About all

Celebrities with autoimmune disease: The request could not be satisfied


Celebrities with chronic illnesses: Endometriosis to Lyme disease

A chronic illness is a long-term medical condition that requires treatment and management over a long period of time, usually years. Some of them are well known, like arthritis and diabetes, but there are a whole host of others which have been given more attention in recent years because a celebrity has publicly disclosed having it. Take Lady Gaga, for example, who disclosed a few years back that she has a condition called fibromyalgia.

While it’s up to any individual what they want to share about their health, there’s no denying that, especially for the lesser-known conditions, having someone talking about it frankly and publicly can raise awareness, lessen stigma and be a supportive force to fans who may be struggling with something. Here are some celebrities who have publicly spoken about their chronic health conditions, from endometriosis to lupus…


Lady Gaga: Fibromyalgia​

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body, and someone suffering with it may also experience extreme tiredness, muscle stiffness, trouble concentrating and problems sleeping. According to the NHS, it tends to affect women seven times more than men. There is no cure but symptoms can be relieved through medication, therapy and lifestyle changes.

Lady Gaga opened up about her experience with the illness for the first time in her 2017 Netflix documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two. She was also forced to cancel a concert in Brazil because she was taken to hospital with “severe pain”.


Kim Kardashian-West: Psoriasis

Awareness was definitely raised about psoriasis when it was revealed one of the most photographed women in the world has it.

After initially freaking out over the the skin condition – which causes crusty, red patches with silver-type flakes to appear – in an old episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, Kim Kardashian has since adopted a more serene approach, saying she doesn’t even try to cover it up anymore.

“I’m always hoping for a cure, of course, but in the meantime, I’m learning to just accept it as part of who I am,” Kim wrote on her website.


Gigi Hadid: Hashimoto’s disease

This condition is also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis and is a thyroid disease which can cause difficulty concentrating, hair loss, fatigue and weight gain. Gigi has previously said that the disease actually meant she struggled to put weight on.

“My metabolism actually changed like crazy this year,” she told Elle in 2016. “I have Hashimoto’s disease. It’s a thyroid disease, and it’s now been two years since taking the medication for it, so for the VS show I didn’t want to lose any more weight,


Lena Dunham: Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a poorly understood medical condition where the lining of the womb is found in other parts of the body, most often the ovaries.Lena Dunham has been particularly honest about her experience with the condition, which like so many other sufferers, was misdiagnosed for years.

Speaking to Cosmopolitan UK as part of her March 2020 cover interview, the Girls creator said: “Having endometriosis has had a really interesting effect on my relationship with my body. Pain does not inherently make you feel sexy; pain doesn’t make you feel beautiful, but in another way it’s forced me to really take ownership of my body and express my needs.”

Lena has undergone a total hysterectomy as a result of complications from endometriosis, which came as a difficult thing to accept, because she “never had any doubt that I wanted to be a mother”. But after riding the waves of this loss, Lena says she’s arrived at a place of acceptance – and even positivity – about how infertility has transformed her approach to dating.”I’m no longer relying on any male partner to make motherhood possible for me,” she shared.


Sia: Graves’ Disease

Sia is renowned for keeping much of her life private, but despite that she has publicly confirmed that she suffers from thyroid condition Graves’ disease. Back in 2010, the singer/songwriter posted on Twitter about her diagnosis, saying: “i’m not crazy! i have graves disease! the shakes, the nerves. THE CRAZY!! goodbye thyroid. i will kill you with radioactivity.”

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes an overactive thyroid, because your immune system attacks the thyroid and causes it to make more of the hormone than your body needs. The condition can cause shaky hands, a fast and and irregular heartbeat, irritability or nervousness, tiredness, and muscle weakness.


Daisy Ridley: Endometriosis

Star Wars actress Daisy has also publicly shared her struggle with endometriosis and PCOS. Writing about the repercussions it’s had on her life in an Instagram post a few years back, Daisy said: “8 years [after being diagnosed], pain was back (more mild this time!) and my skin was THE WORST. I’ve tried everything: products, antibiotics, more products, more antibiotics) and all that did was left my body in a bit of a mess.

“Finally found out I have polycystic ovaries and that’s why it’s bad. I can safely say feeling so self conscious has left my confidence in tatters. I hate wearing make up but I currently don’t want to leave the house without it on. HOWEVER PROGRESS IS BEING MADE!

“My point is, to any of you who are suffering with anything, go to a doctor; pay for a specialist; get your hormones tested, get allergy testing; keep on top of how your body is feeling and don’t worry about sounding like a hypochondriac. From your head to the tips of your toes we only have one body, let us all make sure ours our working in tip top condition, and take help if it’s needed.”


Nick Jonas: Diabetes

This Jonas brother was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 13 years old which he described as “one of the most frightening moments of my life”.

Type 1 only accounts for around 10 per cent of all people who have diabetes. It is an autoimmune disorder, which is not caused by lifestyle factors. Jonas wears an insulin pump to treat his condition and set up a diabetes charity in 2015.


Sarah Hyland: Kidney Dysplasia

Kidney dysplasia is a condition from birth where the kidneys have not developed properly when the baby was in the womb. The Modern Family star told Seventeen in 2015: “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 had a kidney transplant in 2012 at the age of 21 which was donated from her father. In 2017, she hit back at people criticising her for losing weight on social media, telling them it was because of her health issues.


Venus Williams: Sjogren’s syndrome

Despite being a tennis superstar, Venus Williams revealed she had the autoimmune syndrome Sjogren’s in 2011. The condition affects the parts of the body that produce fluids like tears and spit, often leaving sufferers experiencing dry eyes, dry mouth, tiredness and joint pain.

The condition forced the athlete to drop out of the US open in 2011 however she soon returned to the sport and has since been a runner up at Wimbledon.


Bella Hadid: Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is caused by a bite from a tick. When it is not detected early it can cause long-lasting symptoms like pain in the joints, problems affecting the nervous system, extreme fatigue and heart problems.

Bella’s mother Yolanda, who also has the disease, revealed her daughter had it in 2015. The model later told Porter magazine it once got so bad she couldn’t get out of bed for six days.


Pink: Asthma

Around affects an estimated 262 million people worldwide, and singer Pink is one of them. She has sporadically spoken about the condition – which sees the air passages in the lungs become narrow due to inflammation and tightened muscles – and that has increased during the coronavirus pandemic.

Posting on Instagram in 2020, when masks were introduced as a cautionary measure to reduce the spread of the virus, Pink wrote: “I have asthma and I’m wearing TWO masks! I’m breathing fine and I’m not a selfish idiot! WEAR A MASK ITS NOT THAT HARD.”


