Kate has suffered from a form of arthritis called Ankylosing Spondylitis since she was 18. It usually affects the spine and can cause serious deformity leaving sufferers with a hunched posture. It causes degradation in cartilage leading to bones moving against each other causing great pain and restriction in movement. Furthermore it can cause fibrosis of the lung, affect eyes, and inflame heart valves. There has been some controversial research suggesting that food may in fact be the cause. Kate’s mobility has decreased causing her lower back and neck to fuse. There are around 200,000 diagnoses of A.S. in the UK but the disease remains mysterious in the medical world which resulted in Kate only being diagnosed aged 30 after having suffered for 12 years. There is some research into this disease focussing on why the joints of healthy 15-35 year olds become spontaneously inflamed and a small amount of doctors believe that it can be explained by a chemical reaction during the digestive process. Gio is a firm believer in nutrition being a principal factor in good and bad health so he is keen to explore this theory with Kate’s case.
Overview of treatment
Gio started Kate on a starch exclusion food plan because there is a theory within the scientific community that symptoms of A.S. can be improved by reducing the amount of starch in your diet. However this food plan is controversial. It was devised in the 1990s and the theory is that when A.S. sufferers digest starch it comes into contact with a type of bacteria, called Klebsiella, which causes the production of antibodies that attack a molecule found in the spine because the autoimmune system wrongly identifies it. The body reacts by sending calcium to the damaged joints which can cause spinal fusion. Lucy cut out major starchy foods such as potatoes, pasta, bread and pulses. But meat, fish, most fruit and vegetables, dairy products, nuts and seeds were fine.
Kate kept to her food plan and her flare ups reduced, and the main pain subsided so she now has a way to manage her condition.