- Learn what causes ankylosing spondylitis. If you have a risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis taking steps to manage the causes can help to prevent it from happening.
- Instead of using potentially harmful conventional medicines that often only treat the symptoms, reverse ankylosing spondylitis using natural treatments. Learn which treatments are effective and safe.
Because it is an autoimmune disease, for the longest time doctors didn’t know what causes ankylosing spondylitis. Now research has shown that there are things that can, in fact, cause an autoimmune response in the body.
Conventional mainstream medicine addresses a disease by curing the symptoms and not the cause. If you have pain they will give you pain reliever without digging deeper for the cause of the pain. If you want to live a healthier and disease-free life, you have to understand the cause and then remove the cause. It is as simple as that.
Possible Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease and is a type of arthritis. While a cause is not able to be determined in all cases, most cases will be caused by the following:
- Genetics: This is the gene HLA-B27. But remember not everyone with this gene develops AS. We will take a look at why this happens to us shortly. Also if you are HLA-B27 negative, you can still have AS.
- Injury: Injury can be physical or emotional trauma. If you have been in an accident, illness, or perhaps lost someone, it can all impact your immune system. The good news is that this can be managed by exercise and other helpful techniques.
- Prolonged Immobility: We can reverse AS by slowly increasing your activity level. Read this article for safe and effective exercises to reverse AS
- Infection: Klebsiella is a type of bacteria that in people with the HLA-B27 gene can cause AS. We can kill it naturally without the use of harmful antibiotics.
We have to lower the inflammation and stop the immune system from attacking our body. Actually inflammation and the immune system are both our body´s friend. Inflammation is actually a result of the body healing itself, it is just that when inflammation becomes chronic that it can also cause disease in the body as well as pain. Your immune system is responsible for preventing pathogens from making you ill.
The two biggest causes of ankylosing spondylitis arthritis are bad digestion/infection and constant anxiety and stress. How can we fix this?
Ankylosing Spondylitis Natural Treatment
1. Bad Digestion and Infection
The number one cause of AS is infection by the Klebsiella bacteria. Klebsiella will usually infect you when you struggle with poor digestion or your immune system is low. Unfortunately, it is true that many who suffer from AS or develop a risk of AS have poor digestion.
95% of people who have AS carry the HLA-B27 gene and one of the problems with Klebsiella is that it resembles the HLA-B27 gene. An autoimmune response is created when the body produces antibodies to fight off Klebsiella these then also attack the HLA-B27 (which is also a type of protein). Specifically, your joints are targeted.
- Fever and chills
- Feeling unwell
- Nausea and vomiting
And if the bacteria is found in other parts of the body:
- Coughing (often accompanied by yellow or green mucus, or sometimes blood)
- Breathing problems
- The symptoms can also resemble flu
- Urinary tract infection (burning sensation and/or pain when urinating, intense urge to urinate frequently without actually needing to go, frequent urination)
Getting rid of Klebsiella can be difficult, it is often resistant to antibodies and conventional medicines like antibiotics. But starving it long-term so that it dies off and continuing to look after your digestive tract can prevent your body from attacking the B27 proteins. But how do we do this?
Low Carb Diet for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Klebsiella feeds on leftover starches (carbohydrates) in the stomach. When there is a problem with digestion, things that are difficult to digest such as carbohydrates can sometimes end up not being fully digested. This could be due to a carbohydrate intolerance which means that you don’t have enough of an enzyme called amylase to break down the carbs properly.
You don’t necessarily need to be carbohydrate or gluten intolerant to experience problems, however. Sometimes a condition called leaky gut can develop and is also cause of autoimmune diseases. Leaky gut is when your intestines start to leak pathogens and undigested foods into the rest of your body.
Leaky gut can be brought on by:
- Too much alcohol
- Frequently eating difficult to digest foods such as legumes, nuts, as well as wheat and other grains (they contain lectins)
- A diet high in sugar, fatty foods, and processed foods
Lack of fiber
Gut bacteria imbalance
Dr. Alan Ebringer is a rheumatologist who had done extensive research on AS. He and a colleague, Dr. C Wilson discovered that a low starch diet helps to get rid of the Klebsiella bacteria and can lower the inflammation in the body caused by the improper digestion of starches. You can see the full recommendation here.
How to Eat Fewer Carbs
People think carbs in term of wheat, bread, and pasta only. One must understand that carbs are present everywhere, including sugar, alcohol, fruit as well as in vegetables. It is impossible to have zero carb diet if you are not solely a meat eater. So here our aim is to limit the carbs.
Try these tips:
- Breakfast: 2-3 Eggs with runny egg yolk and vegetables. If you feel hungry after this then add more fat or protein. An avocado is a great option.
- Snacks: Snack on soaked nuts, but not roasted. Make sure the nuts are soaked because unsoaked nuts contain lectins that are worst for joints. You can also try hummus and veggies or Greek yogurt with a small handful of berries. Smoothies and vegetable juices can also make great snacks.