Halsey: Endometriosis

Singer Halsey is one of many women who suffer from Endometriosis. Speaking about it on Twitter a few years back, she shared how she felt about the diagnosis: “Finding out that I had [endometriosis] was the most bittersweet moment because it meant I wasn’t crazy! I wasn’t a ‘baby!’ I had every right to be feeling like the world was caving in. But it was terrifying to find out.”

“Please know you’re not alone,” she told fans going through the same thing.


Michael J Fox: Parkinson’s

The Back to the Future actor discovered he had Parkinson’s, an illness traditionally associated with older people, when he was 29 in 1991. Parkinson’s is a condition where the brain becomes increasingly damaged and is characterised by shaking.

A few years ago, he told Haute Living: “I was diagnosed 25 years ago, and I was only supposed to work for another 10 years. I was supposed to be pretty much disabled by now. I’m far from it. This is as bad as I get, and I can still go to the store and go marketing.”


Selena Gomez: Lupus

In 2015, Gomez revealed she had been diagnosed with lupus – an autoimmune condition which causes rashes, fatigue and joint pain – which she underwent chemotherapy for.

She spoke out after some wrongly suggested she had an addiction, telling Billboard: “That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke. I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re assholes.'”

The complications from lupus continued for Selena with her eventually needing a kidney transplant, which she got from her friend Francia Raisa in 2017.


Selma Blair: MS

MS is a condition which affects the brain and often spinal cord. The condition manifests in problems with vision, arm or leg movement and balance, says the NHS. Cruel Intentions star Selma Blair revealed via an Instagram post in October 2018 that she suffers from the chronic disease.

“I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps,” Selma wrote in her post. “But we are doing it. And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best,” she added. Since then, she has appeared out in public numerous times with her cane, including on the Oscar’s red carpet.


Lil Wayne: Epilepsy

The rapper suffers from epilepsy, a condition which affects the brain and is mostly known for causing fits or seizures.

In 2013, Weezy told Power 106 radio he was epileptic and prone to seizures: “This isn’t my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh seizure. I’ve had a bunch of seizures; y’all just never hear about it.”

He has since been in and out of hospital due to fits, and has on occasion had to cancel a show after having multiple fits and ending up in hospital, reports TMZ.


Sam Faiers: Crohn’s

Crohn’s is a condition which causes the digestive system to become inflamed. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and unintended weight loss. Although the condition can go into remission, in some cases the symptoms become so severe it can lead to surgery and the person using an ileostomy bag.

Mummy Diaries star Sam was diagnosed with the disease shortly after becoming ill on Celebrity Big Brother in 2014. “Effectively my body went into shut down and I only just managed to make it to the end [of Big Brother],” Sam told BT. “I’d be crying with the pain, violently ill after eating anything, with boils on my face, no energy and such terrible joint pain in my ankles I could barely walk.”


Halle Berry: Diabetes

One thing fans might not know about Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry is that she has type 1 diabetes. The chronic illness means that your body cannot produce enough of the hormone insulin, which controls blood glucose, and so your blood sugar levels can become too high.

After being diagnosed with diabetes in her early 20s, when she fell into a diabetic coma while filming the television series Living Dolls, Halle has managed it ever since. Sufferers of type 1 diabetes have to ensure they inject insulin regularly, but she hasn’t let this long-term commitment hold her back from success in the acting world.

During the COVID pandemic, the condition has meant Halle Berry is more vulnerable than others. “I do feel at risk,” she said during an interview with Variety. “I’m very strict about quarantining and who is in my bubble. We have a whole section of the house: When you go out in the world and buy something, it has to sit in this purgatory.”


Charlie Sheen: HIV

The Two and a Half Men publicly revealed his HIV positive status in an interview on the Today show in 2015 after gossip websites and tabloids suggested an A-list actor was going to make an announcement about having the disease.

“It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life,” he said. The actor said he was going public with his disease to end the blackmailing and extortion he had been subject to over his HIV status.

HIV damages the cells in the immune system meaning it is difficult for someone infected to fight off infections and diseases. There is currently no cure but medication allows someone with the condition to live a normal and healthy life.

Olivia Blair
Digital News Editor
Olivia is ELLE’s Digital News Editor covering pop culture, royal, lifestyle and women’s news and features.

Catriona Harvey-Jenner
Features Editor
Cat is Cosmopolitan UK’s features editor covering women’s issues, health and current affairs.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Kim Kardashian West impacted by autoimmune disease, a major women’s health issue.

Kim Kardashian West impacted by autoimmune disease, a major women’s health issue.

Newswise — Eastpointe, Michigan (September 10, 2019) – Named a major women’s health issue by the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Research on Women’s Health, it is no surprise that the number of celebrities impacted by autoimmune disease is on the rise. Kim Kardashian West recently opened up about the impact of autoimmune disease on her life. Other celebrities with autoimmune disease diagnoses include Venus Williams, Selena Gomez, and Missy Elliott.

The term “autoimmune disease” refers to this varied group of illnesses that involve almost every human organ system. It includes diseases of the nervous, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems as well as skin and other connective tissues, eyes, blood, and blood vessels. In all of these diseases, the underlying problem is similar–the body’s immune system becomes misdirected, attacking the very organs it was designed to protect.

Taken together, autoimmune diseases strike women three times more often than men. Certain diseases have even higher incidence in women. In fact, of the 50 million Americans living with autoimmunity, some estimates say that 75 percent – or 30 million people – are women. Autoimmune diseases have been cited in the top ten leading causes of all deaths among U. S. women age 65 and younger. Moreover, these diseases represent the fourth largest cause of disability among women in the United States.

Since the women affected are mostly young women in their childbearing years, a time when they are traditionally most healthy, getting a diagnosis can prove to be extremely difficult. Symptoms vary widely, notably from one illness to another and even within the same disease. And because the diseases affect multiple body systems, their symptoms are often misleading, which hinders accurate diagnosis. An American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) survey has found that more than 45 percent of patients with autoimmune diseases have been labeled hypochondriacs in the earliest stages of their illnesses.

Despite these statistics, autoimmune diseases remain among the most poorly understood and poorly recognized of any category of illness. Individual diseases range from the benign to the severe. To help women live longer and healthier lives, a better understanding of these diseases is needed, as well as better, more effective methods of diagnosis and treatment.

