There are ten million people living with arthritis in the UK, and it's generally thought that the older generation are the sufferers, but in fact more and more young people are being diagnosed with it.
It's National Arthritis Week, so here we have one girls struggle with the condition.
“Not just a pretty face”
Following a decade of excruciating ‘growing pains’ and fatigue, 20 year old London based music student Carrie Thompson was eventually diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the young age of just 18. Over the past two years, the singer has also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a condition that causes chronic widespread pain and ehlers-danlos syndrome, which causes stretchy skin, loose joints and fragile body tissues.
At her lowest point, Carrie found she was in so much pain that she was unable to do basic tasks a teenager should be able to do such as dress herself and socialise with friends without being in agony, and finally, was admitted to hospital when she couldn’t move without severe pain. Doctors were shocked to find she had extremely high levels of c-reactive protein (CRP) in her blood – that detects inflammation. Today, her condition is well managed through a variety of drugs and she now describes her pain level as ‘moderate’, having good and bad days.
“I’m sharing my story to help raise general awareness of a disease that many, many people don’t understand. When people meet me the last thing they think I have is arthritis, as it’s supposedly an “old person’s” condition, and I don’t fit the stereotype. While I live a mostly normal and positive life and put a smile on, I live with the pain every day which can be very limiting, stopping me from doing the things that I love and keeping up with my friends.”