Heather, 69 from Surrey, is a strict vegetarian, practically vegan, and grower of her own organic fruit and vegetables. She sometimes finds it difficult to include enough 'good fats' in her diet, even though she has a healthy diet. Heather suffers with arthritis in her hips. Here, Heather explains her experience:
Since the onset of arthritis symptoms just over a year ago, I have experienced pain in my lower back and hips, regularly resulting in poor sleeping patterns and a reduction in my regular daily activities, which include dance classes and allotment gardening. I'm often stiff and achy on waking and sometimes find it difficult to get up in the mornings. My energy levels and enthusiasm were dwindling and I became anxious and worried about physically 'getting old' and becoming less able to enjoy an active lifestyle, especially spending time with my energetic three year old grandson.
I do believe that taking supplements can aid wellbeing and I prefer natural remedies where possible. I jumped at the chance to trial some vegan friendly supplements, as I was willing to try almost anything, especially as it can be difficult to find vegetarian and vegan supplements for joints, the most common being cod liver oil, which I certainly didn't fancy!
Being in constant discomfort, especially when walking was really getting me down. I didn't feel like doing anything and it's very easy to sit around and wallow when you're in pain, which of course is the worst thing to do. However, after 12 weeks of taking the supplements, my hip and lower back pain has greatly improved. I feel much more positive about life overall and have returned to my regular line dance classes and working on my organic allotments. I also find it easier to run around after my three year old grandson, which keeps me feeling young - both in body and mind! Although the pain has not completely disappeared, it has decreased greatly and now I sleep better (worth its weight in gold) and wake with much less pain.
There are some steps you can take to cope with arthritis. My advice would be to keep your body moving - swimming is a great gentle exercise. If possible, get regular massages and talk to your family and friends about how you are feeling. I found everyone was very understanding.
Obviously visiting your doctor regularly is important to make sure you are receiving any necessary, and correct, medication. But I have found that taking the supplements has really helped, which I wasn't expecting to be honest, as I had tried so many things before.
I'm turning 70 this year and it makes you realise that you must live life to the full. My gorgeous grandson keeps me on my toes and feeling young at heart, so my best tips for leading a happy, healthy later life are:
- Get dancing - it is such fun and good exercise, I absolutely love it!
- Treat yourself to the odd indulgence or two. Mine is an apple and custard cream doughnut.
- Spend as much time with your family and friends as possible. Even a quick coffee and catch up can cheer you up.
Veganicity Glucosamine HCL + MSM tablets contain 500mg of Glucosamine and 500mg of MSM to help maintain the health of tendons, ligaments and connective tissues in joints. They are priced at £5.95 for 30 tablets and available from www.veganicity.com.