Kirsty Young’s health: “I felt sorry” – stands in her crippling four-year health battle

“It simply came to our notice then. We’ll never see it again, certainly in our lives and maybe never, so I couldn’t resist, ”Young said when asked about her upcoming role within the Jubilee. With four days of live broadcasts ahead, the first of which begins today (Thursday, June 2), Young jumps straight back into the deep end, a stark contrast to 2018 when she thought she might never work again. Recently the former Desert Island Discs presenter talked about the chronic health conditions she has been battling for the past four years, and the “blind alleys” she was sent by doctors before getting the right treatment.

In 2018 the star was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a serious condition that causes “pain throughout the body”, as described by the NHS.

Speaking honestly about her suffering, Young revealed that the pain, and subsequent other symptoms, were sometimes so bad that it felt like she had been hit “with a baseball bat” and “drugged”.

First noticing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis that caused fibromyalgia, Young said: “I had extreme joint pain.

“I woke up and I felt like I had a glass in my joints. In the morning, I felt like someone had come with a baseball bat and given me a “performance,” as we say in Glasgow, at night. “

READ MORE: Arthritis Success: Research may have found a way to treat and even reverse arthritis

Suffering from interrupted sleep due to the excruciating pain, Young would then have to endure crippling fatigue during the day.

“I couldn’t go upstairs without stopping in the middle,” she went on to explain.

“It’s not like getting tired if you go for a walk or do some gardening. It’s like someone drugged me, like you took a sleeping pill at the wrong time of day and you lost it completely. ”

The NHS explains that the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it is thought to be related to “abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain” and specific changes in the way the brain, spinal cord and nerves process pain messages carried around the body. .


For some individuals, fibromyalgia can be triggered by a physical or emotionally stressful event. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists rheumatoid arthritis as one of the main risk factors for the condition, along with wolf and older age.

The most characteristic symptom of fibromyalgia is increased sensitivity to pain, with something as simple as touching the sides of a sofa with your forearm enough to bring an adult to tears. Young explained that the term “fiber fog” is used to describe the misrepresentation between reality and not because individuals think they are dealing with “pain all the time”.

She said: “I remember I took a bottle of water and it was too heavy for me. I dropped it and it crashed to the ground. The children laughed but I felt tears in my eyes. I felt sorry that I didn’t even can lift a bottle of water. I just felt completely physically disabled. “

Other possible symptoms that may develop as a result of the condition include:

  • Extreme fatigue (fatigue)
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problems with mental processes (known as “fiber fog”), such as problems with memory and concentration
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a digestive condition that causes stomach pain and swelling.

Young has a condition known as secondary fibromyalgia, which is slightly different from primary fibromyalgia. Although there is no universally agreed definition of the two, Dr. Kahler Hench, the creator of the term fibromyalgia, has provided this definition in the past.

“Fibrositis is considered primary when there is no associated underlying disorder and secondary when it occurs in patients with underlying rheumatic or other organic disease.”

Despite the slightly different causes of primary and secondary fibromyalgia, research has found that they both cause similar symptoms. However, those with secondary fibromyalgia may also suffer from another condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis, which causes additional distress.

For Young, it was the combination of both of her conditions that made receiving treatment increasingly complex. Describing her frustrated search for help, she said: “Rheumatoid arthritis is simpler, but my fibromyalgia has become muddy.

“I had the wrong doctors and the wrong medications and they treated things that weren’t there.”

After a hard-fought battle, Young finally found one doctor who said that although he could not cure the conditions, he could help her manage them. However, there was a heartbreaking catch, the star had to give up his job.

With a “complex cocktail” of medication, seeing her doctor every three weeks and taking yoga and meditation, Young managed to control her condition after four years.

Remarkably, the star went on to explain how all the suffering had given her a new perspective on life. She added: “I’ve been quitting most of my medication but it’s been four years, that’s how long it’s taken, and I’ve done all the things I’ve been prescribed. I’m an absolutely boring nut on my gut biome now. I could be bored. your underpants on that. “

Although Young was able to provide private treatment to manage her condition, for those in the NHS, fibromyalgia treatment tends to be a combination of the following:

  • Medicine, such as antidepressants and painkillers
  • Speech therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and counseling
  • Lifestyle changes, such as exercise programs and relaxation techniques.

Exercise in particular has been found to have a number of important benefits for people with fibromyalgia, including helping to reduce pain.

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