I'm brand new here but I wanted to share my story. About 5 years ago I had a problem with my back. During the day while I was moving everything was fine. At night, after about 4 hours of sleep, my back would hurt so bad that I could not remain in bed. I would have to get up out of bed, every night for over a year, and try to prop up sideways on the couch hugging a pillow in order to get back to sleep. I was taking Naproxen and that helped some but never gave me complete relief. When I got up to start my day in the morning, it took me around an hour to finally "loosen up" and feel like a normal person. I was only 32 years old but felt like I was 100. I searched the Internet to see if anyone else had symptoms similar to mine and I stumbled across AS. I thought that sounded like way to serious of a problem for me to have and I wasn't about to go to the doctor to get it checked out (I'm one of those stubborn people who don't go to the doctor unless they are dying).
While I was reading about AS, I realized that the symptoms sounded a lot like mine and I had previously suffered a bout of Salmonella poisoning and I read that sometimes that can cause the AS to show up. I read about the Iritis that often goes with AS and I thought that can't be what I have, I've never had a problem with my eyes. Well, a couple of months later, I had iritis.
I did go to the eye doctor and he diagnosed my iritis but couldn't really tell me why it happened. He put me on steroid drops and the iritis finally cleared up.
I got back on the internet and reread what I had read before about AS and realized that I probably had it. Hating to go to doctors like I do, I thought that I would try to do something myself to see if I could help it. I started the next day on a no starch, no sugar diet. I ate only meat, cheese, eggs, and salad. I was willing to try this diet for a week to see if it helped. After 3 days of this, I slept in my own bed all night long for the first time in over a year. I nearly started crying the first morning when I woke up in my bed. I was so happy. I began to realize that maybe this diet was what my body needed to get all of the "bad" bacteria out of my intestines and let the "good" stuff have a chance. I stayed on this diet strictly for about a year and have never had back trouble or iritis again (knock on wood). Another benefit of this diet was that I lost 35 lbs.
Eventually, I started adding back some starches and sugar back to my diet. At first I added only the healthy stuff like whole grains and brown rice. I didn't see any problems after this so I started adding back even more. Today, I eat anything I want and have never had another episode of this and I hope I don't. Every so often, just to be on the safe side, I will go on that same diet for a week or two just to get the "bad" stuff out of my system. I don't know if it helps but I figure it can't hurt anything.
I know my symptoms and story are not as severe as most on this site but I told myself that if I could find something that would help me, that I would pass it along just in case there was someone else out there, scared and looking for answers just as I was. Hope this helps someone out!