|HealingWithNutrition.com 1-800-943-1123||Home | SiteMap | Education | Products|
Return to Main Arthritis Page
AS is an autoimmune disease which affects collagen structures, specifically the joints between the vertebrae of the spine. In most cases the cause remains unknown. The commonality of symptoms and cause makes for a close association between AS and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
More than 400,000 Americans suffer from AS, and it is most commonly seen in young men between 16 and 35 years of age, and afflicts approximately 1 in 1,000 people under the age of 40. Three times as many males as females are diagnosed with the disease, but this may be because females tend to have much milder symptoms and may never be diagnosed. It also appears in children (mostly boys), who account for roughly 5 percent of the cases. It is rarely seen in African-Americans.
A genetic marker or tissue type (HLA-B27) is found much more often in people
with AS than in the rest of the population; but 80% of the individuals with
this genetic marker never develop the disease. It's not enough to have the
genetic tendency; usually there is some event that somehow "switches on" AS,
currently studies are looking into the possibility that a certain type of
infection triggers AS onset.
allergies and abnormal bowel function (i.e. leaky gut) may combine and
result in the increased circulation of gut-derived antigens into other areas
of the body. The body produces antibody-antigen complexes (immune
complexes) characteristic of RA to battle these gut-derived foreign
antigens; but these antibody-antigens are thought to also cross-react with
antigens in the joint tissues. In other words, the antibodies formed to
attack the (leaky gut) microbes also cross-react and attack joint collagen.
Drug Precaution Background
Standard medical therapy is of limited value in most cases of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS), as it
fails to address the complex underlying causes of the disease.
Aspirin is the first choice, but the high dosage required is often accompanied by toxicity symptoms of tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and gastric irritation. Other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, Feldene, Voltaren, Nalfon, Indocin, Naprosyn, Tolectin, and Clinorial are more powerful in their effect, but also have been proven to ACCELERATE the factors that promote the RA or AS disease process.
The use of NSAIDs to treat RA and AS is shown to be a significant cause
of serious gastrointestinal tract reactions, including ulcers, hemorrhage,
and perforation. Approximately 20,000 hospitalizations and 2,600 deaths
occur each year due to the use of NSAIDs in treating individuals with
Abnormal bowel function is thought to be one of the "triggers" that causes RA or AS to become activated. Individuals with RA have increased intestinal permeability (also referred to as leaky gut) to dietary and bacterial components (antigens) against which the body forms antibodies.
Intake of any drug--prescription or over-the-counter--that can worsen this "leaky gut" condition is obviously ill advised.
The "AMA Encyclopedia of Medicine" states there is no curative treatment but a program of heat, massage, and supervised exercise is essential to keep back muscles strong and to prevent curvature; they also advise lying face down during the night. We feel this advice is good, but it is obviously missing any discussion of beneficial nutritional factors.
The book "The Arthritis Cure " specifically expounds the highly successful benefits of glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate in many areas of the world in the treatment of "osteoarthritis" and specifically points out that "rheumatoid arthritis" is not within the scope of their studies. Most likely you may have heard of these "osteoarthritis" benefits from this book or other sources, and not understanding the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, made a decision to supplement with glucosamine sulfate.
The terms "osteoarthritis" and "rheumatoid arthritis" are
not interchangeable. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition from
lack of nutrients that the body needs to maintain optimal joint health.
This happens because of both of the following conditions:
Rheumatoid Arthritis and the associated AS occur because of the body producing antibody-antigens that wrongly attack and damage specific body areas.
Because of these major differences between the development and damage process of osteoarthritis, and that of rheumatoid arthritis, you may see some benefits from supplementation with glucosamine sulfate, but there is a high probability you will have disappointingly limited results.
Since in AS the effectiveness of the gastrointestinal process is highly questionable, improving the process through the supplementation of digestive enzymes (Betaine HCL, Pepsin, Pancreatin, Bromelain, Papain) and friendly digestive bacteria flora should provide for improved digestion. These enzyme factors have been shown to be clinically effective. This means that in a controlled study they actually WORKED! [K. Ransberger, "Enzyme Treatment of Immune Complex Diseases." Arthritis Rheumatology v.8. (1986) p.16-19]
Diet is also a factor both in the cause of AS and in daily managing AS. A therapeutic fast or elimination diet followed by a monitored reintroduction of foods to identify allergenic foods, will help you isolate problematic foods (the most common problem foods are wheat, corn, milk and other dairy products, beef, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, tobacco). Identified problems should be eliminated if possible. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and fiber, which is low in sugar, meat, refined carbohydrates, and animal fats.
[Nutrient Associations, Lifestyle Changes, Medical Options and Precautions]