Osteoarthritis is a medical condition that can cause intense amounts of pain if left untreated. Fortunately, one specific drug or medicine has been developed to address such a medical condition which is Chondroitin. In this article, we will look at what Chondroitin is and what it can do for the human body and to patients osteoarthritis.
All About Chondroitin
Chondroitin (Chondroitin sulfate) is a type of chemical that is usually found in joint cartilages of the human body. The manufactured form of this chemical usually comes from other animal-based sources such as cow and shark cartilage. Chondroitin is normally used to treat and address osteoarthritis and is often utilized together with other active ingredients such as glucosamine sulfate, manganese ascorbate, N-acetyl glucosamine, and glucosamine hydrochloride.
Chondroitin is also prescribed by doctors to be orally taken by patients afflicted with the following:
- HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) or AIDS (Autoimmune Disease)
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Osteoporosis or weak bones
- Joint pain due to breast cancer medication
- Increased levels of cholesterol
- Acid reflux
- Soreness of the muscles after physical activity such as exercise
- Interstitial cystitis (bladder disorder)
- Kashin Beck Disease (a type of bone illness)
- Iron deficiency anemia (if combined with Iron supplements)
Chondroitin may also be used as an eye drop to help lessen and prevent dryness in the eyes. Additionally, it also used as a supporting drug for cataract surgeries. It can also be utilized for the preservation of corneas in preparation for a cornea transplant.
Some individuals have also been known to use Chondroitin as a topical cream that may be applied to painful areas of the body. These skin creams or ointments usually contain chondroitin sulfate mixed in with shark cartilage, glucosamine sulfate camphor. Others even inject Chondroitin directly into the affected joint to help alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Chondroitin works by slowing the breakdown of cartilage which is basically what transpires to people with joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. This is since chondroitin sulfate is an important building block and an ingredient of cartilage.
What Are The Uses of Chondroitin?
Chondroitin has been closely associated with the treatment of osteoarthritis. However, evidence suggests that this medicine can be used to address and alleviate the symptoms of various medical conditions. Listed below are some of the uses of Chondroitin:
1. Cataract Surgery
Studies show that the introduction of the combination of sodium hyaluronate and Chondroitin Sulfate into the patient’s eyes during surgery for cataracts can help protect the patient’s eyes. Research also suggests that the use of solutions based on the combination of sodium hyaluronate and Chondroitin Sulfate can help relieve the pressure on the eyes after cataract surgery which can help improve and enhance the healing process. However, it is still not known if solutions made up of pure chondroitin sulfate will have similar effects as those solutions that are a combination of both sodium hyaluronate and Chondroitin Sulfate. Further research may be conducted to check the effectivity of the said standalone solution for cataracts.
Evidence suggests that patients who orally take chondroitin can help improve patients experiencing osteoarthritis. It showed that pain is lessened and that the patient’s condition is improved if the said medicine is used for at least six (6) months. While pain may not be significantly decreased by taking this supplement, there is data to suggest that taking it for 2 years straight can help prevent the further progress of the worsening of osteoarthritis. Some creams or topical ointments that contain chondroitin mixed in with other active substances such as shark cartilage, glucosamine sulfate, and camphor have also been shown to address the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
3. Urinary Tract Infections or UTIs
Initial research has shown that applying chondroitin via a catheter to women with a history or tendency for UTIs or urinary tract infections may reduce the instance or risk of developing or further progression of Urinary tract infection or UTI.
4. Dry eyes
Studies indicate that chondroitin may decrease dryness in the eyes by using eye drops that contains chondroitin sulfate.
5. Post-workout recovery
It has been claimed that it may help fight against sore muscles after physical activity or exercise in male individuals. However, further research needs to be done to confirm this theory.
6. Acid reflux
Data indicate that patients with acid reflux may benefit from chondroitin when taken together with acid reflux medicines such as antacids. Evidence points towards the lessened intensity of acid reflux symptoms for patients who will take the aforementioned drugs and medicines.
7. Helps prevent heart attacks
Initial research found the link between chondroitin use and the prevention of and reduction of the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. However, further research is needed to confirm its actual effects in helping patients fight off and prevent certain cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure or hypertension, stroke, and heart attacks.