Amy Dowden: Strictly pro left ‘humiliated’ as health battle sparks ‘spiteful’ remarks
Amy Dowden says she's preparing for 'life-changing' experience
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Amy Dowden revealed she had been suffering from Crohn’s disease in 2019 as she tried to help other sufferers of the condition. The Strictly Come Dancing performer has admitted to being body shamed and receiving online abuse
The 30-year-old revealed that a recent flare up of the condition and the high dose of intravenous steroids she was given in hospital has made her gain weight.
According to the NHS, Crohn’s disease is a lifelong condition where parts of the digestive system become inflamed.
People with the disease commonly experience phases of intense abdominal pain, severe vomiting, exhaustion and bloody diarrhoea, among other symptoms.
Speaking in a new interview, Amy opened up about hurtful comments she received online.
She explained to HELLO: “I was either too skinny and people assumed I was anorexic, or I’d bloat from my medication.
“I’d just come off the dance floor when a dressmaker in the changing room looked at me and said ‘She has a fat bottom and a thick middle.’
“I felt so humiliated and embarrassed. I was only 21 and still trying to deal with my condition. As a dancer struggling to fit into tiny costumes, I became very self-conscious.”
The professional dancer also revealed that the medication had left her feeling better but had led to water retention which made her hips, thighs and bottom bloat and added puffiness to her face.
Amy added: “I want to look my best on the dance floor, but when you get photographed in an unflattering light and people make spiteful comments about your size, it can be very hurtful.”
The Strictly star explained that the BBC show’s team have been supportive of her following her condition and have been “so kind”.
She described how the male dancers on the show avoid people lifting her if they know she’s not feeling well and how Dianne Buswell constantly checks in on her.
The professional dancer is urging people to be more considerate and to think twice before saying and posting an unkind comment online.
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Amy told the same publication: “Some people are too quick to comment about the way someone looks.
“They have no idea what the target of their remark is going through.”
The dancer was eventually diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 19-years-old.
The Strictly star recently 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.
“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.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year.
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