Managing any autoimmune condition, let alone ankylosing spondylitis, can be a challenge. You may need to rely on a combination of pain management and treatment techniques to reduce your pain and improve mobility in your spine. However, these treatments aren’t solely administered by doctors or specialists like those at Posture Works in San Francisco, CA, and Denver, CO. There is some additional work you’ll need to do at home to manage your condition, including paying attention to your diet.
A healthy diet may be instrumental in managing ankylosing spondylitis and preventing flareups. Unfortunately, the inverse is also true – a poor diet may lead to worsened symptoms and additional pain. By avoiding certain trigger foods, you may be able to help keep your condition in check.
How diet relates to ankylosing spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis in the spine caused by an autoimmune response. The primary cause of pain or discomfort for the condition is severe inflammation of the vertebrae and sacroiliac joints. The symptoms of the condition are frequently experienced during periods of flare-ups, followed by periods of remission. Flare-ups can be random, but they might also be triggered by certain stimuli.
For many people with ankylosing spondylitis, one such stimulus is food. Food can have a direct role on inflammation within the body, either helping to reduce it or causing it to increase. When you have a condition characterized by chronic inflammation, avoiding foods that trigger additional inflammation may prevent the worsening of symptoms.
Eating a healthy diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is critical in ankylosing spondylitis management by lessening the load placed on your spine.
Common trigger foods
Because of the close relationship between diet and inflammation, and inflammation and ankylosing spondylitis, it’s important to be mindful about what foods you eat to avoid triggering a flare-up.
Some foods are known for causing ankylosing spondylitis flare-ups, including:
- Sugary foods: Foods containing lots of processed sugar, including soda, candy, and juices, may trigger inflammation in the body. These foods are also known to cause weight gain.
- Fatty foods: Foods containing high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, including vegetable oils and processed foods, as well as foods high in saturated fats like pizza, French fries, and red meat may cause increased inflammation. The average American diet is particularly high in both types of fat, which is why chronic inflammation is a common occurrence.
- Salty foods: High-sodium foods may contribute to inflammation by producing inflammatory cells after digestion.
Other foods that are known to trigger the condition are starch, alcohol, and gluten. However, not everyone will have the same trigger foods – some foods may be perfectly fine for some people but cause significant inflammation and pain for others. If you notice that a particular food appears to worsen your symptoms, take note of it and avoid eating it in the future.
In general, it’s important to eat a healthy diet every day, not just for ankylosing spondylitis management but for overall health. Paying attention to your diet may be a valuable contribution to your overall treatment plan and help you minimize pain or discomfort.
For more information about ankylosing spondylitis and its potential treatments, contact the spinal experts at Posture Works in San Francisco, CA, and Denver, CO. Our team uses a holistic approach to patient wellness called Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), which aims for total-body health through attention to the spine. Call us today to learn more!
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.