It is the fourth most frequent cause of health problems in women worldwide and the eighth in men.
It is the breakdown and eventual disappearance of cartilage in the joints. As it becomes worse, it can stimulate bone outgrowths, known as spurs or osteophytes, which distort the joint, and can lead to muscle weakness, joint deformity and even disability.
Sixty to 70% of people suffer from some degree of joint degeneration and pain by their seventh decade, but by supplementing with glucosamine sulphate, it is thought that age-related thinning of the cartilage can be delayed, and the protective fluid increased, says PharmaChoice spokesperson and pharmacist Liezl van Tonder.
“Slow joint degeneration causes aches and pains as you get older and mainly affects people over the age of 40, but can also arise as a result of wear and tear on the joints through sport. It most often affects the weight-bearing joints of the spine, hip and knee, as well as the hands and feet,” she says.
Van Tonder explains that the breakdown of cartilage may start many years before the symptoms become evident but symptoms get progressively worse with time and age.
Since cartilage, a protein and collagen substance, serves as a cushion between the bones of the joints, its loss means the bones in joints rub against one another, causing ongoing inflammation that results in permanent joint damage. There is transient joint stiffness, especially in the morning or after periods of immobility. Some people experience no symptoms at all, but for the rest, symptoms are at best annoying, and in extreme cases debilitating.
Van Tonder advises that treatment is primarily lifestyle modification, such as the loss of weight and the adoption of helpful exercise regimes, “I also advise taking a supplement, with an optimal dose of glucosamine sulphate – which provides natural disease modification potential.”
Glucosamine sulphate occurs naturally in the body, in the fluid around the joints, and is used by the body to produce a variety of other chemicals that are involved in building tendons, ligaments, cartilage and the thick fluid around the joints. By supplementing with glucosamine sulphate, it is thought that age-related thinning of the cartilage can be delayed, and the protective fluid increased.
Van Tonder recommends supplementing with ArthroChoice as it contains 2500 mg of glucosamine sulphate, an optimal dose for the management of joint disease.
“Remember taking care of your joints is of critical importance and by supplementing with glucosamine sulphate one can help avoid suffering later on in life,” concludes van Tonder.
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