- Lunch: Chicken Breast Salad with Olive oil or MCT oil.
- Dinner: Fish and some vegetables or just vegetables
Your protein intake should be one-third of your veggies.
Alkaline Diet Low in Lectins:
Your diet should be mainly alkaline. When you fill your plate with veggies, this is not difficult. 80% of your plate should be veggies. Preferably one cup each of leafy greens, sulfuric vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, onion, garlic, etc), and colorful vegetables per day. When choosing your foods, remember that meat, grains, dairy, fizzy drinks, and coffee are all acidic. Most vegetables and some legumes are not.
Avoid Lectins. Remember to look for lectins. Lectins are a type of protein in carbohydrates and are the enemy of the people with joint problems. The good news is that even though we cannot completely avoid lectins, preparing and cooking your legumes and the gluten-free grains correctly can remove the lectins.
Keep your diet low in carbs, lectins, and mostly alkaline and I am pretty sure your symptoms will improve at least 40%. Making sure you eat probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, and miso will also help to balance out your gut bacteria and improve your overall health.
Further Steps to Get Rid of Klebsiella:
If you want to take it a step further there are some protocols to kill the bacteria using oregano oil and colloidal silver. These substances have a natural anti-bacterial effect, working the same way antibiotics do without killing the beneficial gut flora. Here is a study that confirms that Oregano oil helps to kill many types of Enterobacteriaceae bacteria including Klebsiella bacteria.
Drink 80-90 ml of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days. Did you know it can also be used when you have a cold or the flu?
Oregano oil should only be used short term. 4-6 drops for 7-10 days is recommended by Dr. Mercola.
2. Anxiety, Stress, Fear, and Anger
Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases run in my whole family. One common observation that I made is that people with anxiety and fear develop such kinds of diseases more. Chronic stress causes a constant release of cortisol (stress hormone) in your body. Over time this causes inflammation, the very thing you want to avoid to prevent diseases and to keep existing diseases like AS from becoming worse.
If you already have AS, studies show that being in an anxious or depressed state of mind makes the AS even worse. The science behind is:
Our Nervous system is divided into two parts:
- Sympathetic nervous system: This is the part of our nervous system that takes over when we stress or feel anxious or afraid. Cortisol and adrenaline hormones are released into our blood, sugars in our bodies are released to fuel our muscles, blood is directed away from our digestive system and to our muscles all so that we can run away from danger. But in today’s world, we rarely need to run away, and all the hormones and sugars are left in our bloodstream.
- Parasympathetic nervous system: This part of the nervous system is the one that calms us down. We want to be in a state of the parasympathetic nervous system always.
During short bouts of stress, fear, or anger the sympathetic nervous system is helpful and if we really are in danger, we are better off for it. But constantly experiencing these feelings and not dealing with them effectively trains your brain to react to even simple situations by causing you to feel stressed or anxious. This is not good at all.
This brings down your quality of life. You become more prone to illnesses, you have a lot of inflammation which can cause pain and diseases, you feel tired often and become run down. This is no way for anyone to live yet so many of us do every day.
How to Activate Parasympathetic system for Better Sleep and to Improve Digestion
- Make a list what makes you anxious: It is very helpful to write down all the things that are causing you to feel anxious, look at them, and then writing down solutions. Some of them you can do nothing about, let them go. Most you either can do something about or are unfounded. Remember that we are all human, and no one is perfect, but we can choose how to deal with our errors and what life throws at us.
- Take a deep breath: Whenever I find myself in a stressful situation like an argument with my spouse, I pause for a second, concentrate on my breath. Take a deep inhalation of fresh cold air, hold the air for 3 seconds and slowly release unwanted thoughts and feeling when I exhale.
- Be present: The future is an uncertain place. Worrying about the future can cause a lot of anxiety. The past we can do nothing about but learn the lessons we were taught. What is important is here and now. Living your best life now is the way to a better future. A good way to be present is to concentrate on your body and seeing how it feels right now. You can also concentrate on your breathing.
- Practice gratitude: Sometimes we can get so bogged down in everything that is wrong in our lives and the world around us that we forget about all the blessings in our lives. Make time each day to either think about what you are thankful for and write it down or speak to a friend or family member about all that you are thankful for each day.
- Get enough nutrients: A healthy diet is the best way to support your nervous system. In particularly, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, can help to balance your nervous system to make sure that each part works when and how they are meant to. Eat plenty of greens and add in some lean beef, pumpkin seeds, and raw yogurt.
- Meditation: Meditation can help you to take control of your life. It is very calming so it relieves stress and it brings us back to the present. Make some time to meditate every day, even 5-10 minutes is okay.
