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Low Starch Diet vs. Gluten-Free Diet #283468 08/13/19 09:13 AM
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Alice10 Offline OP
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Hello everyone,

I would like to try easing my symptoms through diet. I've read the thread "Diet and Ankylosing Spondylitis" that contains plenty of very interesting information. To my understanding, the diet mainly discussed in that thread is the Low Starch Diet. But I've also read about the Gluten-Free Diet widely discussed by Dr. Seignalet.
Since these two diets are quite different, I was wondering if I should try one rather than the other. Does anyone have some experience trying these two diets and finding one more beneficial than the other?

By the way, I'm already following a dairy-free diet and I've been a vegetarian for 20+ years.

Cheers,

Alice

Re: Low Starch Diet vs. Gluten-Free Diet [Re: Alice10] #283470 08/13/19 11:07 PM
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There are a ton of past posts about diet here.

I think people in the UK and USA like to try the No Starch Diet. It seems people in other parts of the world try other diets for AS.

rather than trying a diet, I'd recommend doing an elimination diet with a HCP. basically you and your HCP create a plan to test different foods. you can test starch & gluten in that process.

For me, I also have UC, I find it best to avoid inflammatory foods and seek anti-inflammatory foods.

I also found that weighing on the lower end of my range is better than upper end.

Plus b/c of the UC, I need to avoid cruciferous vegis, seeds, raw vegis in general. I also need to limit dairy from cow.

For past 7 years, my flares from AS have been rare, so I feel like I have more wiggle room when it comes to diet. also I used to be very strict with the full UC diet, but my colon has had no inflammation for over ten years. I still abstain from cruciferous vegis. and watch the intake of inflammatory foods, while making anti-inflammatory food choices.

hope that is helpful and makes sense.

kindest, Rich


AS, U C, Iritis, migraines. HLA-B27neg. Yoga (instructor) & spin. No meds at this time. Dx 1989. SAA member/donor since 1993. All my posts are personal opinion/feelings and do not represent the SAA. Help find a cure & support others by donating to the SAA.
Re: Low Starch Diet vs. Gluten-Free Diet [Re: Alice10] #283474 08/14/19 02:00 PM
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Hi Alice
My rheumatologist told me "No carbs, sugar or alcohol." then I came to this forum and read about the No Starch Diet. While trying to acquire a copy of Sinclair's book (didn't) I found The Keystone Approach by Rebecca Fett and a lot of other autoimmune programs. The Fett plan suited me best so I have been following the Advance Plan plus Elimination of common food sensitivities (nightshades, dairy, eggs, nuts...) for 11 weeks. It isn't a vegetarian program but an adapted Mediterranean diet. Mostly lean protein and leafy greens. No starch or added sugars so no carbs. If you use soy products for your protein, those are not allowed. There are 3 levels of restrictions. The website keystonebook(dot)com may help you decide if it is right for you. My gut feels so much better I haven't had the desire to add back most of the eliminated items. Weirdly, little or no reduction in my joint/muscle pain symptoms. I committed myself to 6 months then re-evaluate. This is such a strict program that I feel if it doesn't work that food restriction is not going to help me. I can't comment on the other diet programs out there but I don't see any harm in trying them short term. As an aside, I've lost weight I didn't need to lose.
Best wishes.


You only live once but if you do it right, once is enough.
Bye for now ~
Faye
Re: Low Starch Diet vs. Gluten-Free Diet [Re: Alice10] #283496 08/19/19 10:36 AM
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Alice10 Offline OP
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Hello Rich,

Thank you very much for your reply and your info.
And indeed, there are a lot of posts on that forum about diet! I didn't realize that with the default settings I was only seeing the posts from the last 3 months... Thanks :-)

Hello Faye,

Thank you for your advice and the link to the Website on the Keystone approach, it seems really interesting.
So many possible diets to try... But, like you, I think that there is no harm trying them. And with a bit of luck, one of them will work for me :-)

Cheers,

Alice

Re: Low Starch Diet vs. Gluten-Free Diet [Re: Alice10] #283534 08/24/19 03:19 PM
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Hi Alice,

As Rich mentioned, an elimination diet would be more helpful. Remember, SpA is an immune-mediated disease which means it is a combination of our immune system *and* an environmental trigger. The key to management is to identify the triggers, and avoid them. Your triggers are unique to you. What works for me or someone else may not work or not be as effect for you. Our work is find our individual triggers. It's an on-going job of finding and refining this list. Also, keep in mind that as your body heals and adjusts, your tolerance for these triggers can change. Some of theories behind this include healing a leaky gut and changing the microflora balance in your gut.

