Herbal Supplement

My personal experiences of keeping to natural products as much as possible.

Glucosamine Sulphate & Cod Liver Oil for Joints

I was first advised that Glucosamine Sulphate ought to be on my list of supplements after my first knee arthroscopy by keyhole surgery. I had, like many other youngsters who had played various sports, torn the cartilage and required an operation to clean up the bits of flotsam floating around my knee joint. I had made it to the end of my rugby playing days to my mid-forties before having to have it all hovered up. During my physiotherapy period a trainer at my local gym advised me to take Glucosamine Sulphate to assist my recovery. I did as advised and there was no doubt in my mind that after about a month to 6 weeks later my joints were operating well. That could of course have been the result of my physio, but since that time when I’ve had twinges or twisted the joint all that I have done is up my dosage of the supplement for a while and felt much improved within a few weeks.

In my mind this and other supplements have aided my ageing process and since having both knees operated on once only during my life, and the onset of arthritis delayed, I have much faith in this product. I have throughout my life also taken fish oils such as the readily available Cod Liver Oil to stave off joint problems. Going all the way back to infancy I was fed a spoonful of the liquid version daily and have taken that or a tablet ever since. It is an acquired taste that I quite enjoy but others may not feel the same way.

Glucosamine is naturally created in the body but for circumstances like excess wear and tear it helps to add more, and I take a capsule to assist me every day. Obviously, fish oils do not occur naturally, and we can lubricate our joints with these by eating oily fish regularly or taking extra in the form of supplements. Glucosamine has been recognised as an anti-inflammatory and has been tested in studies to show a reduction in certain cells during bone formation. It is often combined with Chondroitin and even Turmeric in natural treatments of arthritic conditions. Chondroitin is used in the body’s maintenance of cartilage. Other studies have shown that Glucosamine has helped in preventing the breakdown of cartilage and reduced the wear and tear of the joints and even some surrounding ligaments.

My personal weakness has always been on my knee joints and on occasions such as when I jarred the knee whilst descending the stairs, I’ve felt a twinge and known that I have to increase my dosage for a couple of weeks until I’ve recovered. I used to also jog and being an endomorph bodied ex-prop forward, I always carried some excess weight, that naturally put strain on my knees, and I have been prone to knee pain and shin splints, even Achilles’ heel twinges. In those events my self-diagnosis and self-medication has stood me in good stead. As is often spoken in the old adage “listen to your body,” it has worked in my favour.

I would not advise others to go down the same route as me and recommend that you always consult your medical practitioner before changing any medication.

As I get older the prevalence of arthritis approaches for my old knees and fingers, and I do carefully listen to my body. I do consult medical professionals more often, but I know that I’m doing OK, and as one of my life mottoes is to grow old disgracefully the only times when I struggle to get out of bed or stand is the morning after “Dad Dancing” at a family party or when flattered by a younger lady at a nightclub!

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