- Saunas: Infrared saunas are great because they start the healing and detoxing from deep inside and can relieve pain. You can sit in the sauna for up to 30 minutes. Make sure that you are well hydrated before and after, and you use a heat-safe water bottle to stay hydrated inside the sauna.
- Cold showers: Taking a cold shower is also great. While exposed to cold water, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, but after you become used to the temperature the parasympathetic nervous system takes over helping you to feel more relaxed.
- Join a support forum: There are many forums online where people who are suffering from AS can come together and offer each other support. You may even have a support group near you that you can become a part of. Speaking to people who understand what you are going through can ease the feelings of isolation and anxiety that can come with the disease.
- Reiki and massage: Reiki is the use of energy to promote healing in the body. Energy is channeled into the body by the touch of a therapist. Studies show Reiki can be quite effective at relieving anxiety and pain. Another great method to promote relaxation and pain relief is massage. Using both reiki and massage can activate your parasympathetic nervous system.
- Exercise: Yoga is very calming and is great for pain relief and increasing mobility and strength. An instructor will be able to guide you through poses that a safe and effective for you. Going for a walk, especially out in nature is also very relaxing and will help you with your mobility.
Here is one man’s story of how he reversed his AS. Through diet and lifestyle changes, all natural, Ralph Ruiz has managed to reverse his AS so completely that people cannot believe that he ever even had AS.
Supplements for Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ): PQQ is a powerful antioxidant that has many benefits in the body. Most notably, it reduces inflammation and puts a stop to the damage caused to joints by arthritis. Since the study was done on rats, you may not be sure about the effects in humans, but this study shows that at 0.2 mg of PQQ/kg of bodyweight lowers inflammation in humans too.
- Omega 3: Omega 3 is another important nutrient, not just for our brains but our joints too. Omega 3 lowers inflammation in the body and lubricates the joints. Just be sure to keep your omega 6 levels in check as this can deplete omega 3 in the body and cause inflammation. Ideally, your omega 6 to 3 ratio should be 1:1. If you can’t consume fish oil, get an algae-based EPA and DHA supplement.
- Collagen: Collagen is a big component of cartilage. Cartilage is part of our joints and can deteriorate with diseases targeting joints and bone as well as aging. This study showed that it was beneficial in helping those with osteoarthritis and osteoporosis and in this study it proved helpful for athletes who often struggle with joint issues due to overuse of muscles and joints.
- Calcium with Vitamins D3 and K2: These three nutrients work synergistically to make sure that each nutrient goes where it needs to and performs its job well. In this case, making the bones strong without causing calcification of soft tissue. Along with magnesium, these nutrients are essential for bone health.
- Magnesium: Magnesium relaxes the muscles and also helps to make sure that calcium is correctly regulated in the body. This will help you with the stiffness that accompanies AS. Magnesium is also essential for good quality sleep and to reduce anxiety. Taking Epsom salt baths help to reduce pain and stiffness due to the magnesium and sulfate content in the Epsom salt.
- Ayurvedic oils: The following oils have proven to be effective at reducing pain and inflammation: mahanarayan oil, mahamash oil, flexn oil, and vishgarbha oil. Massaging them into your back and any other joints that are affected not only reduces the pain and inflammation but relaxes you too.
- Water: Water is not a supplement, but something that we cannot live without. Staying well hydrated is important for your joints and muscles. 6-8 glasses of water will keep you healthy in more ways than just your muscles and joints. Limit or avoid beverages that have a dehydrating effect like alcohol, soft drinks, and coffee. Pay special attention to hot days and as well as when you exercise.
For more information on ankylosing spondylitis and tips on how to relieve ankylosing spondylitis pain, check out this article.
- Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease. It is a type of arthritis mainly affecting the spine but which can progress to other joints in the body.
- The two biggest causes of ankylosing spondylitis infection with the Klebsiella bacteria usually resulting from poor digestive health and chronic stress and anxiety.
- Klebsiella bacteria feed on leftover starch in the digestive tract. This happens when there is an inability to digest carbohydrates, particularly, starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, pasta, and bread.
- A low carb mostly alkaline diet will benefit those suffering from ankylosing spondylitis and those who carry the risk. Cut out grains as much as possible, and soak your nuts before eating them.
- Chronic stress, anxiety, and fear cause stress hormones to be released constantly which leads to inflammation and diseases, including autoimmune diseases like ankylosing spondylitis.
- Meditation, deep breathing, gratitude, cold showers, support groups, and Reiki can be helpful in reducing stress and the hormones released due to stress.
- Relieve pain, inflammation, and stiffness by taking a calcium, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, and magnesium supplement. Epsom salt baths also relieve pain and stiffness.
- Supplements like PQQ, omega 3, and collagen can help to maintain joint health and reduce pain and inflammation.
- Stay well hydrated and try massaging an ayurvedic oil like mahanarayan oil into the affected areas.
Are you or someone you know at risk for AS or do you have AS? Please share your story with us.