Waterloo Road’s Adam Thomas was announced as the seventh Strictly Come Dancing competitor for the 2023 series two days ago.
The 34-year-old actor has recently revealed that he has rheumatoid arthritis.
The NHS describes it as a ‘long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints’ with the main areas being affected the hands, feet and wrists.’
There is no cure, although early detection and treatment can reduce the frequency of “flare-ups.” However, depending on the intensity of the pain, stiffness, and edoema, patients may find doing daily duties more difficult and must adjust accordingly.
Adam announced the news on Instagram this evening, saying that the dancing show couldn’t have come at a better moment for him.
The actor said that he’d been in discomfort for six months and that, after much back and forth with physicians, he’d finally received a diagnosis.
While Adam said he was still learning about the condition, he praised his family for their support, including his wife of six years, Caroline Daly, and their two daughters, Teddy and Elsie-Rose.
The actor admitted Strictly is ‘going to be tough’ but he’s ‘up for the challenge’ and still ‘can’t wait to get on the dance floor’.
‘Well it’s my birthday tomorrow and I turn 35!! How did that happen, does this mean I should stop acting like a kid now haha,’ Adam began.
‘As much as I act like a kid, my body is telling another story… I’ve been in a lot of pain since January, it started with my knees and then traveled to my wrists, fingers and now ankles and toes.
‘I never knew what was happening and finally after several blood tests and back and forth to doctors and hospitals, I’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid Arthritis!
‘I thought that was something people, later on in there life get… but that’s not the case, clearly!
‘It’s been a tough old year but … Finally I’m on the right plan now! Finally getting it under control. For now! 👀 But some days are better than others and am not going to lie, it’s been hard not being able to train properly, it’s has had a huge knock on effect for me personally, but not only that for my family too!!
‘And I just want to say thank you to @carolinethomas23 and the kids for going on this journey with me, as I know it’s been challenging and frustrating at times but hopefully we’re on the right path now!
‘I don’t know too much about the condition yet as am still learning but,what i have done is learnt a lot about myself and the fact I’d be lost with out this lot!
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‘The reason I signed up to strictly is because I just want to be able to move again, get fit and do it, all with a smile on my face!
‘It really couldn’t have come at a better time I’m a firm believer of everything happening for a reason, and I know the journey I’ve been on was meant to happen, to never take small things in life for granted! …Like going for a run, playing with my kids and just being able to walk with no pain!
‘I know it’s going to be tough and I’ve definitely got my work cut out but am up for the challenge and can not wait to get on that dance floor!!
‘I suppose the reason am telling you this is if anyone out there, is suffering what ever your situation… stay strong get the right help where and when you can!
‘But most importantly stay positive! ❤️’
Family and fans were quick to support Adam, as his brother Scott wrote a comforting: ‘Love you big twin! We’ve got this 👊❤️💫’
Meanwhile, fans with the condition also voiced their support for Adam.
One said: ‘Hi Adam. I got diagnosed two years ago at the age of 40. Like you, mine seems to be under control thanks to some medication which I’d rather not be on but the alternative would be pain and not being able to move much.
‘I admire you for taking on the Strictly challenge knowing that there are days when I struggle to walk very far let alone intense dancing! I’ll be cheering you on even more now! Please do share if you find any tips re the arthritis.
‘Although I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody else, it is a relief to know that I am not alone at having it young. Now go and smash Strictly!! You got this 💪🏻❤️🕺🏼 xxx.’
On an uplifting note, another fan wrote: ‘My daughter Holly was diagnosed with poly juvenile idiopathic rheumatoid arthritis in 2020 when she was just 11, she has since started karate and is now a Welsh gold medalist.’
Meanwhile, others were impressed by the actor’s candour, as another fan wrote: ‘I never comment on social media but wanted to say Thank you for sharing your experience!
‘I have to walk with crutches most of the time because of my arthritis which then causes pain in shoulders so staying positive is the only way I get through.
‘It really helps knowing other people understand the pain and struggles I’m going through.’
The country is clearly behind you Adam – you’ve got this!
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. The condition usually affects the hands, feet and wrists.
Sometimes symptoms can ‘flare up’ and become worse, which can be difficult to predict.
With treatment it’s possible to decrease how much this happens and minimise or prevent long-term damage to the joints.
Other more general symptoms include tiredness and weight loss.
Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis early on is important, as early treatment can help reduce the risk of joint damage.
It is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system mistakenly attacks cells which line your joints, leading to pain, swelling and stiffness.
Over time it can affect not only joints and cartilage, but also bone.
While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, early diagnosis and treatments can allow sufferers months or even years between flare-ups.
Medicine, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy help keep people mobile, and surgery may be required to help any joint problems that may develop.
Depending on the severity of your arthritis, people may be forced to adapt how they do every day tasks.
Complications include the potential of rheumatoid arthritis to lead to other conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, inflammation of other parts of the body (eyes, lungs, heart), and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Source My Celebrity Life.