Autoimmunity needs to become known as a “category” of disease. If the public and medical practitioners were more aware of the genetic predisposition to develop autoimmune diseases, clearly there would be more emphasis on taking a medical history regarding autoimmune diseases within the family when presented by a patient with confusing symptoms. Young women, especially, are often not taken seriously when they first begin consulting their doctors for their vague symptoms and are often shunted from specialist to specialist.  

There is a significant need for more collaboration and cross fertilization of basic autoimmune research. Research that focuses on the etiology of all autoimmune related diseases will bring us to the root causes of these diseases rather than the superficial level of treating the symptoms after the disease has had its destructive effects.

# # #

About AARDA:

The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) is the nation’s only non-profit organization dedicated to bringing a national focus to autoimmunity as a category of disease and a major women’s health issue and promoting a collaborative research effort in order to find better treatments and a cure for all autoimmune diseases. For more information, please visit www.aarda.org.

Media Contact:

Laura Simpson

[email protected]

(586) 776-3900

Famous Faces with Lupus

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Famous Faces with Lupus:

If you have lupus, you are not alone! Here are some celebrities with lupus who have shared their stories and are empowering others facing this disease.

Selena Gomez. In 2014, when Selena stepped out of the spotlight, rumors emerged that she was in rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. The truth was that she had been undergoing treatment for lupus. Selena told Billboard that “[she] was diagnosed with lupus, and [she’d] been through chemotherapy. That’s what [her] break was really about”. Having lupus can affect many aspects of an individual’s life including the onset of arthritis, cardiovascular problems, kidney failure, and the loss of energy. Lupus also affects many organs, especially the kidneys, explaining Selena’s recent kidney transplant. Selena has been open about her condition, videos of her speaking about her battle with lupus can be found online. A link to her speaking of lupus can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpzyGevPYIc

Shannon Boxx. During the year 2007 when she was diagnosed with lupus, Shannon Boxx was 30 and still playing for the U.S. National Soccer Team, with which she had won gold medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the 2012 London Olympics. 

Shannon Boxx mentions that she started feeling the symptoms of lupus, such as extreme fatigue and joint pain even in normal tasks, as early as 2002, but has kept it a secret. That was until slightly before the 2012 Olympics when she went public with her condition. Since then, she has been working to raise awareness of the disease. She has also been working with the Lupus Foundation of America in an attempt to find a cure to the auto-immune disease. You can read more about her and the Lupus Foundation of America here: https://www.lupus.org/personal-stories/shannon-boxx-i-want-a-cure

Nick Cannon. During January 2012, Nick suffered from kidney failure and blood clots in his lungs. He was later diagnosed with lupus. Nick later admitted that he was quite scared when he experienced the symptoms of lupus, but later realized that this was something that he could live with and overcome with “the proper research and with the proper support system”. Since then, he has been active in raising awareness for the autoimmune disease. You can check out “The NCredible Health Hustle”, a web series created by Nick which documents his experience with lupus from diagnosis to his return to work. He has also spoken numerous times about his life with lupus on TV and has even filmed a public service announcement in 2014. 

Seal. There are many types of lupus. The type that Seal has is known as discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), which causes coin like scarring of the skin. Seal has mentioned in his interviews that he has been affected by lupus since his teenage years, which caused hair loss and scarring on his face. DLE commonly causes sores on the face and scalp but can affect skin anywhere on the body. About 10% of people with DLE will develop systemic lupus, which could further complicate the health of the patient.

Michael Jackson. In an interview with Dr. Arnie Klein, Michael Jackson’s dermatologist, on CNN, Klein told King that Michael Jackson had come to his office for skin issues. He noted that Michael Jackson had a “butterfly rash and he also had severe crusting you could see on the anterior portion of his scalp”. Commonly, a malar rash is associated with lupus, so Klein did a biopsy and found that Michael Jackson did have lupus. 

Toni Braxton. The singer is open about her struggle with lupus. She has told HuffPost Live that sometimes it isn’t possible balancing her busy schedule while battling lupus.  

“Some days I can’t balance it all. I just have to lay in bed,” she said. “Pretty much when you have lupus you feel like you have the flu every day. But some days you get through it. But for me, if I’m not feeling well, I tend to tell my kids, ‘Oh mommy’s just going to relax in bed today. I kind of take it easy.” 

Although she has been hospitalized multiple times for lupus, Braxton says that she has never canceled a show over the disease. In 2013, she appeared on the Dr. Oz show and discussed what life was like with lupus. Currently, she is monitored regularly for the disease while she continues her work in music.

Kristen Johnston. When she was 46, Kristen Johnston was diagnosed with lupus myelitis, a rare form of lupus which affects the spinal cord. Johnston started showing signs for lupus when she struggled with climbing a flight of stairs. It took her 17 visits to different doctors before she received the correct diagnosis for lupus myelitis. Since then, the actress has been treated with chemo and steroids and is doing a lot better. At one point, the illness affected her so severely that she could not lift her neck without a brace. She told People that “If [she] had to live like that forever, [she] would have killed [herself]”. However, her life has taken a turn after treatment and she now believes that “Every single day is a gift,” none of which she takes for granted.

Maurissa Tancharoen. This American television producer, actress, singer, dancer, and lyricist was diagnosed with lupus at a very young age. She has mentioned that she experiences chronic severe flare-ups which affect her kidneys, lungs, and central nervous system. 

In 2015 when she wanted to have a baby, she worked with her rheumatologist to control her lupus. After some obstacles including a long hospital stay during her pregnancy to keep her kidneys functioning, she finally gave birth to a “little miracle” named Benny Sue.

She now runs a blog on lupus (http://itssonotsexy-blog.tumblr.com/) and is an active advocate for lupus, participating in charity walks and supporting the Lupus Foundation of America.


  1. https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6721973/selena-gomez-billboard-cover-sneak-peek
  2. https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20462443,00.html?slide=81744#81744
  3. https://www.medicaldaily.com/lupus-symptoms-selena-gomez-nick-cannon-celebrities-battling-autoimmune-431962
  4. http://www.thepostgame.com/shannon-boxx-uswnt-soccer-lupus-awareness
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/celebrities-with-lupus#1
  6. Photo: Selena Gomez in 2013; Credit: Lunchbox LP, Culver City, California, Wikimedia Commons

Celebrities With Autoimmune Diseases – BlackDoctor.org

Our bodies have an immune system, which is a complex network of special cells and organs that defends the body from germs and other foreign invaders.

At the core of the immune system is the ability to tell the difference between what belongs to the body and what’s foreign. A flaw can make the body unable to tell the difference between self and non-self.

