If you are looking for additional or alternative ways to treat those unpleasant arthritis symptoms, natural supplements might be the answer. Below we have listed five supplements that are popular in treating arthritis symptoms including inflammation, pain, and stiffness, as well as protecting your cartilage from further deterioration. Some of these supplements can take the place of popular Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), while others help to protect your joints in conjunction with your existing medication.
Before taking any of these supplements, we strongly recommend speaking with your primary care doctor. Just because something is “natural” does not mean it’s without side effects or safe to mix with your existing arthritis medication.
Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger function similarly to COX-2 inhibitors, a type of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID).
In a 2012 study, a specialized ginger extract reduced Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) inflammation as effectively as steroids. A 2001 study showed that taking a certain ginger extract four times daily for three months reduced Osteoarthritis (OA) pain in the knee.
Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin that blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes. As a result, it reduces inflammation, pain and stiffness related to RA and OA. Curcumin only makes up about 3% of turmeric, so make sure to look for a turmeric supplement that has a high curcumin content.
Glucosamine and chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two popular supplements for arthritis. They help your body maintain the health of your cartilage, the tissue that cushions your joints. This is particularly helpful in slowing the cartilage deterioration associated with RA and OA.
In a 2016 trial, the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin was just as effective as celecoxib–a COX-2 inhibitor NSAID–at reducing pain, stiffness and swelling in participants with knee OA.
The polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids found in fish block the cytokines and prostaglandins that cause inflammation. Omega-3s can be found in things like flax and chia seeds, but EPA and DHA–the omega 3 fatty acids specifically found in fish–reduce joint inflammation, stiffness, pain, and even improve your heart health.
A 2013 study found that when a high-dose fish oil supplement is added to “triple therapy” (methotrexate, sulfasalazine and hydroxychloroquine) for RA, patients were far less likely to “fail” treatment and twice as likely to reach remission than those who did not take a supplement.
MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in fruits, vegetables, grains and milk. MSM is a popular supplement among people with arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It offers relief to people with chronic pain and other types of inflammatory, muscle, or joint pain. MSM is also believed to protect cartilage, counter oxidative stress and improve antioxidant capacity.
When treating arthritis, the prescribed medications can be tough on your body and adding things like NSAIDs into the mix makes it even tougher, especially for your digestive system. These five supplements are a great way to get relief while treating your body in a very natural way.
If you are near us in Centennial or anywhere in the south Denver Metro Area, we would love to help you find arthritis relief. During the month of February, we are offering FREE consultations to evaluate your arthritic condition and see if we can help you find relief. Call us or contact us online today!
BY: Dr. Friedman
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