medical travel insurance for arthritis

 

Now a lot of might like to eat lobster as a special treat, but how do you feel about eating the crushed up shell as a tablet? Not so appetising?

But if you have arthritis, this can be a way to treat your symptoms….

Let me start from the beginning. Arthritis is an umbrella term for a group of diseases that affect the joints, all of which result in pain and disability.  According to Arthritis Research UK, as many as one in ten may suffer from joint degeneration.

There is no cure and few effective treatments besides painkillers and, eventually, surgery. One other option, though, is Glucosamine, as described in this article. Official medical guidance does not recognise it as an effective arthritis treatment, but Arthritis Research UK does endorse it.

So what exactly is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is needed to produce a molecule called hyaluronic acid, which is found naturally in cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and synovial fluid around the joints and helps with elasticity.  You can’t obtain glucosamine directly from your diet. Instead, our body produces it from the glucose and glutamine building blocks in all foods.

As production of glucosamine slows with age, you can take it as a supplement. Glucosamine supplements are prepared using chitin, present in the shells of crabs, lobsters, prawns and shrimps.

Millions of Britons bought these glucosamine supplements last year – worldwide we spent £2 billion (much more than the £30 million we spend annually on Vitamin C)

So what is the verdict on Glucosamine for treating arthritis? At least 21 trials focusing have taken place. Although some trials have reported positive health benefits, other larger trials have reported no effect.

Arthritis Research UK suggests that those who want to try it should take glucosamine mixed with chondroitin (shark cartilage) supplements for three months and if the pain eases, carry on.

So what does this have to do with travel? Well if you suffer from arthritis, you might find that if you are on quite an active holiday, or one that involves a lot of walking, your arthritis might get worse. So Glucosamine could be something that you might want to consider trying before you go, and then taking the pills away with you on your holiday (obviously, check with your own doctor for your own particular circumstances though before trying it)

This is the first blog in the Travelling with Arthritis category – more blogs will be coming soon! In the meantime, please do share any other hints you have about travelling with arthritis, that might help others, below…