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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis, also known as spondylitis or rheumatoid spondylitis, is a chronic, inflammatory disease which causes pain and inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of the spine and the joints between the spine and pelvis. Although this disease mainly affects the spine, it can likely cause the same symptoms in other areas of the body.

It results in stiffness of the back, due to inflammation of the joints and the ligaments which allow the back to move. In the long run the joints and bones can fuse together. The early signs of AS manifest themselves by chronic pain in the lower back and hips, especially in the morning and after periods of inactivity and stiffness in the lower back or hip area.

Splondylitis does not always have to be active; the symptoms can improve and even disappear entirely. As the disease progresses though, the symptoms may become more severe and spread to the joints between ribs and spine, hips, shoulders, knees and feet and even your eyes. This can result in restricted expansion of your chest, chronic stooping, stiff, inflexible spine, fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss, eye inflammation and bowel inflammation.

What the cause for AS is, is actually unknown, although genetic factors seem to play a role in it. A specific gene called HLA-B27 occurs in 90 percent of those with ankylosing spondylitis. Diagnosis is usually done through and by medical history including symptoms, x-rays and possibly blood tests for the HLA-B27 gene.

The treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Sulfasalazine, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, physical therapy and exercise.

The disease seems to occur mainly in men and the women suffering from it usually experience milder symptoms. It most likely manifests itself between the age ranging from 17 - 40. So, if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, don't wait too long before seeing your doctor. It is better to be safe then sorry and all this information is intended to be helpful to you.

So are all the instructions in the Bible. God' Word is intended to be helpful, so that we all can lead a happier life. We have to set our pride aside though and be willing to receive His word and walk in faith. :-)

Jeremiah 17:23
But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction.


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