Saturday, May 20, 2017

Running with Arthritis 2

In 2003 i was diagnosed with  rheumatoid arthritis. It was a shock! I had always been fit and healthy and had recently left the army, where I had been a physical training instructor. I was devistated with the diagnosis.  I stopped running (doctor's orders) and for the next ten years suffered a lot of joint pain. I was old before my time.
In many ways this was as much a psychological battle as a physical one. I had to learn to deal with it. Having been a fit and active young man, this was a challenge.
It was not until 2013 that things changed. Firstly I changed my diet, cutting out or to be honest reducing gluten. Gluten has an inflammatory effect and so this eased the pain. This initial step gave me the motivation to try exercising again.  Like a typical squaddie I went at it hell bent and launched myself into running. It hurt,  not surprising after ten years of little exercise.  However,  with determination I finished my first 10km race.
Why am I writing this? Well, four years later I have recently run my first marathon. It hurt. It was a trial. But I did it. On a day to day basis my arthritis is less of a problem than 4 years ago. For many years I took very strong drugs to deal with my condition.  Today I take none!
I'm not saying it's easy,  every run is a challenge.  But it's better than a life on drugs and reduced mobility.  Running is proven to increase lifespan. You don't have to run a marathon, but if you want to do something for yourself, then go for a run. Trust me. I know from experience 

2 comments:

  1. I admire your determination to cope with the sport challenges espacially when diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Your competition results are great and I would have never supposed you had any health problems...congratulations and good luck Jeremy!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jan, I feel the joint problems everyday but running helps both physically and psychologically.

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