Ankylosing spondylitis

Can’t my diet HELP!

Well I have posted in the past that I have tried and still continue to limit the amount of gluten I consume. I have also tried the no-starch diet and now limit the amount of starch I consume… Now I watch the sugar and fermented foods I consume… You know once you remove these foods from your diet there is nothing left… oh I forgot I also eliminated a boat load of other foods that I have an “intolerance” for… so yea not much on the menu for me other than meat and more meat!

I read an article on Arthritis today about how gluten-free diet helps with joint pain. I also found a lot of other research that discounts this. The no-starch diet is a farce according to some researchers and then there is what I’m currently doing the “get the yeast out of your gut diet” because it really doesn’t have a name, which I’m sure someone has discounted it as well. So the question is do diets really help to eliminate inflammation and do they really help us with our pain?

Gluten-free diet

When I first started having problems with my gut, I was told I probably have Celiacs disease. Now I never had the testing done but dove right into a gluten-free diet. Of course once you go on this elimination they cannot test you for it so you really never know if you even have it. I was on the gluten-free diet for 18 months and did very well on it and then BAM, I was right back to where I started. So was gluten my problem? Did I have Celiacs? Or did I just have a sensitivity to gluten? Being on the “yeast elimination diet” I have limited my intake of gluten. If I can buy products that are gluten-free I usually do. But now I am paying more attention to the other ingredients such as malt/vinegar/maltodextrine or other ingredients I “think” could be fermented such as vanilla and coffee. When I went on the gluten-free diet I did loose a lot of weight, but I was overweight to begin with so taking out all those carbs was most likely a good thing. I don’t know if gluten elimination has helped my inflammation but it does help with my gut digestion so keeping on it will most likely be better for me for the time being.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Research published in the latest issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics indicates there is no benefit for the average healthy adult to follow the gluten-free diet. It also debunks the perception that going gluten-free is an effective way to lose weight. The paper, “Gluten-Free Diet: Imprudent Dietary Advice for the General Population?” authored by Arizona State University professor and researcher, Glenn Gaesser, PhD, addresses common misperceptions about the gluten-free diet and explores the scientific support for following it.

The term gluten refers to protein found in the grains wheat, rye and barley. People affected by celiac disease and gluten sensitivity must avoid all foods containing gluten; currently, the gluten-free diet is the only treatment for these conditions. Approximately one percent of Americans have celiac disease and another six percent are estimated to suffer from gluten sensitivity, yet many others believe going gluten-free leads to good health.

“This paper is one of the first to look at the other side of the gluten craze. While the gluten-free diet is an important medical treatment for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, far too many Americans are following the diet for reasons that simply do not make sense,” stated Dr. Gaesser. “Even though it has been endorsed by celebrities for weight loss, let’s face it – they are not the experts on nutrition and health. It’s time to listen to the science.”

These findings run counter to a recent Harris survey of more than 2,000 adults polled about their perceptions and use of the gluten-free diet. Of those participants who followed the diet, half reported doing it to “feel better” and 26% as a “diet for losing weight.” Furthermore, according to a 2011 report from Packaged Facts, the gluten-free product market grew by a rate of 30% each year between 2006 and 2010; reasons for this rapid growth include more accurate testing methods for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, the perception gluten-free products are healthier in addition to endorsements from celebrities PR Newswire (

The current research on gluten-free diets do not discuss the effects it has on those of us with autoimmune diseases and I have searched high and low. What I know is what I have experienced and if going gluten-free helps you then by all means continue doing it.

No Starch Diet (NSD)

In 2009 I was told that there was a klebsiella/AS connection which impacted gut functioning.

The only real information on this subject is by Giraud Campbell, D.O,  “A Doctor’s Proven New Home Cure for Arthritis,” which was first published in 1972, but he did not call it a (NSD) “no-starch diet.” Product Details

In 2007, Carol Sinclair released the book The IBS Low-Starch Diet“The IBS Low-Starch Diet” published in 2007, discussing her discovery, with the help of fellow researcher Alan Ebringer who had some years of studying the Klebsiella/AS connection and published his results in “Ankylosing Spondylitis and Klebsiella” published in 1976. Ankylosing spondylitis and Klebsiella  Both authors discussed the bacterial origin of AS, and both prescribe a low-starch diet (LSD).

