Inflammation of connective tissue or degeneration of articular cartilage can be found in over 100 diseases lumped under the term "Arthritis" and Ankylosing Spondylitis is one of these.
Affecting more men than women, it generally manifests between the ages of 20 and 40. Like many other types of arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis appears to run in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition.
Conventional treatment generally consists of physical therapy, exercise, anti-inflammatory medication (both prescription and over-the-counter), sleeping adjustments, and sometimes surgery.
Because pain and stiffness are at their worst in the morning, bedding changes are the first treatment to be recommended. Conventional medicine suggests a hard bed, without a pillow, and changing to an on-the-belly sleeping position.
Conventional medicine doesn't seem to recognize the needs of the partner.
An airbed by Select Comfort would be ideal for this condition. Both queen and king sizes contain two separately adjustable mattresses, with a foam insert between. So the partners can continue to sleep together while enjoying significantly different degrees of firmness or softness.
Conventional medicine also recommends regular exercise, especially swimming. Alternative medicine agrees with the exercise, even the swimming, but adds that all contact with chlorinated water should be avoided when the immune system is unbalanced. Chlorine is easily absorbed through the skin.
Thus, replacing the shower head to filter out chlorine, or switching to a whole house soft-water treatment apparatus is the next recommendation. Chlorine removing shower heads are available at reality zone for less than $60. Whole house soft-water treatment systems generally start at about $4,000USD. There are many to choose from.
Additionally, drinking water should be filtered. Brita has a simple pitcher with a filtering insert and Pür has a filter than can be attached to the faucet. There are also local companies that offer osmosis-filtered water on a delivery basis and filtered water vending machines at many supermarkets. This is not to mention the vast array of gallons of purified and distilled water available at nearly every store. There is no reason or need to drink directly from the tap.
Remember to use filtered water in cooking as well as drinking, including the washing of consumables.
Conventional medicine also recommends low-dose aspirin. Aspirin actually turns off the genes that promote inflammation and inhibits the manufacture of prostaglandins, hormones that cause inflammation.
Herbal pain relief may be achieved with infusions of either white willow (Salix alba) or vervain (Verbena officinalis). Herbs for inflammation include echinacea, goldenseal, pau d'arco, red clover, and yucca. Flavonoids, such as bilberry extract, also help reduce inflammation
Your first and most important line of defense are antioxidants. These consist of Vitamins C (with bioflavonoids) and E, Co-enzyme Q10, Lipoic Acid and, of greatest importance, Glutathione.
Supplemental ranges for Vitamin C are 3,000 to 5,000 mg per day, with illness needing 5,000 and health only 3,000. Vitamin E can be supplemented up to four 400 IU capsules daily. Take 30 mg daily of Co-enzyme Q10 and increase with an additional 50 mg/day if at risk of heart attack or stroke.
Don't forget to take your supplements in divided doses.
Lipoic acid is synthesized by the body and available in small amounts in very few foods, namely potatoes, spinach, and red meat. Supplement with 100 mg daily.
Glutathione is abundant in certain foods but is broken down during the digestion process. Fruits and vegetables, and freshly cooked meat, have the most of this antioxidant. Additionally, natural salicylates (pain relievers) can be found in fruits and vegetables.
Glutathione cannot be supplemented directly. It is, instead, derived from the other antioxidants, most notably Lipoic Acid. I take L.A. in the form of Alpha Lipoic Acid capsules. The virtues of Lipoic Acid would take up an entire book. In fact, small booklets are available at most natural health food stores where supplements are sold.
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