Painkiller alternative: is turmeric the answer for arthritis?

turmeric in a bowl
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New research highlights that arthritis sufferers are looking for alternatives to painkillers and turmeric could be the answer

There are nearly ten million brits that are currently suffering from life-altering and painful arthritis. Often sufferers avoid taking medication as they simply haven’t found a medication that works for them.

Research by FutureYou Cambridge shows that 12% of arthritis sufferers are avoiding painkillers due to fear of side effects or addiction, and nearly half say they try to avoid taking over-the-counter pain relief. Over a quarter (27%) say they’ve not yet found a medication that works for them.

The study also found that sufferers no longer feel they can do things they used to with over half (57%) revealing they exercise less, 54% saying it affects their sleep and over a quarter (28%) saying they socialise less. Nearly half (46%) say it has a negative impact on their relationships. A quarter (26%) are having less sex.

Not only does arthritis impair a person’s quality of life, but it also affects their emotional wellbeing. Six in ten (60%) say it makes them irritable and short-tempered and half (50%) feel frustrated. The condition also leaves sufferers feeling old (46%), tired (42%) and useless (21%). Troublingly, almost a third (29%) report feeling depressed.

The research also revealed that suffers could be living in pain unnecessarily. With over half (54%) saying they have accepted their pain as a part of everyday life and the inevitability of ageing. When it comes to alternative solutions, over half of participants say they’re open to trying food supplements or herbal remedies as an alternative, but only a quarter (23%) have considered using turmeric to manage their pain – despite significant research demonstrating evidence of its anti-inflammatory properties.

The age-old plant has been used for centuries in cooking and traditional medicine. Turmeric is known to contain the powerful active ingredient, curcumin, which has many anti-inflammatory properties.

The study was conducted to raise awareness of problems many arthritis sufferers are dealing with on a regular basis and highlight the ways the issues can be tackled. The study comes in the wake of Public Health England’s recent review from September 2019 that found 1 in 4 Brits are addicted to painkillers.

Adam Cleevely, Chief Executive Officer from FutureYou said: “The pain of arthritis is an everyday reality for ten million people, and it’s shocking that so many haven’t found an effective way to manage their condition.

“It’s sad and unacceptable that so many people have been forced to accept this way of life because they’ve either failed to find a prescription or over-the-counter option that works for them, or they’re simply not aware of or don’t have access to an effective non-medicinal alternative. With more people wanting to avoid pain killers it’s important that they are aware that there are other choices available to them.”



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