Tennis superstar Venus Williams first experienced symptoms including fatigue and shortness of breath. She explains that no matter how hard she worked, she was always exhausted and out of breath. This began to frustrate her, even more so when the symptoms got so bad that she couldn’t play professional tennis anymore. Seven years passed before Venus Williams finally received a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease which is called Sjogren’s syndrome. This isn’t an illness that can be cured, but it can be managed, and on the proper medication, Venus is back in good health.
Singer of Chandelier, Sia, revealed in a Tweet that she is going through a lot as she battles chronic pain caused by an autoimmune disease and another genetic condition too. She shared a message of hope and inspiration to others who may be experiencing the same pain as her. Sia said in her tweet, “you’re not alone.” Her autoimmune condition is Grave’s disease causing the body’s immune system to attack the thyroid gland. She also has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder affecting a person’s bones, joints, skin, and even blood vessels.
Bella Hadid, Gigi Hadid’s sister and model, is battling Lyme disease, just like her mother, Yolanda Hadid. She opened up about her journey in hopes of bringing awareness to all the teenagers who might have it. She is working to find a cure and is fighting to create a Lyme-free world. The diagnosis caused her to give up one of her life passions, horse riding, as she no longer had the brain power to do this activity. Bella goes on to say that one of the hardest things was everyone thinking she was OK on the outside but knew something was wrong on the inside. She’s doing her best to live a healthy life and find something to cure this condition.
Jane the Virgin… AKA Gina Rodriguez has Hashimoto’s disease. When Gina Rodriguez first received the news about her condition, she felt like it was a lifetime curse. While it is treatable, there is no cure, and Gina began to see the weight gain from Hashimoto’s at 26. In Hollywood, this celeb felt like this could be a real hindrance to her career. This actress continued to deny what she was experiencing rather than doing what she could to treat it. Gina Rodriguez didn’t think she would win. Since then, the actress has realized that Hashimoto’s affects many aspects of your life, and taking care of yourself has to become a priority.
Jillian Michaels, a fitness star, first experienced the signs of PCOS when she was just a teenager. She says the pain was so bad that her mom had to take her to the hospital in the middle of the night – she even suspected it might be her appendix. Once they found a type of fluid from a burst cyst, they knew what it was. Initially, she was prescribed birth control pills to help manage the condition and rebalance her hormones. Jillian decided not to remain on the birth control as she didn’t like the side effects. Still living with the disease, she keeps well by eating healthy and staying active and hasn’t experienced significant PCOS-related issues in 20 years.
Bret Michael, a rock singer, had a setback with his health when his doctors discovered a hole in his heart that caused a warning stroke. He felt the left side of his body slowly going numb, and he returned to the hospital that was actually treating him for a brain hemorrhage a month before this. The doctors then discovered that Bret Michael had a transient ischemic attack. The good news is that it was operable as well as being treatable. Luckily, they were able to diagnose the rock singer, and he was released from the hospital about 12 days after the incident.
Will.i.am, singer and performer, has opened up about being diagnosed with ADHD as a child. However, he isn’t letting this hold him back and instead believes this has actually helped him throughout his music career. When he was diagnosed as a child, he never took medication to address the symptoms caused by ADHD. He thinks it’s all just to sell medicine and feels it’s helped him be creative and focus on more things at a time. He’s proved that he is a creative genius, and maybe he has the right approach to treating this condition.
Selma Blair has become a real advocate for MS since being diagnosed in 2018. This Cruel Intentions actress processed the news for a couple of months before sharing it publicly. Apparently, her doctors initially thought she was experiencing sadness and possibly being overwhelmed in her role as a mother. Since then, Selma Blair has filmed a documentary giving insight into her life with multiple sclerosis and how she manages it. This actress has a team of people helping her deal with the symptoms but is still out and about living her life. Selma Blair initially felt depressed and drank when she got the news, but now she’s living her life to the fullest.
Elisabeth Hasselback, TV show host, said there were days when she would feel terrible and other days when she didn’t feel too bad. But, she didn’t know what was causing her to feel this way, and she couldn’t quite put her finger on what made her feel sick. She did her own online research and eventually came across information on gluten intolerance and celiac disease. She then self-diagnosed herself with celiac disease, which is an autoimmune condition triggered by gluten. The treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet, and that’s precisely what Elisabeth is doing to keep her health in check.
