In our previous article, we discussed a few general food guidelines for Ankylosing Spondylitis, or AS. Today, we will focus our health discussion on how to minimize inflammation if you have an autoimmune disorder like Ankylosing Spondylitis, Celiac Disease, diabetes, or any other condition that causes chronic inflammation. Having a diet that is high in nutrients and low in inflammatory properties is beneficial to preventing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and conditions that are linked to inflammation.
Chronic Inflammation and Your Health
Chronic inflammation, or systemic inflammation, occurs when your body believes there is an internal threat and has an inflammatory reaction, causing a constant increased level of white blood cells that begin damaging healthy tissue.
Chronic inflammation is usually a symptom of a larger condition like ankylosing spondylitis, but can also cause new issues. If you find you are also constantly exhausted, it could be that inflammation has also led to chronic fatigue. This could be made more difficult by the fact that chronic inflammation can directly affect your circadian sleep cycle and ability to achieve full alertness during the day and restful sleep at night. More serious health concerns linked to chronic inflammation include heart disease, obesity, depression, decreased bone health, and cancer.
Anti Inflammation Diet Benefits
Today we focus on finding an anti-inflammation diet that works for you because often, chronic inflammation begins in the gut. To turn things around, prioritizing health and healing in the digestive system is a great way to improve your condition and make your medication more effective, and eventually, less necessary. Eating a healthy low inflammation diet will help fuel your body with proper nutrients as well as blocking enzymes that will inhibit histamines and fight chronic inflammation and its harmful effects.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that your system is unique and that it is always best to observe what your body responds to and reacts to. Ultimately, anti inflammatory diets follow the principals of overall good nutrition: more fruit and vegetables and less bad fat and simple carbohydrates. For this reason, most of the food on the recommendation lists will be good for your health. However, you may find that certain items which are suggested for their anti inflammatory properties (like whole grains) may not help in your specific case. This is okay, and you should simply make note and continue to consume the foods that help you and avoid the ones that do not.
The Low-Starch Diet, popularized by top AS-researcher Dr. Alan Ebringer, is also known as the London AS diet, and has been reported by some people to have improved symptoms. Dr. Ebringer’s team found that many people with Ankylosing Spondylitis also have the Klebsiella bacteria in their digestive tract, causing symptoms to act up more. This diet is based on the research that the Klebsiella bacteria feeds on and multiplies off of starch. Decreasing starch intake and increasing protein and vegetables have proved successful for many AS patients, who have reported an improvement in symptoms with a Low-Starch Diet. You can try the Low-Starch Diet as part of your anti-inflammatory lifestyle to see how your condition responds to minimal starch intake.
Eggs and Dairy products
Fish: sole, cod, sardines, haddock
Seafood: crab, lobster, prawns, mussels, oysters
Lean Poultry: turkey, duck, chicken
Fruits: especially watermelon and berries
Vegetables: greens, carrots, cauliflower, peppers
Bread, pasta, pizza
Rice and potatoes
Pastry, cake, pudding, pie
Pay attention to how your body reacts and feels with any new foods or changes in eating routine. Note that it is always a good idea to discuss with your doctor if you plan to adjust part of your treatment plan, especially if you have more than one health condition that you are taking prescription medication for. Finally, know that it is important to get a balanced range of nutrients and to avoid any diets that direct you to completely eliminate any major food group completely, or that is highly restrictive.
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