Arthritis is a complex disorder that comprises more than 100 distinct conditions and can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These two forms have very different causes, risk factors, and effects on the body. The most common symptom in both is persistent joint pain. The joint pain of arthritis can appear as hip pain, knee pain, hand pain, or wrist pain, as well as joint pain in other areas of the body.
For most people arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. Joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can be managed through a combination of vitamins, medication, exercise, rest, weight-management, nutrition, and, in some cases, surgery. Arthritis is a chronic disease that will be with you for a long time and possibly for the rest of your life. Your treatments will probably change over time and medication may be adjusted. Having a positive mental outlook and the support of family and friends will help you live with arthritis and be able to continue to perform your daily activities.
Before going any further, it is important that you remember to discuss any and all vitamins and supplements with your doctor before adding anything to your diet. Though it is not common, some vitamins and supplements can have adverse reactions with medications you may already be taking. Do not stop taking any prescribed medications without first talking to your doctor.
As an alternative to getting your RDA through diet, many people now take vitamin supplements. The following list of vitamins are known to be especially beneficial to arthritis sufferers:
- Vitamin B5 – When grouped together B vitamins work at their peak, B5 specifically being good for reducing swelling.
- Vitamin B3 – This vitamin reduces tissue swelling and dilates small arteries, improved grip strength and joint mobility and increasing blood flow. Note that Vitamin B3 is NOT advised for persons with high blood pressure, gout or sliver disorders.
- Vitamin B6 – Another B that reduces tissue swelling. B-6 shrinks the synovial membranes that line the weight-bearing surfaces of the joints. It thus helps to control pain and to restore mobility in the elbows, shoulders, knees and other joints.
- Vitamin B12 – This vitamin aids in multiple functions. It helps with cell formation, digestion, myelin production, nerve protection.
- Vitamin C – This vitamin acts as an anti-inflammatory, relieving pain, and rids the body of free radicals. In addition to reducing inflammation, vitamin C also helps form collagen, the protein “glue” that holds cells together. Collagen is especially important in connective tissue to insure healthy ligaments, cartilage, tendons and the joints themselves.
- Vitamin E – This is a strong antioxidant that protects joints from free radicals while increases joint flexibility.
- Vitamin K – This vitamin assists with mineral deposit into the bone matrix.
- Selenium and Zinc– The antioxidant nutrients such as selenium and zinc might also be effective because of their ability to stop free radical damage to joint linings that in turn causes the accumulation of fluids, swelling and associated pain.
- Chondroitin – the key structural component in cartilage and plays an important role in the maintenance of joint cartilage.
These guidelines will help you evaluate supplements to relieve arthritis symptoms. If used under the guidance of your physician, you may find a dietary supplement to compliment your current arthritis therapy regimen. You just need the right information to help you separate potentially useful supplements from the rest.