Autoimmune illness beautiful British runner Lina Nielsen battles

Lina Nielsen illness diagnosis came just before her 18th birthday
Doctors diagnosed her with Multiple Sclerosis
She developed her first signs when she was 13

Lina Nielsen illness diagnosis just before her 18th birthday remains a heartbreaking story.

The British runner got a shock in her life following her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.  A decorate 400-meter hurdler, a flare-up of the ailment prevented her from competing at her peak at the World Athletics Championships.

Nielsen revealed in an exclusive interview with the Telegraph that she first had signs of the illness at the age of 13. She kept her condition a secret up until she got to 26.

Her decision to speak out about the illness is to inspire people who could be battling the same condition. In addition to revealing that she experienced despair after receiving her diagnosis, Nielsen said that never wanted to be recognized as an athlete who had multiple sclerosis.

Retrospectively, she discovered that it’s a topic that would give hope and motivate others. That’s why she went public about her condition.

Her biggest battle with the disease was maintaining her peak performance. It got to a point where jumping hurdles became so strenuous that she could barely do it.

Then came partial numbness in her feet and upper body. She posted on her Instagram that she never thought the illness could affect her career at the highest level.

Lina Nielsen. Photo by SkySports

“I’ve dealt with MS for half my life (since I was 13) and it’s affected me at many points in my life but I never expected it to flare up at the biggest stage of my career. This is what happened at my first world championships.

“The only reason I share it is that I hope it holds the power to inspire many and to give an understanding into the idea that sometimes you might never know what some athletes truly face before the start line.”


Digging deeper into Lina Nielsen illness, put in mind that multiple sclerosis comes is triggered by your immune system. It happens when the immune system unintentionally targets the brain and nerves.

That’s why doctors call it an autoimmune condition. There may be a genetic and environmental component at play but what causes it exactly is unknown.

A portion of your body thinks it’s an alien object attacking it when the immune system changes roles. Myelin sheaths in the brain and spinal cord are specifically attacked.

Your nerves are protected by this layer, which also aids in the transmission of electrical signals from the brain to the body’s other organs.

Myelin sheath – or sclerosis – inflammation is brought on by the attacks in isolated areas. The messages that go along the nerves are interfered with by these inflammatory patches.

The result is slow movement, confusion and brain relay to the wrong place.  Studies hypothetically state that this set of factors predisposes to multiple sclerosis.


It may or may not be directly inherited but those who are related to someone who has the condition are more likely to have it.


Lack of enough sunlight and Vitamin D predisposes you to MS. Therefore, MS is more prevalent in regions distant from the equator because they do not get enough sunlight.


Smokers have a higher risk of suffering from MS than non-smokers.

Child obesity

Obese children and adolescents have an increased risk.


There is a hypothesis that viral infections may stimulate the immune system, causing MS.

Epstein-Barr virus which causes glandular fever is particularly dangerous.

Studies also suggest that women have a higher likelihood of suffering from MS compared to men. Perhaps, that explains about Lina Nielsen illness.

Lina Nielsen. Photo by SkySports


For MS, there are no particular tests to diagnose the condition. Instead, a differential diagnosis frequently relies on ruling out other illnesses that could cause comparable signs and symptoms.

A full medical history helps in diagnosing the disease.


Lina Nielsen illness was among the few athletes to come clean about their battle with MS. However, NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne also came out as a survivor.

Josh Harding, an NHL goalie also told the world that he was battling multiple sclerosis. In all three cases, it all began with numbness in a certain body part and this quickly spread to the whole body with episodes of weakness.

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