Relieve Joint Pain with Natural Supplements
Aspirin, Ibuprofen or Naproxen can be found in just about every medicine cabinet in the country – especially in those of adults suffering from chronic joint pain. What most of us know is that these are all types of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs - products developed to reduce fever and relieve pain. What you may not know is that those who take NSAIDS on a regular basis may be putting themselves at risk, especially people 75 years of age and older.
NSAIDS work by attacking the enzymes COX-1 and COX-2 needed for production of prostaglandins - the hormones that generate inflammation. In thwarting inflammation, NSAIDs can reduce pain.
However, prostaglandins also protect stomach lining from the harmful effects of acid. Therefore the destruction of prostaglandins makes the stomach susceptible to ulcers and bleeding. In fact, up to ten percent of those using NSAIDs experience ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding at any given time.
A panel of experts from the American Geriatrics Society has warned elderly people against taking NSAIDs for chronic pain due to a multitude of risks. In addition to ulcers and bleeding, it has been shown that NSAIDs can raise risks for heart attack or stroke; worsen already-high blood pressure and damage kidneys. To make matters worse, NSAIDs interact with many of the prescription drugs that elderly individuals may be taking.
Consumer Reports has also warned that the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding from NSAID use increases with age. In fact, they recommend taking the lowest dosage possible for the smallest amount of time to bring relief from pain.
People who suffer from chronic joint pain DO have other options besides NSAIDs. Take a look at a few natural supplements that may provide relief from joint pain:
Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA): This is a form of omega-3 fatty acid that comes from plants. It can be found in the form of supplements and in flaxseed and its oil, soybeans, walnuts, tofu and pumpkin seeds. Some research has shown that ALA can relieve joint pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
Antioxidants: Scientists have found higher levels of free radicals and lower levels of antioxidants – specifically vitamins C and E, beta carotene and selenium - in the blood and joint fluid of people with arthritis. It stands to reasons that regular consumption of these antioxidants, may help to relieve joint pain.
Fish Oil: This important supplement contains a mixture of EPA and DHA - omega-3 fatty acids that inhibit inflammation. It has been shown that taking at least three grams of a mixture of EPA and DHA for at least twelve weeks can relieve morning stiffness and joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Individuals tested also stopped or lowered NSAID use.
Green Superfood Powders: In addition to boosting energy and slowing the aging process, green superfood powders are also said to help relieve joint pain. Too much acid in the daily diet can cause inflammation which negatively affects muscles and joints. Green superfood powders are a rich source of alkaline which can help to flush acids and toxins from the body. Most green superfood powders also contain a host of antioxidants and enzymes that reduce free radicals and enhance circulation.
Sufferers of arthritis or other conditions causing joint pain should not have to worry about stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding and a host of other possible health issues. Try the natural supplements above before resorting to long-term NSAID use, but always check with your health care provider if considering daily supplementation.