Patient’s Corner: Taking Glucosamine for Joint Complications


Staying active is one of the best suggestions to be healthy and remain in good shape. However, most people often forget that while building a strong body is good for them, it may also have a downside for their joint health.

People who play sports are the most physically active. But did you know they are one of the most affected by joint and knee pains? This is because constant physical movements may eventually wear and tear the cartilages that help maintain proper lubrication and protect the bones. Due to worn cartilages, bones may start to rub against each when a person moves, and therefore causes pain. This may eventually lead to joint complications like arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Luckily, there are several joint care supplements available in the market to keep the joints and knees healthy. People who are already suffering from joint complications may also take these kinds of supplements to lessen swelling and stiffness.

Experts suggest that glucosamine supplements are known to support the body’s natural ability to help joint health.

What is a glucosamine and what does it do?

Glucosamine is naturally a component of cartilage. It is a substance that prevents bones from rubbing against each other and causing pain and inflammation. It aids in building joint cartilage and supplies the building blocks necessary to maintain healthy joint structure. Glucosamine exists naturally in the body. Glucosamine from supplements is extracted from shellfish.

Glucosamine may also be used by some people to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, chronic venous insufficiency, sports injuries, temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ), and long-term low back pain. Some studies suggest that glucosamine sulfate supplements help counteract the effect of the deterioration of cartilages.

The most common glucosamine supplements for joint pains are found to have glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate. However, research shows more positive effects from taking products with glucosamine sulfate. Experts are continuously studying the effects of this substance as a supplement in treating other conditions, such as long-term swelling, multiple sclerosis, and back pains.

When taken for over a long period, glucosamine sulfate may also prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. According to research, it slows down the tightening of the joint space, a marker of the condition getting worse.

How much glucosamine is safe to take?

One of the most important questions asked by many people: Is it safe to take?

Generally, it is likely safe when taken through oral supplements by adults. In most studies concerning the treatment of osteoarthritis, the typical dose is suggested to be 500 mg of glucosamine sulfate. Doctors may prescribe taking this supplement three times daily. Some experts suggest that adults should take two caplets daily after a meal in order to avoid an upset stomach. For teenagers above 12 years of age, doctors may advise taking only one caplet daily after meals.

However, just like any taking in other supplements, it is best to first consult a physician or other health care experts on the suitable dosage for your joint health needs.

What are the side effects of consuming glucosamine?

Generally, glucosamine is safe for everyone, as the side effects are mostly mild. However, taking large doses of glucosamine may result in an upset stomach, heartburn, drowsiness, and headache. The side effects may vary per person.

Some studies have also warned that people with shellfish allergies to be cautious in consuming this supplement because it might trigger an allergic reaction. Moreover, people with other medical concerns such as diabetes, bleeding disorders, kidney disease, heart disease, or high blood pressure should first consult their doctors and ask if it is safe for them to use glucosamine supplements.

How to choose the best brand of glucosamine supplement?

There are several brands of glucosamine supplements in the market which are usually sold as a treatment for arthritis.

To make sure that the glucosamine supplement is safe for you, stick with a health accredited and reputable manufacturer. Before choosing and buying a certain supplement, research its content.

Though glucosamine is used commonly to treat various bone and joint conditions, more research on its effects is needed. Therefore, it is important not to self-medicate using these products without any consultation from the experts.

The best way in maintaining your joint health is to regularly consult with your doctor, have a checkup, and get a proper prescription for your needs.

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