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Sheila's Posts

Check out all the posts by Sheila ~ (Owner/Author)

About Sheila Thomas

Hi, My name is Sheila and I am the Living Smart Girl. My goal is to bring everyone the latest and greatest tips and advice on fitness, healthy choices, recipes, shopping, beauty, home and garden, family and parenting, daily deals, travel, and so much more. I love fitness, but life is more than just exercise and when you visit Living Smart Girl you can connect the dots and live a well rounded life ~ the Living Smart way :)

I love working online and spend most of my day blogging, and researching new topics and tips to bring my readers.

Join me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LivingSmartGirl

Sheila Thomas

Living with Psoriasis

Living with Psoriasis

Psoriasis can be an uncomfortable, embarrassing condition. Characterized by dry, itchy or scaly patches of skin, psoriasis is caused by the rapid buildup of epidermal cells on certain areas of the body. And though psoriasis can affect both men and women, studies show that its effects are often more significant among females. In fact, in addition to physical symptoms and effects, women with psoriasis commonly report a variety of psychological and emotional complications as well. Thankfully, though, there are several ways women can deal with the effects of psoriasis, as well as treat symptoms and prevent flareups. Keep reading for all you need to know about living with this condition.

 

The Hidden Effects of Psoriasis

The outward symptoms of psoriasis, which include redness, thickness and flaking of the skin, are often hard to miss. Typically developing on the skin of the knees, elbows, ankles, face and upper arms, psoriasis can be irritating, embarrassing and sometimes even painful. However, there are hidden effects associated with this condition as well. For example, many women suffer from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and other effects, often as a direct result of psoriasis symptoms. For women experiencing the psychological and emotional tolls of this condition, the following coping strategies could help:

  • Self-acceptance. Learning to accept the physical symptoms of psoriasis is key in overcoming its psychological effects. After all, every woman has flaws as well as attributes; instead of hiding those flaws, consider playing up your attributes. Choose clothing, hairstyles and accessories that flatter your beauty, instead of those that hide your symptoms. Odds are, this will lead to a more positive self-image, as well as enhanced emotional health.
  • Seek psychological treatment. Counseling can be an extremely effective tool in dealing with the psychological toll of psoriasis. In addition to promoting a healthier self-image, talk therapy is designed to help in the development of coping methods, healthier thought patterns and more.
  • Reduce stress. When it comes to dealing with psoriasis, stress can lead to a number of problems. In addition to exacerbating depression and anxiety, stress can lead to a flareup of physical symptoms as well. Therefore, stress-relieving measures like exercise, meditation and deep breathing techniques can be beneficial.

 

Treating and Preventing Psoriasis

While your doctor may point you towards several synthetic drugs and therapies used in the treatment of psoriasis; don’t forget that there are also natural treatments for psoriasis like those offered from Amoils.com. In addition to essential oils, there are also changes that can be made in your personal life to help combat Psoriasis:

  • Sunlight. Exposure to natural sunlight can reduce symptoms by slowing the turnover rate of skin cells. In turn, a slower turnover rate reduces inflammation and scaling. It should be noted, however, that short periods of exposure are recommended, as longer, more intense exposure can actually worsen symptoms.
  • Understanding and avoiding triggers. Psoriasis flareups often occur as a result of triggers. And since triggers can vary, keeping a close watch on symptoms and flareups is essential.
  • Exfoliating and moisturizing. To reduce the scaling, dryness and discomfort associated with psoriasis, remember to use moisturizer every day. For added softness, exfoliating treatments can be used to slough off dead skin cells and reveal healthier, glowing skin.
  • Nutrition. The proper intake of vitamins and miners can improve the health of the skin and aid in the healing process. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, as well as supplementing with multivitamins, is recommended.

 

Although having psoriasis can lead to discomfort and other effects, there are a number of ways women with this condition can improve health and enhance quality of life. With the tips provided here, you can reduce symptoms, both seen and unseen, and live life to the fullest.

