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Martine McCutcheon health: Star’s ‘horrible’ condition that causes ‘migraines from hell!’

This Morning: Martine McCutcheon on 'ignoring' Louise Redknapp

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The star lives with both chronic fatigue syndrome ME and Lyme disease and bouts of severe migraines really get the star down. On an Instagram post she wrote: “I get migraines from hell! I’ve managed to rest a bit and I wanted some fresh air and a little trip out.” Despite being able to partially deal with her troublesome symptoms now, when first diagnosed the star was forced to stop working.

Talking on Loose Women she said: “I got really ill, but I kept pushing. The ME stopped me. I got viruses and infections and it just kept going and going, in the end nothing else would have stopped me.

“It was horrible stopping. I wouldn’t want to do it all over again. I’ve learned from it.”

Martine was first diagnosed with ME in 2011. The condition is also known as chronic fatigue syndrome and is a long-term illness with a wide array of symptoms.

As the name suggests, the most common is extreme tiredness but other symptoms include the following:

  • Sleep problems
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Headaches
  • A sore throat or sore glands that are not swollen
  • Problems thinking, remembering or concentrating
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Feeling dizzy or sick
  • Fast or irregular heartbeats (heart palpitations).

Symptoms are extremely similar to many other common illnesses so a diagnosis of ME may be difficult to get to unless symptoms do not get better on their own.

Martine refers to suffering from symptoms as “flare ups” describing migraine pain as being “hit on the head by a mallet!”

Talking about general aches, pains, cracking and tight muscles and joints she said: “You feel like you need WD40 to loosen things!

“You can also have fatigue, changes in temperature, brain fog, sensitivity to noise, light, smell and parts of the body really hurt. Sleeping doesn’t always make you feel refreshed and you fatigue very easily. A bit like the flu but it doesn’t really fully go away.”

In 2017 Martine then received a diagnosis of Lymes disease – a bacterial infection that can be spread to humans by infected ticks.

With the condition individuals usually develop a circular or oval rash around the tick bite. This can be hot and itchy and last for up to three months.

Other symptoms include those similar to flu, such as:

  • A high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Tiredness and loss of energy.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Martine also had to be extremely cautious as her chronic illnesses made her more vulnerable.

Martine added: “If you have any underlying illness you can’t take risks. As with any chronic condition you can have flare-ups. When I go outside I always have my mask and my gloves and take it very seriously.”

To cope with both of her conditions Martine says she has “to take extra special care” of herself.

“I try to eat natural and organic food,” she said. “I have loads of fruit and veg. I find stretching, gentle yoga and breathing helpful. I know now that my body starts changing when I push myself too hard and beyond my limits.”

Interacting with fans about the best treatments she has found she also said: “I use ice – it’s really effective, isn’t it?

I have a cold shower everyday too and that’s not easy but it’s been a game changer along with my @pureiscbd [CBD food supplement].

“It’s so great when you find things that help.”

For treating ME the NHS recommends therapy, a structured exercise programme and medicine to control pain and sleeping problems.

Most people with ME will improve over time, especially with treatment, although some people do not make a full recovery.

For Lyme disease the NHS recommends antibiotics to help symptoms. They should improve over time.

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