Orlando, Fla. — Doesn’t it? Our doctors hear it every time at our Medical Center. For all of us in Florida, the winter weather already begun and for some of us, it hurts. Every cold front heading our way from the north, means a lot of people preparing themselves to manage joint pain.

Many of our patients who like to combine natural remedies with traditional medicine comment about the benefits of glucosamine.

Some studies show it gives relief for mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis, and it may work for other joints, too.

But if you are curious about what it is, know that glucosamine is a natural chemical compound in your own body which also comes in the form of a supplement. There are two main types: hydrochloride and sulfate.

It helps to maintain your cartilage in good condition. Cartilages are that rubbery tissue that cushions bones at your joints. In other words, in automotive terms it would be a ‘shock absorber.’

The levels of this compound begin to decrease as you age. This can cause a gradual breakdown of the joint.

There’s some evidence that glucosamine sulfate supplements help counteract this effect, although experts aren’t sure how.

Despite the lack of scientific evidence to support it works for other conditions some people have also used glucosamine to try to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, chronic venous insufficiency, sports injuries, temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ), and long-term low back pain.

Regarding the amount of glucosamine each person should include in their daily supplements, according most studies on treating osteoarthritis, the typical dose was 500 milligrams of glucosamine sulfate, three times a day with a meal, to prevent an upset stomach.

However, if you are suffering from joint pain, we encourage you to visit our Medical Center in Orlando, to discuss with one of our physicians your particular case and determine possible causes and a more comprehensive plan to treat it.

Things you must know about Glucosamine:

Side effects are generally mild and you are more likely to get them if you take high doses. Some side effects could be:

• Upset stomach

• Heartburn

• Drowsiness

• Headache

If you are allergic to shellfish you must be cautious about using glucosamine to prevent a potential  reaction.

IMPORTANT: Always check with your doctor before taking supplements if you have diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, bleeding disorders, or high blood pressure and you are taking other medicines, including heart drugs, blood thinners, and diabetes drugs.

Glucosamine isn’t recommended for children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, because there isn’t enough evidence yet about whether it’s safe for those groups.

At DNF Medical Centers, Orlando — we have state-of-the-art, complete medical facilities to provide services from diagnosis to treatment, with sophisticated medical equipment and top notch healthcare professionals.


Longe, J., ed. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, second edition, 2004. 

Natural Standard Patient Monograph: “Glucosamine.”

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “Backgrounder: Questions and Answers: NIH Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT.)”