Just wanted to corroborate the good spirit here on this site with a little research I anecdotally did.
Several of my friends are in medicine. I have spoken to three of them about the diet, and we have reviewed the medical literature concerning it. All are highly credentialed - one is a hematologist-oncologist who researches cancer in the blood at the leading hospital in Boston and teaches on the Harvard Medical faculty, the second is a biochemist and director at the prominent biotech in Boston and the third is a clinical neurologist-oncologist at another area hospital who also trained at Harvard.
I asked each to point out any flaws in the science and anything in the reasoning that appears ridiculous. They all -- especially the biochemist -- said the reasoning is sound and the science is plausible. They said that from what they can see, there has been an inadequate amount of research to prove the science, and it remains conjectural. There is just not enough funding for research.
My personal concern is that AS is the stepchild of arthritis, and what resources are available go to the study of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and so forth, with the theory that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, which may not at all be the case, as AS seems to have its own etiology and to link up with IBS and uveitis in ways that osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis do not. AS may well be an autoimmune disease, but in my view it may not be comfortably categorized together with other arthritis at all.
Arthritis (inflammation of the joints) may well be a symptom of several distinct disorders, though the cause of none. Diseases, in my view, should be categorized at the level of the cause, not the symptom. If klebsiella causes both IBS and AS, but not osteoarthritis or RA, then AS and IBS should be grouped as a medical specialty and research made into curing their cause.
Your finger can hurt because you got stung by a hornet or because you hit it with a hammer, but hornets and hammers should not be studied together just because both make the finger hurt!
One of my concerns about drugs that work for AS as well as other forms of “arthritis” is that they are necessarily addressing only the symptom, not the root cause.
In any case -- back to the opinions of the three professionals I spoke to! One of the doctors said, if she were in my shoes, she would try it. Bottom line: nothing to lose, much to gain.
They all said that unless you go overboard on the red meat and dairy (cholesterol)(“a high bacon diet”) there can be no harm, and the diet might actually be good for you quite independently of any impact on the spondylitis. One said that a diet of low starchy vegetables is close to ideal. Cauliflower and broccoli in particular are singled out for plaudits.
I am beginning to want to attach a spiritual karma to my new no starch diet.
To keep kosher you can’t eat pork, or aquatic animals must have scales and fins so you can’t eat shellfish.
A few minutes on Wiki also teaches that if you eat foods that are halal (“halal” being Arabic for “lawful”) and you are Sunni, you can eat all seafood, but the Shia halal diet like the kosher one bans shellfish, with the exception of shrimp, which Shia halal can eat. The halal diet prohibits foods prepared with alcohol, as Muslims do not drink alcohol. Mormons similarly cannot drink alcohol, but they further cannot drink coffee or tea. But Coke is OK, go figure.
According to Wiki, “most major paths of Hinduism hold vegetarianism as an ideal.” The article continues that this is so for three reasons: the principle of nonviolence (ahimsa) should extend to animals; the offering of only “pure” vegetarian food to the deities, to receive back from them blessings including good health; and belief that non-vegetarian food diminishes the spirit and dulls the mind.
The Indian traditional medicine, Ayurveda, prescribes the sattvic diet (“sattva” being Sanskrit for “purity” suggesting the very core of existence or reality), also known as the yoga diet, which - again according to Wiki -- emphasizes yogurt, cheese, butter, honey, and most vegetables except ones like the potato which, they say, is gas-forming.
Buddhists also may practice vegetarianism due to principles of nonviolence.
In Hinduism, a dharma is a person’s individual obligation, calling and practical step toward attaining the ideal. In this way, diet can be a dharma.
I’m already thinking of the no-starch diet as a No Starch Dharma.
A couple of weeks into it now, and it seems to be helping resolve some AS-related immobility issues I have had in my upper back, shoulders and neck for some time, that were there even with Enbrel.
This is a great site. It’s an amazing resource so thank you again.