New lease of life for Gail
TODAY Gail Murton is looking forward to a New Year and a new life after years of suffering with a crippling disease.Forced to give up her career with the police while in her early 30's Mrs Murton said she walked more like a 90-year-old woman after being struck down with rheumatoid arthritis.
TODAY Gail Murton is looking forward to a New Year and a new life after years of suffering with a crippling disease.
Forced to give up her career with the police while in her early 30's Mrs Murton said she walked more like a 90-year-old woman after being struck down with rheumatoid arthritis.
But today, after losing nearly five stone in weight the mother of one is more likely to be visiting the gym than the GP and can get back to something of a normal life.
The 38 -year-old was suddenly struck with rheumatoid arthritis about six years ago - doctors think a virus may have triggered it.
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She said: “One weekend my feet and ankles just blew up really badly - I couldn't walk at all.
“At first they didn't think it was rheumatoid arthritis but then it was diagnosed and there was no doubt.
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“I have it in my feet, ankles, knees, hands and wrists and now my physio thinks I may have it in my neck, too.
“At first it was really bad - I was immovable and the pain was absolutely awful.
“My husband said it was like watching a 90-year-old woman trying to walk.”
Mrs Murton, who lives with her husband Adrian and their son Joshua, ten, in Conway Close, Felixstowe, was a police constable for 13 years.
She served at Ipswich, Woodbridge and Felixstowe, but after the rheumatoid arthritis struck she was off ill for long periods, then put on light duties and finally medically retired about four years ago.
Frustrated by her condition, and with lack of mobility meaning she was unable to do many day-to-day things without her family's assistance, and gaining weight, too, about a year ago Mrs Murton decided to join Slimming World.
She said: “I looked at myself in the mirror one day and knew I needed to lose weight.”
But following the company's healthy eating plan didn't just help her to shed the pounds - four stone seven pounds in a year to bring her down to ten stone seven - it has helped ease her rheumatoid arthritis, too.
She said: “Since I have lost the weight the pain has eased considerably and isn't as bad at all, and I can move a lot better.
“I dropped five dress sizes but the main benefit has been taking all that weight off my joints.
“I still have rheumatoid arthritis and will never be able to run a marathon, but I can walk better now and I have started going to the gym and taken up golf with my husband and son.”
Mrs Murton - who is starting her own Slimming World classes at Kesgrave in January - hopes her story will inspire others to tackle their weight and improve their health.
Has weight loss dramatically improved your health? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk
FASTFACTS: rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, progressive and disabling auto-immune disease affecting just under one in 100 of UK adults.
It is an incredibly painful condition and can cause severe disability - affecting a person's ability to carry out everyday tasks.
The disease can progress very rapidly, causing swelling and damaging cartilage and bone around the joints.
Any joint may be affected but it is most common the hands, feet and wrists. It is a systemic disease, which means it can affect the whole body and internal organs - although this is not the case for everyone - such as the lungs, heart and eyes.
Scientists are still working on the causes of the disease but say it does have a tendency to run in families but can also be triggered by psychological stress, other medical illnesses, as well as factors such as air pollution.
Source: National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society