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Bob Mortimer says he ‘just woke up’ with a ‘BANG’ – ‘It came back’

“In my mid-20s I got struck down with rheumatoid arthritis,” Bob Mortimer said on Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast. “I just woke up and it was like, ‘BANG!’,” the 63-year-old said in September, 2022. “I have been free of it since I have been 34 and it came back 10 days ago.”

Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint inflammation and pain, the Arthritis Foundation says.

“It happens when the immune system doesn’t work properly and attacks the lining of the joints, called the synovium,” the charity explains.

The disease commonly affects multiple limbs, from the hands and knees to the ankles.

Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to other health concerns too, such as dry and red eyes, sensitivity to light, and trouble seeing properly.

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There might be gum inflammation, or small lumps that develop under the skin over bony areas.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, rheumatoid arthritis is even associated with nerve damage and lung disease.

Talking about his health, the comedian and fishing fanatic revealed he is “not very well”.

In order to decrease inflammation, and to increase the chances of putting the condition into remission, medication is needed.

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The NHS states that rheumatoid arthritis is treated by disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biological treatments.

DMARDS might include:

  • Methotrexate
  • Leflunomide
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Sulfasalazine.

The NHS adds: “It can take a few months to notice a DMARD working. It’s important to keep taking the medicine, even if you do not notice it working at the beginning.”

Biological treatments, such as adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab, are usually taken in tandem with DMARDs.

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Biological medicines are given by injection, which help prevent the immune system from overreacting.

To help relieve pain, painkillers (such as paracetamol) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, are recommended.

Mortimer said: “Yes, I might be fat, but actually I am on steroids… it takes until you are 60 to realise all the things you could have done.”

The Gone Fishing star continued: “At my age, we all feel 47, but then your body packs in.”

Despite his deteriorating health, Mortimer has joined his dear friend Paul Whitehouse for another Gone Fishing special.

The duo are off to Norway to explore The Lofoten Islands in the Artic Circle.

Scheduled to premiere on BBC Two on Saturday, December 24 at 8.40pm, last year’s hour-long Christmas episode is replaying tonight.

On Wednesday, December 14 on BBC Two at 8pm, you can catch Gone Christmas Fishing 2021.

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