Weight Control With Ankylosing Spondylitis

By Leonard Butler
Updated 2024-03-28 17:16:03 | Published 2022-03-19 20:34:22
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    • Discover the world of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) through our dedicated iMedix Blog section. Learn about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments of AS. This area serves as a guide for individuals living with AS and their caregivers, offering information and tips for managing this chronic inflammatory disease.

Weight Control With Ankylosing Spondylitis

I have a vivid memory of the first time my doctor told me the words You have ankylosing spondylitis. I was puzzled and asked her to repeat what she said. It was difficult for me to even pronounce the words correctly. It felt like trying to speak in a language I had never heard before or trying to read a foreign menu with unfamiliar words. I could only guess that ankylosing spondylitis had something to do with pain or stiffness, but I wasn't entirely sure.

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Despite struggling to grasp the diagnosis, I felt relieved that I finally had a name for what I had been experiencing in my body for years. This marked the beginning of a journey to understand what this meant for me and my life. As soon as I got home, I turned to Google and searched for information about the disease. What I discovered was shocking. Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the spine and its surrounding tissues, often leading to pain, stiffness, and deformity. The scientific facts and personal stories from other patients overwhelmed me, but I couldn't help but wonder how this condition would impact my body.

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The more I learned about ankylosing spondylitis, the more I realized the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. It became clear that weight management was crucial not only for overall well-being but also specifically for individuals living with this condition. Excess weight puts additional pressure on the spine, increasing the risk of further damage to the joints and tissues. Therefore, it is essential for those with ankylosing spondylitis to maintain a healthy weight in order to keep their bodies as healthy as possible.

Unfortunately, I soon discovered that this was easier said than done. The fatigue and pain associated with ankylosing spondylitis made it challenging to stay physically active, which could lead to weight gain. Additionally, there were potential side effects of medication, such as water retention or increased appetite, that could contribute to weight gain.

Managing my weight while living with ankylosing spondylitis was a challenge that I had to tackle head-on. I learned that making small, gradual changes over time and monitoring my progress were key to maintaining a healthy weight. I started with small goals, like walking for 10 minutes a day or increasing my water intake. As my body became stronger and more comfortable, I was able to increase my walking time and incorporate strength training exercises into my routine. I also had to be mindful of my eating habits, paying attention to portion sizes, ingredients, and the type of food I consumed.

However, despite my best efforts to eat well and maintain a healthy weight, the disease eventually took a toll on my body, particularly my left hip. By the time I had my first hip surgery, I had inexplicably lost over 20 pounds. Seeing that number on the scale during my pre-op appointment surprised and worried me. The recovery process took seven months, during which I was determined to regain my strength and put on weight. It was a slow process due to the effects of surgery and medication, but gradually, I managed to reach a healthy weight again.

My experience with ankylosing spondylitis has taught me the importance of understanding the condition and finding effective ways to manage it. Regarding weight management, I've learned that small, consistent changes over time yield the best results. It's a continuous process, and I am still learning, but I now feel more confident in my ability to maintain my weight. I am also learning to appreciate my body for its abilities and to be kind to myself when things don't go according to plan. Living well with ankylosing spondylitis is possible, and it starts with understanding what works for you. And remember, don't hesitate to seek help when needed. Your health is worth it.

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