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What is AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis)?

Ankylosing spondylitis is a rare inflammatory disease which over time can cause some of the smaller bones in your vertebrae to fuse. This fusion makes the spine less flexible and can often result in a hunched-forward posture. Ones ribs can also be affected making it difficult to take deep breaths. AS often affects males more than females and signs and symptoms typically being during early adulthood. Other areas may also be affected by inflammation, with the most common being swelling around the eyes. Ankylosing spondylitis has no known specific cause, though genetic factors seem to be involved as well as autoimmune factors.

What are the Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis?

The symptoms of AS can vary from person to person, but usually involve:

  • Back pain and stiffness

  • Pain and swelling in other parts of the body – caused by inflammation of the joints (arthritis) and inflammation where a tendon joins a bone (enthesitis)

  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)

These symptoms tend to develop gradually, usually over several months or years, and may appear and disappear over time. In some people the condition gets better with time, but for others it can get progressively worse.

How is Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosed?

One should visit a doctor if you have persistent symptoms of AS. If your doctor thinks the patient may have AS then they will often refer you to a rheumatologist (muscle and joint specialist) for further testing. The rheumatologist will often order blood tests and imaging tests to get a better insight into the condition of the spine. Although scans can sometimes show signs of spinal inflammation and fusing of the vertebrae, damage to the spine can not always been seen in early stages of AS. This is a major factor as to why it can be difficult to diagnose someone who has early stages of AS and can take years to get a diagnosis. An X-ray can usually confirm inflammation of the sacroiliac joints (sacroiliitis) and if one has any of the following:

  • At least 3 months of lower back pain that gets better with exercise and doesn't improve with rest

  • limited movement in your lower back (lumbar spine)

  • Limited chest expansion compared with what is expected for your age and sex

If you have all 3 of these features but do not have sacroiliitis – or if you only have sacroiliitis – you'll be diagnosed with probable ankylosing spondylitis.

Recommended Supplements for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Arthro-Care - Is a unique blend of seagreens, sodium ascorbate, sodium tetraborate anhydrous and vitamin D3 1000 IU. These ingredients together create a powerful tonic to support joint health. Experts now recommend supplemental Vitamin D, for those not exposed to regular sunlight, at a level of 4,000 to 8,000 IU a day for the best immune system protection and for helping to normalise calcium and other mineral absorption. Arthro-Care provides 3000 IU of Vitamin D when taken at the correct dosage. This is sufficient to help calcium metabolism. For the best protection, additional Vitamin D can be taken to raise the total intake to around 8000IU daily for an adult. Furthermore boron in the form of Sodium Tetraborate has been repeatedly demonstrated to yield a very high success rate in resolution of arthritis of all types. However if joints are fused then improvement will be much reduced. Taking sufficient magnesium over the course of many months may help to resolve calcium deposits and therefore offer more improvement in these cases. Information about our magnesium products can be found here.

Adrenal Max Support - Bio-identical hydrocortisone and vitamin C (sodium ascorbate). Cortisol is the primary hormone for balancing the immune system, blood sugar and blood pressure. It is also the hormone that controls inflammation and regulates energy; produced naturally by the adrenal glands. Patients suffering with AS can often find improvement to their symptoms due to Adrenal Max Support's ability to regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation via regulation of the immune system. On top of this it can also benefit a patients fatigue as it helps to regulate energy production and consumption.

Curcumin 95 - Organic Curcumin & Piperine has powerful anti inflammatory properties and due to the addition piperine (a component of black peppercorns), a known bio-accessibility enhancer that is found to improve the bio-availability of curcumin by about 2000%. Therefore the issue of poor absorbtion is addressed fully by adding piperine to Curcumin. The anti-inflammatory ability of curcumin is so powerful, it can actually compete with strong anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects. It has also been noted in previous studies that consumption of curcumin also had an effect on depression which some patients may experience due to severe fatigue.

Organic Silicon - Silicon is essential for collagen formation and connective tissue strength. Collagen can be seen as the glue that holds everything together and is a major component of everything from skin to bones. Silicon is also involved in the metabolism of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium which are all essential elements for maintaining healthy skeletal tissue. Collagen is vital to healthy joints, ligaments, and cartilage where it lends strength and elasticity, so joints are more flexible, recover quicker, and less prone to degeneration. Due to silicon's ability to help restore joint health while also improving the metabolism of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Together this makes silicon a powerful supplement to improve ones overall condition.

Revive and Build - The main ingredient in Revive and Build is glycine combined with vitamin C. Glycine is regarded as a non-essential amino acid as it can be produced in the liver. This has led to it being largely overlooked as a valuable nutritional supplement. In reality the liver's ability to produce optimum amounts of glycine is often limited. One reason for relatively low glycine status is consuming concentrated proteins such as eggs, meat, fish, milk and cheese. Methionine, the amino acid found in protein foods, needs glycine to detoxify it's end products. Glycine is found in the skin and collagenous rich parts of animals and bone. It is almost totally absent in muscle meats. Glycine can aid patients with AS through its autoimmune properties. Glycine is an important amino acid for patients with autoimmune factors because it, similarly to GABA, is a calming, relaxing agent and can aid to relax the immune system which in turn can help prevent inflammation outbreaks.