 

Win a Pair of Reebok Skyscape’s #styleneverstops

Skyscape Runaround

Express your individual style with a great pair of Reebok Skyscape shoes.  These shoes are so comfortable you just might forget you have them on.   Wear them everywhere to express your individual style.

Check out the Reebok Skyscape video on YouTube

Win yourself a pair of custom Reebok Skyscape’s.  This means you win, and then customize them to suit your own style.  Cool huh?   I love how I was able to customize mine.  I choose to go with my girlie yet rocker side and make mine bright.
First, I had to pick my size ~ Size 9.  Next I choose my base solid color, which is black. Then I choose my piping, in hot pink and my base logo in hydro blue.  And of course, I did my mid sole in hot pink.   The I chose hot pink for the toe color, black laces and hot pink and hydro blue for the eyelets.  Lastly, the outsole logo is black with hydro blue font.  I think my new shoes look pretty sweet!!  How about you?

ReebokSkyscape

Now it’s your turn to design your shoes.   Enter our Giveaway and maybe you can sport a new custom pair of Reebok Skyscapes.

Giveaway Starts 4/18/14 at 11am CST ~ Ends 4/30/14 at 11:59pm CST

Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form.

Skyscape Runaround

Help Your Child Thrive While Living With Diabetes With These 6 Ideas

livingsmartgirl.coHelp Your Child Thrive While Living With Diabetes With These 6 Ideas

Living with diabetes is tough for anyone
let alone a child. Trying to understand it and come to terms with their
diagnosis can be hard for you and especially your little one. Though it’s not
without its challenges, kids can lead very satisfying lives with Juvenile
Diabetes. Here are several ideas that can make coping with T1D (Type 1 Diabetes) a bit easier.

1. Switch up the Meal Plans

Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner or
eating desert first every now and then? Living with T1D is a routine filled
lifestyle so switching up meals can add a little excitement for your little
one. It will make eating a fun experience and ultimately it becomes a routine
that your child will love.

2. Find a Support/Play Group For Your
Child 

Having someone else in their shoes can be
a great way for a child to come to terms with living with diabetes; and what
better way than to do that by finding other children with T1D? Kids need to know they are not alone, and by having kids their own age dealing with the same adversities can help them tremendously. Not only will the playgroup be great for you but families who understand the daily struggles of T1D also surround you. There are many resources online to help you find something in your area. If you can’t find a specific group in your location, there are definitely ways to help you form your own group. It’s beneficial for your child, and it gives you peace of mind that they have
children around them who understand exactly what they are going through.

3. Reward System

It’s no secret that kids love positive
reinforcement particularly if it comes in the form of stickers. There are many
day to day responsibilities that children with Juvenile Diabetes have to
endure. Having a reward system in place can help motivate them to keep up with their routines and make it fun in the process. One example is having a weekly chart. If your child completes their tasks everyday, have them place a sticker on their chart. Once they get to the 7th day, they can do an activity that they like. Maybe it’s taking them to the movies, the park, or a little adventure into town. By having this in place, it will give your child something to look forward to as well as making their health the
priority without them fully realizing it.

4. Reliable Devices

Ensuring your child’s glucose levels are
in the normal target range each day is a daunting task. Whether they are at
school, at a playdate, or at home, you want to make sure you have the best
device on hand to make sure that your child is safe at all times. In addition
to having a device that works well, it also should be easy to use and child
friendly. Gadgets like Dexcom G4 Platinum Receiver help
significantly in such endeavors. Not only is it accurately consistent  in
readings, it is suitable for children as young as 2 years old. Having the
proper equipment for your child can really take the stress off of you by making
sure your child is healthy at all times

5. Listen to Their Frustrations

One of the best things you can do for your child is to listen. It’s hard for them to fully grasp what they’re up against and feelings of resentment, frustration, and guilt are
a reality for them. Let’s not forget how the diagnosis affects you as a parent.
It can be hard on the whole family, but it is important to remember that kids
cannot fully understand their illness, so it’s important that you give them
your attention when they just need to vent or get out whatever it is that
they’re feeling about the situation. Just being there and letting them know
they can come to you with questions and complaints at any time can really make
an impact.

6. Give Them a Creative Outlet

Sometimes when children cannot verbally
express themselves, it is best that they have a creative way at home to do so.
Freedom of expression is such a great tool to help your child and it has many
benefits as well. By having construction paper, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
your child can creatively get out what they’re feeling. At times they are going
to feel that the extra tasks they have to do daily are unfair and they can
become upset. Give them the opportunity to release
those feelings with art
. Type 1 diabetes does not only affect kids
physiologically but psychologically as well; so being able to express
themselves in different outlets will really give them a chance to thrive.

Having little ones with T1D is not an
easy circumstance, even in the best situations. It impacts the whole family and
there are a lot of life changes that need to occur to ensure the best for your
child. That being said, juvenile diabetes doesn’t always have to be burdensome.
By using these ideas, you can create a positive atmosphere for your child.
It will help them realize that there is so much more to life than being defined
by their diagnoses. It will also give them healthy outlets in coping with T1D,
which can give them encouragement when they need it, most. Living with Juvenile
diabetes is not without its complications, however you can give your child the
support they need to live happy and flourishing lives.

 

My Adventure Upon Royal Caribbean’s #LibertyoftheSeas

Going on a cruise is more than just taking a vacation.  A cruise is an adventure. An adventure that I highly recommend everyone try at least one time in their life.  If you read my pre cruise post you remember me telling you how I was scared to go on a cruise due to my fear of water.  Well, I got over that fear pretty quick on my way to the ship, due to the size of it.  OH MY… this is a HUGE ship.  It is the 3rd largest ship in the world.  Just take a look at his girl!

libertyoftheseasship “This post is brought to you by me, all about my experience upon a Royal Caribbean cruise for a press trip.  While I received my cruise at a discount I received no other compensation for my review. “

That was taken as we were approaching so it really isn’t even the whole ship.  Since I had never been on a cruise before I didn’t know what to expect and this ship just blew my mind.  So big, fancy, intriguing, pretty, well put together and full of adventure.

My adventure began when we got in line to go through all the steps to board the ship.  Well, being a newbie and never traveling out of the country I don’t have a passport.  Not a big deal as we were told we could use our birth certificate and marriage license.  Well, I didn’t think I needed it until we docked in Mexico… so, I left it in my bag that was loaded onto a cart with other bags, and brought to a room with all the other 6000 passengers bags to be scanned and then delivered to our rooms.    NOT GOOD!!  I got up to the counter and when they asked me for my passport or other documents I explained what happened and they said I couldn’t board the ship.   Right there, all I wanted to do was cry and go home.  I was so mad at myself, and so sad that I couldn’t board the ship with all the other gals from my group.  But, the PR Gal (Julianna) was amazing.  She talked to a few people and then the search began for my bag that had my documents in it.  It was about an hour or so and a guy came walking by with my bag.  Oh, I could have hugged him.  How they found my tiny red bag in the mass jumble of thousands of bags I will never know, but at that point didn’t care as I was so excited to be able to board finally.  And, I did get to board with a few others who were late comers so I was excited about that.

Finally aboard the ship I was just in awe of all.  This ship is way bigger than one realizes from any picture or standing by it.  Yeah… I was on a cruise ship.  :)I headed right for my room to put down the heavy bags I was carrying and to check out my room.   HOLY COW.. what an amazing room my roommate and I had.  All of us on Brandcation were given Balcony rooms with are very nice rooms.  If you cruise a lot and are used to the lower prices rooms you really need to splurge and try one of these rooms.   So much bigger, and the balcony was to die for.  Sitting out there was so peaceful.  Check out a few of my room pics.

LOTSRoom1 LOTSRoom3 LOTSRoom2

And this is a view off my balcony before the ship sailed.

