Arthritis of the spine causes painful inflammation, but nearly everyone with ankylosing spondylitis feels better after improving their diet and exercise plan. It can also assist in maintaining correct posture or even improve a spine that has begun to slump.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Diet
People with arthritis of the spine are at higher risk for osteoporosis, and such thinning of the bones can lead to an increased likelihood of fractures. Make sure to get an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D to maintain bone density.
Alcohol can weaken bones by impairing the body’s absorption of nutrients and vitamin storage, so avoid more than two servings per day. Ask your doctor if you’re taking any medications which should not be combined with alcohol at all to avoid damaging your liver or kidneys.
Ask your rheumatologist if any of your medications cause you to retain sodium or lose potassium, and how to manage these effects. If you’re taking methotrexate, you should supplement with folic acid to aid with liver function. Ankylosing spondylitis treatment can interfere with food absorbtion.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin, can damage the lining of the stomach and intestine. To reduce damage to the intestinal track, eat a serving of yogurt and a banana every day. The banana provides food for organisms that produce a protective lining in the gut, and the yogurt will maintain a balanced mix of microorganisms.
The London Ankylosing Spondylitis Diet
In 1996, London rheumatologist Dr. Alan Ebringer came to believe that klebsiella intestinal bacteria were integrally involved in an immune response that led to arthritis of the spine. In order to reduce the amount of these bacteria in the gut, Dr. Ebringer advocated a low-starch diet.
The London AS diet, as it is known, advocates increasing the consumption of meat, fish, milk and milk products, eggs, vegetables and fruit, while decreasing or eliminating bread, rice and potatoes.
This ankylosing spondylitis diet’s effectiveness is much debated. However, repeated research trials have found no correlation between the diet and a favorable disease outcome.
That said, some people feel like certain foods are either beneficial or detrimental to how they feel. Keep a food diary to help figure out if a particular food is helping or hurting your ankylosing spondylitis symptom management.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Exercise Important
When you have ankylosing spondylitis symptoms, exercise needs to be an integral part of your day. Working out improves the joint pain and stiffness associated with the disease. Some people find stretching the best way to begin their day, when ankylosing spondylitis symptoms are usually at their worst.
It may be wise to avoid contact sports, but ankylosing spondylitis exercise activities such as golf, tennis, swimming and yoga are very beneficial. Weight training, whether with free weights or on machines, can improve bone density as well as build muscle.
Arthritis of the spine can negatively affect posture. Using a firm mattress at night, with a thin pillow or just a folded towel under your head, can help keep your spine in a natural position.
You can also take time every day to lie on the floor facedown, turning your head to the right or left alternately. Even though you may only be able to start with a minute or two of prone lying, aim to work up to 20 minutes a day and keep up your ankylosing spondylitis exercise plan.Keeping up with ankylosing spondylitis exercise and diet will be a huge help in reducing your symptoms.