Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has revealed that she feared she was going to die after doctors discovered she had a brain tumour.

The 44-year-old said that after falling ill in the summer of 2015, she had some routine blood tests. It was then that a non-malignant growth was discovered in her pituitary gland which controls the release of hormones in the body.

She began receiving treatment in January and the tumour was successfully reduced.

The socialite told the Daily Mail: "I got terribly frightened. I started thinking, 'I'm going to die. I actually feel very lucky. My growth was non-malignant but it affected the production of prolactin. I've been with people who have malignant brain tumours so I don't want to be like, 'Hey look at me'.

"I have been - touch wood - luckier. I've taken medication and, thankfully, it seems to have gone away for now," she added.

Palmer-Tomkinson was also diagnosed with an auto-immune condition, which causes tiredness, joint pain and acute anaemia.

After speaking publicly about her past cocaine addiction, she said she faced scrutiny for her increasingly frail appearance by the media, who appeared to attribute her waning health to drugs.

"That's always their take on it... cocaine. That was so many years ago. But not many people can contemplate Tara's life without it," she said.

Describing how she has coped wi th the ongoing specualtion regarding her health she said: "It has been really hard. This whole summer was quite bad. There were pictures of me going shopping with my sister. I've got white pyjamas on and was just leaving the hospital to go shopping.

"One magazine said: 'Look at the difference between the two sisters going shopping for the day.' I thought, "I've just come out of a CAT scan and you're comparing me to my gorgeous sister."

She said she decided to open up about her condition to put an end to the rumours once and for all. "I've carried this secret for a year. I wanted to deal with my illness privately but there have been so many rumours flying around.

"There have been all sorts of rumours about what's wrong with me. I'm trying to be very strong and get well, but I need to be left alone to do it," she said in the emotional interview.

"All I can do is wait and see. I am pretty fit and I'm 100 per cent determined to get better," she added. "I've always felt positive, whatever has happened in my life."