The Vitamin You Need If You Have Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful condition that causes joints to become inflamed and sensitive (via Mayo Clinic). There are many different kinds of arthritis and symptoms can range from mild to extreme pain. If you have this condition, your doctor will be able to help you find the best treatment. However, some vitamins can help reduce your symptoms more naturally than prescription medication.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, glucosamine and chondroitin are two common supplements that people with arthritis can use to find some relief. These are natural components of cartilage, which is what cushions our joints. Taking these supplements may improve pain symptoms in people with arthritis, although research is mixed. A fish oil supplement may also help. Polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation which can cause pain in people with arthritis. "Omega-3 fats seem to work better for rheumatoid arthritis than for osteoarthritis, most likely because rheumatoid arthritis is mainly driven by inflammation," said Chris D'Adamo, PhD, director of Research & Education at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Integrative Medicine. Talk to your doctor about taking supplements if you suffer from arthritis.

What to know about taking supplements

While taking over-the-counter supplements is generally safe, there are a few things you should know before adding them to your daily routine. Vitamins and supplements are not regulated by the FDA (via The Healthy). "Supplements may carry harmful risks such as inaccurate dosing information and contaminated ingredients," said Wendy Kaplan, MS, RDN. Manufacturing companies don't benefit by making their customers sick, but it's always smart to know exactly what you're putting inside your body.

If you have arthritis and are interested in taking a supplement, it's best to speak with your doctor about it first. "I do recommend for the consumer who's anticipating using a lot of supplements either to find an integrative physician who can help them or invest in a [subscription with an] independent testing company like Consumer Labs and check with their physician," Farshad Fani Marvasti, MD, MPH, director of Public Health, Prevention, and Health Promotion at The University of Arizona, told the Arthritis Foundation. Some supplements can interact with medications, so you will want to check with your doc that it's okay to take any.