LOTSRoom4

I was worried about my motion sickness so I had taken Dramamine when I left the hotel room.  So far so good upon this big ol ship, but we weren’t moving yet.

Once the ship started to move I have to admit, I barely knew it.   Yes, during the cruise there were times where I knew for sure it was moving as it got a bit rough, but not bad enough to scare me.   I did keep up on my motion sickness meds though as I didn’t want to take a chance with spending my whole cruise in the bathroom.

There is so much to do and see aboard the Liberty of the Seas that there is no reason anyone should be bored or not enjoy their cruise.  You can go swimming, lounge by the pool, play shuffle board, visit the game room, go shopping, go rock climbing, try surfboarding, chill out in a bar, dine at the many restaurants, go ice skating, check out a show, take an excursion when you dock, and so much more.  Never a shortage of things to do or see.   Myself, I loved the few shows we saw, enjoyed the dining as we all got to gather and learn more about each other, loved my time in the sun up on the ship deck and also touring the ship to learn about how the galley is run.  I could have spent so much more time on this ship just so I could experience everything.  Guess that just means I have to take another cruise soon.  Now that I know what they are all about, my hubby can join me on the next one.

Well, if you want an adventure make sure you check out any of the Royal Caribbean cruises, especially Liberty of the Seas.   Keep an eye on my site for more posts about my adventure.  I will let you know all about the foods and the fun I had aboard the cruise.

 

 

Getting Set up to do Pilates at Home

Setting up your at-home gym is all about creating a space and environment where you can pursue your desire to get fit and maintain your health. Whatever your budget is, or how big or small your space is, you can create a home pilates gym that works for you. Being able to work out at home, whenever you want can make the difference between reaching your fitness goals and giving up soon after you get started.

 

Part of planning your at-home pilates gym includes buying pilates gear that makes it easier to workout with ease and comfort. Check out the following pilates gear for yourself and the latest in fitness technology to aid you in your workout.

 

Pilates Floor Mats

Before you buy an exercise mat for your at-home gym, it is important to realize that there are differences between yoga mats, pilates mats and gym mats. Pilates mats are made to provide cushioning and protection from the floor, which is necessary to protect your back during specific moves and poses that you will be performing. Ensure that they mat you select is easy to wipe down, is non slip on the bottom and without any adhesion layer on the top, at least half an inch thick with firm foam and as long as you are with a width that is at least half your arm span.

 

Premium Pilates Mat

 

Pilates Videos, DVDs and Books

Finding the perfect pilates workout requires a little sampling, so before you commit to any pilates media make sure you try out different coaches, workouts and styles. If you are a beginner, make sure you look for DVDs or books that introduce you to moves, provides step by step instructions and also provides you with a challenge as soon as you are comfortable with the introductory moves.

 

Pilates Beginners Collection

 

Pilates Band, Balls and Magic Circle

Not everyone likes to use all three of these pieces of equipment, but even buying just one can radically enhance your workouts, and they are each very budget friendly. The Pilates band is perhaps the most inexpensive piece of equipment, and the most ideal for a home gym limited in space and storage. Pilates balls and rings, or magic circles, are equally helpful to your workout, but not every style of pilates uses them, so make sure any program you decide on offers instruction and the opportunity to put them to use.

 

Beginners Pilates Kit

 

Performance Clothing

Comfortable clothing is most important for a good pilates workout session, but performance clothing can improve and enhance your workout. Sweat wicking fabrics ensure that you are able to maintain positions and perform repetitive moves without slipping, falling or irritation. Contrast stitching and seams reduce skin irritation, but also help you with your posture. If sweaty feet are an issue, try non slip socks meant for pilates and yoga workouts.

