Essay about Osteoarthritis and the Ideal Treatment

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Osteoarthritis and the Ideal Treatment Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is a form of arthritis characterized by the breakdown of cartilage within joints. Cartilage serves to provide cushion at the ends of bones, and when the cushion is not sufficient, as in osteoarthritis, the bones rub together. As a result, osteoarthritis sufferers are constantly plagued by stiff, swollen, and inflamed joints (http://www.arthritis.org/answers/diseasecenter/oa.asp). It is a relatively common condition, with an estimated 20 million American sufferers, most of whom are elderly (http://webmd.lycos.com/content/article/1668.50297). Traditional treatments include Tylenol, aspirin, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs…show more content…
Glucosamine can be synthesized for commercial use from crab, lobster, or shrimp shells (Ghosh, Smith, and Wells, 1992). Those with allergies to shellfish need not worry, because the allergy is to the meat, not the shell (http://webmd.lycos.com/content/article/1707.50223). In the making of the supplemental tablets, glucosamine is combined with sulfate or hydrochloride. The recommended dosage is usually between 1000 and 2000 milligrams a day, and glucosamine is often taken in conjunction with chondroitin, which is shown to enhance treatment results. (http://webmd.lycos.com/content/article/1677.57489). How does it work? Glucosamine stimulates production of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans, the two essential building blocks of cartilage. Advocates of the treatment say that artificially synthesized glucosamine supplements can jumpstart glucosamine production within joints. Choindroitin is made of many of the same molecules as glucosamine, and essentially serves the same purpose. The long-lasting pain relief and functional improvements that are reported by users of the supplement come as a result of anti-inflammatory agents, an increase in cartilage building activities, and a reduction in the enzymatic destruction of cartilage. Along with a termination in the progression of joint damage, reversal of damage is also highly likely. The rapid pain relief upon initiation of a glucosamine
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