A PLACE in the Sun's Laura Hamilton has lifted the lid on her battle with autoimmune disease ITP, which leaves her covered in bruises.
The telly presenter, 38 – who has been a property expert on the Channel 4 show since 2012 – first spoke out about suffering with the condition last year.
Laura originally blamed her severe bruising on looking after her two young kids Rocco, seven, and Tahlia, five – who she shares with husband Alex Goward.
After talking to the doctors she found out she had immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a very rare autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its own platelets.
In an exclusive chat with The Sun Online, the star has opened up about how she's been coping with the condition since her diagnosis, and luckily it's not caused her many issues.
She told us: "It's something that's kind of managed."
Platelets are tiny cells that help blood clots to stop internal bleeding, and at the time Laura's levels were shockingly low.
They are usually between 400 and 140 K/uL and Laura was told hers was only 23.
Speaking about how she's dealing with it now, she added: "I'm quite fortunate. It's okay."
The star has had a number of fans contact her via social media asking for advice and she's more than happy to help whenever she can.
What is immune thrombocytopenic purpura?
ITP is a rare blood disorder that affects 200,000, commonly aged over 60.
The disease causes bleeding under the skin because of low platelets (cells that form clots which in hand stop bruising).
Due to the small amount of platelets, bruises start to appear.
Symptoms to look out for:
Bleeding from nostrils or gums
Blood when you go to the toilet
Heavy menstrual flow
Talk to your GP if you think that you have ITP to discuss what the next step is
After being called for her Covid-19 vaccine, many more who have the same blood disorder wanted to know if she had any bad side effects afterwards.
She added: "I had quite a few people reach out to me saying 'how were you after you had the injection? Did you have bruising and stuff?'
"And it didn't actually after I had the injection, but I did feel like I punched in my arm for like a week.
"It really did feel like under the skin, bruising and sore."
Before being diagnosed with ITP, Laura admitted that she became slightly "obsessive" with losing weight.
The telly star said that being diagnosed with the condition was a "turning point" in her life as she wanted be a healthy person that young girls can look up to.
After giving birth to daughter in 2015, Laura's weight plummeted to 7st 4b and admitted she did start to question if her weight loss had brought it on.
She said: "It could have just been coincidental that 10 months after Tahlia was born, I ended up getting an autoimmune disease.
"But there were people going 'oh it's because you lost loads of weight'.
"And I gradually sort of thought, right, this isn't good, I need to be a good role model and I put some weight back on."
But now Laura describes herself "normal and healthy" and can't wait to get back into the gym now that restrictions have been lifted.
Over the past year, Laura has managed to keep fit from the comfort of her own home and has filmed a number of workouts with fitness coach Harry Seller on Instagram.
Not only that, she's made sure that she's been fuelling her body with the right food to keep herself going – and nutrition app Lifesum has really helped her do that.
She explained: "We’ve all experienced cooking fatigue during lockdown, which is why I absolutely love the nutrition app, Lifesum.
"It’s great for different recipe ideas, particularly as I follow a Ketogenic diet – and really helps me to track daily progress and keep me focused.
"The vegetable and water trackers help me to achieve a good balance in my diet, and stay hydrated!"
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