Tuesday, March 1, 2005

glucosamine

The first time I went to a doctor with knee pain to find out that I did, indeed, have arthritis, I was given a prescription for Celebrex and a coupon for five dollars off on the purchase of a name-brand glucosamine product.  "We don't know why glucosamine works," said the doctor, "we only know that it does work."

Well, the name-brand glucosamine product cost over $30 a month at Wal-Mart.  I was to take two a day to start, then after a period of time, back off to one a day.  I did this faithfully, but I never could see that it helped my knee pain.  And for that much money, (insurance didn't help because it wasn't prescription) I wanted it to work.

After a year or so, I stopped taking it, and could tell no difference.  Then last year I was talking to a man at church who said glucosamine had really helped him.  And he bought his supply at Sam's Club, $10 for a bottle of 240 pills.

OK, I decided.  I'd give it another shot, if it was that cheap.  I was taking it when I went to the orthopedist who did arthroscopic surgery on my left knee, but still could not see that it helped me.  At my last visit to see that doctor after my surgery, one of her instructions was to take glucosamine.  "It really helps," she said... although she specified glucosamine chondroitin, and the product I take is glucosamine sulfate.  She wanted me to buy the product from a shop up the hall, which is connected to her practice, and from which she gets proceeds, I'm sure.

I did not buy the chondroitin variety, since my family doctor told me there's no difference.  "Just get glucosasmine," he said.  And originally, the first tablets I'd taken were the chondroitin variety, and hadn't helped.  Besides, I still had some of the cheaper kind.

Finally, I decided I was wasting my efforts, and decided to stop taking the stuff altogether.  But because I still had half a bottle left, I decided to let Clifftry the stuff, and put it in his daily-dose pill-holder with the blood pressure meds he takes.  I casually mentioned to him what I was doing.  He wasn't enthusiastic (he hates taking pills and has little trust in doctors)  but acquiesced, grumbling.

About two weeks later, he remarked to me, "You know, my shoulder and neck haven't been bothering me nearly as much, the past few days.  And my thumbs haven't been hurting, either.  (He has arthritis in these parts of his body from years of butchering).

"The glucosamine," I said.  "It must be working for you!"

He'd forgotten all about the fact that he was taking it (just thought it was another vitamin), but agreed that had to be the reason for his considerably lessened pain.  And now he's spreading the word.

So, if you are suffering from arthritis, spend $10 at Sam's Club and see what happens.  It didn't help me, but it's done wonders for Cliff; he's a believer.

9 comments:

ryanagi said...

Hmm. If it's helping everyone else BUT you, maybe its the particular variety of arthritis you have? I know there are different kinds. LOL I've been tempted to try glucosamine, myself, for my knees. I've had bad knees since high school.

csandhollow said...

It helped my friend with her knees. There is a difference between the 2 kinds. The one with chrondroitin and MSG works best. I gave it to Pat for his shoulder and it helped him. Another friend took it and the doctor said she no longer needed to have surgery.

gypsytrader49 said...

Pills (medicines) affect people differently. My hubbie has some pain meds (hydrochodone) from when he was passing a kidney stone and they knock him on his butt...he get s dizzy and sleepy. I have MS and took them once for pain and man it made me feel great...I went out and gardened all day, made a gourmet supper and cleaned the bunny cage. It might also be affected by other meds you are taking. Good luck.

ksquester said...

Mo, Like you, I have taken the stuff on and off several times. I came to the conclusion that it did nothing for me. It was an expensive experiment too. It is wonderful for the people for it does help though.   Anne

firestormkids04 said...

I been taking the combo kind for about 3 months and have begin to notice a difference - hy hubby says it works great for him - maybe being female has something to do with it . . . .Penny

marainey1 said...

Thank you for the tip.  My neighbor was just telling me about this stuff and the cheapest she'd found it was $18 for 60 tablets.  We'll be going to Sam's now.
I have never tried it- but if it helps...it's worth a try.  'On Ya'  - ma

tendernoggle said...

Glad it helped your husband, but wish it had helped you too!!!
Carlene

astaryth said...

Those supplements are a hit and miss thing. I take a herbal pill that does wonders for me, and when I passed it on to a friend helped her.. so, I talked my mom into trying it and... nothing. So, I gotta guess that everyone reacts to them differently. And, it's not just herbals, other medicines are the same way. Glad that it helped Cliff... wish it had helped you too :(
http://journals.aol.com/astaryth/AdventuresofanEclecticMind

lowis6535 said...

  My daughter-in-law started me on MSM; we've concurred that when we get complacent about taking this, we really suffer until we get it built back up in the system.  I have also been taking glucosamine, too.
  Look at some of the horse remedies for race/working horses ... you will see a combination of these ingredients in most of the oral preparations.
   I've heard that citrus fruits & juices may aggravate aches & pains ... for sure coffee drinking is a problem!