What is anemia? Medical condition which caused Olivia Attwood to quit I’m a Celebrity explained

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Olivia Attwood departed the jungle after just 24 hours

Olivia Attwood was forced to withdraw from I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! after a routine blood test showed she was anaemic.

The test, which all the contestants undergo randomly throughout the show, also revealed low sodium and potassium levels, prompting staff to immediately take her to hospital. The former Love Island contestant, 31, disclosed the reason for her departure after only 24 hours in the Australian jungle in an interview with the Mail On Sunday.

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Attwood said that when the tests were repeated in hospital, they came back normal. She was then taken to a hotel to sleep while ITV decided whether she could re-enter the camp.

The Love Island star also said she was not aware Matt Hancock was joining the show until she turned her phone on at Brisbane Airport on her way home.

She said: “It’s funny to see him slimed and gunked but it isn’t funny if you didn’t get to hold someone’s hand when they died while he was snogging someone in his office. NHS workers are protesting to get paid enough money to survive and he is out earning money in the jungle. That doesn’t seem right, does it?”

What is anemia?

NHS describes anemia as being caused “by lack of iron, often because of blood loss or pregnancy”. It’s treated with iron tablets and by eating iron-rich foods.

The symptoms can include:

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  • tiredness and lack of energy
  • shortness of breath
  • noticeable heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • pale skin

A simple blood test will confirm if you have iron deficiency anaemia. If the reason for the anaemia is not clear, they might order some tests to find out what might be causing the symptoms.

Mike Tindall has joined the cast of I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of HereMike Tindall has joined the cast of I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here
Mike Tindall has joined the cast of I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here | ITV

What did Olivia Attwood say about leaving I’m a Celebrity?

Explaining what happened when she left the jungle in an interview with the Mail on Sunday, she said: “I was so scared, I was like: ‘What the hell is wrong with me?’ They couldn’t give me an answer, they just told me that they had to get me to the hospital immediately.

“The results were really, really low when they put them into their reader and they consulted with another doctor off-site. I had those bloods done in England before I left, and they were fine. I was confused and of course very, very worried.”

She added: “They said because of the results the show’s medical team got from my readings, they were not happy to sign me off to come back in, even though I had the clean bill of health from the hospital. If I went back into camp, they feared my levels might drop and it could be detrimental to my health and wellbeing.”

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She said ITV was not “willing to authorise my return and therefore I wasn’t insured”, before adding she was “absolutely devastated”. On landing back in the UK she had more blood tests, which again came back fine.

Asked whether she will receive her full fee for the show, reported to be between £100,000 and £125,000, she replied: “We haven’t discussed that yet.”

What have ITV said about the incident?

A show spokesman said: “As a precautionary measure, Olivia needed to leave the jungle to undergo some medical checks.

“Unfortunately, the medical team has advised it is not safe for Olivia to return to camp as there needs to be further investigation. She has been absolutely brilliant and she’ll be very much missed on the show.”

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