A former fashion model who's spent a decade battling a crippling medical condition that left her unable to get out of bed has revealed how CBD is helping her recovery.
Kelly Brooks, 27, of Hampshire, suffers from chronic Lyme disease – a tick-borne condition that has severe symptoms including agonising joint pain, extreme fatigue and blinding headaches.
She was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 18 and has spent almost a decade battling its effects - and was eventually forced to quit her blossoming modelling career on the catwalks of New York and Milan.
But Kelly, who is now rebuilding her life with husband Layton, claims CBD - a natural product extracted from the cannabis plant - has helped her ditch strong antibiotics and manage her pain.
Kelly Brooks, 27, of Hampshire, spent a decade battling chronic Lyme disease that left her unable to get out of bed
She told FEMAIL: 'Throughout my journey with chronic Lyme disease the symptoms that proved to be the most debilitating but also the most difficult to effectively treat were joint and muscle pain.
'After trying numerous prescription tablets and ointments, I was recommended CBD cream by a friend.
'The results were amazing. I applied the cream to my three most painful joints – shoulder, elbow and wrist.
'Within a short time my knee began to ache. That's when I realised the pain in the other joints had subsided thanks to the CBD cream.'
Kelly was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 18 and has spent almost a decade battling its effects - and was forced to give up modelling
CBD, or cannabidiol, is extracted from the cannabis plant but contains only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the high-giving, psychoactive part of the plant. It's sold legally in the UK as a food supplement.
Kelly was born and raised in Maine in the north east United States and enjoyed an active lifestyle.
'I was a very healthy, happy and active kid. I danced, played soccer and was hardly ever sick,' she explained.
But during her early teenage years she suffered episodes where she found herself drenched in sweat before vomiting and blacking out.
Kelly was born and raised in Maine in the north east United States and enjoyed an active lifestyle until she began suffering from Lyme disease after a tick bite aged 11
Kelly tested positive for Lyme disease and was put on a four-week course of antibiotics. Pictured having IV antibiotics
A local doctor diagnosed a sodium deficiency, but another incident, where she collapsed at her high school prom, led to five days in bed with extreme fatigue.
Kelly added: 'On one occasion I blacked out in school and couldn't stand up. I ended up crawling back to the classroom.'
Hospital tests indicated she had the Epstein Barr virus, which causes glandular fever.
Kelly said: 'Sadly, I had to give up dancing completely. It was absolutely heartbreaking for me, like a death in the family. Why was this happening to me?'
She managed to finish high school with good grades and took a place at the prestigious fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.
Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks.
The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash called erythema migrans.
The disease can typically be treated by several weeks of oral antibiotics.
But if left untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, heart and nervous symptoms and be deadly.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE INFECTED?
During the first three to 30 days of infection, these symptoms may occur:Fever Chills Headache Fatigue Muscle and joint aches Swollen lymph nodes Erythema migrans (EM) rash
The rash occurs in approximately 80 per cent of infected people.
It can expand to up to 12 inches (30 cm), eventually clearing and giving off the appearance of a target or a 'bull's-eye'.
Later symptoms of Lyme disease include:Severe headaches and neck stiffness Additional rashes Arthritis with joint pain and swelling Facial or Bell's palsy Heart palpitations Problems with short-term memory Nerve pain
In her early teenage years Kelly suffered episodes where she found herself drenched in sweat before vomiting and blacking out
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