Ankylosing Spondylitis is an Autoimmune Disease which causes an inflammatory arthritic disorder of multiple parts of the human body including but not limited to joint pain, skeletal fusion and chronic lower back pain. It is also associated eye conditions like uveitis and iritis; as well as having an association with certain gastrointestinal disorders like IBD, Crohns, Gastritis and Ulcerative Colitis.
This condition seems to be more prevalent in those people who are tested positive for a genetic marker called HLA-B27. I believe there may also be a connection to the Rh-Negative incompatibility in humans. This theory is based on the research that 85+% of individuals diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis or "AS"; happen to test positive for the HLA-B27 genetic marker, which is said to be had by only about 8% of the population or less, based on geographical location. I saw a connection because the blood type O- also appears in about 7% of the population and again that percentage varies by the same geographical location of the population. After researching this connection and family history, I felt confidant enough to lay out my theory for my mothers' doctors, they listened and tested her for the genetic marker and it came back positive.
I do not know what the connection is; but I am looking, researching and trying to find the answers. In the meantime, I am learning about symptoms, treatments, effects and more. I will share with you what I find. Together, hopefully we can find the answers to improve the human condition. Click the link to join the forum or to learn more about other associated conditions, please click here!
Find out how HLA-B27 is involved in many of the Autoimmune Conditions. Figure out what conditions you could be at risk for and the associated diseases that you may one day face. Get the facts and connections you need to educate your family or assist your health care professional to understand the entirety of your condition. Information, video's, statistics, research studies and more; all related to Autism, Amyloidosis, Marfan's Disease and connected to the Rh-Negative Factor and HLA-B27 and other associated gene markers.
PLEASE NOTE: This Membership is separate and independent of the Rh-Negative Registry Membership.
Ankylosing spondylitis –(AS, from Greek ankylos, bent; spondylos, vertebrae), previously known as Bekhterev's disease, Bekhterev syndrome, and Marie-Strümpell disease, a form of Spondyloarthritis, is a chronic, inflammatory arthritis and autoimmune disease. It mainly affects joints in the spine and the sacroilium in the pelvis, and can cause eventual fusion of the spine. It is a member of the group of the spondyloarthropathies with a strong genetic predisposition. Complete fusion results in a complete rigidity of the spine, a condition known as bamboo spine.
Spondylitis Association of America Definition:
Ankylosing spondylitis – (AS): An inflammatory arthritic disorder, primarily of the axial skeleton (sacroiliac joints and spine), but can affect hip and shoulder joints and infrequently the peripheral joints. It causes chronic back pain and leads to stiffness of the spine. Most of the affected individuals have the HLA-B27 gene.
(RhNegative UPDATE! Two genetic markers newly identified as, associated with Ankylosing Spondylitis; they are ARTS1 and IL23R.)
Ankylosing spondylitis – An inflammatory arthritis affecting mainly back joints, can be associated with inflammation in tendons ligaments.
Ankylosing spondylitis – A chronic form of spondylitis primarily in males,marked by impaired mobility of the spine; may leads to ankylosis.
Ankylosing spondylitis – A particular arthritis disease that affects usually the joints between vertebrae and the sacroiliac joint.
Ankylosing spondylitis – Arthritis of the spine, resembling rheumatoid arthritis.
Ankylosing Spondylitis can also cause inflammation, pain and stiffness in other areas of the body such as the shoulders, hips, ribs, heels and small joints of the hands and feet. Skin issues can be symptomatic and eye issues can also be involved, this is known as Iritis or Uveitis. Sometimes internal organs including the lungs and heart can also be affected. With ankylosing spondylitis, it is normal to see involvement of the sacroiliac (SI) joints during the progression of the autoimmune disease. Sacroiliac Joints are the joints at the base of the spine, where the spine joins the pelvis.
A physical examine will include looking for sites of pain, swelling, inflammation or disfigurement of the joints. Most physicians will check for pain and tenderness along the back, pelvic bones, sacroiliac joints, chest and heels, as well as for any limitations of your spinal mobility in any directions. They may also check for any restriction of chest expansion or trouble breathing. A history or family history of iritis or uveitis (a painful inflammation of the eye or eyes), any gastrointestinal infections or issues, Crohn's Disease, IBS, ulcerative colitis, diagnosed Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), and fatigue with inflammation my be other symptoms and/or indicators that may be taken into diagnostic consideration.
The Physical Exam
Some symptoms taken into account for an "AS" diagnosis are:
Onset usually under age 35.
Pain persists for more than 3 months (i.e. it is chronic).
The back pain and stiffness worsen with immobility, especially at night and early morning.
The back pain and stiffness tend to decrease with physical activity and exercise.
Positive response to NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
Positve HLA-B27 Genetic Marker
Peripheral Joint Pain & Swelling
Fused Sacroiliac Joint or Vertebrae
Impaired Spinal Mobility
Joint Pain & Inflammation
Achilles Tendon Pain
Is There a Cure for Ankylosing Spondylitis?
There is NO known cure for AS at this time. There are however treatments, medications and therapies available to reduce the symptoms, manage the pain and slow the progression of damage. New medical studies give hope that the new biologic medications may be able to slow or halt the disease progression in some patients.
Ankylosing Spondylitiscan occasionally lead to complications of internal organs, including the heart and lungs. Rarely, some people with AS may develop problems with the heart's aortic valve, this is called Aortic Insufficiency and/or Heart Rhythm Issues. Aortic Insufficiency is a disease of the heart valve in which it either weakens or balloons and prevents the valve from closing tightly. This may lead to the backward flow of blood from the aorta into the left ventricle of the heart.
