Adam Thomas speaks out on chronic illness diagnosis just days after Strictly Come Dancing announcement

Adam Thomas is the eighth contestant of the new series of ITV's Strictly Come Dancing

Just days after he was announced as the eighth contestant of Strictly Come Dancing, Adam Thomas has opened up on a diagnosis with a chronic illness.

The Waterloo Road star was announced for the ITV show on Tuesday, joining a number of major names. Including Love Island alumni Zara McDermott, famed presenter Les Dennis, Angela Scanlon, and EastEnders' Bobby Brazier among others.

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Now ahead of the competition, which will see the 34-year-old enjoy a number of energetic and frantic dance routines, he revealed that he's been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

According to the NHS, rheumatoid arthritis is "a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints" with the most affected areas including hands, wrists and feet. There is no cure, but early diagnosis can prevent 'flare-ups' from becoming a regular occurrence.

Adam Thomas has been confirmed as the eighth contestant of the new series of ITV's Strictly Come Dancing - Credit: ITVAdam Thomas has been confirmed as the eighth contestant of the new series of ITV's Strictly Come Dancing - Credit: ITV
Adam Thomas has been confirmed as the eighth contestant of the new series of ITV's Strictly Come Dancing - Credit: ITV | ITV

Adam Thomas took to social media to reveal the diagnosis, admitting his participation in Strictly could not come at a better time. He confessed he has been suffering excruciating pain over the last six months and thanked his loved ones.

He said: "Well it’s my birthday tomorrow and I turn 35!! How did that happen, does this mean I should stop acting like a kid now haha. As much as I act like a kid, my body is telling another story as I’ve been in a lot of pain since January, it started with my knees and then traveled to my wrists, fingers and now ankles and toes.

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"I never knew what was happening and finally after several blood tests and back and forth to doctors and hospitals, I’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid Arthritis!

The actor continued: "I thought that was something people, later on in there life get but that’s not the case, clearly! It’s been a tough old year but finally I’m on the right plan now! Finally getting it under control. For now!

"But some days are better than others and am not going to lie, it’s been hard not being able to train properly, it’s has had a huge knock-on effect for me personally, but not only that for my family too!! And I just want to say thank you to @carolinethomas23 and the kids for going on this journey with me, as I know it’s been challenging and frustrating at times but hopefully we’re on the right path now! I don’t know too much about the condition yet as am still learning but, what i have done is learnt a lot about myself and the fact I’d be lost with out this lot!

"It really couldn’t have come at a better time I’m a firm believer of everything happening for a reason, and I know the journey I’ve been on was meant to happen, to never take small things in life for granted! Like going for a run, playing with my kids and just being able to walk with no pain!

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"I know it’s going to be tough and I’ve definitely got my work cut out but am up for the challenge and can not wait to get on that dance floor!! I suppose the reason am telling you this is if anyone out there, is suffering what ever your situation… stay strong get the right help where and when you can! But most importantly stay positive!"

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing is expected to start in mid-September. It will air on BBC One and on demand through BBC iPlayer.

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