Whether a person is affected by a chronic illness or not, there are some straightforward guidelines that if followed, would lead to improved health and well-being for almost everyone. Both calcium and alcohol affect the strength of the bones, and it is a well known fact that people with spondylitis are already at higher risk for osteoporosis, a dangerous thinning of the bones that can lead to fractures. Following a diet with adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D will help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Alcoholic beverages can also weaken bones. Consuming more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases a person’s chances of developing weakened bones. In addition, alcohol mixed with certain medications can cause serious side-effects to the gastrointestinal tract and to major organs such as the liver and the kidneys. It is important to find out from your doctor whether any of the medications that you take affect how your body uses what you eat. For instance, some medications cause a person to retain sodium, while others cause potassium loss. Methotrexate can lower folic acid levels causing a variety of adverse symptoms which can be offset by taking additional supplements. Whatever you decide, expert agree that there are basic guidelines to good nutrition, which are: Eat a variety of foods that make you feel good – avoid those that do not. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products. Use fat (especially saturated fat found in animal products), cholesterol, sugar, and salt in moderation. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Most people receive daily requirements of vitamins and minerals by eating a well-balanced diet, but others need to take vitamin supplements. Avoid alcohol or foods that can interact with your medication. Talk with your doctor and/or pharmacist about potential interactions.