For me, low starch is my principle trigger. Limiting starch intake has allowed me to dramatically reduce my medications. After following this diet for years, I now find I am able to tolerate rice and potatoes in small quantities. Pizza is still a killer. If I eat a slice, I can guarantee that 6 days later I will feel like crap.

I'm going to offer something that is opposite to conventional wisdom. Take it as you will. I'm not sure that a vegetarian diet is fundamentally a "healthy" diet. Yes, it can be but our bodies have not evolved to be vegetarians. There are many good ethical reasons to be vegetarian, e.g., animal cruelty and environmental reasons, but it is not really a good strategy for optimal health. I also agree that the Western diet includes too much animal proteins and not nearly enough fruits and vegetables. You will very hard pressed to eliminate starches and maintain a healthful vegetarian diet. I tend to avoid vegetarian dishes and restaurants. Vegetable-based proteins nearly always come with starches. This is purely a scientific argument, I make no judgement or criticism of your personal integrity. But I do challenge you to consider what you are trying to accomplish through your vegetarian diet. If it is to improve your health, I recommend challenging the conventional wisdom. If it is for ethical reasons, you should be able to find a balance where you are fueling your body with the feedstock it needs while still respecting you ethical goals.

Hope you find this helpful if a bit challenging. Good luck.

Larry.


Larry Farmer
Co-Leader, Greater Philadelphia Area Support Group
Re: Low Starch Diet vs. Gluten-Free Diet [Re: Alice10] #283555 08/30/19 03:38 PM
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In addition to my Iritis/AS, I have been diagnosed with eosinophilic gastritis, so the gut component is there. Do people with eosinophilic gastritis that do not have HLA B27 + get AS I dont know, but in my case connections could be in the gut. (I am HLA B27+).

I observed 3 things being on low starch/Mediterranean diet for over a year:

1. eating bread starts the constipation, that leads to inflammation. yes, I was able to sense uveitis flare coming because of the constipation after I ate bread like crazy on holiday.
2. foods high in fructans like: cabbage, okra, onions, pistachios start bloating, gases, and diarrhea in my intestines.
3. foods high in fiber: Forrest fruits especially, makes it all more regular and no pain, especially in case when you have hemorrhoids.

someone recently recommended to me ALCAT tests, although I am little reluctant to take those as are expensive and reading people didn't have much success following elimination diet based on ALCAT tests.

Some time ago i even called American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED), and indeed they told me they dont recommend any food allergen test as unreliable, but elimination diets.

I only wonder how it is possible, during elimination diet, to detect the level of inflammation at home?
I mean every time I have to wait for another episode of uveitis to confirm tomatoes are not good for me?

then I also have been told another environmental factor that should be take into account is the heavy metals sensitivity, crom/titanium/etc
this can be checked with lymphoblastic transformation test ....

hard work/discipline and money to research your body ...
no wonder Humira is more sought solution ....

Last edited by achala; 08/30/19 04:01 PM.

diagnosed with AS April 2018, starting with cervical pain/stiffness; Aug 2018 enthesitis/bursitis left Achilles
diagnosed with AAU Nov 2017 (7 flares so far)
Eosinophilic Gastritis
Sulfasalazine 3g 08.2018-05.2019 (worked for AAU & peripheral)
Supplements:C/D, omega 3/Probiotic/ Mediterranean NSD/curcumin
swimming/yoga/pilates
Predonisone in case of another AAU flare
Re: Low Starch Diet vs. Gluten-Free Diet [Re: Alice10] #283558 09/01/19 05:01 PM
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Alice10 Offline OP
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***As of today, I'm gluten and dairy-free!***

Hello Larry,

Thank you very much for your input about elimination diets. I like what you say about the fact that AS is a combination of our immune system and an environmental trigger. I think this is a crucial point when trying to get better when suffering from AS (and other immune-mediated diseases).
Thank you also for your thoughts about the vegetarian diet. I'm vegetarian for ethical reasons and not for health reasons. I'm really not an expert in nutrition, but from what I've read/heard, meat isn't so good for your health. There are more and more studies that link some cancers (like colorectal) to the (over?)consumption of meat. And I'm not so sure that the human body is well adapted to the digestion/assimilation of meat, some theories declare quite the opposite.
But, as I said, I'm not vegetarian for health reasons and I'm really not trying to convince you of anything, I just wanted to add my point of view to a subject that I find interesting :-)

Hello Achala,

Thank you very much for sharing your observations concerning your diet.

