9 Celebrities Who Are Living With A Disease

Pamela Anderson

Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Celebrities may appear to have it all, but not even fame, beauty and wealth can protect society’s elite from getting sick.  Here are a few stars you may be surprised to learn are living with health problems.  

Lady Gaga may have lupus

The outlandish pop singer told Larry King in 2010 that she tested 'borderline positive for lupus.'

This sounds ambiguous, although the American College of Rhematology says the disease is hard to accurately diagnose, partly because it's associated with a wide array of symptoms that come on slowly and aren't specific to lupus. According to Medical News Today, 'no single laboratory test can determine whether a person has lupus.'

About the disease

Lupus is a chronic disease that causes pain and swelling in the skin, joints, lungs, kidney and other organs. It affects 10 times as many women as men.

Nick Jonas has type 1 diabetes

The youngest member of the Jonas Brother band found out he had type 1 diabetes in 2005. He was 13 years old. A few months before the normally upbeat singer was diagnosed, Nick tells Linda von Wartburg of DiabetesHealth that he was rapidly losing weight, drinking lots of water and had a bad attitude.

The singer is now a spokesperson for the Diabetes Research Institute and manages his diabetes day-to-day by checking his blood sugar regularly and wearing an insulin pump.

About the disease

Type 1 diabetes is when the body doesn't produce enough insulin, a hormone needed to store sugar in cells for use later. This causes blood sugar to fluctuate wildly.

Montel Williams battles multiple sclerosis

The daytime talk show host was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 10 years ago. Williams recounts his first thoughts after receiving the bad news on his website:

I experienced the lowest moments of my life. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. I became so despondent that I considered ending it all. But I knew my children and my family loved me and depended on me, and I couldn't let them down.

The TV host created the Montel Williams Foundation in 2000 to fund research and raise awareness about the condition.

About the disease

Multiple scelorosis is a disease that attacks and slowly destroys the central nervous system. It affects basic functions like balance and coordination, speech, strength, thought process and vision.

Pamela Anderson lives with hepatitis C

The former 'Baywatch' star and Playboy model revealed in 2002 that she has hepatitis C. Anderson said she contracted the incurable liver virus by sharing a tattoo needle with ex-husband Tommy Lee.

About the Disease

Hepatitis C is caused by a virus that attacks the liver. It's passed through contaminated blood.

Missy Elliot has Graves' Disease

In 2011, Missy Elliot revealed to People magazine that she suffers from an autoimmune disorder called Graves' disease. The hip-hop artist was diagnosed with the debilitating condition in 2008. She said the disease made it difficult to perform everyday tasks like writing and driving a car because she couldn't keep the brake down.

About the disease

Graves' disease causes the thyroid gland to release too much thyroid hormones. It's rarely life-threatening but leads to a broad range of symptoms including fatigue, tremors in your hands and eye problems.

Jimmy Kimmel suffers from narcolepsy

The host of Jimmy Kimmel Live told Brendan Vaughan of Esquire magazine in 2003 what it feels like to have narcolepsy. On finding out about his condition, the comedian says:

Anyway, I just always figured I wasn't getting enough sleep, so I would drink gallons of iced tea to get me through the afternoon. Finally I went to a doctor. When I told him how much iced tea I drank, he said, 'What?!' He decided I was self-medicating, and he prescribed these pills called Provigil.

About the disease

Narcolepsy is a chronic disorder characterised by 'the brain's inability to control sleep-wake cycles.' People may unwillingly fall asleep at any time including while driving to work, eating and talking.

Cher suffers from Eppstein-Barr virus

The pop diva has been vocal about her decades-long battle with Eppstein-Barr virus, which causes extreme fatigue.

'I was sick a long time,' she told USA Today's Edna Gundersen in 2008. 'I went to Germany for some medicine and treatment. They have things overseas we never dreamed existed. When I was first diagnosed in the late '80s, I had doctors telling me I was crazy. I was sick constantly and almost died from pneumonia. You never lose it, and it really takes the life out of you.'

About the disease

Epstein-Barr virus is one of the most common human viruses, according to the centres for Disease Control. It's transmitted through saliva. The virus stays in the system even after symptoms have passed.

Keith Olbermann has celiac disease

The former host of MSNBC's Countdown talked about being stricken with celiac disease on an episode of his show.

'I've got it, in fact, a marginal case, but enough of one that I've eliminated wheat from my diet,' he told America in a broadcast.

About the disease

Celiac disease is a digestive disease that creates an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley products. Consumption of these foods will results in unpleasant symptoms like chronic diarrhoea, vomiting and constipation.

Shannon Doherty suffers from Crohn's disease

The actress, catapulted to fame by her role on the 90s television series 'Beverly Hills 90210' and later 'Charmed' suffers from a bowel condition known as Crohn's disease.

About the disease

Crohn's disease is the swelling of intestinal lining causing severe stomach pain and constant diarrhoea.

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