Ankylosing Spondylitis

5 Foods To Avoid During Ankylosing Spondylitis

5 Foods To Avoid During Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS), is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine. It inflames the spinal joints and can lead to severe pain that causes chronic discomfort. If left untreated, this inflammation can lead to ankylosis – the process of new bone formation in the spine, which can make sections of the spine fixed and immobile in position.1

Specialized diets have gained popularity among arthritis patients in recent years. Even though few of these food items have the backing of scientific studies, some people opine that certain foods trigger changes in symptoms. But since every person is different, so are their responses to different food items. It is highly possible that what worked for someone else may not work for you. If you notice this type of pattern, keep a food diary to test if you have food sensitivities and/or what food items are helping in managing your symptoms.2

We present you a list of food items that are best to be avoided if you have AS. Read on to know more:

This is a major no-no for AS patients. It is well evidenced that if you have AS, you are at a higher risk for osteoporosis. Consuming more than two drinks of alcohol weakens your bones. Also, alcohol has deleterious interactions with certain medications that can cause serious side effects to the gastrointestinal tract and major organs such as the liver and the kidneys.2

High fat or cholesterol foods
It’s difficult to stay away from a plate full of fried or cheesy items, but it’s necessary for AS patients to exercise restraint. Foods with saturated fats, trans fats, and omega-6 fatty acids should be avoided altogether. Examples include cheese, baked goods, full-fat dairy products, ice cream, and fried chicken. They are high in cholesterol and promote inflammation, which may complicate into a heart disease.3,4

Sugar and high-sodium foods
Anything in excess is harmful to the body. High levels of sugar and salt in the blood are common culprits of many known diseases. They produce a type of inflammatory cell that could risk your health. You should try to cut down on foods containing these items if you’re an AS patient.3

Red meat
It’s heavy on your heart and best to stop consuming altogether if you have AS. This will help reduce the symptoms, while also keeping the health of your heart and stomach in check.3

Studies for ankylosing spondylitis suggest that there are certain types of bacteria that trigger the medical condition. The starch found in foods like bread, rice, potatoes, breakfast cereals, oats and other grains like rye and barley aggravates the situation because starch feeds those bacteria.3,5

Changing your diet for a medical condition should be a calculated step. Rather than completely eliminating a food substance on your first try, you should start with the moderation of your current diet. Minimize the amount of a food item progressively so that it’s easy to eliminate it one day. Special diets require you to invest in their purchase separately. Make sure that you have consulted a nutritionist/dietician, or at least your family doctor before beginning a diet. By minding what you eat today, you will be doing yourself a favor tomorrow.


  1. Overview of ankylosing spondylitis. Check out. Accessed on 17 November 2020.
  2. Diet’s effect on spondylitis symptoms. Check out. Accessed on 17 November 2020.
  3. Ankylosing Spondylitis Diet. Check out. Accessed on 17 November 2020.
  4. Saturated, Unsaturated and Trans Fats. Check out. Accessed on 17 November 2020.
  5. Starchy foods (carbs). Check out. Accessed on 17 November 2020.

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