In my case, I would detect/tract my level of inflammation based on my pain level (joints + guts), as well as my overall well-being (fatigue, mental fog,...). But in your case, I agree that waiting for an episode of uveitis to detect your inflammation isn't great... Do you only get uveitis or do you have other symptoms that could inform your about your inflammation?

Yeap, taking meds seems so much easier than trying to find out what triggers your body... I would like to stop taking meds because of the long-term effects. But for the moment, as soon as I stop taking NSAI, my pain comes back, which impacts greatly my daily life. Even with the NSAI, the mental fog and the fatigue remain. Since I'm HLA B27 negative and my MRI are clear, I'm not allowed to receive biologics. My only option is then to figure out what my trigger is. Hence the diet.

Re: Low Starch Diet vs. Gluten-Free Diet [Re: Alice10] #283561 09/05/19 04:10 PM
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Imnotsure Offline
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Originally Posted by Alice10

***As of today, I'm gluten and dairy-free!***

Hello Larry,

Thank you also for your thoughts about the vegetarian diet. I'm vegetarian for ethical reasons and not for health reasons. I'm really not an expert in nutrition, but from what I've read/heard, meat isn't so good for your health. t.


I eat beef and drink water only. I've been doing this for years and I'm far healthier on this than eating carbohydrates in plant material. I do this to reduce my inflammation significantly. If I eat a regular diet of carbohydrates and plant material I have to go on tnf blockers as my AS becomes out of control. If I only eat meat I can control my using meloxicam. And my health is really good. when it comes to reading about what diet works best I never read articles because every single article is just from the other article. Someone takes a study interprets it, posts it and then everyone takes that article and then adjust that into their own words weather truth full or changing the wording to skew the results.

Re: Low Starch Diet vs. Gluten-Free Diet [Re: Imnotsure] #283562 09/06/19 03:41 AM
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I'm thinking of trying the meat/water diet. I've tried the whole food plant based (WFPB) for several months with no benefit. I should note that I am not diagnosed with AS, but have many symptoms. I've tried many medications (MTX, Enbrel, Cosentyx) without benefit. I don't know what is actually going on with me. The reason I mentioned that is because WFPB may be a great diet for AS... it just does not help me with my issues.

I have not yet done NSD. It looks a little difficult to manage (for a newbie) if trying to include a wide variety of foods. You may unintentionally ingest starch and come to a wrong conclusion about the diets benefit to you. My thinking was just eating meat and water for a month or two should give me an idea if NSD works since meat is NSD. Then if it is making a difference I could look into reintroducing other NSD foods to find a diet with more variety that is more long term manageable.

With eating just beef, do you take any supplements? Also I am fairly athletic (cycling 5-10 hours a week at high intensity), and I rely on carbs for energy for this currently. Would I have to adjust the way I do this being on a no carb diet?

I am sure I would get sick of meat, but I can do it for a month or so as an experiment.

Re: Low Starch Diet vs. Gluten-Free Diet [Re: Alice10] #283570 09/07/19 06:11 PM
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Hello Imnotsure,

You've been eating only beef for several years? You don't have deficiencies? I wonder how you can get enough vitamins, fibers, antioxidants, minerals, ...? It really puzzles me.
I find it a bit sad that you restrict yourself with this mono-diet. All the other food (fish, fruits, vegetables, oil, herbs, legumes,...) are making you feel sick?
Concerning the articles, I find them interesting so that I don't have to start experimenting from scratch. Of course, you must check if the info are reliable. Thanks to my education, I'm lucky enough to know whether the info are reliable or not. I think that articles allow the global community to share crucial info and make progress.

Hello Vosadrian,

Be aware that this mono-diet (meat) will only let you know if your symptoms are coming from food. It won't tell you if the issue is carbs, gluten, dairy, soy, conservatives, additives,...
As I said to Imnotsure, I don't know how you can cope with the deficiencies that this mono-diet would necessary bring.
I hope you will find a diet that is going to make you feel better :-)

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