The aim of the diet for ankylosing spondylitis is to alleviate the symptoms and arrest progression of the ailment. Although ankylosing spondylitis primarily affects the spine, in some cases this inflammatory disease may trigger inflammation in the eyes, lungs and heart. Ankylosing spondylitis patients are also susceptible to loss of appetite and fatigue. Hence, a healthy balanced diet that provides all types of nutrients in appropriate quantities is essential for controlling the inflammation and improving the quality of health of people suffering from ankylosing spondylitis.
As ankylosing spondylitis triggers pain in the hips and lower back, you should check your total calorie intake to prevent weight gain, which would worsen the pain by increasing pressure on the weight bearing joints of your body.
Here Is The Ideal Diet For People Suffering From Ankylosing Spondylitis:
Low Starch Diet
A number of physicians recommend a low starch diet to keep the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis under control. Studies have linked ankylosing spondylitis to Klebsiella bacteria, a type of microbe present in bowel flora. As these bacteria feed on starch, health professionals recommend decreasing starch consumption to inhibit growth of the Klebsiella bacteria. A low starch diet can help in reducing the pain and stiffness of the spine. Hence, people suffering from ankylosing spondylitis should limit consumption of products that contain wheat, oat, rye, barley, corn flour, rice and potatoes and replace the starchy foods with non-starchy vegetables, fruits and healthy proteins and fats.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish help in fighting this inflammatory disease. These healthy fats help in suppressing production of inflammatory chemicals that trigger the painful symptoms of the disease. Regular intake of omega-3 rich foods can also help in preventing the disease from worsening. Furthermore, oily fish is an excellent source of vitamin D. Ankylosing spondylitis patients are susceptible to vitamin D deficiency, which worsens their condition.
Ankylosing spondylitis patients need sufficient amount of calcium to maintain the optimal health of their bones. Milk is an excellent source of calcium. As people suffering from ankylosing spondylitis are susceptible to osteoporosis, they must consume two to three glasses of milk daily.
Apart from being a source of calcium and healthy proteins, yogurt provides bacteria beneficial for the gut. To get rid of the debilitating pain, people suffering from ankylosing spondylitis often take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) for a prolonged period, which tend to damage the lining of the intestines. The live culture in yogurt helps in preventing damage to the gut lining.
People with ankylosing spondylitis should eat at least two portions of fruits daily including a citrus fruit. Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining the connective tissues. Furthermore, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and protects the joint tissues from oxidative stress.
At least four portions of vegetables are recommended for people suffering from ankylosing spondylitis. However, as starchy vegetables and vegetables of the nightshade family such as tomato, eggplant and peppers may worsen the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis, they should be excluded from the diet of ankylosing spondylitis patients. The ideal vegetables for ankylosing spondylitis diet are leafy green vegetables, carrots and pumpkin.
Mussels contain proteoglycans, a type of protein that helps in nourishing the cartilage. When included in the ankylosing spondylitis diet, the proteoglycan rich foods help in preventing degradation of the spine.
Bone broth is an excellent source of collagen. Your body can easily absorb the bone collagen, which helps in strengthening the joints and can help in alleviating the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis.