Need advice on natural arthritis supplements that help

by LyinEyes 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • LyinEyes

    I know that Mac knows alot about this and hope he replies to this. As well as others who have tried these natural supplements .

    I have had arthritis since childhood , and mainly it was in my feet , ankles,,, now as I get older it has really hit my left knee. I have such a limp at times and sometimes can barely walk when I do too much .

    I have some supplements that have glucosamine and chondroitin in them,and have heard it take maybe 2 months before you feel any difference.

    The pain gets so bad most of the time that Celebrex doesnt help at all, and a heating pad is my only comfort.

    I have only started taking these supplements so I havent felt any results yet. I know I need to start walking too for lots of reasons, but find it to be too much at this point.

    So anyone who knows about these supplements would you please tell me what you take, how long it took to work, if it did work for you.

    I also feel very tired because of the pain and wonder if these will also help with my energy levels.

    Thanks for any input you might have.

  • gumby

    Hey dede,

    Francois knows a lot of medical stuff. If no one responds or could PM him. I also could use some advise as I have it too. Mostly in my back. I've been the celebrex/viox route but I do not trust the stuff. I take 800mils of Ibuprofin about twice a day for now but thats not good on the liver.

    That's all I know for now


  • manon


    If you are looking for a holistic/herbal approach to arthritis treatment I recommend the book BACK TO EDEN BY: JETHRO KLOSS.


  • gumby

    Jury Still Out on Use of Supplements to Treat Arthritis

    By Ori Twersky
    WebMD Medical News
    > Email to a friend > Printer-friendly version

    March 14, 2000 (Washington) -- True or false: Dietary supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin are attractive alternatives to anti-inflammatory drugs for treating osteoarthritis (OA). True, says an analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the first professional American journal to review the value of these "natural" remedies. But you might not want to rush out and buy a lifetime supply just yet.

    The JAMA analysis is based on an assessment of 15 previously published studies that have been highly criticized. And while it eliminates several factors that may have contributed to their potentially flawed results, it still fails to demonstrate the true risks or benefits of using these supplements, some experts warn.

    The effects found in these earlier studies, which were primarily sponsored by manufacturers, are exaggerated, concedes Timothy McAlindon, DM, an author of the JAMA article. He says that further studies are needed to determine the supplements' exact benefits in treating OA. Nevertheless, they do appear to work to some degree, McAlindon says.

    But for whom and how long? And are they safe for everyone? These are the questions the analysis fails to address, say Tanveer Towheed, MD, MS, and Tassos Anastassiades, MD, PhD, both of Queen's University in Ontario, who reviewed the study in an accompanying editorial.

    About 21 million Americans 25 and older suffer from OA, but the analysis does not clarify who will most benefit from the supplements. It does not specify the ages or genders of the study participants, or the severity of their conditions, and does not determine whether any were using additional medications to treat OA, Towheed and Anastassiades say.

    On top of all that, it does not compare side effects of the dietary supplements to those of prescription drugs approved for treating the condition, "making it difficult to evaluate whether the risks are worth the benefits," they note. And it fails to account for the fact that manufacturers make the compounds in varying degrees of purity and content, which may affect the degree of benefits and side effects, they say.

    Glucosamine and chondroitin include important components of the body's natural building blocks for the cartilage found in joints, and therefore may play a large future role in treating OA, Towheed and Anastassiades say. But until high-quality, long-term studies are done, enthusiasm for these compounds should be tempered with a healthy dose of skepticism.

    The good news for consumers is that at least one such study has already been initiated. In September 1999, the National Institutes of Health funded a study to investigate the efficacy and safety of glucosamine and chondroitin for the treatment of OA in the knee. Researchers are expected to begin recruiting patients for the 16-week study later this year.

    In the meantime, what is a patient who suffers from the side effects of prescription anti-inflammatory drugs to do?

    "I recommend that they take [the supplements] for a minimum of 12 weeks to see if they're going to have a therapeutic effect," says Marc Hochberg, MD, MPH, a professor and chairman of rheumatology at the University of Maryland.

    But then there still is that potential downside. Because dietary supplements are not regulated to the same degree as prescription drugs, "when you go into the store, you're not sure what you're getting," Hochberg says.

    Vital Information:

    • Supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin may be beneficial in treating osteoarthritis, although previous studies sponsored by manufacturers may have overstated their efficacy.
    • Researchers are still uncertain about the side effects of these supplements or how they compare to approved prescription medications.
    • Osteoarthritis patients who suffer side effects from their medication can try glucosamine and chondroitin for a minimum of 12 weeks to determine whether the supplements work for them, one expert says.
  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    I have arthritis in my feet ankles hands and knees. I suffered for many years not knowing how toi deal with the pain and hated taking pain-killers.

    My husband has degenerative bone disease in his spine. Years ago his doctor put him on meds but he hated how they made him feel and didn't think they worked. He did some research and tried shark cartilage (From Walmart, Superstore, most pharmacies now too have it) He told me it did wonders for him and that I should try it.

    Sceptic that I am I tried it just to please him. And it works for me. Within two weeks I was able to get out of bed in the morning pain-free. He also take Condroitin and the Glucosamine sulfate. I don't. I find the shark cartilage alone is enough for me. He takes 3 capsules daily. I take one during the summer and 2 during the winter.

    Since I hate taking anythin I have stopped several times. Each time the pain gets worse and goes away when I start taking them again so I know it works for me. Initially it took about a month to start working.

    I also know some people who have tried the shark cartilage and say it didn't work for them. It might depend on the type of arthritis you have.

