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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Glucosamine for OsteoArthritis Management

lucosamine for the Management of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis commonly occurs in the weight bearing joints in the body. It also affects the fingers, thumb, and large toe. The condition causes the joint to lose its elasticity and become stiff. Over time, the cartilage may slowly wear away and if the condition worsens, the bones could rub against each other.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis often develop slowly. The joint may hurt during movement and the joint may feel tender when light pressure is applied to it. Joint stiffness may also be most noticeable after a period of inactivity or when you wake up in the morning. There is also a considerable decrease in the ability to move the joints through its full range of motion. Other patients with osteoarthritis may feel a grating sensation when moving the affected joint.
Certain factors can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Women are most likely to develop the condition. The risk of osteoarthritis also increases with age. Other factors are bone deformities, previous joint injuries, obesity, and repetitive stress on the joint.
Osteoarthritis is mostly treated with analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, with long-term use, these drugs can cause adverse effects, particularly gastrointestinal and cardiovascular. Thus, disease modifying alternatives would be best. For the past years, glucosamine has been increasingly recommended to modify the course of the condition. People with osteoarthritis who take glucosamine may benefit from reduced pain and improved physical function.
What is glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a natural compound that is found in healthy cartilage. It is naturally produced in the body and plays a key role in building cartilage. It is an amino sugar that the body produces and distributes in cartilage and other connective tissue.
Several scientific studies have suggested the effectiveness of glucosamine in the treatment of osteoarthritis. The results suggest the glucosamine supplements may help reduce osteoarthritis pain. It is also helpful in reducing joint swelling and stiffness. Studies have shown that it helps improve joint mobility.
Since the natural glucosamine in the body is used to make and repair joint cartilage, glucosamine in the form of nutritional supplements are used in the management of osteoarthritis by helping repair damaged cartilage.

There are no major food sources of glucosamine. Oral supplements are available as glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and n-acetyl glucosamine.  

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