Therapy for osteoarthritis
Everyone is different and this is certainly true when using nutritional therapy for osteoarthritis.
Sometimes these differences are obvious — helping someone in their 80s with advanced arthritis is different from someone in their 40s who have had their first joint niggles.
Other differences though are not so obvious. In some people joint pain is more from inflammation while in others more from the actual joint deterioration. This series of columns looks at some personal stories and the methods we used to bring improvements.
I have just spoken with someone with advanced osteoarthritis. He is in his 80s and has long-term osteoarthritis in his ankles, knees and hips which caused significant pain with restricted mobility. He rated his discomfort at 7/10 and being faced with steady deterioration.
He was already doing some positive things through supplements with a good Omega 3 and a joint supplement. What we did was to fine tune his programme and introduce an anti-inflammatory eating programme.
The main supplement component was to lift chondroitin sulphate to over 1000mg daily combined with curcumin and glucosamine. This is much higher than in many joint products. After only two months he now rates his pain at 2/10 down from 7/10. He is both surprised and delighted, having lived with this for a long time.
Our body is equipped with powerful healing processes which can be overwhelmed fighting a disease. The first goal of nutritional medicine is to get these working again.
Once these are activated the body can then set to work trying to heal the problem. In the case of my client the supplements played a huge role in stimulating this often latent healing force. Nutritional therapy can be effective in helping osteoarthritis. For example, I have been helping someone with osteoarthritis (OA) in one knee which affected her mobility. She also had hypertension and swollen ankles from poor lower leg circulation.
We used a combination of therapies to target all the problems. We added my joint supplement at a double dose delivering 1500mg of high grade chondroitin sulphate with the same of glucosamine sulphate and 200mg of a proprietary 95 per cent curcumin extract (from turmeric). We added 6000mg of Omega 3 fish oil and a bullet blend I have developed to assist circulation to help her swollen ankles. This included raw beetroot to dilate blood vessels.
After three months the pain has reduced by about 50 per cent and her ankles are less swollen. I expect these improvements to continue.
High levels of chondroitin sulphate (CS) are important as it is a major constituent of cartilage. At therapeutic levels this can help with cartilage function and has antiinflammatory activity.
Studies, including J.P Pelletier (Arthritis Research and Therapy, 2016) demonstrate that chondroitin sulphate at high levels has the ability to modify joints affected by osteoarthritis.
In particular there was a marked reduction in further cartilage loss with overall joint improvement.
There are several ways CS can improve arthritic joints.
Firstly it seems to inhibit a number of inflammatory compounds that are associated with OA. The second is previously mentioned reductions in cartilage loss. The third is even more promising.
According to research by Y. Herotin (2010) CS appears to stimulate the chondrocyte cells that produce cartilage.
High levels of CS seem to increase the collagen needed to make the cartilage matrix.
More than half a million Kiwis live with arthritis, which causes swollen joints and pain.