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Changing Your Diet

Today, magazine articles and web pages bombard us with claims about special diets, foods, or supplements that can cause or cure arthritis. It is appealing to think 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 show that they may be harmful instead of beneficial.

SAA receives no government funding and relies on the generous donations from individuals to create and maintain the programs and services aimed at improving the futures of the 2.7 million Americans affected by spondylitis.

Trying a Change in Diet

You should be extremely suspicious of any diet that claims to 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.  There is in fact evidence that certain foods tend to be inflammatory in nature, while others can help in managing inflammation.

Diets should always be discussed with a trusted doctor and, possibly, a dietitian to help ensure that trying the diet will not compromise health.

Look at diet claims carefully. Does the diet:

  • Allow for only a few food types?
  • Require the purchase of special products?
  • Have potentially harmful effects?
  • Provide scientific evidence to back its claims, rather than purely relying on 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.

Related Resources

Spondylitis Plus

Anti-Inflammatory Eating

Posted June 2016

Chloe is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Sports Dietitian who specializes in nutrition for arthritis and inflammatory joint disease, food intolerance, and sports...

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Spondylitis Plus

Andrea’s Low Starch / Paleo Holiday Recipes

Posted December 2015

My name is Andrea Wyckoff, and I have ankylosing spondylitis. I never imagined that I would become so impacted by a disease that...

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