When this happens, the body makes auto-antibodies that attack normal cells by mistake. At the same time special cells called regulatory T cells fail to do their job of keeping the immune system in line.

The result is a misguided attack on your own body. This causes the damage we know as autoimmune disease. The body parts that are affected depend on the type of autoimmune disease. There are more than 80 known types.

Some autoimmune diseases are more common or more severely affect certain groups of people more than others. For instance, type 1 diabetes is more common in whites. Lupus is most severe for African Americans.

Here are just a few of the black celebrities who have been diagnosed with autoimmune diseases:

Lupus has many shades. It can affect people of different races,
ethnicities, and ages, both men and women. It can look like different
diseases. It’s different for every person who has it and anyone can get
it. But African Americans are four times more like to be lupus victims
than other races. Women of color are two to three times more likely than white women to develop lupus.

Braxton, who recently was hospitalized with lupus complications, originally revealed her diagnosis at a lupus benefit. She says, “Lupus medication actually causes most women to gain weight. But we’re still fabulous! I’m going to work it on out.”

Corticosteroids—one of the mainstays of lupus treatment—can indeed promote weight gain. Still, exercise can help people with lupus manage their weight and will also improve their quality of life, Isherwood says.


Nick Cannon

The 31-year-old has revealed that the kidney disease he was hospitalized for earlier this year was a result of an autoimmune disease, People magazine reported.

The kidney disease was caused by “autoimmune disease that [doctors] found in my system,” Cannon told People, and went on to say that the doctors told him his “autoimmune [disease] is — like a lupus type of thing, but no one else in my family has it.

While Cannon didn’t explain further what his disease was, we know that autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells. There are more than 100 autoimmune diseases, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association.


Seal – Lupus

The famous British singer was diagnosed with discoid lupus when he was child. What could be considered trademark scarring on his face is a result of his illness.

The scars on the singer’s face are the result of discoid lupus erythematosus, a type of lupus involving only the skin. Discoid lupus typically causes sores on the face and scalp but can affect the skin anywhere on the body. It can also cause hair loss. People with discoid lupus are often sensitive to ultraviolet light, and need to be careful about sun exposure.

Ten percent of people with discoid lupus will go on to develop systemic lupus, Isherwood says, although it’s possible these individuals already had the illness but just weren’t diagnosed.


Venus Williams – Sjogren’s Syndrome

Earlier this fall, tennis superstar Venus Williams announced she has Sjogren’s syndrome, telling the Associated Press that the disease sapped her energy and made it difficult for her to compete.

With Sjogren’s, a person’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands, leading to issues like dry eyes and dry mouth, according to the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation, as well as more serous complications, including extreme fatigue. It is one of the most prevalent autoimmune disorders, the organization states, and nine out of 10 sufferers are women.

The good news? After several months off, Williams had a triumphant return to the court in late November.


Tim Raines – Lupus

When playing left field for the Oakland Athletics in 1999, Raines sought medical attention for extreme fatigue. He had swelling in his knees and ankles and was 15 pounds heavier than normal, suggesting he was retaining water; his doctor ordered a kidney biopsy, and diagnosed lupus.

The disease was attacking Raines’ kidneys, throwing off the normal balance of water and salt in his body. His case was severe, but he improved with radiation therapy and medication. Raines even went back to baseball, joining the Montreal Expos in 2001, and retiring in 2002 with the Florida Marlins.


Michael Jackson- Lupus

The King of Pop was no stranger to controversy or conversation about his health. In 1986, Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo and lupus; the vitiligo partially lightened his skin, and the lupus was in remission; both illnesses made him sensitive to sunlight, which could have caused his lupus condition to recur.

Jackson had a form of skin lupus, called discoid lupus, which affects about 40 percent of the patients with lupus, which can can lead to depigmentation of the skin, among other things.


Missy Elliott – Graves’ Disease

When rapper Missy Elliott fell out of the public eye a few years back, it was because she was quietly dealing with Graves’ disease, according to USA Today. The autoimmune disease impacts the thyroid and can lead to goiter, fatigue, insomnia, eye problems and more.

Indeed, according to USA Today, Elliott’s condition was so debilitating, the star couldn’t write or drive a car.


Montel Williams – Multiple Sclerosis

Former talkshow host Montel Williams announced back in 1999 that he had multiple sclerosis, the autoimmune disease that impacts the brain and spinal cord. He then began an effort to raise awareness and funding for research, starting The Montel Williams Foundation.

“When the neurologist said those three words — ‘You have MS’ — it hit me like a brick,” Williams said on his website.

“It became clear that I had a choice to make. I could spend the rest of my life feeling sorry for myself as the victim of a tragic fate. Or I could view my illness as a call to action,” he continued.

Carrie Ann Inaba doesn’t let Sjögren’s syndrome stand in her way

Carrie Ann Inaba is a familiar face in millions of American homes. A lifelong dancer, she has become well-known as a judge on ABC’s competition show “Dancing with the Stars.” Last year, she became co-host of the CBS daytime talk show “The Talk.”

Outside of her on-camera career, Inaba is a self-described warrior for those with Sjögren’s syndrome, a difficult and often painful autoimmune disease she has herself. As an Awareness Ambassador for the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation, she spreads hope and comfort to others with the condition. In this exclusive interview, she describes how meditation, yoga, and a sense of community have helped her thrive despite her diagnosis.

Tell us about your diagnosis.

Like with many autoimmune diseases, my Sjögren’s diagnosis was not easy to come by. I remember telling my doctor that my eyes had been dry for years. I asked him if I had Sjögren’s and he said I didn’t. It wasn’t until many years later that I was diagnosed by a rheumatologist [a doctor who treats musculoskeletal disease and autoimmune conditions]. And that’s because I was going through a lot of pain and fatigue. Getting the diagnosis was overwhelming and I went through a period of depression and anxiety. That was probably because I was not diagnosed for so long.

You have other autoimmune diseases as well.

Yes. Sjögren’s and other autoimmune conditions often come in pairs. I also have fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. And just last year I found out that I also had lupus. I only found that out when I went in for a colonoscopy and I read it in my medical notes. 

How do you cope with your conditions and lead such a busy life?

“Sjögren’s has made me stand up and set limits and boundaries so I can take care of myself.”

– Carrie Ann Inaba

Autoimmune conditions are very challenging. It is no joke when they call us Sjögren’s warriors. We have to be our own warriors because each one of us struggles differently and there are so many different combinations of autoimmune conditions. It is really important to keep track of your symptoms and to notice what each does to you.

