Hi Guys,

I'm 38 yrs old and I've been managing AS for the last 20 years, yearly Iritis flares, swollen knees, pain pretty much everywhere and poor gut function. I've tried everything over the last 20 years, diet/exercise/meds, I even had discussions with Prof. Ebringer many years ago and he very kindly sent me some information on the link between bacteria and AS.

Over the last 5 years I've gradually got better and I wanted to know if any of you have tried this method and also found success?

The first major change was taking Anti-TNF, it was a complete game changer for me, I started on Humira in 2015 and it wore off after 12 months (maybe developed anti-bodies) so I was put on Simponi and still on it today. However, even when on Simponi Anti-TNF I still had flare ups and up until 2018 I was still unable to run, walking was even a struggle due to severe and constant inflammation in my left knee.

Today I am totally pain free and have not had a flare in 2 years, I can run, walk, cycle, play sport and It can't have been the Anti-TNF that produced this result because I was on it for 3 years with littell change to my flare ups or my swollen knee. So what changed in the last 2 years that stopped this illness in its tracks?

What I believe really made the difference was when I introduced lots and lots of fermented food and FIBRE into my daily diet 2 years ago. Sauerkraut, Gerkins, Kimchi, Kefir, Sourdough. All made by my hands at home using traditional methods and the raw bacteria and yeasts that live on us and around us.

When I first started eating fermented foods I wanted to really hit it hard, so I was consuming a pint of Kefir and about 100g of Saurkraut daily. I also gradually increased my intake of fibre because that's what good bacteria love to eat.

Here's what else I've been eating for the last two years to increase both fibre and good bacteria levels. I start the day with a fruit smoothie (drunk over 15-30mins period to avoid insulin spikes) of apple, pear, banana, 50g chia seeds, 100g frozen blueberries and 50g frozen raspberries and 500ml water. To be fair that is enough for both myself and my partner.

Other Items that I included in my diet daily and still do now 2 years on are 100% whole grain peanut butter, whole grain sourdough bread and as much veg and fruit that I can get in at other meals. I eat meat maybe once a day, but not usually too much of it. Some days I won't eat meat at all depending on what's in the fridge.

I know some of you will be like "OMG my gut would go crazy if I eat tons of fibre" but that's why I ate large amounts of the fermented foods first, then introduced the fibre gradually. The bacteria and yeasts contained in fermented foods are ultra important in replenishing the gut and healing it and they do this by consuming the fibre in fruit, vegetables and seeds. Bacteria and Yeasts have a symbiotic relationship with humans that has developed over 100's millions of years, if we feed them right they will make sure we are healthy and pain free.

I'm now thinking of stopping my Anti-TNF to see if any inflammation comes back, but this is something I'm trying to do very gradually and space out injections further and further apart until I no longer need it.

Please let me know if any of you have tried Anti-TNF in conjunction with fermented foods/high fibre diet and if you've had any success or failures.

All the best