Friday 20 May 2022 09:34 AM Strictly's Amy Dowden shares shock snap of a Crohn's disease flare-up trends now
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.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a medical term that describes a group of conditions in which the intestines become inflamed (red and