One secret I use is to keep a calendar. I like to look at it a month at a time because I need to gauge my energy. I know if I have a really good day, I might have a bad day next. I call it the roller coaster of energy. So, when I can see my life a month at a time it is easier to plan my days off.

Another key thing is to get the nutrition I need every day. I start each day with a protein shake. Because exercise can cause pain related to my conditions, I didn’t work out for years. Thankfully, over time, I have learned that a slow and steady approach to my workouts helps me avoid flare ups of my conditions. Working out has also helped me get in tune with my body and that is important. Listen to your body. It knows.

How important is it to keep a positive attitude?

Having a realistic attitude is important. My natural tendency is to be a Type A personality. So I feel badly when I’m not able to accomplish much on a down day. But I have learned to be more relaxed and I’m much happier for it.

I also have an online project called Carrie Ann Conversations. I share my insights on how to live a good life in general and for those with conditions like Sjögren’s. I try to bring positivity to others. I have found that when you give back to others and create a sense of community, you will feel less alone and more positive in everything you do. 

But it’s not just about being positive. It’s about being honest with how you really feel and trying to create an environment for yourself to live in that supports your best life. And that includes the up and the down days.

Tell us how you work to relieve stress and pain.

Yoga has been a lifesaver for me. The breathing techniques are so powerful for calming your system down and relieving stress. I use a lot of meditation apps. I’ve been using one for years every night before I go to bed and when I’m in need of a short, five-minute break during the day. I also use acupuncture and massage to help relieve pain, as well as medications.

What is your message and advice to others with Sjögren’s?

Sjögren’s is a complicated disease. Don’t let people tell you it is all in your mind. It is important for you to let those around you know about your health. Sjögren’s is not something that others can see. On your good days, you look fine and your energy is great. On your bad days, it is a whole different story.

I have several tips for those with Sjögren’s. I sleep so much better when I use a humidifier. I also put eye drops in my eyes right before I go to bed and when I wake up. For my job, obviously, I talk a lot. So, I use a moisturizing spray for my dry mouth. I always carry water with me and I always have mints. It is important to keep your mouth hydrated. I have another trick to keep my skin moisturized. I learned it when I was training dancers in Japan. Put body oil over body butter. I also reapply moisture twice a day.

You have called Sjögren’s a gift. Why is that?

The gift of Sjögren’s is that it has taught me to pay attention to my needs. And as a dancer I know that more than most people. Your body is such an amazing gift. But if you don’t take care of it, it doesn’t work so well. Sjögren’s has made me stand up and set limits and boundaries so I can take care of myself.

Image credit: Courtesy of ABC

July 28, 2020

‘Dancing With the Stars’ Judge Carrie Ann Inaba’s Autoimmune Diseases

Talk show host Carrie Ann Inaba is taking a leave of absence as one of the co-hosts of CBS’s “The Talk.” The 53-year-old, who is also one of the judges on “Dancing with the Stars,” said she is stepping away to concentrate on her health. In a post on her website, Carrie Ann Conversations, Inaba talked about how she lives with several autoimmune diseases, including Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, “and I have the markers for antiphospholipid syndrome, which can lead to blood clots.

“Going through life with an autoimmune condition, or several, like I do, can be a difficult process … When many of us start our health journeys, even if we are fortunate enough to get a diagnosis, we can quickly end up with more questions than answers. Often when it comes to autoimmune conditions there is no perfect solution or clear path forward. Coping with autoimmune conditions can sometimes feel quite lonely. When I first got diagnosed, some encouraged me to keep my struggles to myself, but I’ve found that it’s always been better to be honest about my needs and realities than to stay silent. I believe strongly in sharing my journey, my solutions, and the things that have helped me with anyone who could use it — this is how communities are formed,” she wrote.

Autoimmune Diseases

More than 80 diseases occur as a result of the immune system attacking the body’s own organs, tissues, and cells. Autoimmune diseases can affect almost any part of the body. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Overall, autoimmune diseases are common, affecting more than 23.5 million Americans. They are a leading cause of death and disability. Some autoimmune diseases are rare, while others, such as Hashimoto’s disease, affect many people.

The causes of autoimmune diseases are unknown; however, studies indicate that these diseases likely result from interactions between genetic and environmental factors.

Although autoimmune diseases can affect anyone, certain people are at greater risk, including:

  • Women of childbearing age — More women than men have autoimmune diseases, which often start during their childbearing years.
  • People with a family history — Some autoimmune diseases run in families, such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. It is also common for different types of autoimmune diseases to affect different members of a single family. Inheriting certain genes can make it more likely to get an autoimmune disease, but a combination of genes and other factors may trigger the disease to start.
  • People who are around certain things in the environment — Certain events or environmental exposures may cause some autoimmune diseases or make them worse. Sunlight, chemicals such as solvents, and viral and bacterial infections are linked to many autoimmune diseases.
  • People of certain races or ethnic backgrounds — Some autoimmune diseases are more common or affect certain groups of people more severely. For instance, type 1 diabetes is more common in white people, while lupus is most severe for Black and Hispanic people.

Most autoimmune diseases cause inflammation. This, in turn, produces redness, heat, pain, and swelling.

Many autoimmune diseases affect more than one part of the body. The symptoms depend on the body part(s) affected, such as:

  • Joints, which can cause joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function
  • Thyroid, which might cause you to be tired, gain weight, or have muscle aches
  • Skin, which can cause rashes, blisters, and color changes

Many autoimmune diseases cause generalized symptoms as well, such as fatigue, dizziness, weight loss or gain, or low-grade fever. Symptoms are often intermittent and may vary in intensity from mild to severe. There may be periods of remission interspersed with flares.

Making a diagnosis of a specific autoimmune disease can be difficult, as many symptoms are the same for other types of health problems. Patients may have been seen by several health specialists over a long period of time before a definitive diagnosis is made.

Sjogren’s syndrome

Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which immune cells attack and destroy the glands that produce tears and saliva. The hallmark symptoms of the disorder are dry mouth and dry eyes. In addition, Sjogren’s syndrome may cause skin, nose, and vaginal dryness, and may affect other organs of the body, including the kidneys, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and brain.

Sjogren’s syndrome affects 1 to 4 million people in the U.S. Most people are older than 40 years old at the time of diagnosis. Women are nine times more likely to have Sjogren’s syndrome than men.

Sjogren’s syndrome can damage vital organs of the body, with symptoms that may remain stable, worsen, or go into remission. Some people may experience only the mild symptoms of dry eyes and mouth, while others go through cycles of good health followed by severe disease. Many patients are able to treat problems symptomatically. Others are forced to cope with blurred vision, constant eye discomfort, recurrent mouth infections, swollen parotid glands, hoarseness, and difficulty in swallowing and eating. Debilitating fatigue and joint pain can seriously impair quality of life.

