Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Health Condition That Requires More Awareness

Today, Ankylosing Spondylitis has become a common health problem as it affects 2-3 million American population and more than 20,000 people are diagnosed with it every year. Despite that, this chronic condition still remains unknown which is a serious problem as it tends to get worse when it stays undiagnosed for a long time.

Like millions of other people who suffer from this health issue without having any idea about it, singer Dan Reynolds was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) after several years of continuous pain. In his case too, he was completely unaware of any such condition.

What makes this problem even more difficult is that it is not easy to diagnose. The typical symptoms at the beginning include stiffness in the back along with constant pain. According to the doctors, it’s not that a simple x-ray or lab test is enough to identify this disease. A complete study of an individual’s medical history followed by a physical examination is required to determine the root cause of their pain.

A lot of factors such as the duration of stiffness in the morning, skin, bowel, and eye symptoms have to be considered before arriving at any conclusion.

Though both men and women can be affected by AS, it is mostly found in men, especially the ones below 45 years of age. Specialists say that the longer it goes untreated, bigger is the problem that follows which can lead to skin problems, intestinal inflammation, eye damage, and fusion of joints. About the treatment, it has to be tailored according to individual needs. A major focus should be on lifestyle changes and diet which play a pivotal role in shaping a person’s wellness.

With a shift in lifestyle, the inflammation, and pain can be reduced significantly which happened in the case of Dan too. As currently there is no permanent cure for this illness, the need of the hour is to bring more awareness to get better treatment options for people struggling with it.

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