Are your eating habits adding fuel to the flames?

The food choices you make can have a major effect on your body. When talking about Spondyloarthropathic diseases, whether it be rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, they all share one thing in common — Inflammation. In A.S., non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are given to control the inflammation and reduce the likelihood of bone formation over the discs and vertebrae. These drugs, along with TNF-inhibitors, such as Humira, are essential in the long-term health of your spine. As of the publishing of this article, THERE IS NO CURE FOR A.S. If you want to help slow the progress of the disease, you owe it to yourself to make lifestyle and nutritional modifications to support the pharmacological interventions. What sort of nutritional modifications are we talking about here? Here's my story...

Have you ever wondered if what you are eating might be adding fuel to the flames? I recently read an amazing book written by Jacqueline Lagacé; "Comment j'ai vaincu la douleur et l'inflammation chronique par l'alimentation" (How I Won Against Pain and Chronic Inflammation Through Nutrition). Her findings are based on the work done by Dr. Jean Seignalet from France. Their basic premise is that certain foods can increase overall inflammation by increasing gut immune response. According to researchers, the largest immune organ system of the body is the gut. If you increase gut immune response, it can have a cascading effect in other tissues of the body — leading to non-specific inflammation, pain, neural problems and fatigue.

I have decided to change my eating habits in order to reduce my gut immune stress and lessen my overall levels of inflammation. The last thing I wanted to do was to jump into a constraining diet and add extra stress to my already stressful problem. Jacqueline Lagacé's book depicts how certain foods including certain red meats, dairy products and wheat proteins (gluten) can initiate an inflammatory response. As an athlete, I was eating large amounts of red meat to support muscular recovery. This was a modifiable factor that I promptly amended to insure that my food intake wasn't indirectly feeding the problem. By integrating substitution proteins, such as poultry, fish and eggs, into my diet I experienced immediate and profound positive effects. Of course it did not completely eliminate the symptoms associated with A.S, but it did alleviate a major one with which I was struggling on a daily basis — fatigue.  I found myself feeling less tired and having more energy to move and train. The more I can move, the better I feel. This is the start of a positive cycle that permits me to do more daily in slowing the progress of A.S. in my body. As I continue to adjust my diet, I'll keep posting my experiences in the hopes that they can help you live a more pain-free life.

If you are interested in reading the books that I mentioned above, here are the references:

Comment j'ai vaincu la douleur et l'inflammation chronique par l'alimentation [Paperback]
JACQUELINE LAGACÉ, 2011, ISBN 2762131030

L'Alimentation ou la troisième médecine (Nouvelle édition) [Paperback]
JEAN SEIGNALET 2012 ISBN-10: 2268074005

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