Inside Strictly Come Dancing dancer Amy Dowden's nightmare battle with Crohn's that put her in hospital
STRICTLY Come Dancing professional Amy Dowden has revealed her ongoing battle with Crohn's that put her in hospital this week.
The dancing star suffered a terrifying health scare and was taken to A&E after having an "unexpected flare up" with the disease over the weekend.
Amy, 31, was forced to pull out of Saturday night's live show as she spent the night being cared for by doctors due to her Crohn's.
Her dance partner Tom Fletcher and his wife Giovanna, as well as former star Sara Davies rushed to her rescue while her fiance Ben Jones was away.
Her friends helped her get to hospital for urgent treatment for the potentially deadly disease – which she has been living with for more than half her life.
Amy was first diagnosed with the chronic bowel condition as a child, but kept her battle secret until 2019 when she first opened up about the disease.
The Welsh dancer spoke about the illness in a 2020 documentary, Strictly Amy: Crohn's and Me, following her frequent hospital trips during the pandemic.
The condition causes severe inflammation and ulcers in the digestive system and has landed her in hospital more than 100 times in severe pain.
It is one of the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease – the other is a condition known as Ulcerative Colitis.
Common symptoms include recurring diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramping – usually worse after eating and extreme tiredness.
What is Crohn’s Disease?
CROHN’S Disease is an ongoing and life-long condition once diagnosed and there is no cure for the disease.
It is a condition that causes inflammation of the digestive system.
The inflammation is the body's reaction to injury or irritation, and can cause redness, swelling and pain.
It is often described as a chronic condition and although sufferers will have periods of good health, there are flare-ups where symptoms are more active.
There is no cure for Crohn's Disease, so treatment – including medication and surgery – aims to reduce symptoms and maintain remission.
Some sufferers are forced to have parts of their bowel removed to aid their pain maintenance, and must use a colostomy bag to pass faeces.
Luckily for Amy, she is mostly able to manage the crippling condition with a series of medication that she takes every day, as well as a strict diet.
Amy said: "Strictly has been more than a dance show to me, it got me through the darkest times of my illness. For me it was a big inspiration to keep me dancing.
"Dancing has pulled me through my Crohn's but it's a battle. I live in fear that what I love the most could be taken away. And I've been more ill this year than I have been in a long time."
Amy revealed this week that she had moved in with Strictly dance partner Tom and his wife Giovanna amid her latest flare up with the disease.
Sharing a collection of photos to Instagram, she wrote: "I had an unexpected Crohn’s flare up and hospital admission in which I received unbelievable care.
"I’m recovering very well and certainly being well looked after and look forward to returning to the dance floor."
Tom and Amy were eliminated from Strictly after Musicals Week, with many viewers being outraged at the time as they accused the series of being "fixed".
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