Jade Thirlwall has revealed doctors told her she would die as she battled anorexia as a teenager.

The 26-year-old Little Mix singer developed the eating disorder at the age of 13 after the death of her grandfather and was admitted to hospital for treatment three years later.

She went on to make a full recovery and was discharged from hospital just weeks before her audition for The X Factor in 2011.

Jade reflected on her difficult battle with anorexia in a new podcast for BBC Sounds Life Hacks, as she visited patients at a hospital in Sheffield who have been diagnosed with the eating disorder.

“Anorexia was my own dark secret and I guess I was sort of satisfied with that. It was my own thing that I could do to myself and nobody knew about it," she told host Katie Thistleton.

Jade recalled being "very gaunt" as anorexia took hold, and sadly confessed she wanted to "waste away" before she got help.

“I got in a really horrible state. The turning point – and the reason why I first told my counsellor – was when I got tired of hating myself so much," she shared.

“The second turning point for me was when I was at hospital and the doctors told me that I would die if I kept doing it. To hear somebody say that to you is actually quite scary and I started to realise how damaging it was for my family," Jade explained.

After finding success with bandmates Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson and Perrie Edwards with Little Mix, Jade was determined to avoid an anorexia relapse for the sake of her career.

"Honestly, I still have times where I’ll feel a bit sad or down about something, but I now don’t associate that with eating any more. I don’t punish myself in that way," she added.