Venus Williams' Wimbledon loss is being put down to the autoimmune disease she first revealed she had at the 2011 US Open.
Sjogren's syndrome can leave her feeling lethargic even when she has rested and eaten well and treated her body well.
Arthritish Research UK spokesperson, Dr Simon Bowman explains about the condition:
“Sjögren’s syndrome is a little-known but potentially severe autoimmune condition affecting up to half a million people in the UK. The disease can cause extreme fatigue and joint pain and it looks like it may have played a large part in Venus Williams’ early exit from Wimbledon this week.
In Sjögren’s syndrome the body attacks its own tissues, particularly the tear glands and salivary glands, causing dryness of the mouth and eyes, and also extreme fatigue, and can affect other internal organs.
The condition typically affects women over the age of 40, so at 32 years old Venus is relatively young to be affected. It’s too early to speculate whether this may be the end of her career as there are effective treatments available to get the condition under control. Constantly fighting fatigue will have an impact on training regimes but from her comments this week it seems she is determined to manage her condition to continue playing sport.
“Arthritis Research UK is currently investing £1m on a UK wide clinical five-year trial on Sjögren’s syndrome. If anyone is worried about the symptoms they should seek medical advice as soon as possible. For further information on the condition, Arthritis Research UK’s patient booklet on Sjögren’s syndrome is available at www.arthritisresearchuk.org”