An Economic Solution for Severe Osteoarthritis?

I’m 69 and have severe osteoarthritis. I have aches and pains from my wrists down to my toes, with enough aggravation to keep me awake at night. I don’t like to take NSAIDs, so I’m trying to find some other kind of supplement to help me. I’m not sure I can afford to take Turmeric three times a day, so I hope you have a suggestion that doesn’t cost a lot. Can you please suggest a product that will help me ease right into a good night’s sleep?

RICHARD, Wheaton, IL

Dear Richard,

There is not likely to be a single “silver bullet” for your situation with severe osteoarthritis. Since you’re on a tight budget, my first choice would be a combination of Boswella Serrata (Frankincense) and Turmeric—a team-up of powerful anti-inflammatory/pain-relieving herbs.

For long-term benefit, I recommend a product with joint-building properties containing chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine HCl—both documented to promote the replication of cartilage. Or a more complex formulation including additional anti-inflammatory proteolytic enzymes to reduce inflammation, such as bromelain and trypsin, along with rutin, and Boswellia serrata gum resin extract.

Another economical way to obtain relief is to use Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO), used as liniment by veterinarians and animal owners. It can be obtained as a 99.9% liquid in health food stores or veterinary supply outlets. DMSO is a powerful anti-inflammatory pain reliever, used for a variety of conditions—but especially, arthritis. It can be applied topically to an affected area, where it will rapidly penetrate the skin. For folks with severe arthritis in multiple joints, I suggest they consider drinking a teaspoon or so, once or twice/day. It sure doesn’t taste very good, but we’re not taking it for the taste. Just mix it in a small amount of water or juice, and follow with more water or juice to kill the taste. The only adverse effect is that the DMSO has a distinctive “pungent” odor, and will be “off-gassed” in the breath and sweat. Some people find it offensive to others, which is the main reason to limit its use. DMSO is cheap (about $10 for a 3–6 month supply). It can be used in addition to all of the above listed recommendations.

Finally, to help with your sleep, I suggest Life Enhancement’s SleepScape, and perhaps 6–9 mg of Melatonin at bedtime (Life Enhancement was one of the first supplement companies in the U.S. to offer melatonin over the counter).

Good luck,

Ward Dean, M.D.

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