I must concur with Sean on the low starch diet. I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) at the age of 20 and was on daily NSAIDs (Nabumetone) for 20 years. The worse pain was in the first few years and centered around the lumber and SI joints - classic AS. Since then, the desease has progressed to the Thoracic and axial vertebrae (middle back and neck) and the rib cage, making it hard to breath.
Anyway, for the last 3 years I have been on a low starch diet and have been almost totally drug free. I say almost, because I have had flair ups now and then - which I attribute to me being sloppy with the diet - and have had to take NSAIDs for a couple of days, to get me over it. A side effect, I suppose, is that I am now ultra sensitive to starch. As long as I don't take any, I'm pain free. But within a few hours of ingesting a starchy food (normally inadvertently, since as Mike points out, most processed food is stuffed with this cheap filler), I get symptoms - stiff neck, sciatica, forward pressure on my spine, inability to take deep breaths due to a restricted rib cage.
One other tip. I have found that working out - NOT the cardiovascular type (running, cycling, rowing, etc), although that is of course very good for your heart and lungs - but weights (in my case, heavy weights), is essentially to being pain free. I tend to work out 5 days a week, Mon-Fri for about an hour. No only does this keep me from feeling old :-), it appears to hold back the progression of the desease (I believe this effect is well documented). As a body builder, I'm one of the bigger guys in the gym - not boasting, just stating how unusual this is for someone with AS - normally associated with being somewhat crippled. If you saw me, you would never know I had the disease. I attribute that accolade entirely to daily exercise and the diet.
In terms of supplementation, I take a high dose multivitamin and mineral tablet, Omega 3 Fish Oil capsules, Vitamin C tablets and Glucosamine + Chondroitin + MSM + Hyaluronic Acid capsules. On reading the above, I also plan on trying potassium.
I hope this is helpful to other sufferers and gives them hope. Remember though, of all the things I recommend (based entirely on personal experience), it is the diet that has the most profound effect. It is also the hardest to maintain, but well worth the effort, and after "falling off the wagon" a few times and paying for it in pain, you will soon realize that you have no choice.
Still hoping for that gene therapy one day though - if only so I can enjoy my wife's amazing home made pizza again...
Borax, Ashwagandha, Dietary Changes
Hi Mike et al
Really interesting to hear your stories.
I have been treating my Ankylosing Spondylitis - drug free with diet for over 22 years. I am now 48.
I fully subscribe to the Klebsiella theory of Ebringer... but the work by Dr. Fasano regarding tight-junctions in the gut and gluten has made we see that control of gut permeability is "everything" to this disease. I can eat most foods but avoid gluten based foods (including drinks, beer / lager) like the plague - in recent years (last 2) - I have taken not 1 single NSAID - even when I have had a headache / migraine.
I take Vitamin D, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium and Manganese.
I am in the best shape regarding controlling my AS than I have been for over 10 years.
Knowing what I know and my result - I can see that low-starch / modified paleo is a gold-standard but start with reducing foods that cause leaking gut and then progress to the stricter regime if you need to.
BTW - I got here searching for PRONASE - as I had read a medical study about Streptococcus infections. I have a friend with Psoraisis and Psa.
I read too that Pronase can inhibit the immune response to Strep that can fuel some forms of auto-immune disease. But again... gut barrier is always key.
Borax, Ashwagandha, Dietary Changes
Borax for arthritis - ankylosing spondylitis:
OK I wanted to share my story. I'm 46 male and have suffered from back pain for years. For those of limited attention here's my verdict: it works! I can't tell you what a relief it is to have MULTIPLE days pain-free. I wake up thinking I will be in pain but it's just not there anymore. This after 15 years of constant pain. I'm almost hesitant to report it because I don't want to jinx myself.
Anyway, at about 30 I was diagnosed with herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and possible ankylosing spondylitis. I was told that I would have to learn to live with arthritis pain and take NSAIDs. I did this for years and finally upgraded to narcotics. This didn't last long because I didn't like falling asleep all the time.
A few years ago my dad had back surgery and was diagnosed with AS so I'm sure I have the gene too. I have suffered from back pain since a young kid but was told I was just chubby and to suck my tummy in. That was an actual diagnosis from a doctor too!
So I learned to grin and bear it. Literally I took nothing for years - not even NSAIDs because they were ineffective. But every year the pain got worse. So somehow I stumbled on EC.. I don't even remember how but I just started reading and was hooked.
I found the baking soda remedy and tried it with limited effectiveness. Then I kept reading EC and learned about black strap molasses and ACV...VitaminShoppe and GNC became my new hangouts. I tried lots of cures for pain/inflammation and had some success. But what I am currently doing has been nothing short of miraculous and I will tell you exactly my regimen further along. I am so happy I made the investment of time in order to learn about my ailments. I could have done it without EC but it would have been so much harder on my own. I owe a debt of gratitude to EC for putting this together for people like me.
Arthritis - lower back and SI joints
What I tried:
Apple Cider Vinegar pills (careful with these)
Baking Soda (temporary relief)
My current regimen:
Boron 12Mg daily (until relief - currently not taking)
Borax 1/4 tsp per day diluted (every day not just 5 days)
Bragg's ACV 2 TBSP diluted x 2-3 per day
Ashwagandha x 3 per day
5-HTP 1 x per day
Low starch diet
BSM 1 tsp in my coffee
Copper 3 x per day for my gray hair... still under review
What was effective for my arthritis:
Ashwagandha - awesome for inflammation
After reading up on the borax cure I realized that you need high doses in order to be effective. Please do your own research but 10-30Mgs will not hurt you. Yes it tastes like crap. I mix mine with only a limited amount of HOT water. If you mix it into cold it does not dissolve completely. Then I mix it into juice or iced tea and do a shot, followed by a H2O chaser. This is how I like my ACV too. Get it into you and chug water. I don't know about all this "can I sip it throughout the day" people out there... I don't like it short-term why would I like it long-term? I'm getting off track...
My pain kept me laying on the floor most of the day and it was a real hardship to do anything. After 3-5 days of taking high levels of borax I found relief. At first I thought it was just OK... and waiting for symptoms to return. But they only came back when I abuse myself. That is - I either stop taking my supplements or I break my diet. The other day I ate a really starchy meal that was served to me. I flared up and for me it starts in my feet... everyone is different. But I know the cause and that is POWERFUL. I can control my disease now.
So, while Borax has been effective for me, I can't discount the effect of diet. Anyone suffering from arthritis should review the effect of diet on inflammation. I am currently trying to do a low-starch diet and this was only after talking to people on EC. Good luck being starch free in this world - everything you look at is made from it. And wheat of some form. Ugh.
Anyway. Google it - but what I found was that there is a school of thought that arthritis pain is caused by a microbe living in the lower intestine. They are there naturally but when your diet consists mostly of wheat and starch the population explodes! The idea is - reduce the wheat/starch that feeds these microbes and you will lessen your arthritis pain. So far it's working for me!
Any questions I will be happy to answer...