Fallon Sherrock health: Darts Player describes her kidney disease ordeal – symptoms

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Fallon Sherrock made darts history last year after she became the first female to win a match, and subsequently two consecutive matches, at the PDC World Championships. This follows her close victory in 2015 when she was pipped to the post by Lisa Ashton in the final of the BDO Women’s World Darts Championship. Her ascendancy in the industry is made more impressive in light of her ongoing health struggle.

In 2014, Fallon was diagnosed with kidney disease. The news marked the beginning of a tough journey for the professional darts player.

Speaking to The Sun, she said: “I started to feel unwell. I didn’t know what was going on until I was diagnosed.

“It was a worrying time. I started taking medication to weaken my immune system because that is what was attacking my kidneys.

“The problem was when I went on different medication, I suffered side effects.”

Fallon revealed her face swelled up in reaction to her medication and the side effects were made more unbearable by the backlash she received from TV audiences.

Ultimately, the abuse she received strengthened her resolve, Fallon said.

Gradually, as the medication started to kick in and her facial swelling reduced, Sherrock gained some functionality in her kidneys again.

The star is a lot healthier now but her condition still requires upkeep while she is playing darts.

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Sherrock said she has to constantly drink water to flush her kidneys out and support her bodily functions.

What is kidney disease?

According to the NHS, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a long-term condition whereby the kidneys don’t work as well as they should.

“It’s a common condition often associated with getting older. It can affect anyone, but it’s more common in people who are black or of south Asian origin,” explains the health body.

CKD can get worse over time and eventually the kidneys may stop working altogether, but this is uncommon, it says.

How do I know if I have it?

According to Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of CKD develop over time if kidney damage progresses slowly.

Signs and symptoms of kidney disease may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sleep problems
  • Changes in how much you urinate
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Persistent itching
  • Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
  • Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) that’s difficult to control.

“Signs and symptoms of kidney disease are often nonspecific, meaning they can also be caused by other illnesses,” notes Mayo Clinic.

It adds: “Because your kidneys are highly adaptable and able to compensate for lost function, signs and symptoms may not appear until irreversible damage has occurred.”

How to treat chronic kidney disease

There’s no cure for CKD, but treatment can help relieve the symptoms and stop it getting worse.

According to the NHS, your treatment will depend on the stage of your CKD.

The main treatments are:

  • Lifestyle changes – to help you stay as healthy as possible
  • Medicine – to control associated problems, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Dialysis – treatment to replicate some of the kidney’s functions, which may be necessary in advanced (stage 5) CKD
  • Kidney transplant – this may also be necessary in advanced (stage five) CKD.

The following lifestyle measures are usually recommended for people with kidney disease:

  • Stop smoking if you smoke
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Restrict your salt intake to less than six grams a day – that’s around one teaspoon
  • Do regular exercise – aim to do at least 150 minutes a week
  • Manage your alcohol intake so you drink no more than the recommended limit of 14 units of alcohol a week
  • Lose weight if you’re overweight or obese
  • Avoid over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, except when advised to by a medical professional – these medicines can harm your kidneys if you have kidney disease.

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