'Life felt like hell everyday' - Martine McCutcheon on her battle with Lyme Disease
Actress Martine McCutcheon has said Lyme Disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME) made every day "a living hell" for seven years.
The Love Actually star (41) was first diagnosed with ME (Myalgic Encephalomy-Elitis) also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 2011 after years of struggling with symptoms.
The neurological condition causes symptoms that affect the body's systems, particularly the nervous and immune systems and sufferers experience severe persistent fatigue.
The actress was later diagnosed with Lyme Disease, a serious infection which is passed to humans through a tick bite. The bacteria has the ability to penetrate the body’s tissue, and causes a number of chronic symptoms. In serious cases the disease can cause paralysis and death.
Speaking to The Star, Martine said: "I've had the worst seven years ever. Life felt like a living hell every day. It has just been one thing after another. I have not been in a nice place financially nor with my career."
The former EastEnders actress said her illnesses drove her into a dark depression, but said welcoming her son Rafferty (2) with husband Jack McManus has been the "best thing" to happen to her in the midst of her turmoil.
"When your health goes, you just lose so much which is why I put so much work into staying as well as possible.
"I absolutely love motherhood, it's the best thing in the world," she said.
The mum-of-one recently lost a stone after taking on a new diet regime designed to help her chronic conditions.
Taking to her Instagram earlier this year, McCutcheon said: "Here's my silly little head feeling all giddy and happy because I reached my one stone target today on the @cambridgeweightplan I'm so thrilled. My loss was a tiny bit slower than the average person but to be honest I expected that as many diets/food plans didn't work for me at all as the Lymes disease and ME can really play havoc with how your system works."
The actress said her health has become a concern in her relationship, and she admitted that she asked her husband Jack McManus to "find someone else" because she worried she was a burden to him.
"I did say to him at one point, 'If you want to go on and meet someone else, go.
"I don't want you to lose out because of me.
"He was like, 'Don't be stupid, we'll get through this together'."