Karina Patel – Ask The Expert

Karina Patel – Ask The Expert

Karina Patel writes “I grew up with Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosed at 12 years old with other autoimmune diseases such as Raynaulds and Chilblains. A few years ago I got carpal tunnel syndrome which I still have, and caught shingles two years ago. The journey of learning to cope mentally has been a rollercoaster. I found running from a very young age in my childhood and always associated movement as a pain relief. As a track runner from 15 to 25 years old for 800m, I learnt many disciplines such as resilience, discipline, consistency and optimism. Running was my only form of escapism. I grew up with bullying for most of my childhood years which pushed me to focus on running.

Until I was 29, I never spoke about the struggles I went through, I didn’t know how to or had anyone to speak to. I lived in a family where problems weren’t shared. I now have a purpose to share my story and help others since finding out about NRAS. For me, the disciplines of running has helped me get through dealing with conditions I don’t have control over which is why I train smarter to continue moving without pain.

Recent ActivityMAVERICK RUN PROJECT logo

During lockdown I discovered NRAS at a low point and now get involved as much as I can to help others in the same way it’s helped me. Mind is a great charity where I fundraise through running, and a speaker at many shows, events and running retreats. I am a Maverick Run Leader which encourages me to continue exploring new places with an excellent outdoor trail community, and lead an Epping group. Having been an On Running Ambassador for five years it has supported me to move freely and push storytelling around autoimmunity and movement. I am an On Run Club leader here and I also have my own run club in Essex whilst building an autoimmunity community alongside where stories are shared in a safe space open to teenagers to adulthood.”



Talk: Karina Patel
The Unexpected Ally: How Running Can Help Manage Autoimmunity

Key Points:

  • My diagnosis with RA and autoimmunity
  • Why running and how it helps with RA
  • Mental health and RA
  • Nutrition and RA
  • How to keep movement consistent with autoimmunity
  • The importance of community and connection
  • Ways to keep movement adventurous, enjoyable and pain free
  • Longevity and happiness


Instagram: karina.patel__

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