I’ve had to take a step back from some of the support websites I visit because of the negative attitude expressed by so many AS sufferers in regards to dietary treatment. On one particular website there are many folks who aggressively dismiss the n0-starch diet as a placebo, with condescending “acknowledgment” that, hey, if it works for you, great. The placebo effect can be powerful. Shitheads.
I know for a fact that this diet works to keep my symptoms at bay. I’ve spent a years chronicling the effects that starchy foods have on my pain- it has gotten to the point where if I feel some sudden flare (like right after Halloween when I ate some of my daughter’s candy) that I can usually look back over the last 4-7 hours at my diet and pinpoint the culprit. In the above example it was corn starch in highly processed candy. A no-brainer, but we all have our moments.
I hate to add to anyone’s suffering by endorsing a diet that works for some but not others, and I’m sure that this diet is not a panacea. Life is mysterious and this disease is cruel and unpredictable. It seems obvious to anyone with AS that there are various AS types- some folks are burdened with an especially aggressive type of disease and are quickly dealing with multiple fusion locations and severe, debilitating pain. The key for folks in this category (really, for anyone suffering from a chronic, painful disease) is to ease their suffering right away. To get their pain under control. Drugs are the best way to do this. I repeat: drugs are CLEARLY the best way to get AS-associated pain under control.
Dietary control of AS is typically a long-term solution, but sometimes sufferers get relief within days. I know that when I went to a no-starch diet I got immediate relief from pain, but then it took me over a year to really dial in the diet to the point where I had ruled out my “trigger foods” and was operating for very long periods of time with absolutely no flares.
For people on these AS support websites and blogs to callously dismiss a fellow AS-sufferer who has found relief through dietary means with an off-hand remark is insensitive at the very least and cruel at worst. I personally find it maddening that someone who suffers from the kind of pain that we have both experienced would be so completely insensitive and dismissive of a fellow sufferer.
I’d like to say something to the people responsible for the dismissive and condescending remarks on behalf of those of us who’ve found blessed relief from our pain using diet…but I can’t speak for everyone on the NDS. Most of them are very polite and don’t rise to the baiting and insulting remarks on some of these other forums. I can only speak for myself. So from me to all the people who have posted callous remarks on other websites dismissing the no-starch diet as a placebo and those of us who’ve found relief as advocating a “pet diet” which has no scientific basis in reality I say: fuck off.