Saturday, July 13, 2013

A No Starch Diet (NSD) and Ankylosing Spondylitis

I am British and with it come several very British traits.  Talking about the weather, moaning, drinking Earl Grey tea, you get the idea.  Other traits I have which I blame on my heritage are an inability to talk openly about myself and not wanting to make a fuss (apart from to my husband, of course!). One could call it a stiff upper lip I suppose....

Thus I do not talk about the fact I have AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis) unless prompted and if I do I would say I feel uncomfortable doing so.  I was diagnosed at 16 so it has been part of my life more than not and I have just got on with it.  I have taken every type of NSAID in the book over the years.  For the last 10 years I have been on Enbrel (apart during pregnancy & breast feeding) which has allowed me to be relatively pain free and I am an advocate of biologics, they work for me.

I am sporty and active and AS has not impeded my lifestyle in any way.  I can really only think of two incidents in my life when my AS has prevented me from doing what I want - surfing (impossible to do when you can't extend your back) and being asked to leave a yoga class as the instructor said it was not suitable for me in my condition?!

Recent events have made me reevaluate my attitude to my AS (namely a nasty mountain bike crash which really hurt) and possibly the big 4-0 coming next year...Wouldn't it be nice to wake up feeling refreshed not sore? Stand up straight(er)? Not be tired all the time? Have an immune system that works? Not get migraines (here's hoping!)?

So whats the No Starch about? Why the diet?  I have never ever dieted in my whole life (I don't really believe in diets) not even given up booze for a week (which wouldn't be a bad idea) so the thought of eliminating starch from my diet is a whopper of an idea to execute.  There is a school of thought that AS is triggered by a particular bacteria (Klebsiella) that lives in the gut. This bacteria feeds of starch. Remove the starch & remove the inflammatory process and thus the symptoms of AS.  If you would like to a better description read here.

I am including dairy and sugar as I just don't think it will be realistic for me and my family to cut these out (also worried I may completely waste away if I did). It is day 3 now and I am hungry! Teething problems, I'm sure.

I have found a couple of great blogs of fellow No Starch Dieters (thanks Kara!) and I'm confident that I will find my way.  Really I am just explaining why there will be lots of no starch recipes to follow....

Courgette (zucchini) spag bol - my first no starch meal

Thanks for reading, and putting up with me talking about myself...!


  1. Well done for writing this! It does feel weird talking about personal stuff online but just remember how much it will help people with the same problem who are searching that come across it. Well Done! Must blog!!!

    1. Thanks Nicola. That was my thoughts, if it helps someone else then its worth it...x