Rheumatic diseases: the best supplements at your disposal

Rheumatic diseases are inflammatory, autoimmune, degenerative and other diseases that, acutely or chronically, predominantly involve bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc., and may also affect connective tissue in any part of the organism and give the most varied manifestations (heart, lung, digestive tract, kidney, etc.).

In order not to confuse concepts, it is important to emphasize that there is no rheumatism, but rheumatic diseases. These are numerous (there are more than 100 rheumatic diseases!), varied and their treatment differs from one to the other.

The most prevalent and known are rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondyloarthritis, uric gout, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and low back pain.

Each rheumatic disease has specific signs and symptoms. However, there are complaints common to various rheumatic diseases, such as pain (the intensity and location of which varies from disease to disease), limitation of movement, heat and swelling of the joints and fatigue.

The prevalence of rheumatic diseases ranges between 8 and 12% of the general population, the most common being osteoarthritis. Rheumatic diseases are the number one cause of illness in men, they are the number one reason for medical consultation and they are the number one cause of incapacity for work.

In Portugal, rheumatic diseases have a prevalence of 56%, which are responsible for 40 to 60% of situations of prolonged physical disability and loss of autonomy, for 43% of absenteeism at work and for 35-41% of early retirements due to disease, which cost more than EUR 900 million a year.

These diseases have an enormous economic burden on health systems globally: in Europe, public expenditure on these diseases totals more than €200,000,000,000 per year (costs that include diagnosis, treatment, medicines, care, auxiliary devices, reduced productivity and absence from work).

Thus, in addition to the individual impact, these diseases have a great global impact, so prevention is extremely important.

According to the Portuguese League Against Rheumatic Diseases, there are several measures that we should adopt on a daily basis and that help to save the joints:

  • Avoid being overweight and, if necessary, go on a diet to reach an adequate weight;
  • Choose chairs that offer lumbar support;
  • Sit comfortably;
  • Practicing moderate physical exercise;
  • Have a firm, flat mattress and a soft, low pillow if you sleep facing upwards, if you sleep on your side, the pillow should be higher;
  • Choose shoes with a wide support base, low heels and rubber soles;
  • If possible, travel by tram or train and avoid bumpy transport;
  • While sitting and working, you should change position frequently;

Given that rheumatic diseases are very different and their treatment varies, the initial treatment often involves alleviating symptoms such as joint pain. There are several supplements on the market, and at My Pharma Spot, that can be used for this purpose, and as a first resort. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should always consult your doctor so that, through a diagnosis, he can indicate the best treatment for you.

The most used supplements are based on glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and/or vitamin C, with the concentration and combination of these substances varying between them. And why are these substances important for the joints?

Joints are composed of several elements: bone, cartilage, tendons, among others. The centerpiece of the joint is cartilage, which cushions the ends of the bones in the joints.

This is mainly composed of water (70%), collagen, glucosamine and chondroitin. And what happens in many rheumatic diseases – mainly in osteoarthritis – is the decrease in the production of substances that constitute and lubricate the joints, causing pain in normal activities such as walking or standing up.

Studies indicate that taking glucosamine decreases pain in patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin is safe, however, there are certain people who should avoid it: pregnant and breastfeeding women, diabetics, allergic to crustaceans, and people with a medical prescription to take anticoagulant medications, as these substances can thin the blood.

Hyaluronic acid is a harmless substance in most cases, and no interaction with medication has been recorded either. With regard to collagen, there were no cases of drug interactions; only pay attention if the person is allergic to the source used, usually animal. In such cases, there are supplements obtained from plant sources.

We can basically find two types of collagen supplements:

- Hydrolyzed collagen, whose recommended daily dose would be 10 mg, which can be taken with food.

- Non-hydrolyzed collagen, whose dose would be 40 mg once a day.

For these supplements to have maximum effectiveness, the ideal is to take them 2 to 3 times a day, so that their absorption is greater.

Supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega-3) and EPA is also beneficial in reducing inflammation and relieving the symptoms of rheumatic diseases with a predominance of inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

- Glucosamine Glusine 1500 mg Powder for Oral Solution - 60 sachets - Ref: 5026026


This medication has glucosamine sulfate (1500 mg) as an active substance in the form of powder for oral solution. Its intake reduces symptoms such as pain and function limitation, as well as stimulates cartilage-forming cells, helping to delay or even stop the degenerative process characteristic of some rheumatic diseases.

- Moving oral granules - 26 sachets - Ref: 7395517

A food supplement in the form of oral granules, with 1500 mg of Glucosamine Sulfate and 1200 mg of Chondroitin Sulfate, as well as Vitamin C, which contributes to the normal formation of collagen for the proper functioning of cartilage.

- Structomax Powder for Oral Solution- 28 sachets - Ref:7376012


Structomax is a food supplement that helps maintain joint and tendon flexibility. Delays joint degeneration and preserves cartilage integrity, ensuring good mobility. In two sachets, there are 1500 mg of Glucosamine Sulfate, 1200 mg of Chondroitin Sulfate, 100 mg of Harpagophytum Extract and 10 mg of Hyaluronic Acid.

-Advancis Omega-3 Super EPA - 30 capsules - Ref: 7391698


Although supplements with omegas and EPA/DHA are indicated for cardiovascular use, the benefits of their use in other pathologies are increasingly being studied, particularly in rheumatic diseases, due to their high anti-inflammatory capacity.


Directorate General of Health at: https://www.dgs.pt/documentos-e-publicacoes/doencas-reumaticas-manual-de-auto-ajuda-para-adultos.aspx

Portuguese League against rheumatic diseases at: https://www.lpcdr.org.pt/

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