Not all chronic diseases and illnesses come with clear-as-day signs and symptoms, but that doesn’t make them any less difficult to battle. In the past few years, many celebrities have opened up about their invisible illnesses – medical conditions that aren’t easily visible to others.
Here are some celebrities who are battling an invisible illness or condition.
Halsey has spoken about her endometriosis.
The singer came forward with her diagnosis in 2017, saying endometriosis made it hard to feel beautiful and useful.
“There was a good six months where I couldn’t have sex,” she told Vulture. “It’s hard to have relationships. It makes you feel like so much less of a woman because you’re at war with the very part of you that you’re supposed to embrace.”
In the same interview, she spoke about playing a show after just having a miscarriage, which she believes was caused by her reproductive disorder.
Lena Dunham has also been diagnosed with endometriosis.
Lena Dunham is very vocal about her reproductive condition. She frequently posts about it on social media, and told Vogue she’s been battling endometriosis for over a decade.
Earlier this year, after a lot of unsuccessful treatments, she said she opted to get a hysterectomy in an attempt to manage her pain.
Bella Hadid and some of her family members battle chronic Lyme disease.
“I know what it feels like to not want to get out of bed from bone pains and exhaustion,” Hadid said at Global Lyme Alliance’s second annual Uniting for a Lyme-Free World Gala.
Despite her struggles, she said she’s getting used to living with Lyme disease.
“After years of this, you begin to get used to living with the sickness, instead of getting cured and moving on with your life.”
Avril Lavigne has been open about her struggles with Lyme disease.
During a 2015 interview on “Good Morning America,” the pop singer spoke about being diagnosed with the illness.
She said she was bedridden and experienced the worst time of her life before finally getting diagnosed with Lyme disease.
“I was seeing every specialist and top doctors, and they would pull up their computer and be like, ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome‘ or, ‘Why don’t you try to get out of bed, Avril, and just go play the piano,'” she said during the interview. “This is what they do to a lot of people who have Lyme disease. They don’t have an answer for them, so they tell them they’re crazy.”
Selena Gomez has been outspoken about her battle with lupus.
In 2013, Selena Gomez told GQ she was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes severe joint pain and fatigue.
In 2014, she said she received chemotherapy to help treat the disease. In 2017, she said the disease led her to need a kidney transplant and she received one that same year.
Venus Williams has been diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome.
The tennis star first revealed her diagnosis in 2011 when she withdrew from the US Open.
According to the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation, this condition causes dry eyes, fatigue, joint pain, and dry mouth, and can also increase chances of developing lymphoma.
“It’s obviously something that you learn to live with the best you can,” she told PEOPLE. “I think it’s about living life on your own terms and looking at it as a challenge, not as the end all.”
Zoe Saldana said she and her sisters have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
The action film star opened up about the disease, which her mother and sisters also have, in a 2016 interview with Net-a-Porter.
“Your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to filter toxins, causing it to believe that it has an infection, so it’s always inflamed,” Saldana told Net-a-Porter. “You create antibodies that attack your glands, so you have to eat clean.”
Gigi Hadid has spoken about the side effects of her Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Nick Jonas has been open about his type 1 diabetes for years.
Nick Jonas has been vocal about living with diabetes since the beginning of his career. He was diagnosed at 13 years old.
“It was one of the most frightening moments of my life,” he told On Track Diabetes, regarding his diagnosis. “Knowing that everything was possible to live your life while you have this disease- it was a real shock and also a bit of a relief. “
Jonas has since been an activist for finding treatment for the disease and started his own charity devoted to finding a cure.
Sarah Hyland said she was born with kidney dysplasia.
In 2012, the “Modern Family” actress told Seventeen she was born with kidney dysplasia, meaning her kidneys weren’t formed properly in the womb. That same year, Hyland was given a kidney transplant via a donation from her father.
She said she won’t let her health issues hold her back.
“I was born with so many health issues that doctors told my mother I would never have a normal life. And she said, ‘You’re right, she won’t – but it won’t be because of her health,'” Hyland told Seventeen.
“When my mother told me that story, it resonated with me: If I can’t have an ordinary life, I might as well have an extraordinary one. If you set your mind to something, you’ll achieve it.”
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