I don't have ankylosing spondylitis myself, but I know someone who does. I'd like her to try going paleo for a little while.
(A little preliminary research shows that the London AS Diet http://www.kickas.org/londondiet.shtml is already pretty close to paleo.)
Does anyone out there with AS have a paleo story to share? How long did it take you to notice changes? What got better? What got worse? What didn't change?
I do have AS, dx 5 yrs, symptomatic for 25 yrs. Started down Paleo road 1/1/10, with IF, and I do eat some dairy. So far, down 45 lbs, have reached goal weight. Quit taking statins. Bloodwork in early July is best in my adult life: TC 181, TG 66, HDL 64, RATIO = 2.8.
I have noticed moderate changes in pain, for the better, and also increased energy. I still need meds to control pain, but feel they are more effective when I eat "on plan."
As an example, we have had summer visitors, plus my recent birthday celebration, which I decided I could use as an excuse to take a vacation from the plan. I suffered so badly last night that I went straight to bed after supper - meds not able to cut the pain. :(
So, my vote is definitely FOR Paleo for the rest of my life! :)
Ebringer (guy whose team developed the London AS Diet) also showed that Crohn's Disease (which I have) is probably a klebsiella related disease. For the past year I've been eating very low carb, zero starch, zero fiber in an attempt to keep Crohn's in remission. So far, it looks like I've been successful.
I spent a few months in the beginning with flare-up type symptoms, lost about ten pounds. Then in the next few months things stabilized. By month six my weight was back above pre-diet levels. Now, on day 364, I feel fine and have no Crohn's symptoms.
I don't know how applicable to AS this will be, but maybe the fact that I'm going off the same diet for the same reason to attack an auto-immune disorder is a stroke in favor of the diet.
I've suffered from Non-Ankylosing Spondylitis for eight years. 6 months ago I started a strict Paleo diet to see if it would help and I'm pleased to say that it was immensely successful! I used to take diclofenac on a regular basis for near-constant back pain but no longer need it. My back feels better than ever.
Hey, all of you guys should check out this study a French doctor performed on the effects of wheat-free, dairy free(pretty much paleo) diet. It showed a 96% success rate in the treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis. Out of 100 cases, 63 had total remissions, 33 had at least a 90% improvement in symptoms, with only 4 failures to improve symptoms at least 50%.
Peter at blog hyperlipid was once a suffered of AS. Couldn't even move at the worse point.
He's completely fine now -- on the Optimal Diet by polish physician DR. Jan Kwasniewski MD, which is essentially evo/primal/paleo. Dr. Kurt Harris follows nearly the same (no potatoes i believe).
For AS -- omega-3, magnesium, trace minerals, vitamin D, thyroid, pancreatic/gut dysbiosis correction -- like all autoimmune diseases are very important to address and replenish for full recovery. Removing neolithic grains, legumes, and eating whole real food (organic, pesticide residue free, blah blah blah) is key of course too.
I've had AS since I was 16, and was diagnosed about 3 years ago. I tried a lot of different medications (all kinds of NSAID, immunosuppressants, etc.)
I decided to give the Paleo/primal lifestyle a try a little more than 6 months ago, and although it really helped with my digestive issues (suspected crohn's disease) I have to admit that it didn't help with the pain in my joints... I still need the pain meds, and still can't run or perform some movements - even when taking them.
I'm definitely not going back to a SAD (or SFD for me.. I'm french!) since my health has substantially improved during the last 6 months, but I'm not sure if a paleo diet can cure AS. It guess it could, if tried early in the disease progression (i.e. before nerve damage occurs)?
Edit: I need to update this info in case someone would come across this post: my joint pain is now almost entirely gone. What's the Big change? I became more stringent about my diet: I got rid of most nightshades. I don't eat a single mg of gluten (eggs and dairy seem to be OK for me though).
At the Robb Wolf seminar I met someone who said they had AS and after about 6 weeks of paleo, combined with both MD and ND care they have it completely manageable.
It seems the diet on its own may not be enough, but having that source of inflammation completely cut off makes the other components more effective.
You may be interested, in Robb Wolf's latest podcast he actually talks about this.
I don't have AS, but I am HLA-B27 positive and have found that the diet has pretty much reduced my symptoms to nil. My father has Reiter's syndrome and has to inject himself with Humira...I don't want that to be me, ever.
I had an HLA-B27 client who did a strict auto-immune starch free paleo diet as per Carol Sinclair and got 100% remission from pain