Claire King, 57, first appeared on ITV’s Emmerdale in 1989 and played the infamous role of Kim Tate until 1999. But to the joy of her fans, after 19 years King returned to the show and resumed the role. Just a few years before first joining the Emmerdale cast, the star was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. While King says the constant pain affected her entire life, she hasn’t let the condition hold her back.
The actress first realised something was wong when she woke up to a throbbing pain in her fingers, three days in a row.
He GP diagnosed her with rheumatoid arthritis, which is an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation of the joins.
Speaking to Mirror.co.uk back in 2009, she said: “I was diagnosed about 13 years ago, not long after I joined Emmerdale.
“I had started getting really bad aches in my hands, feet and knees – it felt like I had been hit with a hammer.
“My doctor put me on a course of medication and gave me some advice about helpful things to try to ease the pain.
“But for a while it just carried on getting worse.
“I would get up in the morning and be hobbling like an old woman because my joints hurt so much.
“I struggled to go to work and to do the things I love, like horse-riding, because of the pressure it put on my knees.”
To treat her arthritis, King has found supplements to be effective, taking omega-3 and B vitamins.
She also takes methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a naturally occurring form of sulphur that is believed by many to help maintain cartilage and joints.
The star doesn’t follow a special diet, but tries to eat a balanced one, and finds exercise really makes a difference.
Speaking to Mail Online in 2017 she revealed: “I love walking, I live in the Dales so I’m out hiking every weekend. I’m lucky enough to have a second home in Spain with a pool so when I’m there I’m swimming every day.
“I do some stretching without fail every morning too which sets me up to feel better for the rest of the day.
“Exercise helps keep the joints mobile and just doing a little of what you can manage and what you enjoy can make a difference long-term.”
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
The NHS state the main symptoms of the condition as:
- Joint pain
The health body adds: “The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis often develop gradually over several weeks, but some cases can progress quickly over a number of days.
“The symptoms vary from person to person. They can come and go, and may change over time. You may occasionally experience flares when your condition deteriorates and your symptoms become more severe.”
If you think you have the symptoms of arthritis, see your GP.
Another soap star who has recently spoken about her health condition is Coronation Street star Kym Marsh.