Sunday, March 6, 2011 5:33am ET by  
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Michelle Heaton's heart defect

Michelle Heaton, who found fame back in 2001 with the 'Popstars' manufactured act Liberty X, has revealed her harrowing ordeal with the consequences of diet pills. 

She suffers regular heart palpitations as a result of years of slimming and has been told it could be arrhythmia or even atrial fibrillation (AF). The 31-year old singer explained her terrifying condition to the Daily Mail:

"It's on the beat then off the beat, fast then slow. And then it calms down after about 20 seconds. Every time it happens, I think I am going to die."

"Often when I have had an attack, I have been with friends who have called an ambulance. But when the paramedics arrive, I'm fine and it looks like I'm making a fuss about nothing."

Heaton also confessed a previous addiction to slimming pills:

"I never wanted to talk about this before  -  I didn't even tell the other girls in the band  -  but from the age of 18 to 24 I was basically addicted to these caffeine diet pills which, at that time, were widely available in High Street chemists." 

"I had a boyfriend who was very much into fitness and he wanted me to be slimmer than I was. I tried dieting but wasn't losing weight. On the pills, having been ten-and-a-half stone, I managed to lose two stone. I would take a pill an hour before a meal to curb my appetite  -  which it did. It was like drinking four cans of Red Bull."

Watch Heaton talk about the difficulties of altering your body shape in the gym here: