The star explains why you don’t have to let one health condition define you.
Two years ago, actress Jennie Garth received news from her doctors that left her stunned: at 47, she suffered from osteoarthritis.
“I was like, ‘No, you must be wrong. I’m not old enough to have arthritis,’ says Garth, who hosts the 90210MG podcast with the real-life best friend (and former beverly hills, 90210 teammate) Tori Spelling.
In the United States, approximately one in four adults suffers from arthritis, or nearly 60 million people. But the condition of joint inflammation is more common in women 65 and older. (Research indicates a link between osteoarthritis and postmenopausal women, as pain sensitivity increases when the body naturally loses estrogen.) too a condition also suffered by more than 21 million adults under the age of 65, according to the CDC.
Garth grew up the youngest of six siblings on a horse ranch outside of Urbana, IL, and made a splash on American television screens in 1990 as Kelly Taylor on the well-heeled teen soap opera. like. Beverly Hills, 90210. Since then, she has starred alongside Amanda Bynes in the television series What I like about youmoved on and fought his way to the semi-finals on Dancing with the stars, wrote a memoir and participated in several reboots of the 90s show that made her famous. But even with decades of show biz experience under her belt, she didn’t consider herself the right age for an arthritis diagnosis.
“I think a lot of people associate arthritis with something you get when you’re in your prime, but it’s not. It’s something that young and middle-aged people suffer from, and even dogs,” says Garth. “It’s kind of a universal disease.”
At first, Garth struggled to accept what his diagnosis “meant” about him. “I had the stigma in my head that if I have arthritis it means I’m old and people will see me as older when they find out I have it,” the star says. But after telling friends and family about it and researching ways to slow its progression, Garth began letting go of those limiting beliefs to focus on finding relief and raising awareness of how the disease can affect n any age group.
“People don’t really want to talk about their aches and pains or acknowledge or verify that they’re actually aging, but it’s a truth for all of us,” Garth says. Sticking to a meat and dairy free diet, finding time for daily stretching even if only in the shower, using Voltaren gel (which she is now a spokesperson for) for pain relief and finding a new passion on the golf course helped launch Garth into a new chapter.
And for anyone struggling with an early diagnosis of arthritis, Garth has a shameful message: “We are all going to get old and we are all going to suffer, unfortunately. some deterioration,” she says. “I encourage women to continue to take care of themselves and not let that define them.”