Strictly Come Dancing’s Amy Dowden opened up about living with Crohn’s disease in a candid post on Thursday, with a selfie showing the reality of her flare-ups.
The pro dancer, 31, took to social media to break stigmas about her condition with 315,000 Instagram followers for World Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Day.
The star captured herself with red, inflamed eyes and cracked lips as she wrote: ‘I wanted to show the reality of flares! (this isn’t me today, I’ve had a lovely day filming).’
Candid: Amy Dowden, 31, took to social media to break stigmas about her condition with 315,000 Instagram followers for World Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Day on Thursday
She went on to detail the impact the condition had on her life, revealing she’d been denied work opportunities as employers considered her to be a ‘risk’ due to her condition.
Amy explained: ‘Last few years I’ve really wanted to help raise awareness for IBD. Help other sufferers but also show that it doesn’t define you.
‘Today I want to share times I found tough. One of which is being judged for your condition!’
Honest: The Strictly Come Dancing dancer opened up about living with Chron’s Disease in a candid post with a selfie showing the reality of her flare-ups with the illness
Educating: Amy also took her Instagram stories to share resources on the day and answer followers’ questions on the topic
The Welsh dancer added: ‘I would do anything in the world not to live with it, I often say what did I do to deserve this?
‘Then I’d be robbed of opportunities and dreams because I’d be seen as a “risk” which would frustrate and upset me, which as many know isn’t good for any sufferers.
‘Why punish us anymore? Having IBD doesn’t take away your talents, your hard work, your work ethic! In fact it makes us stronger.
‘Let’s take away the stigma and continue to talk and raise more awareness!’
Amy also took to Instagram Stories to share resources on the day and answer followers’ questions on the topic.
In response to one fan’s prompt, she described suffering through the symptoms while at school.
She said: ‘During my A-levels it got really bad…My A-level English exam, I was sweating…I literally had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the exam, I was sick.
‘Got straight back in…I got through it, I think only just somehow…
‘But I’m sure maybe it was just stress of the exams. Still passed the exam!’
Real: The star (pictured in January) has been open about her struggles with the disease, and in past spoke about her flare-ups
Amy has suffered from Crohn’s – which is a condition where parts of the digestive system become inflamed – since childhood.
The star has been open about her struggles with the disease, and in past spoke about her flare-ups.
Earlier this year the dancer revealed she was cared for by her Strictly co-stars after being rushed to hospital following a Crohn’s flare-up that left her ‘crying in pain’.
Speaking on Steph’s Packed Lunch in February, she revealed that her fellow pros rallied around her when she became ill, after she was forced to take a break from the show’s tour to recover.
Describing the day she had to be taken to hospital, she said: ‘I woke up and I felt niggles in my stomach, a bit more tired and I just thought “oh maybe it’s the tour” and I had a hot water bottle.
‘Then I started vomiting between numbers during the show, which can be normal for me.’
‘I have to say to everybody, ”That’s just like you guys going to the toilet, don’t panic!” she added.
‘Then I got on the bus and all of my fellow pros know me and they could instantly see ”Amy’s not well…”
‘It got to the point where I was crying in pain, Aljaz whipped me up and carried me into the service station.
‘I managed to get my symptoms under control, we got to Manchester but slowly I deteriorated to the point where unfortunately they needed to call an ambulance straight after the matinee.
‘Kai carried me off the stage in the matinee in Manchester.’
It comes as earlier this month Amy finally got to have her hen do, which she combined with her fiancé’s stag night to create a joined ‘sten’.
The Strictly Come Dancing professional is engaged to fellow dancer Ben Jones, with the pair initially due to wed two years ago on July 25, 2020 – before the marriage was postponed due to Covid.
She took to Instagram to share a slew of snaps from the celebration, looking stunning in a white floral wedding dress complete with veil.
Celebrations: Amy finally got to have her hen do earlier this month, which she combined with her fiancé’s stag night to create a joined ‘sten’
The star posed for a group shot with her friends and family, while another photo showed Ben planting a sweet kiss on her cheek.
Captioning the string of images, Amy wrote: ‘After a busy but exciting few days filming for dare to dance only now getting round to posting from a fantastic afternoon Sunday.
‘Thank you to our parents at @artinmotion.dance for mine and Ben’s sten party! Such a fun afternoon full of crazy and fabulous surprises!
‘Loved the games! Sorry boys but team bride definitely won’.
Loved-up: The Strictly Come Dancing professional is engaged to fellow dancer Ben Jones, with the pair initially due to wed two years ago before the marriage was postponed due to Covid