Imagine Dragon's Dan Reynolds on living with 'frustrating' ankylosing spondylitis

Dan Reynolds is much more than the face of 'Imagine Dragons' and a dad of (almost!) four. The 31-year-old frontman of the Grammy-winning band is also campaigning to bring awareness to the painful and hidden disease that is ankylosing spondylitis (AS), which he was diagnosed with in his early 20s. 

"I didn't know what the problem was," Reynolds says of his diagnosis process. "I wasn't diagnosed for so long...and the pain just continued and continued and that was super frustrating." The Vegas native was one of the millions living with the disease without realizing it. By that point, he was willing to try anything to alleviate the pain. 

"When you've been living in pain for a long time, someone could come up to you and be like 'run and circles and act like an elephant and you'll feel better.' And you'll be like 'okay.' When you're in pain, you're willing to do anything to feel better." 

In an effort to spread awareness about AS, Reynolds is partnering with "Monster Pain in the AS" to help others to understand their pain and encourage them to seek treatment. "I really hope people take the time to go to [their website] for the three-minute quiz and avoid the process that took me years to do, which is see a rheumatologist." Then, a professional can help with diagnosis and treatment, which for Reynolds involves some self love, like reading a book. 

SEE MORE: Reynolds and his family

21 PHOTOS
Dan Reynolds personal life on Instagram
See Gallery
Dan Reynolds personal life on Instagram
breakfast w my pumpkin latte
‪like mother like daughter. “Coco” quite fitting. ‬
‪picked arrow up from school yesterday and drove straight to @disneyland - she thought it was just a long drive home until she saw the #disneyland sign and this was her reaction. I can’t handle her little tender heart. ‬
robot vacuum peeps didn’t account for twins. this thing will only clean 2 square feet of house before it’s turned off by these minions
‪and 4 this supermodel momma‬
best buddies in Madrid celebrating the end of the Evolve tour
back at it
happy birthday to my best friend in the world
friendship bracelets w my bff
this man keeps me alive out here. a big thank you to my incredible TM @drewmagid
had a long convo w a man who lived on the streets the other day while walking to lunch. he lived homeless by choice. he had a bag of clothing and insisted on giving me some pants. these are the dope ass pants. thanks Rocky. X
LOVELOUD pic Eric Saunders
‪my mom and dad at @loveloudfest yesterday. ‬ ‪you are my inspiration. they taught me to follow your heart regardless of what others say. live your truth. ‬I love you both. ‪these two have spent a lifetime in service to other.
pool w the babes
sleepy eyed tour bus mornings
we are 1
lunch with my best friend
I miss you baby girl
cuddles
healing
right?
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"You have to be active about [showing self love]," he explains. "I really try to set time aside every single day to do something that I love that de-stresses me." It's a mindset that's necessary to maintain, especially on the road. 

"When you're traveling and stuff and you're going from the promo to the stage to vocal warmups to sound checks to a bus with a bunch of people, it's really hard to find time for yourself," Reynolds asserts. "But after all these years, I just prioritize it -- a hundred percent. It's part of a stress regiment. Stress is one of the main triggers of ankylosing spondylitis so I take it very seriously." 

Another part of controlling the disease? Eating healthy, a lifestyle he tries to implement with his three daughters. 

"We try not to be obsessive about [eating healthy] because I want them to still eat candy and enjoy life. We try to make it the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time we try to keep them close to an anti-inflammatory diet because they're prone to [AS] already genetically." 

Of course, there *are* foods Reynold's refuses to give up. "I will never give up pizza, doughnuts and cereal. Those three things I eat very little of, because they're everything I shouldn't be eating, but damn, I love them," he concludes. 

SEE MORE: 'Imagine Dragons' on stage

18 PHOTOS
Imagine Dragons in photos
See Gallery
Imagine Dragons in photos
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 15: IMAGINE DRAGONS performs during the 25th Annual KROQ: Almost Acoustic Christmas in Los Angeles, Ca. (Photo by Lisette M. Azar/CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 15: IMAGINE DRAGONS performs during the 25th Annual KROQ: Almost Acoustic Christmas in Los Angeles, Ca. (Photo by Lisette M. Azar/CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 15: IMAGINE DRAGONS performs during the 25th Annual KROQ: Almost Acoustic Christmas in Los Angeles, Ca. (Photo by Lisette M. Azar/CBS via Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons perfoms The 25th Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas - Day 2 at The Forum on December 14, 2014 ingInglewood, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for CBS Radio)
INGLEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons perfoms The 25th Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas - Day 2 at The Forum on December 14, 2014 ingInglewood, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for CBS Radio)
INGLEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image was processed using digital filters) Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons perfoms The 25th Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas - Day 2 at The Forum on December 14, 2014 ingInglewood, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for CBS Radio)
INGLEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Singer Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons performs onstage during day two of the 25th annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Forum on December 13, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio)
INGLEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Singer Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons performs onstage during day two of the 25th annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Forum on December 13, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio)
INGLEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Musician Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons performs onstage during day two of the 25th annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Forum on December 13, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio)
INGLEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Musician Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons performs onstage during day two of the 25th annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Forum on December 13, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 13: Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons performs during Live 105's Not So Silent Night at Oracle Arena on December 13, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 11: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was processed using digital filters) Guitarist Wayne Sermon of Imagine Dragons performs during X107.5's Holiday Havoc 2014 show at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on December 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 22: Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons performs during the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena on September 22, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 22: Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons performs during the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena on September 22, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 22: Wayne Sermon of Imagine Dragons performs during the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena on September 22, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/WireImage)
Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons performs on stage during the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 22, 2018. (Photo by Valerie MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 09: Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons performs on stage on Day 2 at the fourth edition of Lollapalooza Berlin at Olympiastadion on September 9, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)
Dan Reynolds of the american alternative rock band Imagine Dragons performing live at Milano Rocks 2018 at Area Expo Experience Rho Milan Italy, on September 6, 2018. (Photo by Roberto Finizio/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for the Best Bites by AOL newsletter to get the most delicious recipes and hottest food trends delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.