What’s the deal?
Keep in mind though, A.S. is different for everyone. So you may respond negatively to something I didn’t, and vise versa. This is simply a representation of my experience alone.
Also, keep in mind that I am not a doctor. I am obligated to tell you that you shouldn’t try anything on this page without first consulting with your physician. I didn’t, but you should.
Lastly, I want to be upfront about the fact that I used affiliate links for this guide. This means I get a little referral award for every person who buys something through this guide. I am hoping that this will help me fund the website, and maybe even eventually make enough to help me pay for my own disease management. As you know, being sick can be costly. 🙂
Do supplements really help?
There are three reasons why supplements are so hard to believe in at times.
The first reason is, supplements vary wildly in quality. Supplements are a business driven by cash just like the company that sells you your favorite shoes. So getting a good quality supplement from a decent manufacturer is critical. This guide highlights the brands that actually worked for me, so I’ve taken the guess work out of this.
The second reason is, supplements do not feel like medicine does. If you take some NSAIDS, you may feel immediate but temporary relief. Each individual supplement represents a small percentage of your overall well being in the longterm, and they may take weeks to start affecting you positively. Taking supplements is like eating healthier food. You’re not just gonna cut out dessert and lose five pounds in a week. It will take months of dedication to see the desired results. This is the reason I was most negative about supplementation, but I came around in the end.
The third reason is, everyone would be doing it if it worked right? This is untrue. Making a million dollars just means you do what it took to make one dollar, one million times. In theory it’s simple, but in reality it’s very challenging. This used to be my biggest complaint about supplements, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. The sale of supplements is barely regulated. That means due to variables like quality, length of time using them, age of the product, manufacturing conditions, proprietary blends, and even variable methods of measuring the actual dosage, it is almost impossible to create consistent treatment standards using natural supplements. It would be silly for your doctor to rely on supplementation alone when everything is so variable like this. When it comes to medication, your doctor can rely on what you’re being given every single time. It is consistent, even if it is full of gross side effects. In the end, this means supplementation is still a very unexplored field as it pertains to modern scientific standards and research. So we’re pioneers! Don’t even think that you can’t find a solution most other haven’t. Someone is always first, and that someone could always be you!
The Best Ankylosing Spondylitis Supplements
If I could go back to the day I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis and start on just one supplement, this would be the one. L-Glutamine is almost famous in fitness circles for speeding up post exercise recovery. However, we’re taking this for a completely different reason. You and I want to take L-Glutamine to repair our gut. This essential amino acid is the primary fuel used by the cells in your gut lining. The thing most people don’t know about Ankylosing Spondylitis is the fact that leaky gut is quite usually present when we are having a “flare up.” Ultimately, repairing the gut was the single thing that helped me get my A.S. under control naturally. This was largely due to taking L-Glutamine.
If you’re anything like me, your A.S. was also accompanied by stomach related symptoms like diarrhea and constant lose stool. While a stomach friendly diet is incredibly important for recovering from Ankylosing Spondylitis as well, you should start this supplement even if you haven’t adjusted your diet yet.
Some people take this in a powder form, but I found that these capsules from “pure encapsulations” were excellent quality and did the trick. They recommend taking one pill a day I believe, but this is likely because L-Glutamine is quite commonly marketed for athletes. I found that taking two pills in the morning, and two pills after the work day, was the perfect amount for me on average. However, I did take eight pills a day at my peak of trying to repair my leaky gut. Whatever amount you decide to take, I would advise gradually working up to it starting with one pill.
I do not take it as much as I used to, as my gut is well on its way to being in good shape. However, I still take a maintenance dosage of two pills every day.
What This Did For Me
This supplement played a large role in stopping my over active stomach problems. (That’s a polite way to say I was pooping yucky brown water and stuff.)
My Personal Dose Schedule
Take two pills a day, in-between meals for one week.
Take four pills a day, in-between meals for one week.
Take six pills a day, in-between meals for one month. (Increase to eight if comfortable.)
Take two pills a day going forward as maintenance. <– I do this now.
My Personal L-Glutamine Side Effects
This pill didn’t give me any negative side effects besides getting warm and sweaty. This does give me a bit of an energy burst, albeit small.
If you’re feeling fatigue after you eat, this is the supplement for you. I know for a fact that this works for all sorts of people, even without Ankylosing Spondylitis. It’s normal to feel some amount of tiredness after a big meal, but if you’re reading this right now you probably know what kind of fatigue I’m talking about. I’m talking about a fatigue so deep that you can barely keep your eyes open after you eat.
I want to recommend two supplements here. They are both similar, but not entirely the same. Let’s start with what’s the same. These are both digestive enzymes. It is not uncommon for someone with Ankylosing Spondylitis to have a major lack of stomach acid; or at-least a major lack of the appropriate enzymes to efficiently break down food. This seems to be due in part to an overgrowth of klebsiella. If you eat food, and lack the required enzymes to break down that food, you are going to have a huge host of stomach issues in addition to fatigue. Before I started taking these after each meal, I was tired and had diarrhea on the regular. So both of these supplements supply you with enzymes to help you break down your food after you eat. I’m not a scientist, so I can’t tell you all the little details about why these work. I can only tell you that they do.
The Hydro-Zyme provides digestive support via supplemental Betaine hydrochloride, Pepsin, Pancreatin, along with other known synergists. I take two of these after each meal when I’m eating a healthy non dairy, no wheat, food. Some people will tell you take four of these after each meal. The general, albeit non-scientific, rule is this; if you start to feel a burning sensation after you take these you are taking too much. So work your way backwards at that point.
The Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes is basically a buffet of digestive enzymes to help you break down every kind of food you can imagine from ice cream to bread. I don’t think you should be eating wheat or dairy if you have Ankylosing Spondylitis, because these foods make everything suck worse for me. However, we’re all human, and even I enjoy these kinds of foods from time to time. That’s where this supplement comes in. If I ate a “cheat” meal that I know is going to make me feel bad, I will take these specific capsules to help alleviate some of the symptoms and avoid the crash.
What This Did For Me
This supplement helped me stop feeling as fatigued after I ate. I would say it helped me have a solid fifty percent improvement in ‘after meal energy.’
My Personal Digestive Enzyme Dose Schedule
Take two Hydro-Zyme pills after every A.S. friendly meal.
Take two Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes capsules, and one Hydro-Zyme pill, after every non A.S. friendly meal.
Take two of each after eating a feast of unhealthy foods. Increase the amount of Hydro-Zyme if needed.
My Personal Digestive Enzyme Side Effects
I have never had a single side effect from this supplement as taken.
SAM-e and Genius Joy
It’s pretty much impossible to tell someone what it’s like to have Ankylosing Spondylitis without mentioning depression. There was a time when I literally told myself daily that I would rather be dead then deal with this for the rest of my life. Then I realized something. This illness wasn’t just making me sad because I had a negative outlook. The illness was actually changing my internal chemistry in some way that was affecting my mind. Inflammation is a powerful thing, and my brain ended up being as sick as my body. After months of research, I found one single supplement that seemed to work with putting me in a better state of mind. This was critical for me, because I had almost no one left in my life that gave a damn about me because I was pushing everyone away. More or less, this supplement made me tolerable to those around me. haha!
Both of these supplements have the same main ingredient, which is SAM-e. Honestly, I don’t know what the heck SAM-e is, but I know it occurs naturally in the body. I also know that this is often given to people who are suffering from mild clinical depression. I tried several brands of this stuff, and I only ever found two specific products that made any difference for me.
The SAM-e by Nature Made was the best “straight” SAM-e I could find. In just a week or so I could notice tangible benefits in my mood. More importantly, the people around me could notice it too! They come in blister packs, and are very easy to take. Altogether, this is a truly amazing supplement for anyone struggling with Ankylosing Spondylitis like me.
Eventually I found a total nootropic blend that worked even better than the “straight” SAM-e. This supplement is called Genius Joy. It is a little pricey, but if you take it as directed you will certainly notice the effects. Sadly, Genius Joy is a bit expensive to take regularly. Nonetheless, it is more of my favorite supplements to this very day. If you are looking to enhance your mood so A.S. doesn’t ruin your social life, you need look no further than this.
My Personal Digestive Enzyme Dose Schedule
Take both of these supplements as directed on the container. Follow the instructions specifically. Do not take these together. Buy the Genius Joy, and if that is too expensive to keep doing you should buy the SAM-e from Nature Made.
My Personal Digestive Enzyme Side Effects
Take this on an empty stomach. Please. I beg you. Otherwise, you will be the first person to feel sea sick laying on a couch.