Aortic insufficiency may result from any condition that causes weakening of the aortic valve. The condition causes dilation or widening of the left lower chamber of the heart. As this area of the heart becomes worse, it is less able to pump blood to the rest of the aorta, and the heart tries to make up for the problem by sending out larger amounts of blood with each heart contraction. Eventually, untreated this may lead to a strong and forceful pulse.In the past, rheumatic fever was the primary cause of aortic insufficiency, until antibiotics started being used to treat rheumatic fever. Currently many other causes are more commonly seen.
Ankylosing Spondylitis may also cause valvular heart disease, specifically aortic valve and ascending aortic disease. If they are not treated it can cause heart failure, atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. If the heart valve gets calcified because of Ankylosing Spondylitis and there is a blockage; it can cause the need for use of a pacemaker. Failure in a valve in the left side of the heart or the the aortic or the mitral valve may results in left side heart failure. This leads to an accumulation of fluids in the lungs, or pulmonary edema. Valve diseases of the right side of the heart or the the pulmonary and tricuspid valve while rare, can occur as the result of some forms of congenital heart disease or long-term left-sided heart failure.
Lung Complications including; Pulmonary Fibrosis, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis or Restrictive Lung Disease may also develop in some patients. Idiopathic fibrosis is a thickening or scarring of the lungs, for which there is currently no known cause. Breathing may become increasingly difficult because of this stiffening. For some people the disease may worsen little over time, for others it can progress quickly over months or years. The condition is believed to result from an inflammatory response to an unknown substance, as the word Idiopathic actually means, "No cause can be found". Most often this disease happens to the elderly from age 50 on, but there can be exceptions to the rule.
At this time there is no known treatment for this disease. So far, Pharmaceutical Drugs have not been shown to improve the patient’s outcome with this disease. Some drugs like Corticosteroids and Cytotoxic Drugs may help to reduce the inflammation. Oxygen may also be necessary in advanced cases. Although lung rehabilitation may help to maintain capacity during activity or exercise, it will not cure the disease. In advanced cases, the final stage may be the need for a lung transplant.
Ankylosing Spondylitis seems to occurs in people who carry certain genes and who are exposed to a trigger. Below is a list of "triggers" that are thought to be associated with AS. I have listed all triggers that could be found by name, so it may appear some are duplicated.
Click on the individual "Triggers" for more information.
According to studies and articles from up to 10 years ago, really 10 years ago, the scientific research and medical communities have recognized the association of the HLA-B27 genetic marker and the heightened risk of developing both Leukemia and Lymphoma. I am currently compiling the research, but in the mean time here are links to some studies, findings and other articles.
I promise to make it easier to read through, but the information is too important to delay your access to. More to come!
For a person suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), it's important for First Responders, EMT's, Firefighters and Police Officers to be informed about their condition to try & avoid injury or complications. This video gives the opportunity to learn the proper and safe techniques that should be used in the care and handling of individuals with Spondylitis. This training is not intended to be diagnostic, it has been created by the Spondylitis Association of America in cooperation with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) in hopes of preparing these first responders to do the right thing to prevent further injury or damage once it is known the person has AS.
First Responders, after watching the video please visit Spondylitis.org to take the test for CECBEMS continuing education credit. The certification is free of charge, but they do accept donations.
Many people are currently expressing success in reducing joint pain, inflammation and other symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis and similar Spondyloarthropathies by switching to a Gluten and Starch Free Diet. We have a very response immune system, so if there is a food intolerance, allergy or negative reaction in your body every time you eat; the immune system and body never get a break. If you are taking DMARDs, Immunosuppressant and/or TNF Blockers, you may be unintentionally working against it's effectiveness simple by eating the regular foods you consume daily.
There are many recipes online for Gluten and Starch Free foods. In fact, there are now many restaurants throughout the Country that accommodate these restricted diets, as well there is as an increase of available foods in many of your local grocery store aisles. Many items will be denoted by a simple (GF) for Gluten Free. As with any dietary change, you should always first discuss it with your primary care physician or specialist; especially when already taking a prescription medication. For Gluten Free, Starch Free and Lactose Free Recipes, Shopping Lists and information, please click here.
If you are experimenting with or considering the switch to a restricted diet, you can download and print the new Dietary Restriction Card PDF below. These are great when dining out at a restaurant, when dining with friends or eating with family new to your dietary restrictions. As you can see by the example shown, you can simply circle the food items you CAN NOT eat and even fill in anything other specific or items not on the list at the bottom of the card. They are a simple way to get those around you associated with your new eating habits. Please click the file icon below to Print or Save.
Blood Group & Disease Why almost every ABO Rh Distribution Study is wrong!
The problem with most research studies related to blood type and disease, is that there are so many variables and many fall victim to the fallacy of pooling heterogeneous data. Heterogeneous is defined as different in kind; unlike; incongruous or composed of parts of different kinds; having widely dissimilar elements or constituents. For instance Rh(+/-) people are always considered Rh+ but they are actually heterozygous. Just as someone who has Type AO blood, will always be classified as Type A. The full implication of possible association between blood type and disease has not fully been investigated in a manner that leads to a clear cut association or evidence that disproves the hypothesis. This is because the test and control groups often pool heterozygous subjects with homozygous subjects and therefor become corrupted from the start. Read the full report here, click here.