    It is relatively inexpensive Costco/ClubPrice $15. Can for 180 capsules I would think that if you get through one bottle you should see some results if it is going to work for you. So it isn't a huge investment if it doesn't work

  • wednesday

    I have very severe arthritis, in almost all joints.(very bad heredity) The shoulder surgery i just had revealed arthritis and bone spurs, along with severely enlarged joint(which they removed half of it) and rotator cuff tears, along with this i have fibromylagia(sp) and it is a real disese despite what some may say. Some things that have helped me are -magnesium. It helps reduce muslce spasms. B-6 helps. Reducing the sugar in your diet is helpful . For some reason , sugar increases pain in people with muscle and joint problems. The omega 3 oils are supposed to help with joint and muscle and pain. a good site. arthritis is a imune disease. a google search will probably reveal a lot.

    I take motrin 800 2x day. It seems to help as much or more than the expensive ones, like celebrex. If u have acess to a pool, try water exercise. it puts less stress on your joints. Staying active is important.Sorry to say there is no cure. not yet. My dad was using a cane in his 40's. Some muscle relaxants are better than others. i find soma to help a lot. Not all docs will prescribe it.Robaxin also is a good one.

    But more and more they are finding diet may play a part. so i'd do a search and see what is out there. it is worth a try. If this link does not work , do a google search for webmd and it will bring it up. I find webmd to be very helpful.


  • jst2laws


    I am not an expert in this area, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn last night.

    When I could no longer move my arms without locking my elbows against my sides because my arthritic shoulders had ground to a halt, I finally went to my doctor thinking I had a bad case of bursitis. While rotating my arms, listening to my shoulders with his stethoscope, he spontaneously let out a rather unprofessional, emotional remark: "OH GOD, STEVE"!

    Confirming for the first time that I had for 10 years ignored arthritis thinking it was bursitis he then calmly informed my there was nothing he could do for it, but he could shoot me with cortisone to relieve the inflammation and pain.

    He then recommended a book, and a glucosamine and chondroitin regimen. From what I learned I am not surprised that the JAMA is still pondering the issue. Medical journals report expertly on scientific studies which are required by government agencies before a new drug is placed on the market. This is a valid process to assure public safety. However, the institutions involved are concerned with MEDICINE, drugs, affects and benefits of drugs, as these are MEDICAL Doctors, and MEDICAL Journals.

    Glucosamine and chondroitin are not drugs. The do not need research and development, prescriptions to attain them, doctors to recommend them or government approval to sell them. Thus there is no drug company to fund the studies. Notice who funded the study commented on in the WebMD article:

    the National Institutes of Health funded a study

    As the article gleefully exclaimed,

    The good news for consumers is that at least one such study has already been initiated. In September 1999

    But these compounds have been used in Europe to treat arthritis for decades and we in America are excited that four years ago a study was funded. I am a capitalist, but this is a glaring example of its shortcoming. Things happen a lot faster if there is money to be made.

    I benefited from glucosamine and chondroitin but it seems it must be taken with a combination of other supplements to be assimilated by the body. That must be combined with gentle use of the joints to distribute the compounds as cartilage does not have a blood supply and depends on fluid movement in joints for nourishment.

    I have concerns about blindly pursuing alternative health care. But there is plenty to read on this subject. I hope you find relief.


  • SheilaM
    glucosamine and chondroitin

    Lyin: I have a bad hip and every friggin bone in my body pops out fingers shoulders you name it. Poor kids and my grandbaby got it from me also. I do find Glucosamine and Chondroitin very helpful, especially for my elbows and the hip and knee. Melanie who has been diagnosed with arthritis since she was a teen finds the more excercise and vitamins she takes the better she feels also she drinks no pop. Pop (coke, pepsi etc) actually leeches calcium from your bones. Hope this helps

  • SheilaM

    PS I can't take any Motrin, aspirin or anti-infalmmatories so anyone that has any other ideas that would be great for me too

  • LyinEyes

    Thanks for the advice everyone, it is helpful to know all the infor yall gave.

    Wednesday, I also have fibromyalgia and I will fight to the death in telling everyone it is REAL, plus thank goodness the RA has recognised it as a true, disorder or whatever word they use which helps when you find a doctor who can not longer tell you , you are just freakin' depressed. Although I do know , the causes of that condition are also causes of depression and they feed off of each other. Plus when you are young,even as I was as a kid, it is depressing when others tell you ,,,,"but you are too young to have so much pain".
    My feet are way overdue for two more surgeries but I am putting it off since I am wanting to have some fun,,,,,,before I am laid up for 6 months to a year ,, that is how long it took me at 16 and then again at 17 to get over the feet being operated on. Even thou the doctors said, I would be walking out of the hospital,,,,,,,,,, that proved to be a big misjudgement,,,,,, for one thing I was on too many pain killers to walk alone anyway....... Demerol.

    I have found Soma to be wonderful for a bad flare of the fibromyalgia, but like you said, Wed, doctors dont like to give it.

    I have been so much better since leaving the stress of being a JW and not forcing myself to go places when I can't.

    I can tell when it is going to rain, or when the weather changes in the least little bit. But here lately the knee is the worst of the problems, and I think it is also some damage I did to that knee as a barrel racer many years ago,,,,,,, knocking that knee into the barrel over and over, it is just now showing up. If anyone is not familar with barrel racing, it is horseback riding, doing a clover leaf pattern and you turn the barrels twice to the left, therefore many hits while practicing and training my horse,,,,,,,hitting that left knee.

    I will try to remember to keep you all posted on if this works for me. I just have to remember to be faithful in taking the supplements, so I put them right here by the computer.............

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