I used to be a regular poster on this board a few years ago and to my shame, I have stopped visiting, but for the best of reasons - I no longer suffer from AS symptoms!

I am now 31 years old: I started having lower back pain in my mid teens, which I attributed to playing rugby. By the age of 25 I was walking with a stick and had regular severe flares in joints all over my body. I also had horrific night sweats, and constant lower back pain.

I started the diet out of desperation and within a month the constant back pain decreased and the night sweats stopped. At first I cheated a bit on the diet, but as I saw some real improvement I becane more strict. I began to walk normally again and the flares became minor and very occasional. After a few years on the diet (essentially I excluded all the major starch groups, but didn't worry about foods with low quantities of starch), I realised that I was flaring slightly after drinking beer and since I gave up drinking beer in 2004 I have not had a flare or any other symptom of AS. [It is worth noting that I can drink wine and other forms of alcohol and that other NSDers can tolerate beer with no problem.]

In 2006 I will be riding a stage of the Tour de France (they allow non-pros to ride a stage each year), which would have been an absurd idea just a few years ago. The future for me, will almost certainly be that I will never eat starchy foods for the rest of my life - the risk of returning to my previous state is too frightening now that I am completely symptom free.

My advice to anyone considering the diet or trialling it, is to stick at it, even if you do not have such immediate results as I had, because many people have only had results after more persistence.