Pain Concern
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Glucosamine and chondroitin ~ What is your experience?

My doctor says there is no 'clinical proof' that glucosamine and chondroitin, or collagen is beneficial to repair damage caused by Ankylosing Spondiltitis. Doctor also does not support 'gluten' or 'starch' free diets. It is expensive and difficult to actually follow these regimes and difficult when the doctors cannot support it because of lack of clinical evidence. I would be grateful to hear about your experiences. best wishes Daisy

17 Replies

First doctors do no subscribe to any diets unless they have said one should be on.....they cannot prescribe for anything else. So if you want to be on a special diet, say gluten free you have to be medically in need of such a diet. that is to be coeliac for example. now as to the supplements it is up to you what you put into your mouth but of course you also hav to take responsibility for what you give to yourself. for me yes I do take glucosamine, plus other neutrients cos I have multiple allergies and intolerances and also get minerals and vitamins on prescription. I cannot have any painkillers for RA, OA, fibro or neuralgea. I also exercise and teach tai chi. I would honestly suggest you do exercise using tai chi but tell the tutor why you are doing it so the tai chi agrees with your condition. secondly I do say to anyone look at your diet, tweak it if it is failing you. A good all rounder multivit and calcium plus vit D is ideal for most people. Yes it costs money but look at your health and decide what to do. Talk with your GP about what you are thinking. say I will pay for......will this agree with what you are giving me or suggest for me. At the end of the day do not take anything that conflicts with what you are prescribed. It is up to you what you put in your mouth and pay for. Hope this helps. I am not a GP but am ND


Thank you Skeggy. It is great to hear your views on this. It is good to hear from people on this website as you have experience of dealing with the pain problem and the services available. I find it tricky to know when I have a right to ask for something or when I should be just sorting out myself. I had a very late diagnosis of AS (ankylosing spondilitis)and I am now prescribed Humira and Methotrexate to help address all of my symptoms of AS. I do not like taking these meds as I still feel there must be some horrible side effect as my body adjusts to them.

Thanks for the heads up for Tai chi, I will look out for a class. I have followed Pilates in the past and will continue to but I find classes difficult as I get head rushes of some kind giving me acute headaches when I exert myself too much.

I have some clear food intolerances which I find frustrating and I wish I could understand more. These include bell peppers, chicken, eggs, potato.

Thank you for your advice to talk to my doctor more about my own attempts to make sure my nutrition is optimal. best wishes Daisy


hi Daisy, I suggest Pilates might be too much for your body. have a look at my site to understand more about tai chi. Do not know where you are but might explain. Again there are some good tutors and some poor. In mine you would be helped cos of my training and my own disabilities. and if you want to speak personally use the contact button and I will try and help you more. Glennis in Skegness


thank you again. I am in the South. I will read through your informative website.


There are hundreds, nay thousands, of undiagnosed gluten intolerant suffers who have a range of bowel problems which are considered normal (wind, bloating, mild cramps). Gluten is quite a powerful allergin and probably does affect other parts of the body too. In my mind, if you try a diet with less or no gluten and your condition and general wellbeing is better, then I would take that as an indication that gluten plays a part in the condition. Its easy enough to have a gluten free diet these days - most supermarkets stock a variety of products.

Just because there is no evidence to support it, does not mean it doesn't help you. The dr is only covering his back in case problems occur in the future and you turn round and say he authorised it. Research it yourself. The more info you have the better decisions you can make. Not eating gluten will not cause any major health problems.

I would be wary of a no starch diet. We need a certain amount of carbs for our body to function properly and do all the background stuff like breathing, temperature control, organ function etc. I would look at alternative sources of carbs like cauliflower, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, rice, couscous etc than gluten laden bread.

Hope this helps.


Dear Zanna Thank you for your understanding and advice regarding the gluten free question. I will continue the research and experiments with my diet. I have been plagued by problems with my digestion throughout my life... looking back it caused me anxiety as I just thought I was an awful person as I just seemed to be mildly all of the time. Acually it still seems that way so I suppose I just have to still learn to be very patient with myself and continue to try and make my life healthier and easier. many thanks again from Daisy


Lactose intolerance is another allergy type thing that frequently goes undiagnosed as well.

One of my daughters is sensitive to alot of food stuffs, so we just avoid them. We eat alot of Indian, Morrocan, African style meals, as they have lots of natural foods and very little processed.

The other thing I'm guilty of not doing, is to drink lots of water. It flushes toxins away quicker. You do need to build your tolerance up so you don't spend all night weeing.

Start with one glass in the morning. When your body is comfortable with that, add one at lunchtime, then one in the evening. Then one mid morning and one mid afternoon. Always take your time building it up over months.

I agree pilates may be too strong, unless you can find someone who has classes particularly for the disabled (stroke etc) these are a much gentler form that focus on maintenance of body movement rather than working through the levels.


thank you... very good helpful advice which I shall follow.


Have been reading all the advice given and shall look at the tai chi website. I have always been interested and look forward to finding a class near me in Birmingham, mind you I can,t see me in the park having a go in this snow! Does,nt it look beautiful out there. My heart goes out to the homeless



This is one thing that tests many of us, many say that the body has problems accessing these two remedies, all I know our old terrier seemed to swear by them for 7 years, although i understand they are very much the same as taking calcium for your bones

One sea creature is the common sardine (pilchard) they both contain omega 3 and 6 I think that is right, fresh makrel is supposed to have the same natural make up.

We feed then by the tin to our Collie and he loves them. If they are from the tin eat them drained and whole

Sorry cannot help you on rest, although the sardines give the oils etc into a digestable form

At some of the health food shops like Holland and Barrat ? sell these and on occasions will

sell full price on one and a penny for second one if they do not sell them try other health shops

Hope this helps, do not be put of by the dog



Hi Bob, thank you for your advice. One of the best anti inflammatories that I found out early on with my problems, at that time back and chest pain, was Devils Claw. This is a ground up claw shaped root of a plant I later found it that it is also used extensively to help heal inflamation problems in horses. Thanks for the reminder to keep topped up on unsmoked sardines ,mackerel, salmon. I will look out for the bargains in the Health Shops.


I've taken Glucosamine for quite a few years ago and definitely notice a difference if I go on holiday or get out of routine and forget for a few days. For some reason it is only prescribable for knee pain - at least in my PCT area (West Midlands). Some companies sell One A Day tablets but at very low strengths and these do not help at all. You need to take 1,500 mg per day to get pain relief but with your more complex history perhaps you should try a smaller dose initially to check for any reactions, if you do decide to go down this route. I usually get mine from Healthspan online or Holland and Barrett when they have one of their special deals going.


Hi Shemadee, thank you for your info. It is interesting to hear your knowledge and positive experience with glucosamine. I will consider again taking this nutrient on a regular basis. best wishes from WhiteDaisy.


Meant to add that I understand that Glucosamine is widely used by doctors in Germany following studies etc but you would probably need to be able to read German to check this out for yourself!!


Just been googling Glucosamine and German. Seems it is considered a pharmaceutical product there. Also found it is not recommended if you take anti-coagulants as it may multiply the effect. Yet another research study saying that it helps for osteoarthritis of the knee~!! Clear as mud!!!


You could also use Strontium citrate, there's proof medically that it works for people with OA as the Nuffiled hospital did a trail with osteoporosis sufferers and those who also had OA reported it had a positive effect on it, the reason it helps is basically Strontium builds tougher bones than Calcium.


Thank you, I take note of your advice and will look into whether strontium citrate will help my condition. best wishes, Daisy


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