Ankylosing spondylitis treatments in the beginning tend to revolve around prescribed drugs by a rheumatologist or a physician to stop the progression of the disease, and to overall stop the pain that is associated with Ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
The drugs used to combat AS are generally Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's), the side effect of such drugs being that they have a negative impact on the digestive lining of the stomach. Research as well as thousands of testimonies from AS sufferers can point to a positive impact on the symptoms by eating a low or non starch diet, based on this it would be safe to make a correlation between AS and the digestive tract. This means that while NSAID's do have their place, as they can reduce inflammation during acute flare-ups, and situations where they are required, they may long term be leading to a further in-ability to combat the disease from it's source, which may likely be digestive system.
As we move into the future we are seeing new drugs that are combating AS in a different way than it has been treated in the past. The drug that is he focus of this article Sulfasalazine.
What is Sulfasalazine used for? it is indicated for the treatement of ulcerative colitis (bowel and intestinal issues). The extended release version of this drug have also been known to help reduce joint pain, swelling and stiffness in those who suffer from ankylosing spondylitis. Sulfasalazine works by affecting the damaged tissue of the small and large intestines, essentially it will reduce irritation and swelling in the intestines. The reason this is looked upon as a positive ankylosing spondylitis treatment deals with the very fact that this drug has limited side effects on the intestinal lining of the digestive system. If you follow the boards at kickas.org (which I suggest you do) you will find thousands of positive results with sulfasalazine using the extended release version. There are many theories by many medical professionals that ankylosing spondylitis is connected to what is known as leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky Gut Syndrome: Refers to a syndrome that can be associated with an increased chance of toxins, food, and bacteria of crossing over into the blood stream due to the increased permeability of the wall of the intestines. A healthy stomach is like a wall that guards these particles from crossing over, but when the stomach is compromised, we see a host of skin and auto-immune disorders such as ankylosing spondylitis. Many physicians see a connection between AS, and conditions such as IBS, Ulcerative Colitis and crohn's disease. This would point further to the fact that AS may be effected, and possibly caused by issues involving the digestive lining of the intestines.
The reason we talk about Sulfasalazine is that it actually has a positive effect on the digestive lining of the stomach, or as some believe the root cause of AS. Sulfasalazine acts to reduce the inflammation that is causing bacteria and particles to enter into the blood stream. This cross-over into the blood stream is believed to be what invokes the auto immune system response, as the presence of bacteria and food particles are seen as a foreign invader to the body. Treating the symptoms is necessary, but not at the long term cost of the damage it may cause to the digestive tract. Sulfasalazine is like any drug you will find on the market, there is a host of scary side effects that you must be told about, but overall these are very uncommon. You MUST speak with a medical professional about if this is the right drug for you to be taking based on your previous medical history, and your current health. Always have a complete history completed with a medical physician before taking any pharmaceutical drug
It is recommended you speak with your rhuematologist or physician with regards to sulfasalazine, they will be able to tell you if this ankylosing spondylitis treatment is right for you, or if there is another approach. Drugs that combat digestive issues are newer to the treatment protocol for AS, as the future unfolds we are certain to see more drugs that combat the inflammation of the intestinal walls. Our next article will focus on natural supplements that can help improve the digestive system, which once again will improve the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis