Ruth Jones health: Star uses one ‘anti-inflammatory’ spice to help chronic condition

Gavin and Stacey: Ruth Jones talks show's future on Lorraine

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Most recently, the star was shocked to find out that her ancestors helped to influence the development of the NHS, a fact that she found out whilst filming for BBC series Who Do You Think You Are? The actress, who never knew her grandfather’s, found out that Henry Richard Jones, born in 1897, attended to those injured in the Navy early in the 20th Century before returning to work for Neath and District Medical Aid association. Speaking about her own health in an interview with Woman&Home back in 2020, Jones revealed that she has developed arthritis in her knee, and has adapted both her diet and exercise regime to try and help the condition.

Aged 53 at the time, Jones said: “If you’d asked me when I was younger what life would be like in my 50s, I’d probably have imagined someone like my grandmother.

“I’d have looked like a little old lady who went for a shampoo and set every week.

“But it’s funny – when you get to your 50s it’s not like that at all because apart from a few aches and pains, I feel like I’m in my 30s. Perhaps I ought to behave accordingly”

Despite saying that she felt 20-years younger than she actually is, Jones went on to say more about her arthritis and what she wished she had done when she was younger.

She continued to say: “Perhaps I should have been more careful with my health. I have a bit of arthritis in my knee.

“When you’re younger you think ‘it won’t happen to me’ but of course these things do.

“I’m taking turmeric as that’s anti-inflammatory and I try to avoid processed carbohydrates. But I love walking.”

In addition to walking and avoiding processed carbohydrates, Jones says that she avoids the “red carpet lifestyle” preferring not to wear any makeup or dress up in fancy clothes.

“I still live in Cardiff, my family are nearby and my old friends. I guess I don’t want the red carpet lifestyle enough to change that,” Jones continued to say.

“I wouldn’t go out of my way to go to a big celebrity bash. You have to make an effort to dress up. I’m a bit lazy really.

“I can’t be bothered to put make-up on – I certainly don’t wear it day to day.

“There’s something more enjoyable about being at a party among your friends.”

Arthritis is used to describe the pain, swelling and stiffness that some individuals experience in their joints. Versus Arthritis, a UK-based charity estimates that around 10 million people in the UK are thought to suffer from one type of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types and although treatment has greatly improved over the years, the condition still cannot be cured.

Osteoarthritis starts with the roughening of cartilage, making moving more difficult than usual and leading to pain and stiffness. Once the cartilage lining starts to roughen and thin out, the tendons and ligaments have to work harder.

This can cause swelling and the formation of bony spurs called osteophytes. The NHS explains that severe loss of cartilage can lead to bone rubbing on bone, altering the shape of the joint and forcing the bones out of their normal position.

Osteoarthritis is more common in women and usually affects people from the age of 45 onwards. The parts of the body most commonly affected are the knees, hands, hips, and back.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory condition in which the body’s immune system targets affected joints leading to pain and swelling. The inflammation and extra fluid in a joint can cause the following problems:

  • Make moving the joint difficult and painful.
  • Chemicals in the fluid can damage the bone and joint.
  • The extra fluid can stretch the joint capsule. Whenever a joint capsule is stretched, it never quite returns to its original position.
  • Chemicals in the fluid can irritate nerve endings, which can be painful.

In addition to pain and stiffness, rheumatoid arthritis can cause individuals to become extremely fatigued, and generally feel unwell. The condition typically starts in the hands and feet, but gradually gets worse over time.

Versus Arthritis recommends that if you have swelling or stiffness that you can’t explain and that doesn’t go away in a few days, or if it becomes painful to touch your joints, you should see a doctor. The earlier you get an arthritis diagnosis and start the right type of treatment, the better the outcome will be.

As Jones briefly mentioned, taking turmeric – a spice used in Asian cuisine – has been said to be a viable treatment for arthritis, with studies finding that the substance has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.

Historically, the spice has been used by alternative healers to treat pain and swelling. This is because it contains a substance called curcumin, which is thought to possess anti-inflammatory properties. One study of 107 people found that daily consumption of curcumin had an effect comparable to commonly used anti-inflammatory medicines. However, evidence is still limited, if you’re thinking about taking turmeric, it is recommended you speak to your GP or a pharmacist.

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