Ankylosing spondylitis: forbidden foods

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Are there prohibited foods when suffering from ankylosing spondylitis ? This is a question that we could probably ask when we are suffering from this rheumatic disease. Find the answer in this article.

Some general information about ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a inflammatory rheumatism chronic affecting the sacroiliac joints and the spine. It is also called “axial spondylitis” or “rheumatic pelvispondylitis”.

The prevalence of ankylosing spondylitis would generally be 0,1% to 1%. It frequently affects men and is often age-related. 90% of people with this condition have the HLA-B27 antigen.

Events extra rheumatological are the commonest symptoms of this patient. However, apart from these manifestations, there will also be some syndromes such as pelvic-spinal syndrome, peripheral enthesitic syndrome, peripheral joint syndrome. And 5% of people suffering from lower back pain have ankylosing spondylitis.

To learn more and to better understand ankylosing spondylitis, click here.

Why are certain foods prohibited in case of ankylosing spondylitis? 

The foodstuffs provide us with energy to fight disease. Studies show, however, that they can also have negative influences on certain diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis.     

certain foods worsen symptoms pre-existing chronic inflammatory arthritis. These are generally:

  • foods that cause inflammation ;
  • foods that contain molecules that are difficult to digest.

There is evidence that there is a complex relationship between the intestinal microbiota (or intestinal flora) and inflammation. The intestinal microbiota is the set of microorganisms that are in symbiosis within the intestine.

The disturbance of the microbiota called dysbiosis causes hyperpermeability of the intestine. That is to say, there is no longer a barrier to prevent foreign molecules from entering the lymphatic systems. Dysbiosis prompts a chronic inflammation et worsens ankylosing spondylitis.

What types of foods should be avoided with ankylosing spondylitis?

Ultra-processed foods

They represent between 25% to 50% of our diet, this is called themodern diet. These foods contain saturated fats, sugars and many other often chemical additives that damage our intestinal microbiota

A few examples: crisps, instant noodles, aperitif biscuits, candy, sauces...

Foods containing omega-6


arachidonic acid is an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid. The latter aggravates the inflammatory symptom and develops the inflammation. This is why foods containing these acids should be avoided in case of ankylosing spondylitis.  

Among the foods that contain omega-6, we can find: red meats, cold cuts, sunflower, soybean and corn oil, dairy products containing caseins (butter, cheese, etc.) 

The alcohol

Drinking alcohol even in a few drops is enough to increase inflammation. Alcohol is ranked among the strongest risk factors for dysbiosis. For this purpose, it promotes ankylosing spondylitis.

The sweets

Foods that contain a high level of sugar (especially fructose) are foods pro-inflammatory in the body. 

Some examples: sodas, sugary drinks, candies, chocolate bars, ice creams...

Wheat products

Wheat products such as breads, flours, cereals and pasta contain a high amount of gluten. However, this protein contributes to the imbalance of the intestinal microbiota.


So what are the precautions to take?

Foods that are prohibited in ankylosing spondylitis are numerous, so always be careful not to be lacking in essential elements for health and well-being. These deficiencies often cause the weakening of the immune system and decrease the energy capital. They thus promote the progression of the disease.

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