For Ankylosing Spondylitis, I would try non starchy veggies, not beans at first. If you can tolerate salmon or chicken try that too.
Many folks with AS test a piece of food with iodine (do not eat test piece). If it turns from amber brown to black it is starchy and then you do not eat it. If the food does not change color then it is not starchy.
I have read many testimonials about how a no or low starch diet is helpful. Beans are starchy and might cause inflammation.
Let food be our medicine. I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2010. I started the no starch diet in 2011 and my symptoms diminished in one week. Yes, that is ONE week!!
A.S. is an auto-immune disorder. It has everything to do with a bacterial imbalance in the gut. And of course our genetic sensitivity for this disease. Getting diagnosed with this doesn't mean we cannot change anything. We can. I proved it to myself and I am happy as a child now!! I can walk again, ride my bike. No more pain and misery. I want to ask people with A.S.: please give it a try! Read more at KickAs.org.
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 disease (I believe this effect is well documented). As a bodybuilder, 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...
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.
No Starch Diet works well.
I have had Ankylosing Spondylitis for well over a decade now. It gots so bad at times that I would think about my bleak future, that I didn't want to live that way in constant pain and unable to move... well, I just wanted out if you know what I mean.
One day, quite a few years ago, after having terrible food poisoning I couldn't keep my food down so I decided to fast on water until things calmed down. I was puking and getting bad diarrhoea too. My body just cleared everything out of my gut in both directions. There is a stark memory of me throwing up one last time and there being nothing left in my system.. minutes later the pain and inflammation in my obdy started to clear!
This pain had been my constant companion for years, and only strong drugs could ease it. In fact the disease had gotten so bad that even potent anti-inflammatories (NSAID class) could only do so much for me as the dosage becomes too toxic at higher doses, so there was a limit to how much I could take.
Well, that experience of no pain after clearing my gut out was fascinating to say the least, as was the physical, emotional and mental effects of fasting (all good! ). And when I started eating food again the pain came back :-( Well, to cut this long story short, my experiences proved to me that food was somehow triggering the disease.
It has taken years of carefully observing my body to really understand what works best for me. But to put the diet in simple terms:
== I can't eat these ==
Starchy foods (including buckwheat, quinoa, spelt, etc); All grains (flour, wheat, corn, oat, except oddly enough glutinous rice); Potato, Bread, Starchy legumes such as peas and lentils; Beer :-(
== Safe foods ==
All oils, All leafy greens, All meats, including seafood, Soy sauce (starch gets fermented), Most vegetables - broccoli, carrot, garlic, onion, ginger, long green beans..., Tofu (starch is removed in traditional processing), Coconut