Your Ankylosing Spondylitis Diet should include foods that have been shown to help reduce the pain and inflammation of most types of arthritis.

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory type of arthritis which mainly affects the bones of your lower back and hip joints. It causes chronic inflammation, pain and stiffness in your lower back.

It is well known that Ankylosing Spondylitis and other types of arthritis are much more common in the United States and other countries where the population eats a lot of fast food, fried food, and fatty food.

In Asia where the people eat a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and not much meat or dairy products; Ankylosing Spondylitis and other types of arthritis are rare. Interestingly though, when Asians move to America and start eating American food, they develop Ankylosing Spondylitis at the same rate as Americans do.

This makes it clear that diet, and not genetics, is a more important determiner of whether you will develop Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Dr. Alan Ebringer is one of the world’s leading authorities on how diet affects ankylosing spondylitis. His research has found that certain bacterium in the intestine causes an immune system response in the body that produces arthritis in the spine. He found that one could eliminate the intestinal bacteria by adding and removing certain foods from his/her diet.

He recommends eating more fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, and dairy; and less bread, rice, pasta, cakes, chips and potatoes.

There is a difference between his ankylosing spondylitis diet and the Asian diet regarding the benefit or risk of meat and dairy.

We know that meat and dairy products contain a fatty acid that may contribute to the inflammation and pain of ankylosing spondylitis and other types of arthritis in some people.

Because there is a difference of opinion regarding meat and dairy in an ankylosing spondylitis diet, I recommend that you keep a food diary and make careful note of how you feel when eating meat and dairy and when you are not. Eliminate meat from your diet for three weeks keeping track of how you feel in your diary. If you don’t feel an improvement, eliminate dairy in addition to meat.

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What is clear is that increasing fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet, and reducing simple carbohydrates found in breads and cereals will help reduce your body’s unhealthy immune response.

It is also clear that fried, fatty, and sugary foods also need to be removed from your ankylosing spondylitis diet.

The major simple carbohydrates or sugars are glucose, maltose, fructose, and sucrose which come from plants. Lactose is found in milk. Simple carbohydrates are quick energy sources, but they do not usually supply any other nutrients or fiber.

Simple carbohydrates may trigger an unwanted immune response in the body leading to arthritic inflammation, swelling, and destruction of the joints.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Diet and Food Combining

There is a reasonable nutritional theory that recommends against eating foods high in protein with foods containing carbohydrates. Therefore, you should not eat meat, fish, eggs, or nuts in the same meal with bread, rice or potatoes. This is because proteins need acidic digestive conditions in your stomach for complete digestion whereas carbohydrates require alkaline conditions for complete digestion. If you eat protein with starches or carbohydrates you get incomplete digestion. You may find relief from ankylosing spondylitis pain if you separate the types of food you eat in one meal. Here again is where a food diary would help you.

Fruits, salad and vegetables are neither starch nor protein and can be eaten in combination with any other food.

Supplements for an Ankylosing Spondylitis Diet

• Primrose or salmon oil – Relieves your arthritis pain and inflammation

• Vitamin C with bioflavonoids– Relieves your arthritis pain

• Multi-B vitamin - with at least 100mg of B-6 reduces inflammation

• Calcium with Magnesiun – Needed to keep your bones strong

• Vitamin D – Needed to keep your bones strong

• Vitamin E – Aids in mobilizing joints

Herbs for an Ankylosing Spondylitis Diet

Taking the following herbs can help an Ankylosing Spondylitis Diet • black cohosh

• alfalfa leaves

• willow bark

• garlic

• turmeric

• feverfew

• yucca extract

• golden seal

• comfrey

• celery seed

• devil’s claw

• valerian root

• boswellia

• oil of oregano

Things to watch out for

Some medications cause loss of bone strength. If you are on medications, look online for their common side effects and make sure both your doctor and pharmacist are confident that they are safe to be taken by someone with ankylosing spondylitis.

Alcohol in excess can weaken bones by interfering with your body’s absorption of nutrients.

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To Your Best Health,

Dr. Cliff

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