Question about Glucosamine / Chondroitin ......Do you take this?

mikeandbarb(z8 D/FW)November 16, 2004

Good Morning

This morning I am having an awful time with my arthritis, the pain is just about unbearable and I'm out of pain medication and really don't want to have to resort to taking pain medication on a daily bases. I only had a 30 day supply and only took it when the pain was more than I could handle it lasted me 4 months but I also had been given steroids and a cortisone shot in the 4 month time frame. I was feeling great for a short period of time but I know that these are not med's that can be taken on a reg. bases TO BAD HUH.

If you have tried or if you are taking Glucosamine / Chondroitin could you please let me know how this has worked for your pain? I tried it for two weeks and did not feel any better in fact I was in more pain at the time I was taking it so I stopped not knowing if it was making it worse or if it was worth spending the money to continue taking in hopes of it helping.

How long did it take to work for you?

Please give me feedback on how the Glucosamine / Chondroitin stuff has helped or not helped you. I'd like to see if it's worth taking again or not.

Thank you, Barb

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Barb, we decided it was not worth taking but would also be interested in input from others. I am convinced that stress reduction, staying within limitations, and using common sense are important issues. Most arthritic inflamation reduction meds have side effects on the intestinal system and we don't need to pile one challenge on top of another. I worked as a nurse with individuals with severe and disabling arthritis. I had to quit working 20 years ago due to low energy syndrome and onset of arthritis. It is frustrating not to be able to continue with activities that we enjoy or meet other's expectations, but if we can stay in focus we can still find a lot of fullfillment. Fortunatly we have been able to find some support with upkeep of our property but are also planning ahead in event we need to make changes. Fortunatly, for me, partner is a high energy individual who has been very supportive, but all of us age and face limitations with time. EP

    Bookmark   November 17, 2004 at 10:05AM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

I notice that if I've eaten bread then I have more pain so I suspect that I've got an allergy running which triggers the immune system.

I can slide two slices a month under the 'radar' but not more.

I find betacarotene useful to keep allergy responses low, and I ensure I have enough B vitamins/calcium and trace elements to keep me on the placid side of stress.

I learned autogenic relaxation a long time ago and it is now a well-learned habit for me that helps me quickly calm down. This keeps my pain levels mostly manageable.

If you are mildly allergic to fishy things the Chondroitin may be a problem. If you are taking vitamin C as well -there may be too much for your system, even though it is supposed to pass straight through.

I have been told by older friends that they find genuine cider vinegar to be useful. A dessert-spoon 2-3 times a day in water. Hold your nose if you must! It reduces acidity in the body and helps digestion of minerals such as calcium - especially in older folk.

You can also use it to make a salad dressing. Avocado oil is useful for this because it provides natural vitamin E which also helps joints.

Another helpful thing, I've found, is massage. It hurts when I'm doing it, but it brings blood to the area and helps to clear away whatever's causing the reaction. I don't like using oil, but cornflour is fine. I do 'swaps' with a friend for the bits I can't reach, such as my shoulders and neck. If it's really rotten, then I use arnica cream which has menthol as well.

I hope your 'flare' eases off in plenty of time for you to enjoy the holiday season. If it nags on, work out whether you get best relief from heat or cold packs and either keep a bag of ice marbles in the fridge, or make yourself some wheat packs that you can put in the microwave, damp. Just be sure to protect yourself from burns or frozen spots.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2004 at 5:42AM
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That's good to know Vetivert8. I was fortunate to have an early evaluation with guidelines to diet, exercise, and body mechanics. It is interesting that you are sharing similar therapy. I've used rice packs too which are soothing. Have found the most essential factor for myself is staying withing limitations. Prevention is much easier than cure. EP

    Bookmark   November 18, 2004 at 8:01AM
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Glucosamine/Chondroitin saved my mother's life by almost totally curing her arthritis. She grew up in a farming family and gardening is her love. At 73, she had the best garden she has ever had this past summer. Not even any weeds. A couple of years ago her arthritis was so painful she could hardly walk. I read about glucosamine/chondroitin and most importantly, that the liquid is absorbed into the body much more effectively than pill form. She gets it at Costco for $18 a bottle and takes two teaspoons faithfully every day. Today she only suffers from a bout of arthritis in her hand on a bad rainy day once in a while.