There is no known cure for Sjogren’s syndrome, nor is there a specific treatment to restore gland secretion. Treatment is generally symptomatic and supportive. Moisture replacement therapies may ease the symptoms of dryness. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to treat musculoskeletal symptoms. For individuals with severe complications, corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs may be prescribed.

Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS)

Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome is a disease that causes problems in the inner lining of blood vessels, resulting in blood clots in arteries or veins.

Phospholipids are found in all living cells and cell membranes, including blood cells and the lining of blood vessels. When antibodies attack phospholipids, cells are damaged. This damage causes blood clots to form in the body’s arteries and veins.

It should be noted that some people have APS antibodies, but don’t ever have signs or symptoms of the disorder. Having APS antibodies doesn’t mean that you have APS. To be diagnosed with APS, a patient must have APS antibodies and a history of health problems related to the disorder.

APS can lead to many health problems, such as stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. APS can also cause pregnancy-related problems, such as multiple miscarriages, a miscarriage late in pregnancy, stillbirths, or a premature birth due to eclampsia. However, pregnant women who have APS can have successful pregnancies.

People who have APS are at higher risk for thrombocytopenia, in which your blood has a lower-than-normal number of platelets. Antibodies destroy the platelets, or they’re used up during the clotting process. Mild-to-serious bleeding can occur with thrombocytopenia.

APS can be fatal. Death may occur as a result of large blood clots or blood clots in the heart, lungs, or brain. APS is also more common in people who have other autoimmune or rheumatic disorders, such as lupus.

The signs and symptoms of APS are related to abnormal blood clotting. The outcome of a blood clot depends on its size and location.

Major signs and symptoms of blood clots include:

  • Chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Pain, redness, warmth, and swelling in the limbs
  • Ongoing headaches
  • Speech changes
  • Upper body discomfort in the arms, back, neck, and jaw
  • Nausea

Michele R. Berman, MD, and Mark S. Boguski, MD, PhD, are a wife-and-husband team of physicians who have trained and taught at some of the top medical schools in the country, including Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Washington University in St. Louis. Their mission is both journalistic and educational: to report on common diseases affecting uncommon people and summarize the evidence-based medicine behind the headlines.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

7 celebrities with chronic illnesses

With the most luxurious brands available, celebrities live a life many can only dream of – but just like the everyday person, they too have some health problems that money cannot fix. 

Charlie Sheen

The former Two and a Half Men actor was diagnosed with HIV in 2011.

In a 2015 interview with the TODAY show’s Matt Lauer, the controversial actor announced that he has been living with the virus for four years.

Sheen is one of more than 36 million people living with HIV/AIDS globally. South Africa has the largest number of infected individuals with more than seven million people living with the disease.

Selena Gomez

Singer Selena Gomez recently spoke about her health struggles as a result of her Lupus diagnosis.

During an interview with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie she said, “I had arthritis, my kidneys were shutting down. My mentality was just to keep going.”

Lupus is an autoimmune disease which leads to the immune system attacking healthy tissue causing muscle aches, inflammation and kidney damage.

Gomez’s lupus is in remission following a recent kidney transplant. 

Lil Wayne

The Cash Money Records rapper is no stranger to health problems following several episodes of epileptic fits that began in 2013. He said in an interview with radio station Power 106 that his seizures were triggered by high stress levels.

Seizures can also be triggered by drug or alcohol use, low blood sugar and sleep deprivation.

Kim Kardashian West

The beauty mogul and reality star shared her struggle with psoriasis on her reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Psoriasis is characterised by painful, red patches on the skin which can be easily mistaken for a common rash or skin conditions such as eczema.

While there is no cure for psoriasis, tropical treatment can help control the symptoms.

Lady Gaga

The superstar cancelled the remainder of her Joanne world tour in September 2017 due to fibromyalgia.

Lady Gaga shared her struggle with the debilitating disease on her documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include severe fatigue, skin tender to the touch, memory problems and joint pain.

Halle Berry 

Berry is one of 422 million adults globally living with diabetes. The actress was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 19 and has since gone on a ketogenic diet (low-carbohydrate and high-fat) to improve her lifestyle.

Diabetes is characterised by the pancreas’ inability to produce sufficient insulin or the body’s difficulty in using the insulin produced effectively. Symptoms include excessive thirst and urination, fatigue, constant hunger and weight loss.

Miley Cyrus

The former Disney actress and daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus revealed in her 2009 autobiography Miles To Go that she has a heart condition.

Tachycardia is a heart rhythm disorder in which the heart rate beats abnormally fast. While the condition is not harmful, it can cause discomfort. 

Image credits: Wikipedia

90,000 5 stars with autoimmune diseases

On March 16, after a long struggle for life, Russian singer, star of the 90s, Yulia Nachalova, died. A few days earlier, she was admitted to the intensive care unit with critically high blood sugar levels. Along with this, other complications arose, including pneumonia, sepsis and gangrene.

As the singer’s father later said, she died of an abscess and cardiac arrest. OBOZREVATEL remembered celebrities suffering from autoimmune diseases.

Singer and actress Selena Gomez

As soon as singer Selena Gomez canceled part of her tour, the media immediately spread rumors that the celebrity was forced to begin rehabilitation due to drug and alcohol abuse. As it turned out later, the star took a break for examinations and treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus.

Video of the day

At the time of the detection of the disease, Gomez was threatened with a stroke. Therefore, the treatment turned out to be necessary, the artist had to undergo chemotherapy, which prevents the multiplication of inflammatory cells in the body.

Supermodel Kim Kardashian

American supermodel and TV presenter Kim Kardashian does not hide the fact that for a long time dermatologists diagnosed her with psoriasis. It all started with the fact that the celebrity began to notice red dots on the body.

Kardashian prefers not to talk about her skin problems, which is quite explainable by her image and desire to be perfect in everything, to remain a role model. As far as we know, the causes of psoriasis are not fully understood, while experts say that genetics plays an important role.

Singer Lady Gaga

Contrary to rumors, American singer Lady Gaga was not diagnosed with lupus. However, as noted by the celebrity, doctors called her stage “borderline state”. To prevent the disease from progressing, the artist was advised to closely monitor her health.

The singer’s fans were at a loss. Then she abruptly disappeared from the radar and appeared on the scene only after a while. It turned out that in the family of Lady Gaga, this disease is hereditary.It was from lupus that her aunt died.

