Arlene Phillips health: ‘Why am I so sick?’ – I’m A Celeb star’s health concern

I'm A Celeb: Arlene Phillips discusses storm evacuation

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Even after day one in the Welsh castle, where the show is taking place, fans flocked to Twitter to express their concern over the former Strictly Come Dancing judges welfare. The ageing star was subject to sleeping on the floor, having little to eat and battling the freezing cold in the castle clink, all while the other campmates such as Frankie Bridge, were enjoying the perks of main camp.

Taking to Twitter one viewer wrote: “I fear for Arlene – 78 and sleeping on a cold floor eating rice and beans. She looks her age today, poor lass.”

While another user took it a step further, saying: “Honestly, I can’t cope with Arlene Philips being in I’m A Celeb… she’s 78, it’s freezing cold, she’s sleeping on a bed on the floor, and she has no food.

“If this was any other 78-year-old, I’d be calling social services #ImACeleb.”

Arlene’s age was not the only thing that led to concerns for her health, as she addressed herself whilst sitting round the campfire.

At the age of 47, the star, who has made a career as a choreographer, fell ill for nearly four to five months.

Unbeknown to her, Arlene was pregnant, assuming instead that symptoms she was experiencing was caused by the menopause.

Recalling details about the ordeal Arlene said that at the time she asked herself: “I can’t be pregnant, why am I so sick?”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), explains that women’s “peak” reproductive years are between late teens and late 20s. By the age of 30, a woman’s fertility starts to slowly decline.

The NHS continues to say that women become less fertile as they get older, with one study finding that women aged between 35 and 39 have an 82 percent chance of getting pregnant after one year of regular unprotected sex.

Although perfectly normal to have a child later in life, there are some risks that naturally occur with an older pregnancy.

These include the following:

  • Developing high blood pressure during pregnancy
  • More likely to have a premature baby
  • More likely to need a C-section rather than a vaginal birth
  • Higher risk of chromosome abnormalities
  • Higher risk of pregnancy loss.

After coping with a stressful pregnancy, Arlene went on to describe the self-consciousness she felt after her daughter, Abi, was born, with individuals often mistaking her as her grandmother instead of her mother.

Arlene said: “When I went to a mother and baby class in Primrose Hill my obstetrician came up and whispered – I can never forget this – he kneeled down and said, ‘Have no fear, it will get better – because you really should be a grandmother, so you’re going to have to find ways to understand how to be a mother again.’

My daughter Abi, I remember dreading, absolutely dreading taking her to school, age four, and having to explain, ‘No, I’m her mother not her grandmother. I was 47 when I had her.'”

The star’s story also had an effect on her fellow campmates, who were all rather shocked at the tale.

Shortly afterwards, Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge remarked at how impressed she was by Arlene, saying: “The fact that she’s here, she’s 78, going through all of this with us, she’s still dancing around – and I imagine back then she was exactly the same.

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A post shared by Dame Arlene Phillips (@arlenephillips)

“I get where she’s coming from but I don’t think she’s got anything to worry about.”

Despite some concerns for older mothers, there is no reason that women cannot have successful pregnancies beyond the age of 35.

WebMD explains that women who might be concerned about their pregnancy due to their age can relieve some of these worries by having regular doctor check-ups, eating a well-balanced diet, checking their blood pressure and going to counselling.

For those who may be confused about menopause symptoms, the NHS explains that common symptoms of menopause – which commonly begins in women aged 51 – include the following:

  • Hot flushes – short, sudden feelings of heat, usually in the face, neck and chest, which can make your skin red and sweaty
  • Night sweats – hot flushes that occur at night
  • Difficulty sleeping – this may make you feel tired and irritable during the day
  • A reduced sex drive (libido)
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Vaginal dryness and pain, itching or discomfort during sex
  • Headaches
  • Mood changes, such as low mood or anxiety
  • Palpitations – heartbeats that suddenly become more noticeable
  • Joint stiffness, aches and pains
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs).

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