We particularly recommend the addition of Plant Sterols and Sterolins to the diet. Unfortunately we are no longer able to supply this product, but our information is still online.

Life Style Changes to Improve Ankylosing Spondylitis

Although there is no specific diet for people suffering with AS, having a healthy weight is important to reduce stress on those painful joints. A healthy diet and exercise are highly recommended in maintaining a healthy weight.

Proper foods keep the digestive system strong and the immune system in a healthy, fighting condition, lowering your risk against other diseases, as well as slowing the progression of AS.

It is best to choose foods that help fight inflammation, keep your bones strong, and your digestive and immune system healthy. It can also be helpful to keep a food diary so you can track what particular food seems to make you feel better or worse.

Here are some dietary changes you could make at home, which can be effective in relieving Ankylosing Spondylitis symptoms.

Omega-3 Fatty acids - Based on several studies, omega-3 fatty acids may decrease the progression of Ankylosing Spondylitis, though more research is still needed to validate this result. Great food sources of omega-3 include walnuts, flax seeds, and fish.

Ginger root - Has anti-inflammatory effects that can help to ease the pain and relieve stiffness in the joints.

Turmeric - Which is commonly found in Asia, works in the body by turning off a NF-kappa B protein that regulates the immune system and triggers the inflammation process.

Garlic and Onions - These pungent vegetables have immune-boosting properties. Garlic also works similarly to NSAID pain medications, which shut off pathways leading to inflammation. Onions contain anti-inflammatory chemicals that can help alleviate Ankylosing Spondylitis symptoms.

Oily fish - Oily fish contains anti-inflammatory fatty acids that can help relieve pain and inflammation of the joints. Examples are tuna, mackerel and mullet. Fish oil supplements are also recommended.

Yogurt - Natural yogurt is a good source of probiotics, which is needed to maintain a healthy digestive system and fights off bad bacteria.

Plant Sterols and Sterolins - These help to build a strong immune system & is very important when it comes to naturally treating AS. Plant sterols and sterolins are found in legumes, seeds, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Calcium and Vitamin D - These two nutrients are very essential in having strong bones, thus choose foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D. Foods high in calcium includes spinach, okra, soybeans, oatmeal, kale and white beans. Foods enriched with vitamin D are beef liver, egg yolks, cheese, and fatty fish like tuna and salmon.

Limit alcohol intake - Alcohol can weaken bones over time, so if you can’t take it off your diet, limit your intake as much as possible.

Low in saturated fats - Ones diet should also be low in saturated fats, since this can aggravate the inflammation.

Foods rich in silicon - Silicon is essential in collagen formation, which is vital to healthy bones, cartilage and connective tissues. Sources of silica include whole grains, alfalfa, peppers, and seaweeds.

Multivitamin - Multivitamins may help in boosting the natural immune system of the body, which lowers your risk of contracting other diseases.

Food rich in proteoglycans - Proteoglycans aids in the restoration and nourishment of cartilage. Proteoglycans can be found in foods such as tripe, mussels, oats and Irish moss.

Drink plenty of fluids - Drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water a day is highly recommended.

Removal of Blocks to Health, Healing and Wellness

We have defined the major blocks to health improvement which should be considered the number one priority for resolution before one goes on to a more specific healing regimen such as that detailed in the programme above. By removing these blocks one will feel stronger and more prepared for a specific programme and will achieve far greater success with it. Please read this essential article here

The Autoimmune Protocol

Not all of the remedies listed here will neccessarily be needed. We strive to bring you the most effective remedies to resolve your health problems in the simplest supplemental regime possible. We aim to treat the actual root causes of health problems holistically rather than supply remedies that will give temporary or partial relief from only the symptoms. This has been our mission since the founding of Regenerative Nutrition in 1994. As we uncover more fundamental truths about the causes, and therefore the relief, of diseases and health problems we update and revise our product range and recommendations.

Above, we detail targeted remedy recommendations for Ankylosing Spondylitis, but we further suggest that you view the autoimune protocol article and supplement pages by clicking here

To achieve overall good health and long term resolution of this health problem the remedies selected here should be combined with the autoimmune protocol remedies for the best results.

It may well be that there is some overlap and that many of the remedies in the autoimmune protocol are listed here also.

If you need any assistance in selecting the most suitable remedies, or have any questions, please Contact Us


Supplements for Ankylosing Spondylitis

The supplements recommended for the treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis are listed below. Not all will necessarily be discussed in the article, as some may have been added after the article was posted. If a listed supplement is not mentioned within the article, or you wish to know more about any of the listed supplements, you can find out more information by clicking on that supplement below. You can also now add to your basket directly from this page.


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Disclaimer: Regenerative Nutrition advocates a holistic approach to natural health and wellbeing. The body's ability and power to heal depends upon the totality of diet, nutrition, lifestyle and environmental factors. The information provided in our article is for information purposes only, it in no way constitutes a medical consultation, or medical advice, nor is it intended to be taken as a solicitation to purchase our products.

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