Ankylosing spondylitis( AS) is an inflammatory disease of the spinal cord. It is symptomized by stiffness and pain in the lower back, and inability to lift the head upwards. The pain begins in the sacroiliac joints and proceeds to spine, over time. Chest pain, stooping and hip deformity are the other symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Genetic predisposition, HLA-B27 antigen presence, and immunological predisposition are some of the causal agents of this debilitating condition, which can be treated with diet, drugs and vitamins. Exercises, heat or cold therapy, and surgery are other ways of treating this incurable disease. Vitamin therapy involves providing the body with adequate vitamins that combat Ankylosing Spondylitis and generally strengthen the body and bone health. This is because deterioration in bone health may have serious consequences like fusion of bones (which aggravates AS), spinal surgery, and hip replacement.
Various Vitamins For Ankylosing Spondylitis
Low levels of vitamin D in the body are found to be associated with higher levels of Ankylosing Spondylitis. This is because vitamin D is required for intestinal absorption of dietary calcium, which is required for maintaining the bone density, bone strength and overall bone health of persons suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Lack of Vitamin D may lead to the dangerous osteoporosis in persons suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis. Vitamin A is produced on exposure to sun and certain foods such as fatty fish and fortified milk and dairy products. Vitamin D supplements available in the market are also very helpful in supplying the body with this important nutrient. One should consume upto 200 international units (IU) of Vitamin D per day.
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Vitamin C plays a very important role in alleviating inflammation caused due to Ankylosing Spondylitis. AS is a chronic inflammatory condition and joint inflammation can aggravate the intensity of this condition. Vitamin C has antioxidants that protect the joints from inflammation. About 600 mg of dietary vitamin should be consumed everyday.
Cooking destroys some of the nutrient value of vitamin C and it is most recommended to be eaten raw. Top sources of vitamin C are Papaya, Red chilli peppers, green chilli peppers, guavas, bell peppers, oranges, thyme and parsley. Vitamin C supplements can also be consumed.
Vitamin E contains antioxidants that alleviate joint inflammation. Hence, Vitamin E intake is almost mandatory for persons suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis. Vitamin E prevents sudden flares of the disease, which occur due to the abnormal autoimmune activity.
It also protects the body from the infirmity that results from the malnutrition that is caused by this disease. About 400 IU of vitamin E should be consumed everyday. Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, Swiss chard and turnip greens are some natural sources of vitamin E. You could also have vitamin E supplements.
Provitamin A or Beta-carotene are recommended, as they have antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory properties. About 25,000 IU of beta-carotene should be consumed on a daily basis.
Sweet potato, kale, turnip, carrots and mustard greens are some foods that are rich in beta carotenes. Beta carotene food supplements can also be consumed.
Vitamin K2 should be included in the diet, as it regulates vitamin D, which is one of the most important vitamins to treat Ankylosing Spondylitis. Meat, poultry, cheese, eggs and butter are natural sources of vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 supplements can also be consumed.
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