There is no absolute test for AS and the blood tests for inflammation are certainly not reliable, especially in the early stages of AS. Physicians have relied upon "benign neglect," or allowing the disease to progress to the characteristic (permanent) SIJ fusion, before pronouncing their proper judgement of AS. Sometimes this takes many years. Short answer: NOT YET.
If a physician believed his or her patient had AS, could they help educate that patient in a way to PREVENT the permanent skeletal damage? I regret the answer today, but Henry Ford predicted that someday doctors would have this ability.
Early diagnosis is really only helpful if there is a viable treatment offered, otherwise starting certain drugs too early might do more damage than harm. If any drug were the solution in the first place, and although the right drug(s) can be very useful, in my own experience almost no physician knows what those "right" drugs are!
Diagnosed in 1978, I have learned the hard way that AS was the result of my lifestyle, and had I met one of Henry Ford's doctors, I might have fared much better: The diagnosis of Early ankylosing spondylitis (5)
, or even if suspected, could (theoretically) lead to a preventive treatment option.
Despite incorrect diet for AS, June Stein
was able to overcome AS and prevent the damage through her adherence to yoga, but Carol Sinclair
totally avoided the damage through her own diet. Too late to avoid the skeletal deformity, but I had to avoid eye damage due to repeated episodes of iritis and as many kidney stones (they are related), so I employed some methods described in my AS Resources link, especially fasting, which is the gateway to really understanding this disease.