A NEWPORT mother suffering from a debilitating illnesses has lost five stones to prove that weight can be lost while on strict medication.

Carina Preece, 39, of Ringland, suffers from both multiple sclerosis and bipolar disorder, which has resulted in her taking various medication to manage her illnesses.

Bipolar disorder is a condition which affects your moods, which can swing between mania and depression, while multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease affecting nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing problems with muscle movement, balance and vision.

“I was diagnosed with MS when I was 24 and then bipolar when I was 36,” Mrs. Preece said.

“I take anti depressants – 225ml of Venlalic Xl in the morning and 200ml of the bipolar antipsychotic drug Quetiapine at night – to manage my bipolar, as well as taking the MS drug Copaxone in daily injections of 20ml to slow the progression,” Mrs Preece said.

“I also use a walking stick and have to lie down because I get fatigue from the MS.”

Mrs Preece struggled to lose the weight after the birth of her son and found herself eating the wrong things, but despite her condition she decided to lose weight the healthy way and signed up to Newport Slimming World in January 2013.

“I went with a friend and my sister-in-law, and it was easy to go along in a morning when my little boy was at school, but I have also made lots of friends there as it is a really social group.”

The mother of one managed to shed five stone going from a size 22 and weighing 17 stones to a size 14 weighing 12st 13lb.

Mrs Preece said she now “feels better for losing the weight,” and wants to prove to other people with conditions that medication shouldn’t prevent you from shedding the pounds.

“I can’t exercise because of my MS,” she said.

“I can walk a bit but I do find it hard because my legs are so stiff and I get really tired so I can’t go to the gym.”

All of her weight loss was due to healthy eating following the Slimming World plan.

“It is every day eating, I ate loads on the diet – I think I ate more than before.”

On the plan Mrs Preece’ healthy foods included cooked dinners, stir fries and vegetables and her favourite, Chinese curry.

Now Mrs Preece has been nominated by her Slimming World group for a Woman of the Year Slimming World award as well as the Mrs Slinky award and will be put through the quarter finals of the competition in London.

Her Slimming World group leader Jacqui Mines is very proud of Mrs Preece’s achievements.

“Many people think that you can’t lose weight because of medication but it can be done.

“She is amazing, very enthusiastic in group work and likes to give new members advice and encouragement.

“I get my members to follow a simple plan of high fibre and low fat, along with ‘free foods’ such as tea and coffee which are unlimited, but we do have ‘sin’ days which allow you to have little treats.”

Mrs Preece said: “If anybody says that they can’t lose weight because of their medication I don’t believe them, as you can.

“I am on a lot of medication and I managed to lose weight.

“You can do anything if you put your mind to it; you just need to keep positive.”