- Selena Gomez has been very open about her health.
- In 2015, she shared that she was battling lupus and undergoing chemotherapy to treat it.
- Last summer, she announced via an Instagram post that she had to have a kidney transplant as a result of the disease.
- Lupus affects roughly 1.5 million people in the US and has no cure.
In 2015 Selena Gomez revealed she had been diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that required the singer to go through chemotherapy. The star recently opened up about the disease again, sharing that she had a kidney transplant over the summer.
Gomez has been noticeably absent from the public space, despite having new music to promote. She addressed this in an Instagram post where she wrote that she, “needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering” over the summer.
I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith
A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on Sep 14, 2017 at 3:07am PDTSep 14, 2017 at 3:07am PDT
This isn’t the first time the singer has taken off time to work to address her health issues. In August 2016, the singer told People that she’s been suffering from “anxiety, panic attacks and depression,” which can be side effects of the disease.
“I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off,” Gomez said.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can “affect people in different ways,” Gomez said.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, the disease can damage any part of the body, including joints, skin and internal organs, and causes the immune system to be unable to tell the difference between foreign invaders and healthy tissues.
Lupus therefore creates antibodies that can kill healthy tissue, in addition to causing inflammation, damage, and pain throughout the body. In other words, it causes the immune system to be overactive.
The disease isn’t contagious, and it tends to affect women more than men, though most people develop the disease between the ages of 15 and 44.
Lupus can cause a myriad of symptoms, beyond those Gomez is suffering from.
Kenneth M. Farber, co-CEO and co-president of the Lupus Research Alliance, told People that the disease is “sometimes very misunderstood.”
“It is not commonly known that depression, anxiety, and panic attacks can be side effects of lupus,” Farber said.
The disease can also bring about a ton of other symptoms, including swollen joints, fever, fatigue, rashes, chest pain, hair loss, anemia, and more.
There is no cure for lupus at the present time.
Yet, while there isn’t yet a cure for the disease, there are a bunch of different treatment options for lupus.
The disease is treated by a variety of different medicines, ranging from mild to strong, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.
The drugs are geared towards reducing inflammation, suppressing the immune system, preventing flare ups, controlling symptoms and minimizing organ damage.
A number of other celebrities have opened up about their struggle with lupus, as well.
Lady Gaga told CNN’s Larry King in 2010 that she tested “borderline positive” for lupus, though she hasn’t suffered from any symptoms. However, she noted that the disease runs in her family.
Nick Cannon revealed in 2012 that he has lupus, and even spoke with the Lupus Foundation of America about living with the disease in a 2014 interview.
Additionally, singers Toni Braxton and Seal also suffer from the disease, and have spoken about their struggles.
Lisa Ryan previously contributed to this story.