 

(Recommendations: Patagonia, Rese Pilates, Gaiam, Lululemon)

 

 

Go Nuts: Nutty Choices For Your Weight Loss

 

Nuts

Go Nuts: Nutty Choices For Your Weight Loss

Strange as it may sound, some nuts can actually help you lose weight. While most of us consciously stay away from nuts and seeds thinking that these will only contribute to more fats in the body, nuts actually have more health benefits than we can imagine. Although peanuts and walnuts may be energy dense, when you eat moderate amounts of these every day, you can reduce obesity. Nuts consumed in moderation will help you to maintain an optimal body weight.

How do nuts help in controlling weight gain?

  • Nuts contain fats and proteins which help to keep your stomach satisfied for longer hours. This makes you less prone to binging on unhealthy snacks in between your main meals. They discourage overeating when you are desperate to lose a lot of weight.
  • Nuts are also rich in fibers and help to improve calorie absorption. When you consume more nuts, your body is better able to burn calories even when you may be resting. Most nuts will have soluble fibers which slow down food movement through the alimentary canal. They provide bulk and a certain sense of fullness to your stomach.
  • Nuts are rich in proteins and unsaturated fats which help to keep you full and make you less likely to snack. Since many nuts require more chewing, it can also help you burn more calories. Foods that are naturally packed with nutrients like nuts trigger different hormones which allow the body to understand when it is actually full.
  • As whole foods, nuts are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are beneficial for health. They can reduce systolic blood pressure, reduce weight and body mass index.

What nuts are good for weight loss?

If you are interested in avoiding heart problems, you should snack on nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, and cashews. They contain amino acids which can guarantee many health benefits to those with heart diseases. Other than peanuts, most of the other varieties of nuts offer a mixture of important nutrients. Some of these healthy nuts are as follows:

  1. Raw macadamia nuts contain high amounts of magnesium, vitamin B1, manganese, MUFAs etc.
  2. Walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Walnuts are known to lower risks of prostate cancer and breast cancers. They are useful for improving cardiovascular health in diabetics.
  3. Almonds are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids that are derived from vegetables and fruits.
  4. Pecans have more than nineteen types of vitamins and minerals; they can promote healthy arteries and reduce bad cholesterol in the blood.
  5. Brazil Nuts are excellent sources of organic selenium which is a powerful antioxidant that protects cancers.
  6. Pine Nuts offer many weight loss benefits because of their appetite-suppressant properties.

These are some nutty choices which you can include in your everyday diet to lose weight healthily. Nuts have been found to be rather effective in lowering blood pressure, blood glucose levels, reducing belly fat, and improving cardiovascular health. Whether it is pecans, walnuts or almonds, each of these is packed with essential nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins, and just the right amount of fats to keep the arteries unclogged.

Image link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaeden/111015656/sizes/z/

 

 

Foods That Improve Your Workout Flexibility

Foods That Improve Your Workout Flexibility

Flexibility

Before working out, it is important to eat the right kinds of foods so that you can flex your muscles and joints easily and not suffer from cramps. Flexibility refers to the ability of different body parts to complete their motions. You need flexibility to perform regular activities like walking, lifting or bending and when you are flexible your muscles also remain active and mobile. This is why it is also important to introduce flexibility exercises when you are working out.

Stretching is a good way to make your body flexible before working out. But in order to improve your workout flexibility, it is not enough to simply stretch. You need to add certain foods to your diet that can improve your flexibility.

Foods which improve flexibility:

Green vegetables: Dark, green leafy vegetables like spinach, seaweed, kale, chard, collard greens and watercress can heighten your flexibility when you add them to your daily diet. They have high water content which is necessary to flush out acids from your body. Popular diet services emphasize adding fresh fruits and vegetables to the daily diet to rev up metabolism and enhance the supply of nutrients.

Spirulina: If you can mix this to your morning smoothie, you can increase your flexibility dramatically. This alga has many essential vitamins like beta carotene and B complex vitamins which boosts muscle strength. It can also prevent muscle cramps and let you stretch with ease.

