New experiment: No alcohol for 21 days (starting yesterday)

May 1, 2023 | Diary | 0 comments

SI Pain: 0/100 | Rib Pain: 4/100 | Concrete Back: 9/100

Okay, some good news on the AS experiment front. A new test!

I’m cutting out alcohol from my diet for the next 3 weeks, starting yesterday.

My partner is running a half marathon soon so we decided to go booze free until she’s finished training.

I thought I would support her, so that she doesn’t feel like she’s missing out, and at the same time record what effect it has on my ankylosing spondylitis.

I already know that if I have a lot of social events in a week where alcohol is involved it can have a big effect on my AS.

It’s not a great surprise because alcohol is inflammatory. There are lots of studies that show it causes inflammation in the gut. Here’s one link to an interesting study.

The problem is, alcohol is everywhere and it’s intricately woven into the fabric of many people’s social lives.

I’m sure that’s a terrible thing and that when we look back in years or decades to come, we’ll say drinking alcohol was the equivalent of having cocaine with our crumpets back in the 1880s or something similar.

But it’s a normal part of life, especially in the UK and in a big city like London. When people are stressed at the end of the week they want to meet up with their friends and socialise. Typically that means meeting each other in the pub, and having a few drinks.

Also, if I’m really honest, when you have a condition like ankylosing spondylitis, sometimes you don’t want to feel like you.

This disease can be so debilitating, and so cruel and horrible. Sometimes, having a break from yourself is what you want.

And there does seem to be some peculiar initial pain relief with alcohol. The AS pain is numbed or lessened. Presumably, because your brain circuitry is going haywire.

But the problems usually come back harder the next day or the following week. I’ve seen throughout my wellness plan spreadsheets that there’s a correlation between inflammation, pain, and alcohol.

So this experiment should be really interesting. It could be up there in my top 5 or 10 tests over the last 2 years.

What I know already about alcohol and AS

I’ve already made some interesting findings with alcohol through my Wellness Plan, and I’ll do a proper article when I’ve made sense of all my notes.

But as a very quick synopsis…

I’ve reduced alcohol intake by getting into alcohol-free beers. I have also cut out, where possible, all sugary alcoholic drinks. So if I’m at home, I won’t have anything with excess sugar in it – no tonic water, no sweet mixers or anything like that.

We’ve even found a way to make an espresso martini using mostly natural ingredients and no sugar, which is pretty amazing, and it tastes really good.

I also completely avoid white wine now (and most wine in general) because it gives me rib flares, presumably because of the sugar content.

So there’s already progress on figuring out what works best without completely decimating the social life.

But, I have told my friends about this 3-week test, and obviously, my partner is doing the same so I’m really looking forward to what happens and the findings.

Most of next week will be business as usual because I rarely drink outside the weekend. But the following week should be be interesting. I’ll try to record a few diary entries here.

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