ITV show This Morning welcomed Amy Dowden onto the show today to chat about her battle with Crohn’s disease. The Strictly Come Dancing professional spoke about how the disease has affected her life. Crohn’s disease is a condition in which parts of the digestive system become inflamed. But do you know anything about this condition?
Crohn’s disease is a lifelong condition that plagues people of all ages with symptoms usually starting in childhood or early adulthood.
It is one type of a condition called inflammatory bowel disease.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptoms are:
Stomach aches and cramps
Blood in your poo
The symptoms may be constant or may come and go every few weeks or months.
When they come back, it’s called a flare-up.
You should see a GP if you or your child have: blood in your stool, diarrhoea for more than 7 days, frequent stomach aches or cramps or lost weight for no reason, or your child isn’t growing as fast as you’d expect.
A GP will try to find out what’s causing your symptoms and may refer you for tests to check for Crohn’s disease.
There’s no cure for Crohn’s disease, but the condition can be treated to help reduce or control the symptoms.
The main treatments are:
Medicines to reduce inflammation in the digestive system – usually steroid tablets
Medicines to stop the inflammation coming back – either tablets or injections
Surgery to remove a small part of the digestive system – sometimes this may be a better treatment option than medicines
It can be difficult to live with Crohn’s disease at times but if the symptoms are well controlled, sufferers can live a normal life.
Speaking about the first time her experience with the disease and the symptoms, Amy said: “As a bubbly child I couldn’t sit still.
“My parents took us off to Winter Wonderland and I had stomach cramps and it was so painful, I collapsed. They thought it was appendicitis.”
Amy went on to reveal she had “awful stomach pains” and it wasn’t until she was 19 that she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
She told Phillip and Holly: “It came with a vengeance when I was 18
“Terrible vomiting, extreme vomiting, extreme pain my body couldn’t cope, it shut down and I went into hospital.”