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Amy Dowden, 30, has reflected on the pain she went through when she was a young girl and was unaware she had Crohn’s disease. The Strictly Come Dancing professional admitted she was so desperate to escape her excruciating symptoms that she screamed for doctors to remove her stomach at the time.
The star explained she felt “frustrated” about her health issues growing up, as she didn’t properly understand what was causing them.
Crohn’s disease is a lifelong condition where parts of the digestive system become inflamed, as stated by the NHS.
Symptoms may be constant or may come and go every few weeks or months. When they return, it’s called a flare-up.
Amy also detailed the lack of scientific knowledge surrounding the condition when she was younger.
READ MORE… Strictly’s Amy Dowden hospitalised after ‘nasty’ Crohn’s flare-up
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The BBC favourite said: “At the time, I just felt really frustrated and as a kid, it’s hard to explain your feelings when you’re in so much pain.
“I used to scream to them, ‘Just open my stomach, take me to surgery and remove my stomach,’ that’s what I used to say, ‘Just cut me open, take it out, take it out whatever it is.’
“I guess I was angry, but now I’m older looking back, the understanding of Crohn’s back then was not as much as it is now.
“The money and the science into it now is completely different and back then as well, the testing wasn’t as good as it is now because now you can do a stool sample and be tested for Crohn’s and MRIs.
“Whereas back then, the main tests for it were quite excruciating to put a child through,” she explained.
Amy then recalled when doctors tried to figure out the reason behind her symptoms via a colonoscopy and endoscopy.
Colonoscopies inspect the large intestine (colon and rectum) while upper endoscopies look at the oesophagus, stomach and the first part of the small intestine.
Amy continued: “Like a colonoscopy and endoscopy is not nice to put a young girl through.
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“I know they tried doing a colonoscopy and endoscopy with me and I think I was 12 and I couldn’t keep still and I was in so much pain and I didn’t like it and I was screaming for my mum.
“So I think growing up, I was really angry and frustrated and I couldn’t understand.”
The dancer was eventually diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 19-years-old.
The Strictly star said she suffered a “nasty flare-up” during the current third national lockdown and was hospitalised.
When asked how she had been coping, she said: “I think there are ups and downs, aren’t there? I’m so used to being such a busy bee at my dance academy and on tour.
“For me, finding me in just my house has been really tough, I’m a social bee as well.
“I struggle with my health as well, with lockdown, my Crohn’s doesn’t like lockdown and unfortunately, I was admitted into hospital last Friday with a nasty flare-up.”
On what may have caused it, she went on to explain: “I think my body is so used to being on the go and energetic, moving from one place to another place, to dancing all day, to teaching, to then being stuck at home, I’m not physically as active.
“Even though I’m trying to keep busy, I’m not burning my energy levels half as much as I used to.
“So yeah, ups and downs – I just try and stay as positive and as motivated as possible,” she added on the Getting Personal with Daphne Bugler and Isabella Hobbs podcast.
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