Barley grass: You can use barley grass extract in your daily meals. This will contain beta carotene, high amounts of calcium and iron etc which all play an important role in increasing flexibility and promoting overall health.

Water: Perhaps there is no other food that can improve flexibility as much as water. You should always start your day with a glass of water and make it a point to drink well before you start an exercise routine. Water helps to lubricate the joints making you flexible in the process.

Proteins: Foods like fish and chicken, whole grains and beans, nuts and seeds, olive oil and avocados, fresh fruits or veggies are great for improving flexibility. For flexibility and to avoid injuries, you need to load up on foods that are known to have very high water content like vegetables and fruits. Protein drinks and fruit smoothies can also help to hydrate your body. Chronic inflammations may cause fluid retention that makes your muscles stiff. Alkaline conditions are known to reduce inflammations and foods which can increase alkalinity are mainly vegetables and fruits. Spices like turmeric and ginger also help because these have anti-inflammatory properties.

Foods containing sulfur or amino acids promote flexible joints. So high sulfur foods like garlic, cruciferous vegetables, onions, egg yolks, red peppers etc are recommended for increased muscular flexibility in workouts.

Apart from these healthy foods, you need to remember that junk foods should be avoided before a workout. Junk foods and packaged foods contain excess sodium which leads to joints becoming swollen. The body tries to hold onto more fluids to dilute blood. Coffee and alcohol can also dehydrate the body. Acid-forming foods like processed carbs and sugar rich foods should also be ideally avoided before exercising.

Image link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaarka/6287548645/sizes/m/

 

First Leg of Brandcation for #SeastheDay

Here I sit in an airport in Minneapolis, Mn., catching up on some work and overdue email replies while I wait for my connecting flight to take me to warmer climate. It is cold here in Minnesota! Yikes, it was 1 degrees this morning when we pulled out of my driveway at 4am. After a busy day of packing yesterday (April 1st), and a busy evening of making sure everything at home was done and ready for my hubby to be left alone for 2 weeks I was so tired but so excited for my trip that I maybe slept 4 hours. Went to bed at 9pm to have some snuggle time (wink wink) and then I watched the minutes slowly pass as I lay there and tried to fall asleep. My alarm went off at 2:20 am and I hit snooze several times and finally drag my butt out of bed at 2:50 am. Tired as all get out!

Well, since I was running late, of course I arrived at the airport late, and the people in front of me to check in were having issues so I was starting to stress I might miss my flight. Well, a nice guy informed me I could check my baggage using the Kiosk, which I didn’t know as I had never done that before. So, I quickly did that, rushed up to security and then to my gate and still had about 10 minutes to spare. Whew!!

The flight from Duluth, Mn to Minneapolis, Mn is only about a 20 minute flight in total. It takes 3 ½ hours to drive from my house to the Minneapolis airport so that is why I choose to fly. The ticket is always more money for the convenience of not having to drive, park my car, pay to park, find my car when I return and drive home all tired after a long flight. So, I don’t mind paying a bit more.

Where a I going you ask? Well I am heading to Ft Lauderdale, Florida to join 39 other bloggers on a 4 day Royal Caribbean cruise upon the Liberty of the Seas ship. This is going to be so much fun and I can’t wait to tell you all about my cruise (first time on a cruise). This is a huge ship and there is so much on it. They have pools, rock climbing, ice skating, zip lining, dining, dancing, shopping, and so much more.

Keep tuned to Living Smart Girl for lots of updates. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so you don’t miss any of my updates.

#RoyalCaribbean  @RoyalCaribbean #SeastheDay

Winding Down with a Coffee


WINDING DOWN WITH A COFFEE

 

Recent research has found that while men associate coffee with energy and getting the job done, many women actually relate coffee drinking with relaxing with friends or winding down after a long day. While many would choose decaf when enjoying a coffee break in the evening some do end up realising later they are on a caffeine high at 12pm.

