Do you suffer from osteoarthritis? Arthritis can form in any joint of the body but this is one of the most common types that people have to deal with. When picking a treatment, it can be tough to select the right one for your needs. One option you have is Chondroitin Sulfate. This is a chemical that’s available in supplements made from sources like cow/shark cartilage.
Sometimes this chemical is combined with others to produce the supplement. When considering this chemical, you should take up issues like its uses and side-effects. This will help to determine if it’s a good option for treating your particular condition.
Is this the right chemical for your particular health condition? This is a big question that you should sort out when looking for a treatment for various conditions like arthritis. This can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. In the US about 12% of adults aged 25+ have this condition.
With all the prescription meds on the market, it can be tough to pick the right one. There are so many issues to consider including side-effects and risks. One of the main issues to take up is the effectiveness in treating your condition. That’s really the most important factor you should weigh when picking a medicine.
What Is Chondroitin Sulfate?
This is a chemical compound that’s usually located around a person’s joints. The supplements on the market are usually sourced from animal cartilage such as in cows and sharks.
The sulfate is used for treating various conditions including osteoarthritis. This is a common type of arthritis that affects a large percentage of arthritis sufferers.
What’s it all about? Osteoarthritis results from the break-down of joint cartilage and bone in the area. The rates of this arthritis start increasing at middle age. It can cause various symptoms including pain/stiffness in various body parts including the knee and hip.
You might be surprised how common this condition is. In fact, OA is the US’ most common joint disorder. If you suffer from this condition then you’ll certainly want to get relief from the aches and pains it causes.
If you pick medicine with Chondroitin Sulfate your options include ones with combinations of various other ingredients. This can help to boost the effectiveness of the product. That said, you should research the other ingredient(s) to determine the effects when combined with the main ingredient.
This sulfate isn’t just used to treat arthritis. It can also be used to treat various other conditions and diseases including:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Joint pain
- High cholesterol
- Muscle soreness
- Bladder condition
- GERD (acid reflux)
- Cancer (some types)
If you suffer from any of these conditions you should talk to your doctor about whether or not Chondroitin Sulfate is a good option for you. In some cases, it is.
However, it might cause problems if you’re taking other OTC/prescription meds. So, it’s critical to inform your doctor about any medicines/supplements you’re taking. This will help to avoid possible interactions that could cause problems.
You can also find this medicine in different FDA-approved forms They include eye drops to treat dry eyes. There’s also a solution that’s used during cataract surgery.
How Does Chondroitin Sulfate Work?
As noted, this chemical has only been approved by the US FDA for a few uses. However, there are various other uses. For example, it’s sometimes used to treat osteoarthritis by injecting it into the muscles. It can also treat OA through ointments/creams.
So how does this chemical work when treating conditions? It greatly depends on the particular condition you use it for. In the case of OA, the joints’ cartilage breaks down. So, when you take Chondroitin Sulfate it might slow down this process. That’s because the chemical is one of the cartilage’s building blocks.
When using this chemical to treat conditions you should be aware of how safe it is. It’s usually safe when you take it as an eye solution or by mouth. Studies show that it’s safe to take orally for several years.
On the other hand, the chemical has been approved by the FDA for dry eye and cataracts. In terms of safety, these are the only uses that are approved as safe by the US government.
On the other hand, there are some questions raised about the chemicals’ safety since it includes animal sources. For example, there are some questions about animals affected by conditions like mad cow disease. Their concern is how this could affect the health of people who use the chemical.
The possible side-effects for this chemical are usually minor. They include ones like:
- Heart rhythms
- Stomach pain
- Hair loss
- Skin rash
One possible cause of side-effects is the high amount of manganese in some products. It’s important to check for well-established brands.
If you experience one of the symptoms then there’s a chance it could be caused by something else. On the other hand, if you have long-term symptoms or 2+ then it’s more likely it’s from the chemical.
There are also some risk factors involved. They include asthma, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.
How to Treat Osteoarthritis
If you have OA you can take some basic steps besides using Chondroitin Sulfate to treat it:
1. Healthy diet
You should also make sure to eat a healthy/balanced diet. This can help to deal with OA symptoms. Make sure to eat fruits and veggies high in Vitamin C, and high omega-3 foods like fish and olive oil.
You should try to maintain a mostly healthy diet. Don’t’ focus too much on specific nutrients. This can prevent you from eating healthy.
Make sure to do exercise when you have arthritis pain. This might not seem to make any sense. However, exercise is one of the best ways to deal with OA. It provides benefits like strengthening muscles, boosting energy, and maintaining flexible joints.
3. Lose weight
This is important so you won’t put too much pressure on your joints. When you’re overweight/obese you put extra pressure on your knees, ankles, feet, spine, hips, etc.
It can be tough at first. Try cutting calories and fat slowly. For example, one pound of weight is equal to 3,500 calories. Since people’s calorie intake is usually about 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day it’s better to make the process slow but sure.
4. Get enough sleep
It’s best to sleep 7-10 hours at night as often as you can. This is important because it gives your joints a chance to recover and heal. It will also make it easier to deal with the stress/pain of having OA.
You can take steps to get more shut-eye at night. Try to sleep at the same time. Minimize distractions like web surfing just before bedtime. Elevate sore joints.
5. Take Medicines/Supplements
Talk to your doctor about OTC and prescription meds as well as dietary supplements that are good options for OA. This can provide better results when combined with Chondroitin Sulfate.