What is ankylosing spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis or AS is an inflammatory disease that primarily affects the spine. Also, the eye is the most common secondary area, which can cause inflammation in other parts of the body. This condition causes inflammation and slowly fuses small bones in the body. Fusing the spine and leaving it untreated can create a lasting premonition, which can lead to inflexibility of the spine.
The main concern about AS is the effect on the ribs. The ribs may fuse and the upper chest cavity, where the lungs are located, may lack movement. This can lead to adverse respiratory conditions.
Types of ankylosing spondylitis
The type of ankylosing spondylitis depends on the pain, side effects, and affected body parts.
Symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis
The earliest symptoms of this condition manifest as stiffness and pain in the following areas:
As the condition worsens, it is common to experience fatigue and increasingly severe pain. The condition can worsen or improve over time and is even known to stop at irregular periods.
This condition most commonly affects the following parts of the body:
- Lumbar vertebra
- Joints found between the pelvis and spine
- Ligaments and tendons in the heel and spine
- Shoulder joint
- Cartilage in the ribs and sternum
When should I see a doctor?
If you begin to experience increasing back pain, you should see a doctor. If your back pain wakes up at night, or if it is most severe in the morning immediately after you wake up, it is also important to consult your health care advisor. Seek medical attention if the pain is still severe after rest.
If you have red eyes, blurred images, photosensitivity, or inflamed eyes, seek the advice of an ophthalmologist immediately.
Causes of ankylosing spondylitis
The cause of ankylosing spondylitis is not yet known, but most doctors agree that genetics plays a major role in the development of this condition. People with the HLA-B27 gene are more likely to develop AS.
Risk factors for ankylosing spondylitis
The risk factors for AS are:
- sex: Ankylosing spondylitis affects men more than women.
- age: The disease usually develops in adolescence or early adulthood.
- Genetics: People born with the HLA-B27 gene are at increased risk of developing AS.
- Family history: Even without the HLA-B27 gene, having a family member with this condition increases the risk of developing AS.
Treatment of ankylosing spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis can be treated with the help of a combination of the following treatments:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug – Drugs such as naproxen and indomethacin are anti-inflammatory drugs that are prescribed to help control and control inflammation.
- TNF – The second stage of treatment is a tumor necrosis factor blocker, a biological agent that attacks proteins that cause inflammation in the body. This drug is given by intravenous drip.
- IL-7 – This biomedicine is used to combat infections and is known to reduce inflammation.
- Janus kinase inhibitor: TNF inhibitors and IL-7 can cause side effects such as reactivation of untreated tuberculosis. In such cases, Janus kinase inhibitors can be prescribed. If you are unable to take a TNF inhibitor or IL-17 inhibitor, your doctor may suggest the Janus kinase inhibitor tofacitinib. The drug is approved for psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Studies are being conducted on its effectiveness in people with ankylosing spondylitis.
Doctors recommend physiotherapy to keep the body strong and supple, along with medication. This is a great help in preventing pain. It is important to note that physiotherapy should be combined with medical therapy, as neither works as a monotherapy for AS.
Surgery is the rarest treatment for ankylosing spondylitis. It is only performed if the joint is severely damaged and the joint needs to be replaced or if the pain cannot be managed.
Complications of ankylosing spondylitis
If ankylosing spondylitis is not treated on time, it can cause many complications, including:
- Uveitis: Common complications of untreated ankylosing spondylitis. It’s an inflammation of the eyes.
- Heart problems: Ankylosing spondylitis can cause inflammation along the aorta, damaging the aortic valve and impairing heart function.
- Complex fracture: Ankylosing spondylitis can thin bones in its early stages. Inflammation weakens bones and can cause small complex fractures.
These complications may appear serious, but they only occur if the symptoms are left untreated for an extended period of time.
Dealing with ankylosing spondylitis
You can do the following to deal with the illness:
- Use heat and cold compresses on the affected area
- Try to be in good physical condition and stay active
- Stretch regularly
- Avoid smoking
- Keep as good a posture as possible
We do not know that these steps will completely prevent the condition, but they will help you manage and deal with the situation.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a painful autoimmune disease that can interfere with daily activities. In severe cases or if not treated early, it can lead to serious, potentially life-threatening conditions.
It is important to seek help as soon as possible. For the best medical advice, contact a healthcare professional at a major medical facility such as Apollo Hospital.
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Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is an autoimmune disease?
Autoimmune diseases are caused when the body accidentally attacks itself. There are about 80 known autoimmune diseases, one of which is ankylosing spondylitis.
Do you have AS home remedies?
AS should be treated with the help of an experienced medical professional. Many patients with this condition report that regular yoga can reduce the pain associated with this condition.
What foods should I avoid in AS?
Certain foods are known to cause or exacerbate inflammation. These include processed foods and foods high in sugar and trans fat. Avoid these foods and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that contain whole grains and healthy fats.