“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to the West Wind. Yes, we are still in the middle of winter. Thoughts of taking a cozy stroll through a grassy knoll or along a park trail lined with flowering buds may seem only but a dream. However, spring is just around the corner, and if you suffer from arthritis, now is the time to arrive at a solution to your achy joints since some medications and supplements require a few weeks to take effect. There are countless non-prescription options for dealing with arthritis symptoms. Read on for a few natural ideas on how you can get a grip on arthritis this Spring.
“SAM-E” stands for “S-Adenosyl Methionine”. It is a naturally-occurring molecule that is found in many parts of the body. Levels are highest in childhood and dwindle with age. When people look for an arthritis treatment, they do not usually think of SAM-E. It is more typically used orally for depression, anxiety, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and liver disease. However, studies show that SAM-E can be as effective at controlling osteoarthritis symptoms as a type of anti-inflammatory prescription drug called Celebrex (“celecoxib”). Its inflammatory and analgesic properties tend to take a bit longer to kick in than Celebrex, but offers the benefit of much lower incidence of reported side-effects. Furthermore, SAM-E may also stimulate cartilage growth and repair. Be sure to get one made by a reputable company such as AOR.
“KAPREX” is a proprietary blend of hops, rosemary leaf extract, and olive leaf extract developed by Metagenics. It has improved the clinical symptoms of arthritic clients for many years. This combination of herbs interferes with the inflammatory response of the cells in an arthritic joint, thereby offering pain relief. It can take affect quite quickly, and thus is often used as both a short-term symptomatic relief agent as well as a long-term maintenance supplement.
“WOBENZYM N” has been a highly-popular natural product in Germany for decades. It consists of an exciting combination of plant-sourced enzymes (“bromelain” from pineapple, and “papain” from papaya), pancreatic enzymes (“trypsin” and “chymotrypsin”), and an antioxidant flavonoid (“rutin”). Enzymes help regulate the biochemical reactions in our body, including joint inflammatory reactions. This formula works great for joint and muscle conditions, as well as for improving circulation and immunity. It is particularly helpful in elderly patients, as our body’s inherent enzyme activity diminishes with age. Wobenzym N’s capsules are protected by an enteric coating that ensures the unique formula is not destroyed by stomach acid and is absorbed by the small intestine.
We are full-speed ahead into the new year now, and if a more active lifestyle was your resolution this year, let us help you get a grip on your arthritis. There are many classes of supplements that can benefit arthritis patients. Choose wisely. Enlighten yourself by joining support groups and forums, and attending one of our arthritis seminars (next one is at 6:30-8:30pm on Feb.18th), where we will offer you a closer look at the various classes of arthritis supplements, how they work, safety profiles, as well as give you a few examples within each class.
(Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique family-owned and operated Pharmasave in Cloverdale, BC. Our pharmacy celebrated its 30-Year Birthday last year. We specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. We would love to hear from you! 604-576-2888; www.cloverdalepharmasave.com. Of course, before you begin any activity program or try any OTC supplementation, check with your physician and pharmacist.)