As I have mentioned in previous posts, my mom has been down visiting me for a while again this summer. Being a writer, my schedule is a little more flexible than my siblings and I try to make sure she has a good time while she is down here. My mom has suffered from arthritis for as long as I can remember. Of course, as she has aged, it has become worse. She now walks with the assistance of a walker, a motorized scooter for long distances, and is in pain almost all of the time. As a daughter, I hate knowing she is in pain. I am always trying to research ways to improve her life and minimize some of the pain. At the stage she is in, most things I read says there is nothing to help her other than pain management. There were some studies that showed medical marijuana might help, but she was not willing to even consider that and I don’t think my siblings were too keen on her trying it, so I kept moving.
Back in 2013, I started working with a new trainer for my horse and Luke would have “clicking” sounds when he worked. My trainer said I should put him on Glucosamine and Chondroitin and see if it helped. Within a month, the clicking was gone. Of course, some say it was because I was working him on a regular basis so he was stronger, minimizing the clicking. I believe it had something to do with the Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
Because I had hurt my knee when I was younger, I decided to try the supplement for myself after seeing it work with Luke. I’m not great at taking medication, I often forget, but I did notice my knee didn’t hurt as bad when I remembered to take them. I purchased them at Sam’s Club because they had an Instant Savings on them and I have the Plus membership, so I saved more money at that time. I liked their Simply Right brand because it didn’t contain a lot of the fillers, just the glucosomine and chondroitin along with vanilla flavoring to make it easier to swallow.
Fast forward to earlier this year, my 4 year old Neapolitan Mastiff, Bella, was stiff every night after a fun afternoon at the dog park. Don’t let her age fool you, she can run with the 1-3 year old dogs and hold her own. She loves to play. I didn’t want to take that away from her but hated to see her in pain at night. I decided to try some Glucosamine and Chondroitin for her as well. I ended up changing her food to a dog food with it built right into the food. For more information on that, feel free to check out an earlier blog. I also learned turkey neck bones have a lot of natural Glucosamine and Chondroitin in them and are good for dogs to chew on, but because I have another dog at home with food aggression, it was not an option. I had purchased some dog treats with Glucosamine and Chondroitin built into them and it seemed Bella did even better when she had just a little more in her than what her food provided. The treats were expensive though, so I hit the internet trying to find out if I could give her pills safe for humans. It appears that, as long as you don’t use the ones with additional fillers and by products in them, they are safe for dogs.
Week 1 – We are at the first week. While I told her she had to try it for a full three weeks before we would determine if it is helping her at all or not, I still wanted to see if she had noticed any changes as all. It has been an extremely rainy time down here. I think it has rained almost every day. She said she noticed her hands haven’t been sore or swollen feeling. This is pretty huge because she has actually talked to her doctor about her hands they would hurt so much the day before it rained. He prescribed her some ultraced to help with the pain and she hasn’t had to take one all week. It’s too soon to tell if it’s due to the Glucosamine and Chondroitin or just due to the fact she is in a different climate and more hydrated than she is at home. I don’t think she drinks enough water when she’s home alone, I make sure she has something to drink all day.
Week 2 – So, here it is, a full two weeks into my trial period and I ask my mom how she’s feeling. So far, her hands have only hurt her one night out of the full two weeks and it has rained almost every day here. I asked her how her shoulders were feeling and she said they don’t hurt, but they don’t normally hurt. I was surprised by this comment because she is always complaining her shoulders hurt! She has had surgery in them and has very little ability to reach over her head now. I noticed she was reaching for a glass in one of my cupboards because I forgot to leave one down in the dish strainer for her. I asked her if it hurt for her to do that. She paused and checked both shoulders and said no, it didn’t hurt when she reached up! I thought that was a good sign.
We will finish the full three weeks and get final thoughts.
Week 3 – A full three weeks of the Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Not a lot of difference between week 2 and week 3. Her biggest surprise is her hands. She said they just don’t hurt. I waited a couple weeks before finalizing this to ask her and she has decided to continue taking them. Her biggest complaint is the size of the pills. They are pretty big. Is it a HUGE difference, and miracles happened? No, but I know her hands have led her to take pain pills before, so if we can eliminate even that pain, to her, it appears to be worth it.
As I said, I know it has helped me personally with my knees when I take it every day. If I start missing a few days, then it seems like it takes days for it to start working again.
My suggestion is, try it for three to four weeks. See if you notice anything different. You’re only out the cost of one bottle, but if they do work, the price is worth it!
Let me know about your experiences with Glucosamine and Chondroitin, I would love to hear other opinions, both good and bad.
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