Guest Author: Micki Hogan
There is a disease out there crippling people. This disease is vicious. It can cause unfathomable pain. This is a disease few have heard about.
We are talking about Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a autoimmune/anti-inflammatory disease that primarily affects the spine, but AS is a very powerful disease that can take control of someone’s life if they do not receive a proper diagnosis.
Living undiagnosed is something many people do every day. They suffer and wonder why? Why am I in so much pain?
Some have been lost not knowing the disease could even be a possibility.
Could you have AS? Take this quiz on the Spondylitis Association of America’s website to find out. A doctor can diagnose AS, but they will ask you these questions to help determine if your pain is characteristic of inflammatory back pain, which is associated with AS.
For example, if you are under the age of 45 and have persistent back pain and stiffness, you could have AS.
If your pain has been going on for longer than three months, you could have AS.
Do you start to feel better once you get up and start moving after you’ve been sleeping? While you’re immobile during sleep, it can sometimes be typical to have increased back pain and discomfort until you start moving again, which is one of the reasons why we walk.
Ankylosing Spondylitis is considered a hereditary disease. There is a blood test called the HLA-B27 gene marking test that can help with diagnosis.
Note: Not all patients with AS have the gene marker, but it is a very helpful tool to use if you suspect there is a chance you may have Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Do you have chronic back pain? Do you feel weak and have lots of fatigue even though you have lots of rest and exercise and vitamins? Do you have trouble fighting off a normal cold? Do you hurt worse in the morning? Have your eyes ever turned painful and red for no reason? Have you ever tested positive for an autoimmune disorder?? Get tested. It could save your life!
A person with Ankylosing Spondylitis endures the constant breaking and deterioration of their bones, primarily in their spine.
The body then tries to heal the area by growing new bones to replace the damaged ones. In turn, these new bones break and also deteriorate and break down. And yet again, the body will try to regrow the broken bones and attempt to repair the damage.
It is a never-ending cycle. It will continue until the bones finally fuse together. But the bones will always be considered brittle and fragile.
It has been documented that when an autopsy is done on a patient with AS, their bones can be cut as easily as silly putty. Hence, the nickname “Brittle Bone Disease” and “Bamboo Spine Disease”.
Perhaps the most intense realization of this fact is that many with Ankylosing Spondylitis are also diagnosed with Multi-system involvement, which means the disease attacks any part of the body.
The same vicious cycle of breaking down, repairing, and breaking down can take place in the patient’s, brain, heart, lungs or any other vital organs.
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a lifelong disease with no cure.
Ankylosing Spondylitis is not a well known disease, although millions of people suffer from it.
Mick Mars from Motley Crue and Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons both have revealed publicly that they battle this intense disease.
It was also recently revealed that late model Anna Nicole Smith may have also had Ankylosing Spondylitis.
It was recently made public that her youngest brother, Donnie Hogan, was diagnosed with Multi-systematic Ankylosing Spondylitis, meaning it affects the entire body. Donnie Hogan has suffered intense complications from the disease, including seizures and heart issues.
Many endure these same complications. Unfortunately, the treatments available caused side effects for Hogan. He is hoping research will find more treatment options. Without treatment, the disease will continue to wear his body down.
It is believed that his sister, Anna Nicole Smith, lived with undiagnosed AS.
The doctors treating Anna Nicole admitted after her death that they did not know the exact cause of her pain and concluded that she suffered from chronic pain syndrome.
We will never know if Anna Nicole Smith had Ankylosing Spondylitis, but her medical records indicate that the famous Guess Jeans model may have suffered from this Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Although the disease is fairly unknown, an estimated 1.7 million Americans have Ankylosing Spondylitis. If you or someone you know experience any of the symptoms please do not wait.
Ask your healthcare provider about Ankylosing Spondylitis today.