Strictly star Amy Dowden praised as she shares candid snap of Crohn’s disease flare-up

Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden has been praised after sharing a photo on social media to raise awareness of the realities of living with Crohn's disease.

Amy, a professional dancer on the hit BBC show, has posted photographs on Instagram to mark World IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) Day.

The 31 year old star told her followers that she wanted to show what it looks like when she has flare-ups of the condition, and to show other sufferers that “it doesn’t define you".

IBD includes Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, long-term conditions where the lining of the digestive system becomes inflamed, often resulting in pain and swelling and diarrhoea as well as weight loss and extreme tiredness.

Amy wrote to her 315,000 followers: “Today I want to share times I found tough. One of which is being judged for your condition!

“I would do anything in the world not to live with it, I often say what did I do to deserve this?”

The Welsh dancer explained how the disease had impacted her career.

She said: “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.

“Let’s take away the stigma and continue to talk and raise more awareness!” she ended the post.

Fellow Strictly stars were quick to show their support for Amy in the comments section, with Motsi Mabuse saying: “Such a strong girl and role model.”

“Love you,” fellow pro dancer Dianne Buswell added, “So proud of you.”

Fans also praised the star for sharing her story.

“Thank you for inspiring us fellow IBD sufferers and showing us that our illness doesn’t have to control us,” one follower wrote.

Amy has talked about her health battles in the past, taking part in a BBC documentary in 2020 called Crohn's And Me where she bravely talked about living with the disease.

The star said that Strictly had helped her through “the darkest times of her illness”, but voiced concerns that Crohn's could force her to give up her dancing career.

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