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4 August 2021, 10:51
What is rheumatoid arthritis? Here’s what we know about Faith Dingle’s diagnosis...
Emmerdale’s Faith Dingle has been having a tough time lately after struggling with a painful health condition.
Faith (Sally Dexter) even feared her cancer had returned and has spent weeks fretting over her diagnosis.
But after a phone call from the doctors, Faith was asked to visit the doctor's surgery for the results of her cancer test.
Viewers were left fearing the worst when doctors asked Faith to go into the surgery to get her results in person.
But she was able to breathe a sigh of relief when Dr Manpreet Sharma confirmed that she doesn't have cancer.
She was later diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that causes painful swelling and can lead to long-term joint damage.
Faith then told daughter Chas (Lucy Pargeter) the good news, saying: "I must be halfway through my ninth life by now, but by heck, am I gonna make the most of it!" Faith said, telling Chas to let her look after her daughter for once.
"I love you, mum," Chas said, to which Faith replied: "You're not so bad yourself.”
According to the NHS website, rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.
It usually affects the hands, feet and wrists and some people with rheumatoid arthritis also experience more general symptoms such as tiredness and weight loss.
As rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, it is not clear what triggers the problem.
While there is no cure, many people with the condition have periods of months or even years between flares.
The main treatment options include medicine to relieve symptoms, physiotherapy and surgery.
It is not clear whether Faith is leaving the village anytime soon, but actress Sally recently opened up about her character’s hopes ofl patching things up with estranged son Cain (Jeff Hordley).
"She doesn't want to worry them or for them to accept her out of pity," she said.
"She wants a real relationship with them again, and that matters to her more than anything and it's a big deal.
"She would certainly hope [it would bring them closer] and would turn herself inside out to make that happen.
"But it certainly brings all of that to the forefront of things. The relationship is very dramatic and heartfelt."