Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment
There is no scientific evidence that any specific food or nutrient helps or harms people with ankylosing spondylitis. However, an overall nutritious diet with enough -- but not excessive quantities of -- calories, protein, and calcium is important.
Some people may need to be careful about drinking alcoholic beverages because of the ankylosing spondylitis medications they take. Those taking methotrexate may need to avoid alcohol altogether, since one of the most serious long-term side effects of methotrexate is liver damage.
Some people notice that their arthritis gets worse when there is a sudden change in the weather. However, there is no evidence that a specific climate can prevent or reduce the effects of ankylosing spondylitis. Moving to a new place with a different climate usually does not make a long-term difference in the condition.
Medications Used for Treating Ankylosing SpondylitisFor most people who have ankylosing spondylitis, treatment also involves taking medications. Some important factors for deciding which medication is most appropriate as part of the treatment plan include the:
- Person's general condition
- Current and predicted severity of the illness
- Length of time he or she will take the drug
- Drug's effectiveness and potential side effects.
Some medicines are used only for pain relief, while others are used to reduce inflammation. Examples of the different classes of medicines used to treat ankylosing spondylitis include:
- Analgesics (pain relievers), including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Steroid injections.
There are two other classes of medications that are used to try to slow down the course of the disease. The first class is called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs); the other class is known as biologic response modifiers.
Biologic response modifiers can be used to improve ankylosing spondylitis symptoms, stop further joint damage, and improve joint function. These medications can also be used to help relieve plaque psoriasis symptoms. Some specific biologic response modifiers used for ankylosing spondylitis treatment include:
(Click Ankylosing Spondylitis Medications for more information about these and other medications, including their uses and effects, side effects, and monitoring requirements.)