I myself contacted lyme's disease last year from the garden and noticed the pain in my legs every morning. I decided to take the glucosmine/chondroitin and as long as I take it regularly, I have no pain. I do notice that when I don't take it atleast a few times a week, the pain returns in the a.m.

One last note- the Glucosamine/Chondroitin takes a long time to work so you have to be patient. It can take a few months to a year or more to really start feeling major improvement.

Good Luck everyone!


    Bookmark   November 28, 2004 at 12:55PM
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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

I started using glucosamine in 1990 on a horse that belonged to a client (I was a trainer). She insisted I give it to the horse even though I advised her that it was a waste of money. To my suprise I started seeing improvement - still skeptical though - I figured that proper excercise was more likely the cause for improvement. About that time my elderly Rottwieler's hip problems started to become so bad that she cried out in pain every time she tried to lie or sit down. I started giving it to her and 2 months later she was jumping in and out of the bed of my pick-up truck. Well I figured I didn't need to be left out so I started taking it myself. After 25+ years of training horses my hips and knees were in pretty bad shape but I was afraid to try any of the surgeries that were suggested. It was uncomfortable to even lay in the bed at night. To shorten this story a little - I am fine now. I am not 100%, for instance if I want to do any jogging I must first do weight training for my knees for a couple of months. Easy solution - I don't jog :) no need to. But I can do anything else. My left knee bothers me from time to time but that is usually just a sign that my excercise program is slipping.
How much did I take? Three times the daily dose for 1 month of glucosamine only, then back off to the daily dose. I have never taken chondroitin.
I can't say what will work for anyone else - I just know it works for me.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 10:27PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

I have been taking straight Glucosamine for a couple of years now. I am 55, but have arthritis in my right hip. It was getting so bad that I could hardly walk after sitting for a while, and was constantly limping.

A new friend who has fibromyalgia (sp?) and rheumatoid arthritis encouraged me to start taking it. She said it usually starts working within 6 weeks. She also said that the chondroitin hasn't really been proven to increase results, just adds to the expense.

I started taking one 1000mg capsule twice a day, and noticed a distinct improvement after 3 weeks. After another week or so, the pain disappeared. I was totally amazed. When I lost my job, I tried to economize as much as I could, & stopped taking the Glucosamine when I ran out. BIG MISTAKE!!! So I went back on it, and when the pain stopped, I dropped down to one a day, which seemed okay.

The cheapest place I've found it is plain Glucosamine at WalMart: 200 1,000mg capsules for $10.

BTW, my Mom was taking it before she died, and because she was on a lot of heart meds, I checked with her doctor first to make sure it wouldn't conflict with any of them, and she said it WOULD NOT hurt in the least. She said it's very safe to use.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 11:50PM
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Look for glucosamine chondroiten with MSM and it will work really well for you. Also keep epsom salts in the bathroom. (very inexpensive) rub them all over achy areas and you will get quick relief. Oatmeal baths are soothing and there is a product called baththerapy which is wonderful!!!I've seen it at Stop & Shop and at health food stores. I used these when my lyme arthritis was extremely bad and it kept me off of medications. Internally drink tons of water, try to eat organic fresh foods, antioxidants, multi vitamin, vit c flaxseed oil, olive oil,etc not canned foods and stay away from aspartame,food colorants, excitogens (sacharine etc)sodas, white flour products and sugar. I know its difficult but you will feel better in the long run. Good luck and god bless.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 8:12PM
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I for one am not able to take glucosamine/chondroiton (sp?).This definitely reacts on my blood pressure, and I decided that it was not worth it. I sure wish I could take it, but my health food nutritionist told me that it has something to do with the fact that I have trouble with anything that has sodium in it--definitely I cannot take the MSM. I have had so much pain lately that I am even thinking of going to the chiropractor, which I have never done. It is nice to hear the laments of someone who understands. - Barb

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 8:37PM
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Michael_ut(z5 Ut)

Believe it or not, cayenne pepper helps me more than anything else i've tried. Not the health food store stuff, but home grown, dried and ground up and used in place of regular black pepper. Just my two cents worth.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 2:42AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Barb, I'd be careful with a chiropractor if you have diseased joints, rather than joints unaligned. I went to one of few times (but on MY terms) when arthritis in my hip was causing my very lowest vertebrae to become painful. (no range of motion in the hip was over stressing low back).

I didn't even do well handing myself over to a heavy handed massage therapist one day, three days recovery there from letting her do too much stretching.

The chiropractor I saw did do accupressure (muscles overcompensating for weakness in joint area), and that was helpful. He also recommended someone for accupuncture, another plus. Heat, rest, meds, physical therapy to learn how to strengthen muscle structure to better support joints, swimming...all helps worth trying. Sensitive area I know, but those of us with some joint problems cannot afford the luxury of extra weight either.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 12:14AM
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Re: Glucosamine/Chondroitin

I've been taking it for 1 1/2 years and it works on my elbow which xrayed arthritic. I had constant pain every time I moved it. One time when I was carrying a load of wood I had to drop it due to the pain. Never had to drop anything on purpose before. Heard about G/C and tried it. One in am and another in pm. Took about two months until I realized the pain was gone. For the past six months I've been taking only one pill a day in the am and it is still working.

Caution: it does not work for everyone, so I've been told. It doesn't hurt to try it but, give it a few months to work.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 11:37PM
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I took glucosamine/chondroitin for several years on recommendation of a joint specialist when it first came out. At the time I only had osteoarthritis and it took about 2-3 months to start working but it did make a marked difference. Later it stopped working and I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and it didn't work on that. I was prescribe various other medications so I stopped taking it. I recommended it to an elderly neighbor and my dad and it's worked for both of them. I hope you feel better soon.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 1:59PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

Glad I found this thread, as it made me realize I didn't give glucosomine a long enough trial. I'll start again. I react very badly to MSM, however--it sets my joints on fire.

I think food is not given enough attention as a trigger. When I had some major dental work done last year, my diet--already limited by known allergies and health issues--was cut down to a few soft foods. My pain diminished dramatically! I have since identified nightshades as one problem: potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. I don't know how I'm going to break the news to the tomato plants growing cheerfully in my garden...


    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 9:16AM
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I was only recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis, but apparently have actually had it for years, since it is already "severe" in one hip and I need a cane to walk.

I tried glucosamine a few years ago in pill form quite regularly for awhile, but stopped taking it when I mentioned it to my rhumatologist and he chuckled that I "could try" it. Now that it's been accepted by the medical profession in this country (and I have a ruined hip) the same rhumatologist is advocating that glucosamine be taken. I wish I had kept taking it back then. Until arthritis becomes severe, it doesn't feel nearly as painful, and it is difficult to keep up something that does not appear to be doing much. Believe me, if you are not allergic to seafood, it is worth it to take glucosamine.

My rhumatologist referred me to an orthopedic surgery practice, apparently with the intent that I have hip replacement surgery. Since I didn't know I had osteoarthritis (as my diagnosis for the last ten years was fibromyalgia, which could be a separate thing, or another form of the general complaint), I did not bother going for treatment when I had a bad fall last year. When you have arthritis already, falls can do more damage, as the joints are more susceptible. I also had not become informed that a severe jamming to the joints can cause a "subluxation'" which can cause joint necrosis by killing the circulation in the joint--that posssibility became generally known in the medical field in 2003 when it happened to a major athlete.

To make a long story short, after seeing my x-rays and seeing no cartilage visible in my bad hip, which also has a slight subluxation, I went back on the best form of glucosamine I could find, which is a liquid form called Liquid Joint, one of the "Drinkables" series. Apparently it's sold in some drugstores at $32 a bottle, supposedly a month's supply. I buy it at BJ's, a discount club which appears to me identical to the WalMart-affiliated Sam's Club, for $18 a bottle.