Other than Ebringer’s “study”, there has not been any research into this area, and there are those that swear if the stay on the NSD they have fewer symptoms, pain and  ROM and show very little kyphosis with no incidence of iritis, plantar fasciitis, and other common sequelae.

I began the NSD and stayed on this for over two years. Again when I first started I probably had about 12 months of no symptoms, but living on a NSD is no easy feat. I stuck to it though, thinking this was my gut problem. I was dealing with a gut problem, I never had any serious pain as far as sacrollitis or difficulty getting out of bed. I had just the morning stiffness which went away once I was up and moving about. After I went on the NSD I started getting increased sacrum pain and by 18 months I was needing steroids and oxycodone just to get to work, let alone get out of bed. The flares were so frequent that I just wanted to end it all.

So what was the problem? Proponents of the NSD swear by it, what did I do wrong? Now I not only had gut problems but I am was in constant pain and couldn’t even do the simplest of things.

I found this following information very informative and can help others decided if a NSD is good for them. The Positive Pear is a fantastic resource for those with AS, although this diet did not work for me, I do not think that it should be ruled out.

The Research that “The Low-Starch Diet” is based upon & is it a Cure?:   “During my quest for answers and extensive research on this subject, I discovered that the research relating to Ankylosing Spondylitis, HLA-B27 and Klebsiella is quite controversial in some circles. In fact, this subject has been discussed in the UK over the past 38 years, with those who are for and some who are against being split more or less right down the middle. In spite of the controversy within the community of people who have Ankylosing Spondylitis, regarding “The Low-Starch Diet and whether Klebsiella is truly the culprit, or if Dr. Ebringer’s results have been duplicated successfully by their standards or not, is completely irrelevant to me.  I’m only interested in results and the results for me have been quite positive, as it has for many with early onset, moderate and even some advanced cases of Ankylosing Spondylitis and/or with IBS who have adopted this way of eating. While it’s important to keep in mind that there is no magic bullet, cookie cutter, one size fits all diet for anyone, nor is this article promoting a cure, only an alternative method to managing AS and symptoms relating IBS.  I also feel that diet alone is NOT the answer, one must adopt a “whole body” approach to managing their disease as it is outlined here on The Positive Pear. It is also highly recommended when eating for the purpose of healing, to avoid GMO foods which are known to cause allergies and wreak havoc on the stomach and intestinal tract.  Those living with autoimmune disease, should also be wary of anyone promoting a single way of eating as a cure for their disease, especially when the disease is incurable. It is important to know your body and your symptoms well, while also paying close attention to how your body reacts to certain foods that you eat. Some individuals do quite well with low-carb, while others are forced to eliminate not only simple carbs, but also many higher-starch complex carbs and additional sugars as well.”

Food Intolerance Elimination Diet

The next step in my journey was to eliminate all “bad” foods from my diet, since the NSD was not working something must be making the flares worse. I started using food testing using a pendulum. Being on the NSD I found many foods I was eating that were not so good for me. On a NSD you look for all those foods to eat that have no starch, so you are limited. I was eating a lot of nightshade veggies, mushrooms, cantaloupe/melons etc. What else can I eat? I had to eliminate eggs years before once I found I had an intolerance to them and corn fell into the same category. Again I started feeling really well when I eliminated those “bad” foods but now I was gluten and starch free as well as on a limited diet of meat and more meat. Oh and my favorite meat was eliminated, PORK, seems I have a sensitivity to that. When you are sick and cannot eat the “comfort foods” you so desire, what else is there? I work with patients whom have swallowing problems and when they can’t eat it make rehabilitation much more difficulty. We as humans “love” food, it is a source of comfort. We enjoy eating, sharing foods, and foods bring us together.

So now I am on the “get the fungus” out of my gut diet which is not so bad. Again I have gotten pretty good at reading labels but limiting starches and gluten instead of eliminating them completely has really widened the selection of foods I am eating. I haven’t been on this diet for very long so I won’t comment on it yet. But last night as I was thinking about how to end this article I realized it has been a month, give or take a week or so, and I haven’t had any significant pain and my gut has felt pretty good.

The only thing I can say is that every “body” is different, what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for you. If you read about something someone else has tried, try it. If it works YEA, if not find something else. Don’t rely on doctors to help you “fix” you, because it is never going to happen.

“Abundance is your given right, You are Healthy, Wealthy, and Happy!

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