Hi, my name is Kylie and I've been lurking around this forum for too long without giving anything back, which is a travesty given all I have learned from it. I visit now and see people starting out on the diet, filled with doubt, confused, angry and frustrated and I want to scream to them 'DON'T GIVE UP!'. It's a long road, it's a hard road - much harder for some than for others, but if I can do it, you can. For me the diet was not a simple case of 'ditch starches, get better' - but I got there.

I have been diagnosed with AS, well probably. I'm HLA-B27+. I used to be fit, run....you know the story. I'm a bit of a mad researcher, so first week after diagnosis I was here. I was so happy - there was hope. I started right away. No starches, none. Apples apples, fetta cheese where there used to be pasta....and I was crippled. I was sicker than I had ever been. I had chronic diahorrea, lost kilos and kilos. I cried, it wasn't fair, the hope was gone. Then, I read more and saw that some people couldn't eat dairy. Some people couldn't eat much fruit. Perhaps I was like them? Turns out I was and the very things I was binging on were making me worse. I still can't eat any apples or any cow dairy - or any eggs.

My diet is very restricted. People think I'm nuts, or a hypochondriac. I don't tell my doctors, it's not worth patronising. None of this matters one bit to me because it works. It really does. I'm not 100% pain free, and I'm not the 'I stopped eating starches and 3 days later I could run a marathon' success story, but I am far better than I was before I started the diet, I'm on no medication, and I'm in control.

My advice to newcomers is to keep going if at first you don't succeed, keep a food diary and try not to be too put off by the contradictory info around. It's contradictory cause we're all a bit different.

...and lastly, thanks to all the regular contributors here. You guys saved me.