Ex-Emmerdale and Casualty star Chelsea Halfpenny has revealed an eight-year battle with chronic illness.
The 30-year-old actress – who plays Amy Wyatt in the ITV soap – opened up about her struggle on Instagram.
And she said it was a “devastating blow”.
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What does Emmerdale star Chelsea Halfpenny suffer from?
Chelsea wrote on the Crohns and Colitis page on the social media platform and bravely let fans know what she’s been going through.
In a lengthy message, she revealed that she was diagnosed with the incurable auto-immune disease, ulcerative colitis.
Causing inflammation in the bowel, its main symptoms during a flare-up include pain, cramping and diarrhoea.
Other complications include flu-like symptoms, fatigue and swollen joints.
The incurable disease must be managed with medication, and Chelsea said she said it was “scary” when she was first diagnosed.
“A devastating blow”
She said: “It felt like a devastating blow.
“A ‘lifelong incurable illness’ was an extremely scary concept at my age and, considering none of my closest family or friends had heard of it either, left me feeling incredibly lonely.
“As time went on, I learnt to manage my symptoms so that they weren’t affecting my day-to-day life.”
She added: “Ultimately my goal was (and still is) to make sure my body is as healthy and strong as it can be…
“… if it’s working hard to fight this disease every day.
“Some days I find the reality of my Ulcerative Colitis hard to cope with as there is still so much we don’t know, and everyone’s journey with their IBD is so individual.
“It can feel lonely at times but I’ve found that talking about really does help.”
How did fans react to Chelsea’s inspiring message?
Fans soon got in touch to praise Chelsea for her honesty and bravery.
One wrote: “You got this [flexed biceps emoji] thanks for sharing your story, you have such a positive outlook.”
Another said: “You are amazing x.”
A third added: “You are incredible chels iloveyou.”
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