If you favor a more natural approach to your ankylosing spondylitis (AS), there are some natural medicines and lifestyle changes that might help you.
AS is a disease of auto-immune origin. It commonly occurs after gastrointestinal disease such as colitis, or after a viral or bacterial infection. People with AS usually have high levels of C-reactive proteins in their blood that are indicative of inflammation and an immune system that is under stress, so the first thing that should be tackled is your lifestyle. For example:
Get plenty of sleep – your body needs sleep in order to regenerate tissues. Less than eight hours of sleep a night is bad for our health.
Don’t smoke – or if you do, try to quit. Smoking is responsible for a huge number of ill health conditions in those who smoke and in others around them.
Eat healthily – Have five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables every day and drink plenty of water. Try to eat as many raw foods as possible and avoid processed ready meals and microwaving your foods.
Reduce or stop your alcohol intake – and think about cutting down on tea and coffee, too.
Exercise regularly – Even if this is just going for a walk once a day.
Clean your home with non-toxic products – Since some cases of ankylosing spondylitis occur after an allergy, it’s important to have your home as free from chemical allergens as possible. Simple white vinegar can clean as well as any chemical product, if not better.
Try Ayurveda- Ayurveda is an ancient form of Indian medicine that has existed more than 5,000 years. It means ‘the science of long life’ and uses a combination of healthy lifestyle changes, healthy diet, positive thinking and herbal medicine to bring about total mind and body health. The herbal remedy Aaamvatantak Churna has been used successfully for arthritic conditions as well as curcumin, the principle component of the spice turmeric (which is responsible for turmeric’s yellow color). You can use the spice directly on foods such as curries or take the supplement curcumin that is available in tablet form.
Eat plenty of plant phytosterols (fats that come from plant foods)- The highest quantity of phytosterols comes from sprouting foods, for instance, sprouts, mung beans, sunflower seeds and sprouting broccoli. Do not cook the shoots as this will destroy most of the goodness. Instead, add olive oil and put them in a salad. Eat these regularly. They can also be taken in supplement form in higher concentrations. Phytosterols are vitally important as they help the immune system to function correctly.
Joanna is a freelance health writer for The Mother magazine and Suite 101 with a column on infertility, http://infertility.suite101.com/. She is author of the book, 'Breast Milk: A Natural Immunisation,' and co-author of an educational resource on disabled parenting, in addition to running a charity for people damaged by vaccines or medical mistakes.