It is worth every penny to me, because within a half hour of taking a good jolt of it in a small glass of juice I feel noticeably better. Additionally, if I do not take it, I feel terrible all day, no matter what other supplements I may have taken. It also has chondroitin, MSM, and a gelatin-like substance in it, each of which is supposed to be helpful in arthritis.

I am attending an outpatient rehab 3x a week to try to exercise my hip back into some sort of health, since I now know that cartilage dies from lack of nourishment if the body does not move enough; and also to strengthen my muscles enough to support my joints better. I plan to also attempt to schedule with a doctor of physical medicine, which is what nonsurgical orthopedists now call themselves, to see more specifically if there is anything nonsurgical I can do about the subluxation. The one thing I most definitely will never do again is trust my rhumatologist when he makes fun of a treatment that others recommend.

I also see a chiropractor that I trust who is willing to use gentle methods appropriate to an arthritic condition (such as ultrasound), and get a whole-body massage once a month, which is all that I can afford. I take Alleve 2x a day to control pain and inflammation, but if my rhumatologist had bothered to inform me that antiinflammatories tend to be bad for cartilage (and apparently they are) I might have been able to avoid developing a dependency on Alleve if I had religiously taken glucosamine sooner.

I take a hot soak every night, and microwave hot packs for application as needed. My rehab specialist has also put me onto using cold after exerting and stretching the muscles around my bad joint.

I know I may end up having hip surgery, but I have no intention of letting the rest of my joints get as bad as that hip if I can help it. Since the bad hip feels everything I do that's wrong, is gives me almost instant feedback on what I must do. On days I drink coffee, I am in agony, and tea isn't much better, so I now drink mostly dandelion root tea, with occasional switches to nettle tea and burdock root tea, all of which are supposed to be good for arthritis (I love hot teas!). I, too, am becoming suspicious of the nightshade family members; I have always developed a reaction to tomatoes late in tomato season (and my husband planted almost 30 tomato plants this year--but I will stick to the yellow ones!); and find that on days when I eat an eggplant-laced hummis mix that I bought, I don't feel very well.

I have found that many of the remedies already mentioned by other posters seem helpful, such as oils with Omega 3 (I like flaxseed oil and hemp oil(no, not the psychoactive kind!) for my salads, and find they are cost effective, since I am trying to lose weight and don't use large quantities of them. I also take cod liver oil tablets, and even use the common green wintergreen alcohol rub sold in drugstores laced with cod liver oil (since I read in one of my numerous remedy books that rubbing cod liver oil on joints would help arthritis, but I don't want to smell like a fish!)--to which I also add sage oil (clary sage would be safer) to relax my muscles and into which I will also probably cram comfrey leaves to steep, along with anything else I can think of. I have my monkshood in the back yard, and if the joints get too painful I may even chance throwing in one flower from that...admittedly too risky unless totally desperate....

Anyway, unless you have an allergy to seafood, and thus glucosamine, if your cartilage is going, for whatever reason, I STRONGLY recommend you give a LIQUID form of glucosamine a lengthy trial. One website claims only about 10% of the pill form is actually absorbed. Pills are less expensive; possibly taking it out of the tablet or whatever and blending it in juice would be just as good. It is also possible that the other things in the combo I take increase my response to it, since they are all recommended for arthritic joints.

I am also trying vitamin C and E; and for flareups I take a primrose oil capsule, which to my surprise seems to help.

For over ten years I have been in almost constant discomfort with my so-called fibromyalgia. I had been taking Robitussin for the fibromyalgia (that's another story, which I will go into only if asked), but have even gone off of that temporarily, as the glucosamine has made the rest of my body feel so much better.

