This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield welcomed Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden onto the show today who spoke about her battle with Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s disease is a lifelong condition in which parts of the digestive system become inflamed and it one type of a condition called inflammatory bowel disease.
Speaking about the first time she experience symptoms, Amy said: “As a bubbly child I couldn’t sit still.
“My parents took us off to Winter Wonderland and I had stomach cramps and it was so painful, I collapsed. They thought it was appendicitis.”
Amy went on to reveal she had “awful stomach pains” and it wasn’t until she was 19 that she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
She told Phillip and Holly: “It came with a vengeance when I was 18.
“Terrible vomiting, extreme vomiting, extreme pain my body couldn’t cope, it shut down and I went into hospital.”
The 27year-old continued: “I could see my twin sister in university living the life and my brother. I had these enormous dreams.
“I could just see them fading away. I was in the hospital for a total of six weeks when I was 19.”
Amy explained that looking back she thinks she was meant to have Crohn’s as it made her “stronger”.
“I wasn’t Amy with Crohn’s, I was Amy the dancer,” she said.
Amy revealed that the Strictly Come Dancing team is aware of her battle with Crohn’s and she is more aware of her symptoms.
“All the strictly dancers know, I don’t want sympathy so it’s not something I sit and talk about,” she commented.
“Oti [Mabuse] and Dianne [Buswell] have seen it first hand. I had a night of terrible vomiting and pain and Oti spent all night with me.”
Holly then pointed out Amy had chosen to open up about her battle with the disease due to a fan of hers, Lacey.
“I can remember crying when I read the letter,” Amy remarked.
“She said she was diagnosed with the Crohn’s disease and she said it made her realise she could still achieve her dreams of becoming a vet.
“I missed competitions but I got there. It may have taken me longer. Lacey inspired me to have the guts to tell everyone.”
Amy added: “I think, if we raise awareness, take the guts to talk about it.”
This Morning airs weekdays on ITV at 10.30am.
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