Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a type of arthritis that affects your spinal cord, and it causes some of the vertebrae (bones in your spine) to blend together. This leads to loss of your spine’s flexibility, and so many people with the condition have a stooped or hunched over posture. It may also affect your ribs, in which case you may experience breathing difficulties. Ankylosing spondylitis typically affects a higher number of men than women, and it usually occurs in people during late adolescence or early adulthood (in between the ages of 15-25 years). There is no specific cause found yet, which can be said to result in ankylosing spondylitis. However, scientists believe that genetic factors can influence your chances of developing the disease, particularly if you have gene known as HLA-B27. At the same time, it is possible that you have this particular gene but never develop ankylosing spondylitis.
The initial signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis include a sensation of pain and stiffness in the hips and lower back, and you may experience these especially after you wake up in the morning or after long periods of physical inactivity. Ankylosing spondylitis most commonly affects the vertebrae of the lower back, the joint between your pelvis and the base of your spine, the cartilage between your ribs and breastbone, and the joints of your shoulders and hips. However, the pain and inflammation associated with ankylosing spondylitis is not restricted to these places, and you may experience inflammation in other parts of your body, including the eyes. If you have been experiencing pain in your lower back or buttock that turns worse in the morning, it may be time to consult a doctor to check if you have ankylosing spondylitis or some other health condition. If you notice any symptoms of the disease in your eyes, do not delay in seeing an ophthalmologist (eye specialist) in order to prevent damage and worsening of the symptoms.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis; but treatments are available to manage your symptoms and reduce the pain and inflammation. Seeking medical help and following your doctor’s advice is vital to keeping your ankylosing spondylitis symptoms under control, but you can also combine some alternative treatments and lifestyle changes with the conventional treatment to get relief from the symptoms. It has been seen that diet plays an important role in managing the pain associated with arthritis, and the same goes for ankylosing spondylitis too. There are certain foods that are known to fight inflammation and contribute to your overall health so that you can manage your ankylosing spondylitis symptoms better. Sticking to a healthy diet plan and knowing which foods to avoid can be significantly effective in helping you reduce the progress of the disease in your body and keep the symptoms in check. Here are some do’s and don’ts for your diet, which can work on providing you relief from the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis.
Foods You Should Eat to Battle Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms
Eating a well-balanced diet is not only beneficial for your overall health, but can also help in combating the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis. Here are some of the foods that you should include in your regular diet if you have ankylosing spondylitis.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables, especially the colorful ones, contain high quantities of antioxidants. Studies have shown that these antioxidants can be effective in fighting the symptoms of various kinds of arthritis, including ankylosing spondylitis. This is because they work towards protecting the cells in your body from substances known as free radicals, which contribute to pain and inflammation. In addition, eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies helps your body to get most of the minerals and vitamins that it needs to stay healthy and strong. If you aren’t in the habit of including such foods in your diet, start by replacing packaged snacks with your favorite fruits or vegetables. They make a healthy alternative to such snacks, which may seem tastier but have no nutritional value and are high on calories. You can also experiment with different salads, smoothies, and soups to increase your intake of such foods