Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a chronic condition that affects the joints and spine.
While there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life, there are also potential complications that can arise from AS.
These typically occur is the disease is left untreated over a prolonged period of time.
Here are some of the potential complications of AS.
Remember is just a list of potential complications. With the right management and/or treatment you can lead a happy, healthy life with AS.
🚩 Spinal deformities:
Over time, AS can cause the vertebrae in the spine to fuse together, which can result in spinal deformities.
These deformities can cause the spine to become less flexible, which can make it harder to perform everyday activities.
🚩 Eye inflammation:
AS can cause inflammation in the eyes, a condition known as uveitis.
Symptoms of uveitis include eye pain, redness, and sensitivity to light. If left untreated, uveitis can lead to vision loss.
🚩 Lung problems:
In rare cases, AS can cause scarring in the lungs, a condition known as pulmonary fibrosis.
Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis may include shortness of breath, coughing, and fatigue.
🚩 Heart problems:
People with AS may have a higher risk of developing heart disease.
This is particularly the case if they also have other risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
People with AS are often at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
This is condition in which the bones become weak and brittle. This can increase the risk of fractures.
Fatigue is a common symptom of AS, and can be caused by inflammation in the body.
Fatigue can make it harder to perform everyday activities and can have a negative impact on quality of life.
This doesn’t have to be you
The list above are a set of complications you might experience with AS.
It doesn’t mean that with careful management and a healthy changes to your lifestyle that this will be your life.
Many people, after getting a diagnosis and making changes, report feeling better than ever before.
With that said it’s important to be aware of these potential complications and to work closely with your rheumatologist to monitor and manage your condition.
As well as working with health care professionals, one of the core focuses of this website is to also encourage people to take responsibility for their health.
Regular check-ups and monitoring can help detect any potential complications early, when they are most treatable. In addition, adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as exercise, a healthy diet can help reduce halt disease progression and reduce pain.