Top 5 Supplements to Beat Arthritis
It’s a sad fact that arthritis is an inevitable part of life (for those of us lucky enough to live to middle age, at least). A broad condition encompassing multiple causes and complicating factors, arthritis is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation of the joints. Affecting hundreds of millions worldwide, symptoms of arthritis can range from discomfort, stiffness, or tingling to pain so severe that it can make even daily activities impossible.
Arthritis is an incurable, irreversible condition, and its onset means years of suffering and difficulty. However, even if arthritis can’t be cured, its symptoms can be managed. For the conventional medical model, this means a lifetime of prescription painkillers. Which is good enough for the pharmaceutical industry, maybe, but offers considerable risks for questionable reward.
Fortunately, there is another way: depending on the exact nature of a patient’s arthritis, functional medicine practitioners can synthesize generations of traditional medical wisdom with current scientific advances to provide an all-natural alternative treatment in the form of nutritional supplements. By staying true to the medical maxim “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” these supplements are the best way to let the body restore its equilibrium and reduce or prevent arthritis pain with no risk of side effects or addiction.
A staple in Asian medicine and cuisine for millennia, turmeric is a yellow root that is related to ginger. Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it is typically a key ingredient in Ayurvedic medicinal practices. According to the Mayo Clinic, curcurmin (the active compound in turmeric) can greatly help the body achieve balanced functionality and recover from injury or illness.
Another important ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine, boswellia—commonly known as Indian frankincense—has long been used in the treatment of chronic conditions including osteoporosis, asthma, dysmenorrhea, and of course, arthritis. Also effective as a topical, boswellia is most helpful for natural treatment of joint pain taken as a nutritional supplement, and patients report increased mobility and reduced pain when taking this supplement.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The medical benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have only recently become widely-known, but it is clear that these substances can offer incredible healing and wellness for arthritis sufferers. Most people are unable to get sufficient omega-3 fatty acids in their diet incidentally, which is why concentrated supplements can be a boon.
- Glucosamine / Chondroitin
A naturally-occurring component of the body’s cartilage, supplemental glucosamine (also called chrondroitin) can be found naturally in shellfish. Taking glucosamine or chrondroitin supplements helps the body repair its cartilaginous components to support its joints, removing inflammation and restoring mobility.
- Vitamin C and Collagen
Though these substances are most famous for helping treat skin damage and wrinkling, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and collagen are also anti-inflammatory, which is why they are an important component of any all-natural arthritis treatment.