Lady Gaga, the queen of pop, is another celebrity who deals with fibromyalgia, but there’s something that really gets to her with this condition. It’s when people don’t believe that this is an actual condition. For Lady Gaga, she feels it is a “cyclone of anxiety” along with depression, trauma, panic disorder, and PTSD, which sends her nervous system into overdrive and causes nerve pain. There have been times when Lady Gaga was in so much pain that she couldn’t perform and had to cancel her concerts. It is a condition she lives with and treats as much as she can.
Actor Michael J. Fox had to quit acting, his passion, after 30 years of dealing with Parkinson’s Disease. The theater had to take a back seat as this disease started to impact his memory and his ability to speak. While going through all of this, he remains optimistic about his future with the disease even though there isn’t a cure for it yet. The Back to the Future star indeed fought to keep his acting career going as long as possible even though his doctor said he would only be able to act for ten more years – he pushed that all the way to 30 years. However, he acknowledges how “weird” it is that he’s done so well with it.
If you don’t know about Jada Pinkett Smith’s battle with alopecia, you’ve been living under a rock! Her struggle with hair loss was brought to light at the 2022 Oscars when Will Smith and Chris Rock were involved in an altercation surrounding a joke about her condition. Even though there has been drama around this revelation, she hasn’t let it stop her from living her best life. Jada, known for acting and being the Red Table Talk host, shows off her incredible skin and frequently updates her followers on her hair loss journey caused by the autoimmune disorder alopecia.
Montel Williams, TV personality and now chronic illness advocate, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1999. However, before finding out what he had, he remained undiagnosed for 20 years with shocking symptoms like feeling as though his feet were on fire. To Montel, his diagnosis was a “mixed blessing.” He thought it taught him just how necessary willpower is and, more than that, why it’s so vital to advocate for yourself and for your health. Montel’s message to others going through MS is not to let the disease define them and to communicate with your doctor frequently about the progression.
Kim Kardashian, a reality TV star, was 25 when she had her first psoriasis flare-up. She had a common cold, and since psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, it was then triggered. Kim K. experienced it all over her stomach and legs but managed to treat it with a cortisone shot, and it didn’t come back for another five years. It then came back when she was in her 30s, but she wasn’t sure if it was the same condition causing it. Kim K. has been dealing with it for eight years and, at first, was very self-conscious about it, but now it’s just part of who she is. She has used every cream and ointment to deal with this.
Lena Dunham, star and writer of Girls, is another female celebrity who has undergone an intense battle against endometriosis. She underwent numerous surgeries to try and help her with the chronic pain she was dealing with. Dunham says that these surgeries are measured in the double digits. She eventually decided to have a total hysterectomy to free her from the pain. As someone who grew up envisioning themselves as a mother, this was a huge decision but one that would help relieve her of the pain. The decision was made only when the pain became unbearable.
Tom Hanks has admitted that being an idiot caused him to develop type 2 diabetes. He says he belonged to the lazy American generation that gained weight and didn’t care about it. However, it has become his priority to get back in shape. According to Tom Hanks’ doctor, he could potentially cure himself of type 2 diabetes by losing weight. The doctor explained to Tom that he should no longer have type 2 diabetes when he hits a target weight. It is possible to ‘cure’ yourself of this type of diabetes, which is why promoting a healthy lifestyle is so important.
Charlie Sheen is an actor who has been living with an HIV diagnosis for many years. The day he was diagnosed felt like a death sentence, but thank goodness his mother was there with him when he got the news. Once that had passed through his mind, Charlie Sheen was then handed a bunch of pills by the doctors and told to go home; the actor would live. Charlie Sheen was eternally thankful from that point onward because he said if it had been another diagnosis, such as brain cancer, he might not be here right now.
Selena Gomez, Disney Child Star turned pop sensation, has undergone a kidney transplant, graciously donated to her by her friend Francia Raisa. This was all due to her diagnosis of lupus, an autoimmune disease. When Selena Gomez first received her diagnosis, she was told she might one day need a transplant, but she wasn’t taking it in or understanding what they meant. What keeps her going through all her health struggles is that she can help people. Selena kept asking herself, “Why me?” but then would answer her question by being able to help others and raise awareness of these conditions.