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‘Dancing With the Stars’ Sasha Pieterse Opens up About Medical Condition

{Image Credit: ABC Television / BBC Worldwide Productions}

For more than two years, Sasha Pieterse has faced some intense scrutiny from followers on social media over her weight. But now the actress is getting candid about her all too relatable medical condition.

Best known for her role on Pretty Little Liars, Pieterse grew up in front of our eyes. Starring on the series at the age of 12, the 21-year-old went through several bodily changes while on the series, including a hormone imbalance that led to significant weight gain towards the end of the show’s run.

Over the years, Pieterse has been open about her struggles with body image and getting her health under control. But as she competes on this season’s Dancing With the Stars with partner, Gleb Savchenko, Pierterse revealed what caused her sudden weight gain of 70 pounds.

In last Monday’s episode of the ABC dance completion, Pierterse shared with Savchenko that she over the last two years, her body was changing, but she wasn’t sure why.

“I didn’t have any way of solving it,” Pieterse said.

To make matters worse, she received several mean spirited comments on social media from people calling her “fat” and asking if she was “pregnant.”

“It was really hurtful how people reacted,” Pieterse explained. “They were angry or mad I looked like this. It was one of the hardest things I have ever been through.”

{Image Credit: ABC / BBC Worldwide Productions}

In the episode, Pieterse explained that very recently, she was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a hormonal disorder associated with weight gain, irregular periods and difficulty losing weight. It was then that she finally understood why her body changed so drastically.

But now, she wants to bring awareness to the disorder, which often goes undiagnosed.

While practicing for the show, Pieterse revealed she lost more than 15 pounds just by dancing. More importantly, she shared how she’s starting to feel like herself again.

After the performance, Pieterse told co-host Erin Andrews that she’s happy with her dance direction.

“I feel like I’ve always been a happy person, and I’ve been so blessed with amazing family and friends,” she said. “But I went through a hard time, so feeling like me again, it means the world, honestly.”

With her stint on the ABC competition alive and well, and an upcoming spinoff of her Freeform series, Pieterse is definitely dancing off the haters.

Watch Sasha Pieterse on Dancing With the Stars every Monday on ABC at 8 p.m. EST. Check your local listings.

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