Football pundit Chris Kamara suffered for ‘years’ with ‘brain fog’

Chris Kamara discusses his apraxia diagnosis

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In a new documentary, Chris Kamara: Lost for Words, the football pundit explores his additional diagnosis of apraxia of speech/dyspraxia. Speaking about the ITV special, the 64-year-old said: “This documentary is a very personal one for me. “I am really keen to raise awareness about apraxia of speech/dyspraxia. Little is known about it which makes the diagnosis so much harder to navigate.”

The father-of-two continued: “Hopefully by sharing my story, it will raise awareness…

“And also help people who may also be living with this condition by showing them that there are ways to manage it and to still live a fulfilling life.”

Kamara first shared his dual diagnosis to his fans on Twitter in March 2022.

“Alongside my thyroid problem I have developed apraxia of speech, and have been working to get my speech back to normal,” he Tweeted.

“Some days it can be a little slow and some days it’s normal. Hopefully I can beat this!”

In a candid chat with his grown-up son, Jack, the former footballer admitted he had “suffered in silence” at the beginning due to “embarrassment” and “stubbornness”.

Describing himself as having his “head in the sand”, Kamara, at the time, “didn’t want to believe what was going on in [his] body… [and] mind”.

“I’d never heard of an underactive thyroid [i.e. hypothyroidism],” he stated.

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“I didn’t realise that a little hormone in your neck the size of a butterfly controlled your brain, your muscles. All sorts of things. Your emotions.”

In the video, recorded for Men’s Health Week, and shared on YouTube, Kamara shared his experience of the condition.

He said he suffered from “brain fog, slurring speech”, but then “other days, you’re fine”.

“I suffered for nearly two years with my symptoms of an underactive thyroid.”

“I was guilty of ignoring the symptoms in the hope they would go away,” he confessed.

“I’m really glad I finally sought medical advice after speaking to my family…

“[I] would encourage anyone else suffering in silence with any concerns or symptoms to do the same.”

An underactive thyroid

The NHS explains: “Hypothyroidism is where your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones.”

The condition is not preventable, as most cases are caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland.

“Symptoms usually develop slowly and you may not realise you have a medical problem for several years,” the NHS says.

Common symptoms of an underactive thyroid can include:

  • Tiredness
  • Being sensitive to cold
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Slow movements and thoughts
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry and scaly skin
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Loss of libido (sex drive)
  • Pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Irregular periods or heavy periods.

Chris Kamara is featuring on the new series of BBC One’s Blankety Blank game show on Saturday, November 19 at 9.10pm.

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