 

Lets be honest we have all done it, downing a mug of coffee at 8pm in order to get the kids to sleep or getting through an all night study session at university. While some may think this is a huge mistake there are actually ways of getting to sleep after the caffeine hits you.

 

Step One: Warm Milk

Being awake at night can normally make you reach for the snacks – but stay away! Sugary sweets will obviously keep you awake. If you must eat then reach for a slice of bread but everyone who is anyone knows that a glass of warm milk before bed can give you a blissful nights sleep.

 

Step Two: Create a Peaceful Environment

That means no TV, Playstation or Internet! Yes stop browsing through twitter and focus on making your room a place of relaxation. Dim the lights, maybe light some scented candles – after all the kids are in bed. If it is raining outside (which it usually is in the UK) then actively listen to rain pouring outside. Alternatively put on a relaxing CD or stream a coffee house playlist of Spotify. This will help start to make your mind relax.

 

Step Three: Relax Your Mind

If your glass of warm milk is yet to kick in or hasn’t worked at all then try to actively calm your body. With all the caffeine buzzing around your body it is easy to get anxious and irritable, so move away from the clock and stop focusing on how many hours you have left until the school run! Focus on how great it is to get time to yourself, sit comfortably on the couch and read that magazine or start a light-hearted book. When you’re tired – hit the sack.

 

Do you have any tips on winding down after a caffeine fix? Or can you just go to sleep straight away?

Natural Compounds: Glucosamine and Your Joints

foot Natural Compounds: Glucosamine and Your Joints

 

Glucosamine is a compound that occurs naturally in the body. Many people decide to take glucosamine supplements due to suggestions that these can be beneficial for some conditions. So what do you need to know about glucosamine? Here is a quick guide.

 

 

 

What Is Glucosamine?

 

Glucosamine is a compound that is made from glutamine and glucose. It is required for the production of glycosaminoglycan, which is a molecule that is used to form and repair cartilage and body tissues.

 

What Are Glucosamine Supplements?

 

Although glucosamine forms naturally in the body, it is also available in the form of supplements. These are often available from health-food shops and websites like SevenSeas. These supplements are derived from shellfish such as crabs and shrimps.

 

Supplements are often used together with chondroitin sulfate, which is a molecule that is present in cartilage and helps to provide the cartilage with its elasticity.

 

Why Take Supplements?

 

Glucosamine supplements may be taken for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons that people may decide to take them is when they are suffering from osteoarthritis, and in particular osteoarthritis of the knee.

 

The reason for this is that cartilage becomes stiff when people suffer from osteoarthritis, which can cause damage and pain. Supplements are thought by many to repair cartilage, in the same way as the natural glucosamine that is produced in the body does.

 

There is some evidence that it can help with knee osteoarthritis symptoms, and that it may be able to help slow its progression. However, there is not currently any hard evidence, and instead, people who suffer from osteoarthritis may be advised to take supplements for three months or so to see if it works. This usually consists of a daily dose of about 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate, taken in three separate doses.

 

Glucosamine supplements are often taken for other conditions in addition to osteoarthritis. These may include Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and some skin conditions.

 

Possible Side Effects

 

From the studies that have been carried out, glucosamine has been shown to be well tolerated when it is used for short periods of time. However, as with many supplements, possible side effects have been noted. These could include headaches, mild abdominal pain, drowsiness, nausea and constipation.

 

One thing to be aware of is that because supplements are often made from shellfish, anyone with an allergy to shellfish should not take these. As with any supplement, always talk to your doctor before you start to take glucosamine supplements, and follow their recommendations.

 

Are Glucosamine Supplements Right for You?

 

Now that you know more about glucosamine and the supplements that are available, you may be wondering whether they are right for you. The best way to find out is to talk to your doctor about them and find out what they recommend, just as you should do when you are interested in taking any new supplement. They can provide you with the expert advice you need, helping you to make an informed decision.

 

Jack Cartwright is a health enthusiast. From his extensive research and fitness training, he often writes about ways to improve one’s health in a variety of ways.