Sorry to carry on so, but there may be some of you that this input will help. You have no idea how many books I bought and remedies I tried in the years when I thought I had fibromyalgia (and I also insisted on being checked for rheumatoid, and lupus, and for Lyme, after finally being told I had osteo.... I am definitely going to be a more assertive and proactive advocate for my health from now on!).

ps they say Boron also helps, and I am trying that as well.

pps I take my liquid glucosamine in both am and pm. I increase the amount on bad days, and probably use about 1 1/2 to 2x the recommended daily dose.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 4:39AM
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Crafty_Canuck(W Canada)

Hello Friends:

I have been over at Garden Junk for a couple of years now and did not even know this forum existed on here until someone 'linked' us within the past few days!

I am 40, had my knee replaced when I was 36 and before it got to the point that I had to take medications, I tried Glucosamine and Chondroitin both but personally found they only worked for me for a very short period of time. I was taking the tablet form and have since heard that the liquid form is much better, works quicker so that may make a difference also, I believe my knee was probably so 'far gone' by that point that nothing was going to ease my pain other then the medications and the replacement surgery!

Della :)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 11:09AM
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Heard that men should only take Glucosamine and not Glucosamine/ Chondroitin (just for women). Any truth to that??

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 8:19AM
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I do not think it helps pain at all. On the bottle it says it will help support and maintain cartilage and joint function. In essence it will keep you from getting worse. I recently had hip replacement and there were signs all over the orthopedic surgeon's office encouraging the use of this drug. I take it and so does George Bush. It was on his list of meds.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 8:54PM
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Well thank you guys, I am a typical male, only take drugs when it hurts and am crap at being pro-active. Thanks to you guys and a little China girl at my local Pharmacy/Chemist here in China I am on a daily regimin of Glucosamine. I told her of the pain from my ankle that I crushed many years ago, she looked at my hands and my fingers that are now starting to twist from arthritis an Glocosamine was her remedy, the box says one a day, she said two a day for the first month. Its been a week and already feeling better.
You guys give me the confidence that this girl earning five dollars a day probably knows more than all out expensive doctors combined.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 6:15AM
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I would strongly advise anyone with arthritis of any form to find a Tai Chi class. It has been proven to help by strengthening the muscles, (which support the bones) improves balance (which helps prevent falls) and pain and lowers stress levels. There are classes specifically for arthritis.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 9:55AM
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I can only recount my own experience. A few years ago I started to get significant pain in one foot whilst walking, which I treated with visits to the physio and gel packs, but which would come back very frequently. The ankle joint had become very susceptible to getting hurt and swelling. On a couple of occasions, I hurt it very badly and could barely walk for a few days or weeks. According to the specialist, my bones are slightly misaligned and cause stress on my ankle joints, which apparently is wearing away the cartilage and causing pain.

In mid- to late October last year I started taking glucosamine and MSM on a daily basis (3 glucosamine, 1 MSM). After a short time I noticed a very significant improvement. I should say that, at around the same time, I also bought some trainers with an air pocket along the whole sole, since that kind of "suspension" helps me avoid sharp impacts on the ankle joints. The trainers are marvellous. They have undoubtedly helped. I also lost a little weight (dropping from 76kg to 70kg), but since I wasn't overweight to begin with I don't think it's very significant. The frequent pains have now practically disappeared. I no longer have to use gel packs and antiinflammatory cream on a daily basis (I hardly use them at all). The ankle joints have become much less susceptible to injury. I have only been to the physio once since October.

The reason I think that the glucosamine & MSM have helped is that, even when indoors, when I'm not wearing the trainers, I notice a big difference. I can tolerate my feet and ankles being in positions (for example when seated) that previously would have caused pain. I also tried wearing more normal shoes for a while and found I could tolerate them without too much problem. I even tried some boot-like shoes that had previously caused my a lot of pain, and could walk with them for a week or more without any serious effects.

It would be nice if the science were clearer on this, and if we knew why it seems to help some people, and not others, but in my case I'm prepared to say that it's helped, a lot. I think it's good to retain a healthy scepticism about all these things, but in my case I had very little to lose by trying it. For now, the results have been very convincing.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2015 at 3:45AM
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