Glucosamine Sulphate by drdoc on-line

Glucosamine is a substance synthesized in the body. It plays an important role in the repair and maintenance of Articular cartilage.

Glucosamine sulfate is an artificially synthesized salt of glucosamine. This compound has been used for many years as a natural supplement for arthritis and in particular, osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a form of degenerative arthritis occurring when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bone joints breaks down, causing pain, stiffness and deformity.

To understand this issue we need to look at the basic anatomy and physiology of the joint and cartilage.

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The normal Joint
normal joint The normal joint consists of bone with cartilage surface enclosed by a membrane called the synovium.
Within the membrane is the synovial fluid which bathes the joint and provides nutrition to the cartilage.
Cartilage has no blood supply and the joint fluid moves in and out of the cartilage to nourish it.
Joint cartilage structure   
cartilage structure The natural structure of cartilage consists of long and multi-branched protein molecules made by the cartilage cells. these are called collagen. These form a framework to the cartilage. Between the collagen framework is a sugary jelly like substance called GLUCOSAMINE SULPHATE.
The purpose of the glucosamine is to attract joint fluid and hold it.
The structure and function of glucosamine sulphate   
glucosamine normal  The glucosamine swells but is held within the framework of the long collagen protein molecules
The result is the cartilage becomes bouncy and elastic and can protect the joint from impact and stress. 
When pressure is applied joint fluid squeezes out of the glucosamine of the cartilage and when pressure is released the joint fluid comes back into the cartilage by binding to the glucosamine..
Osteoarthritis   
osteoarthris and glucosamine  In the case of Osteoarthritis there is degeneration of the cartilage of the joint.
This occurs in most people as they get older, but there are aggressive variants which occur early - often in females at menopause and associated with family history.
The earlier and the more stiff, the more concerned the patient should be and i recommend they seek help from a Rheumatologist 
Cartilage Structure in Osteoarthritis  
osteoarthritis glucosamine reduction  In Osteoarthritis the cartilage cells malfunction - related to genetics, hormone changes and inflammation.
The long protein molecules start to break up and the lattice structure holding the glucosamine becomes fragmented.
In addition the amount of glucosamine is reduced.
The cartilage is less elastic and starts to break down.
The body then tries a failed method to heal and it forms bony outgrowths which are called osteophytes.
Glucosamine in Osteoarthritis   
glucosamine in osteoarthritis progression  The failed glucosamine system results in progressive cartilage damage.
Firstly there is less elasticity
Secondly, there is poor nutrition to the cartilage
Thirdly, the cracking of the cartilage surface sends small fragments of cartilage into the joint space and this irritates the membrane which then becomes inflamed.
The consequence is an abnormally inflamed membrane producing an abnormal fluid which gets into the abnormal cartilage reducing cartilage nutrition and further damaging the cartilage.
It becomes a vicious cycle and the joint cartilage is progressively reduced and destroyed.
Inflammatory arthritis   
rheumatoid arthritis schematic picture  The issue of inflammatory arthritis , such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, differs from Osteoarthritis as the primary issue is an immune attack on the synovial membrane, which becomes inflamed and thick. This results in a secondary attack on the cartilage surface and cartilage reduction and progressive joint damage. 
These patients become stiff in the morning and swelling of the soft tissues becomes more prominent and generalized compared to Osteoarthritis.
The greater the stiffness and swelling the more serious the issue. All of these patients should see a Rheumatologist.

 

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