Eating right with Ankylosing Spondylitis | Fight The Fuse

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Eating right with Ankylosing Spondylitis

When living with a chronic condition like Ankylosing Spondylitis, it is important that you eat right. The relation between food and  Ankylosing Spondylitis has always been unclear. A study conducted in 2017 and published in the European Journal of Rheumatology reported that the evidence on the relationship between diet and AS is extremely limited. However, many patients believe that diet influences their symptoms.[1]

There is no consensus on a specific dietary pattern for Ankylosing Spondylitis, but all experts agree on the benefits of a healthy, well-balanced diet in terms of inflammation and body weight.[2]

Here are some important diet-related points to consider.

Know which foods are best for you

  • Omega-3 fats are known for their role as anti-inflammatory agents and are found in chia seeds, fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and tuna, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts.[3]
  • Colourful fruits and vegetables are beneficial due to their high antioxidant and fibre content.[3]
  • Whole grains and millets like brown rice, whole wheat, rye, jowar, bajra, ragi etc. are important due to their high fibre and nutrient content. Some people may find that gluten (a protein found in certain whole grains) tends to increase symptoms.[3]
  • Calcium-rich foods like dark green leafy vegetables, low-fat dairy products and nuts help in strengthening bones.[3]
  • Vitamin D, freely available from sunlight and from egg yolks, fish, and fortified products, plays a role in helping the body absorb calcium into the bones.[3]

Learn to steer clear of inflammation-causing foods

Foods like sugar, salt and high sodium foods, red meat, foods that contain saturated fats, starch, gluten, alcohol trigger inflammation and hence need to be avoided.[3]

Beware of fad diets and false claims

Opting for diets that call for restricting a particular nutrient or adding supplements in high doses may actually do more harm than good. Work with a nutritionist to ensure that you are eating a well-balanced diet with all the essential nutrients.[2] [4]

Starting a new diet? Ask these questions:[4]

  • What are the pros and cons of this diet plan in relation to my symptoms?
  • Will this diet interact with my medications?
  • What will be the impact of this diet on my symptoms?
  • Will it help me maintain or reach my weight goals without impacting my nutrient intake?

A healthy diet is a part of a healthy life. Although sticking to a healthy diet all the time may be challenging, it is important that you start eating healthfully to live well with Ankylosing Spondylitis.[5] 

Always remember to consult your Rheumatologist before beginning a new diet routine.

Ask your Rheumatologist for biologics that slow down spinal fusion.

References

  1. Mcfarlene T, et al. European Journal of Rheumatology. 2017. DOI: 10.5152/eurjrheum.2017.16103

  2. Your diet. NAAS. Available [Online] at: https://nass.co.uk/managing-my-as/living-with-as/your-diet/ Accessed on 7 Jan 2020

  3. Foods to eat and avoid with ankylosing spondylitis. Medical news today Available [Online] at:  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317610 Accessed on 7th Jan 2021

  4. 8 Diet Do's and Don'ts for Ankylosing Spondylitis. Healthgrades. Available [Online] at: https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/ankylosing-spondylitis/8-diet-dos-and-donts-for-ankylosing-spondylitis Accessed on 7 Jan 2021

  5. Most Beneficial Ankylosing Spondylitis Diet. Healthline. Available [Online] at: https://www.healthline.com/health/ankylosing-spondylitis-diet#tips Accessed on 7 Jan 2021