflammation. They produce compounds called resolvins and protectins, which help quell inflammation before it can do too much damage to your tissues. Several studies have been published on the remarkable effectiveness of krill oil in combating inflammation-related disorders, such as arthritis. Research suggests that people with arthritis who take 300 mg of a krill oil product daily have less pain and stiffness and function better after 30 days of treatment.

Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine: These both have more positive effects in patients with OA rather than those with inflammatory diseases such as RA. Research in Europe has found that OA patients who took 1,500mg of glucosamine daily had the same level of pain relief as those who took drugs such as ibuprofen for pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin can begin to work for patients in as little as two weeks or can take up to two months to be fully effective. Chondroitin sulfate comes from bovine trachea or pork byproducts. Glucosamine is derived from chitin, which is a substance in crab, lobster or shrimp shells. Allergic reactions to shellfish are usually to proteins in the fish part of shellfish. Therefore, a reaction in a person allergic to shellfish is unlikely. High concentrations of glucosamine are contained in the joints and glucosamine is thought to stimulate the cartilage formation, which is necessary for joint repair. Chondroitin sulfate content is also within cartilage. It draws fluid into the tissue, making the cartilage resistant and elastic. Chondroitin sulfate encourages the formation of new cartilage and slows the breakdown of existing cartilage breakdown.