Strictly’s Amy Dowden and JJ Chalmers bond over health battles – here is how Amy’s disease could affect her

Strictly’s Amy Dowden and JJ Chalmers bond over health battles – here is how Amy’s disease could affect her

10/20/2020

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Strictly Come Dancing professional Amy Dowden and former Royal Marines Commando and Television Presenter JJ Chalmers have been partnered together for this year’s series.

The pair, who will be performing a waltz as their first dance on Saturday, have already formed a strong bond over their shared experience of having medical problems.

Amy lives with Crohn’s Disease, while Prince Harry's pal JJ suffers injuries from a bomb blast. The 30 year old dancer said: “We totally understand each other in so many different ways. The producers walked in the other day and we were talking about having our trips to hospital.”

“We’ve both overcome a lot and we’re quite determined characters to both be where we are on Strictly Come Dancing today.”

JJ, 33, continued: “Whenever I hear Amy speak about what she’s had to put up with and how she has driven forward to become the best at what she does you know, it is entirely what I want to do with my life as well, move beyond everything that held me back and I should just look at, you know, the possibilities and that is what the process is about. Doing what you can do rather than what you can’t.”

Amy added: “That’s what I love about JJ, if there’s a movement that maybe he can’t do, he never says ‘I can’t’, he goes ‘I’ll find a way’ and we find our way. I’m just totally inspired by JJ.”

Amy, has previously opened up about suffering from Crohn’s in BBC documentary Strictly Amy: Crohn’s and Me. She said of the experience: "There are a few scenes of me in hospital, I'm losing my dignity really, showing my real vulnerable side. I never wanted it to come across that I'm looking sympathy or I look weak, I'm trying to raise awareness, the more awareness is raised the more money is raised and then we could find a cure."

Here are all the details of the disease…

Causes

The exact cause of the disease is not yet known, however, there are a combination of factors which are thought to be responsible.

The NHS website explains the inflammation may be caused by a problem in the immune system, causing it to attack healthy bacteria in the gut.

Previous infection could also trigger an abnormal response from the immune system.

Crohn’s disease is most common in Westernised countries such as the UK, which backs up the idea the environment has a part to play.

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Side effects

Common symptoms of Crohn’s disease can include recurring diarrhoea, abdominal pain, extreme tiredness and weight loss.

There may be long periods of times where the side effects are mild, or don’t show at all, but these can be followed by problematic flare-ups.

Treatment

There’s not yet a cure for Chron’s disease, but there are treatments available to improve the symptoms.

Treatment is usually provided by a range of healthcare professionals, and an overhaul in diet and lifestyle is strongly advised.

Avoiding foods which will worsen your symptoms is highly recommended.

Severe symptoms usually involve medication, but surgery is sometimes an option.

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