- Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that leads to painful swelling and deformities of the joints.
- According to the Healthline, an estimated 1.3 million Americans have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis – some of whom you may recognise.
- From Megan Park to Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi, here are famous people who’re living with rheumatoid arthritis.
Though some celebrities tend to keep their health matters private, many come forward after difficult diagnoses in an effort to spread awareness and relate to the millions of people living with debilitating conditions.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is no different. This chronic inflammatory disorder develops when the immune system begins to attack the body’s tissues, resulting in painful joint swelling, deformities, fatigue, fevers, and weight loss.
RA can impact day-to-day living, making it difficult to perform even the most basic activities like brushing your hair or texting. These professional athletes, actors, performers, and television stars have opened up about what it’s like to have RA.
Here are celebrities you didn’t know had RA:
Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi was diagnosed at 27 when she noticed symptoms.
We all know GG as the reality star of Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset.”
According to Everyday Health, GG developed RA when she was 27 after her hands would swell, turn blue, and go numb during her sleep. After seeking treatment from several rheumatologists, GG has found cannabis to significantly reduce her pain and help her sleep.
“For the last six months, I have been using cannabis, and there are some non-psychoactive strains that have eased my pain significantly.”
Megan Park said she makes sure to rest a lot when she has a job to do.
Park never let her RA get in the way of her ability to do her job, even as the role of a conservative cheerleader in ABC’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”
“When I’m at work, I’m hunkering down and making sure I get lots of rest,” Park told People magazine. “I’m making that sure that I’m not doing anything in my off time that’s going to aggravate my joints.”
Aida Turturro has been managing her RA since she was 12.
RA is not reserved for the elderly, as actress Aida Tuturro experienced. The “Sopranos” star was diagnosed with RA when she was just 12 years old.
“We were at the beach, and my father literally had to carry me to the water because my feet hurt so much,” she told USA Today. Today, she said she focuses on getting the right treatment and managing her symptoms for optimal relief.
James Coburn sought holistic treatment before continuing his career.
“The Magnificent Seven” and “Hell Is for Heroes” star developed RA just as his career was taking off.
“There was so much pain that … every time I stood up, I would break into a sweat,” he told ABC News. He has to step back from his work and really learn how to manage his pain. Once he got the right treatment Coburn said he was back in the spotlight and ready to continue his successful career.
Kathleen Turner underwent 12 surgeries in 12 years.
After receiving an RA diagnosis in 1992, two-time Golden Globe winner Kathleen Turner had a long struggle with disorder and underwent 12 surgeries in 12 years, according to the Daily Mail.
Through this journey she learned how to manage her pain and made it her mission to spread awareness about the ways you can treat RA. “It is important to me that people know they have options so they can get some relief from this debilitating disease,” Turner told USA Today.
Caroline Wozniacki said she stayed positive despite her diagnosis.
Wozniacki was diagnosed with RA just a few months after securing the Australian Open, but she stands as confident and determined as ever.
“I’m very proud of how I’ve been so positive through it all and just try not to let that hinder me,” she told Everyday Health. “I’m happy that I’m done with the season, so that I can control it a little bit more, and figure out a plan how to control it even better in the future.”