Raising Awareness of the Mental Health Burden of Arthritis

18th-24th May 2020 marks Mental Health Awareness Week, a week dedicated to encourage everyone, not only those with arthritis, to take care their mental health. One in five adults with arthritis have been found to experience depression and anxiety, largely as a result of the increased pain of arthritic joints.

10 million people in the UK live with arthritis. According to the recent Joint Health of the Nation Report, this figure is predicted to rise to 17 million by 20301. Sufferers experience debilitating symptoms including chronic joint pain, inflammation, stiffness, reduced mobility, joint function and chronic fatigue. The burden of these symptoms can have an effect on mental health, leading to 20% experiencing anxiety and depression.

As suggested by the mental health charity Mind, signs that someone is suffering from depression include; lack of interest in activities, changes in sleep patterns, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, weight loss or gain and suicidal thoughts. Meanwhile anxiety is characterised by feelings of tension, panic and worry as well as increased blood pressure.

A survey by GOPO® Joint Health2 found that joint pain caused:

• 62% to struggle with walking

• 25% to have their social life and ability to work impacted

• Nearly 50% to have difficulty getting in and out of the car

As a result, many were found to suffer from loneliness and isolation, impacting their mental health and wellbeing.

For joint pain sufferers looking for a self-management solution to their joint pain, a clinically backed supplement may offer hope. There is a large body of evidence supporting the use of GOPO – a natural anti-inflammatory compound derived from rose-hip – to reduce joint pain, without the potential side effects of conventional anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers (see ).

Numerous clinical studies have shown that GOPO can reduce joint pain, swelling and stiffness, improve joint mobility and reduce the need for painkillers in arthritis sufferers3-6. Recent research into active, healthy adults also found that 12 weeks of GOPO supplementation led to reductions in joint pain and improved mobility, potentially also helping to reduce degeneration of cartilage7. As a result this may have a knock-on effect with an improvement in mental health.

GP and health economist Dr Alastair Dickson says “The clinically proven galactolipid GOPO® has been proven to reduce pain within 3 weeks as well as improve mobility and repair cartilage. It also has no recognised side-effects so is suitable for long-term use. It is clinically effective in reducing pain and can reduce the need for analgesic medications with a risk of dependency.”

Top 5 Tips for Good Mental Health While Managing Arthritis

1. Take regular, gentle exercise like walking, swimming and yoga to keep your joints supple while also increasing endorphin production – the feel-good hormone!

2. Take a natural supplement, such as GOPO®, to help maintain your joint health and improve mood and wellbeing.

3. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds and at least two portions of oily fish per week – fresh foods and nuts contain antioxidant nutrients that can help reduce inflammation and protect against cell damage and the fish oils can help prevent and manage arthritic conditions.

4. Get good sleep! Good quality sleep is suggested to reduce inflammation in the body and thus pain. Create a strict bedtime routine, avoiding electronic devices before bed as well as caffeine and alcohol.

5. Do something for yourself! From your favourite hobby, to spending time with friends or even just relaxing with your favourite book can all help alleviate stress and improve mental health.

GOPO Joint Health is available in Boots, major supermarkets and independent pharmacies nationwide and is priced at £19.00 for 120 capsules and £27.00 for 200 capsules. 1Visit www.gopo.co.uk for further information.