Actress Shannen Doherty

The star of the popular TV series Beverly Hills

and Charmed in 1999 was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease in which the human immune system attacks cells in the gastrointestinal tract. This results in inflammation and tissue damage. The disease is one of the most common autoimmune diseases.

Shannen tried to keep her diagnosis a secret for a long time.Later, the celebrity noted that there is, they say, nothing sexual in a woman who talks about her illness. Especially if it is a bowel disease.

Singer-songwriter Seal

The scars on the face of British performer Seal have been the subject of debate and arguments more than once. The fact is that Seal suffers from discoid lupus erythematosus, a special type of disease that affects the skin, causing rashes, sores and hair loss.

The performer was diagnosed as a teenager.Now the singer’s illness is in remission, although the scars on his face do not allow him to forget about the experience. In his interviews, Seal admitted that due to illness, he even survived depression.

  • Let us remind you that 38-year-old Yulia Nachalova was in an extremely serious condition lately. In early March, it became known about her poor health, and already on the 11th she was hospitalized in intensive care.

  • As OBOZREVATEL wrote earlier, the stars of Russian show business massively reacted to the death of the performer.The prima donna of the Russian stage Alla Pugacheva did not stand aside. The 69-year-old singer also posted a post on Instagram, traditionally adding a controversial comment to it.

Stars with lupus – who is fighting the disease?

TV viewers learned about the disease called lupus thanks to the protagonist of the series “House Doctor”. House in many episodes suspected this disease in patients and was almost always mistaken.In fact, lupus is quite common. It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system produces antibodies against healthy cells in the body. It is sometimes said that “the body eats itself.” Lupus gets its name from a skin rash that looks like a wolf bite. 5-tv.ru tells the stories of celebrities who are battling lupus.

Selena Gomez

Singer Selena Gomez was diagnosed with arthritis and lupus erythematosus several years ago.In 2015, the star underwent treatment, but a year later Gomez was hospitalized due to complications. Upon learning that the disease had returned, the girl fell into depression. Selena developed panic attacks, gained weight due to illness, and was harassed online. According to the star, then her mental and physical health suffered greatly.

Photo: globallookpress.com © Dave Starbuck via www.imago-imag

In 2017, Selena almost had a kidney failure, and the star underwent a transplant.Selena’s donor was her friend Francia. After recovery, Gomez’s physical condition stabilized, but the singer could not overcome obsessive thoughts and was worried that the operation would not help to cope with the disease. Gomez spent several weeks in a mental hospital. In 2020, the singer was able to talk about this difficult period in her life. She spoke about the disease on her Instagram page and showed the scar left after the operation. Selena is now doing well and regularly visits a psychologist.

Lady Gaga

Singer Lady Gaga complained of breathing problems and fatigue. In 2010, Gaga revealed that she tested positive for lupus. According to the star, her aunt Joanne died of the disease at the age of 19.

Photo: globallookpress.com © Imagespace

“It’s not really lupus yet. Doctors call this a borderline state: that is, if I do not monitor my health and undergo planned examinations, the disease will begin to progress , ”the singer said.

Five years later, Lady Gaga’s lupus worsened, the star began to feel pain and was hospitalized. She underwent medical treatment and soon returned to the stage. But the pains due to the disease have not disappeared anywhere, the singer is learning to live in such a state.


Photo: globallookpres. com © Lorando Labbe via www.imago-imag

Pop singer Seal has suffered from lupus since adolescence. He fell ill with a special type of disease – discoid lupus erythematosus, as a result of which hair falls out and scars appear on his face.The artist was undergoing treatment. Seal was able to stop the course of the disease, but there were scars on his cheeks. In an interview, Seal said that he could not look at himself in the mirror because of the scars on his cheeks. He suffered constantly from the ridicule of the teenagers around him and was only able to come to terms with the marks as an adult. Seal is now in remission.

Toni Braxton

Photo: globallookpress.com © Hubert Boesl

In 2008, singer Toni Braxton had a heart attack – she fainted on stage.Doctors thought the star needed a heart transplant, but Braxton’s tests allowed her to get an accurate diagnosis. Then Tony found out that she had lupus, but decided to keep the disease a secret. The singer spent four days in the hospital. At discharge, Tony was advised to focus on health and quit music. The singer changed her lifestyle, switched to a plant-based diet and began to appear on stage less. In 2010, she publicly stated that she suffers from lupus and spoke about depression and panic attacks.With the help of treatments, Toni Braxton was able to delay the course of the disease. She still leads a healthy lifestyle and gives rare concerts.

Kristen Johnston

Photo: globallookpress.com © F Sadou

Hollywood comedy star Kristen Johnston revealed she had lupus in 2013. The actress explained that at first she did not want to report her condition, but after undergoing a long course of treatment, she decided to share the news with fans. The star could not be diagnosed for a long time.As a result of research, Kristen learned that she has a rare form of lupus, which affects the spinal cord. Johnston’s diagnosis was confirmed by 17 doctors to whom the star contacted. The actress began treatment when she could no longer lower her neck without a special device. Doctors said that if Johnston had postponed the treatment process, she could have received paralysis of the whole body. The actress has gone through several operations. In 2014, she said that the worst is over, and she is in remission. According to Kristen, few people talk about lupus.

Diseases of Russian and Hollywood celebrities that we did not even know about

Pavel Lobkov

Russian TV presenter Pavel Lobkov became one of the first Russian celebrities to openly admit that he is fighting HIV.

Charlie Sheen

In 2015, the actor Charlie Sheen also made the same confession, which indescribably surprised his fans.

Dmitry Bilan

Dmitry Bilan, who was hospitalized in early March due to health problems, told what happened to him.Doctors diagnosed Bilan with five intervertebral hernias. According to the artist, it got to the point that his fingers began to go numb that he could not even open his wallet on his own, or fasten the buttons on his jacket. Doctors insisted on surgery, but Dima refused surgery and went on vacation until the end of March. According to Bilan, he will begin treatment after filming “The Voice”, because he does not want to let the crew down.

Valdis Pelsh

Valdis Pelsh has a pancreatic disease.He fights the disease and continues to work.

Laima Vaikule

Wonderful singer Laima Vaikule was able to defeat breast cancer!

Daria Dontsova

The writer Daria Dontsova also fought with this diagnosis.

Mikhail Zadornov

Mikhail Zadornov does not hide the fact that he is fighting cancer. The artist himself admitted that the treatment is not easy for him, but he continues to fight!

