Ankylosing Spondylitis in Women vs Men – What Is Different?
Defined as inflammation and swelling of the bones in the spine, ankylosing spondylitis is a long lasting condition that typically begins affecting people between the ages of 20 and 40 years of age.
The most common symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis in women and men are lower back pain and fatigue, although there are other signs and symptoms that can be experienced. For instance, a mild fever, a loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss have also been described; and, so has inflammation of the eyes, a phenomenon that can occur in up to one third of affected people. There are no known ankylosing spondylitis causes at this time, although it is generally thought that genetics may play an important role as to who is likely to develop the condition.
While the majority of symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis in women and men are similar, there are some differences that physicians have observed and they occur mainly during the early onset of the condition. For instance, low back pain is often the first sign and although it may appear only on one side at first, as time goes on it will eventually be present on both sides of the back. And, while men often report pain and discomfort in the shoulder blades and hips, thighs and heels as well as the ribs, ankylosis spondylitis in women commonly begins with affecting the neck instead of the back, which has long been considered a tell tale trait of the condition. This may provide some insight into the relationship between cervical spondylosis treatment and ankylosing spondylitis. The levels of fatigue experienced can also vary between men and women and it’s not uncommon for the amount of fatigue experienced to be higher and more frequent in women than it is in men. This variance may be due to the fact that the body has to spend quite a bit of energy to keep up with its constant battle against inflammation, and this much energy expulsion can be more taxing in the case of ankylosing spondylitis in women, whose bodies may not have the reserves necessary to adequately provide the body with energy.
Treatment of this condition varies as much from person to person as it does from man to woman. Often, ankylosing spondylitis therapy involves a multiple process approach that incorporates medications, injections, physical activity and in severe cases, an ankylosing spondylitis diet, and even surgery. Which type of treatment is right for you will depend on not only how your specific case of the condition is, but also how much it is affecting your quality of life. It may take awhile for the perfect treatment plan to be devised however, ankylosing spondylitis in women and men is sometimes difficult to effectively manage and most people have to deal with at least some symptoms regularly, even with treatment. But, trial and error as well as considering multiple options for combination therapy can reduce and even almost eliminate some of the stiffness and pain that be associated with this condition.