Spondylitis Association of America
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Ankylosing Spondylitis & Related Diseases Information

Today, magazine articles and web pages bombard us with claims about special diets, foods, or supplements that can cause or cure our arthritis. It is appealing that there are simple answers to a complicated disease like spondylitis, but unfortunately, most claims for cure-all diets or nutritional supplements have not been scientifically tested to determine if they work and if they are safe. Some are outright frauds, while others have undergone scientific studies that are often incomplete and may be harmful instead of beneficial.

Trying a Change in Diet
You should be suspicious of any diet that claims to treat or cure spondylitis. If such a diet existed, doctors knowledgeable about spondylitis would know about it and recommend the treatment to their patients. Some people with spondylitis swear by certain changes in their diet and feel that what they eat (or do not eat) impacts their symptoms. If you are tempted to try a diet, it is recommended that you discuss your plan with a trusted doctor and possibly a dietician to help ensure that trying the diet will not compromise your health.

Look at Diet Claims Carefully
Does the diet:
…eliminate any group of foods from the Food Guide Pyramid?
…allow for only a few food types?
…require that you buy special products?
…have potentially harmful effects?
…provide scientific evidence to back its claims, rather than personal testimonies to support it?

According to the Arthritis Foundation, specific diets known to have harmful side effects include those with large doses of alfalfa, copper salts or zinc, or the so-called immune power diet or the low-calorie/low-fat/low-protein diet.

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