Dmitry Hvorostovsky

Dmitry Hvorostovsky has a brain tumor! But he doesn’t even plan to quit his career.

Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts has a rather unusual illness. She suffers from thrombocytopenia. This is poor blood clotting, so even with the slightest scratch or cut, the actress begins to bleed heavily.


Cher has long been battling the severe form of myalgic encephalomyelitis. The disease is characterized by chronic fatigue, body aches and loss of energy.

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin suffers from Lyme disease. This infectious disease is most often transmitted through tick bites. It can affect any system of the body! Because of this, the actor has severe rheumatism.

Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox, who loved us from the “Back to the Future” trilogy, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 30. This chronic disease usually affects older people and is primarily manifested by increasing tremors of the limbs and impaired motor functions.At first, the diagnosis was a terrible blow to Michael. He did not recognize the fact that he was sick, and out of despair he began to drown the problem in alcohol. Only 8 years later, he came to terms with this diagnosis, made an official confession and began a course of treatment. In addition, Michael J. Fox has set up a $ 450 million fund to financially support people with Parkinson’s and to find new drugs for the disease.

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks has type 2 diabetes.The actor has completely revised his diet and is carefully monitoring his health.

Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson claims to have contracted hepatitis C from her ex-husband using the same tattoo needle as him. Nevertheless, Tommy Lee himself denies this. Upon learning of her illness, the Playboy star first decided to take a photo in which she poses in a bikini with a damaged liver. In addition, Pamela is terribly annoyed when people treat her with sympathy: “I’m not dying! But if you want to finish me off as soon as possible, you can treat me to a greasy sandwich. “

Halle Berry

Halle Berry’s disease manifested itself suddenly. During the filming of the TV series “Living Dolls” in 1989, the actress fell into a coma. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Halle Berry herself says that she was able to turn this disease into her own good. Diabetes prompted her to monitor her health and give up bad habits.

Sarah Hyland

At the age of 9, Sarah was diagnosed with polycystic kidney dysplasia.This incurable disease leads to gradual damage to the kidneys, up to their complete destruction. Because of this, Sarah Hyland had to have her father’s kidney transplanted in 2012, since her own organs were no longer coping with their task. Nevertheless, despite the terrible diagnosis, Sarah tries to live life to the fullest. She has appeared in more than 30 films and is best known for her role in the TV series “American Family”, as well as for filming “Vampire Academy”. Now she is only 24 years old, and I sincerely hope that she will have a long and happy life.

Lady Gaga

The series about Dr. House raised systemic lupus erythematosus to the rank of a mythical horror story. Nevertheless, this autoimmune disease does exist and causes serious trouble for patients. Roughly speaking, with a disease of systemic lupus erythematosus, the body malfunctions and its own immune system begins to damage the DNA of healthy cells. However, according to Lady Gaga herself, she does not quite have lupus, but only a borderline stage, which can progress over time if no measures are taken.

Genetics helps to cure the most deadly diseases – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Often, at the slightest malaise, we diagnose ourselves: “immunity has decreased, the immune system is upset.” What is she? What is her power? How great is her power over our health, and over life itself? The columnist for “RG” is talking about this with the head of the clinical department of immunology of the National Medical Research Center for Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology named after D.Rogachev professor Anna Shcherbina.

Anna Yurievna, some kind of educational program about the immune system is very desirable: how does it work? What is she?

Anna Shcherbina: According to advertising, this is a cute “fluffy” who, with the help of cams and kefir, copes with all diseases. But seriously … The immune system consists of very specific organs, cells and soluble substances that carry out its function. How does immunity work? Cells of the immune system?

Neutrophils – eat bacteria and our own dead cells.Macrophages also eat bacteria, but in order to find out their composition and transmit this information to other immune cells. First of all, T-lymphocytes, which direct the entire immune response. They are subordinate to the killer lymphocytes, which kill tumor cells. As well as B-lymphocytes, whose main job is to synthesize a large number of antibodies, or, in other words, immunoglobulins, which provide immunological memory. To communicate with each other, cells use special substances – cytokines.

The work of the cells of our body is impossible without the organs of the immune system? ..

Anna Shcherbina: Of course. In them, cells are born, undergo training, and then meet to agree on how to organize an immune response in a given situation.


Anna Shcherbina: This is a very simplified scheme of immunity. In real life, the immune response is a complex process that requires precise regulation. It begins even before our birth and does not stop even for a second throughout our life.The immune system is always on the move.

Hundreds of those who were saved by us dictate to us the rules for further actions. Will immunodeficiency be overcome? Hard to say. But the fact that he will be subject to therapy, I think, is indisputable

Why do we need it?

Anna Shcherbina: For protection against microbes, viruses and other pathogens – in general, everything genetically foreign.

Don’t you think that we are surrounded by everything alien? We eat the wrong food, we breathe the wrong air.We do not always lead a healthy lifestyle. Does the immune system protect us from all this?

Anna Shcherbina: Too simplified question. The immune system is much more complicated. It not only protects. The main thing is that she knows how to distinguish enemies from friends.

Listen to you, the immune system is smarter than all of us put together.

Anna Shcherbina: I won’t argue with you.

Let’s say my immune system is okay? Is she okay with you? Finally, how can you or I know that it is malfunctioning? And if it happened, then what does it threaten us with?

Anna Shcherbina: Let’s start from the end.We treat patients with congenital genetically determined immunodeficiencies. They just teach us what the threat of immunity breakdown. These patients not only suffer from severe infections. But they can be combined with autoimmune diseases: various lesions of the kidneys, joints, liver, and so on, a tendency to oncology. Most likely, both you and me are all right with immunity, like most readers. After all, genetic defects in the immune system are a very rare disease. For every 10 thousand newborns, 1 is born with a gene breakdown.That is, about 140 such children are born in Russia every year.

Is there a culprit in such situations? Dad, mom, great-grandfather?

Anna Shcherbina: No one is to blame! Breakdowns in genes are an absolute coincidence.

No one is safe from accident?

Anna Shcherbina: According to modern science, nobody.

And what if the gene is broken? By the way, do such breakdowns happen more often now than before?

Anna Shcherbina: The frequency of breakdowns has not changed.But we began to diagnose them better.

Diagnosed. What’s next?

Anna Shcherbina: The condition of most of these patients can be controlled using modern drugs.

And finally cure? Is there such a medicine in the world?

Anna Shcherbina: None. Another thing is that now there is a possibility of stem cell transplantation. It allows you to get rid of the disease up to 80 percent of patients.

Is this procedure available to everyone who needs it? Whose stem cells are used?

Anna Shcherbina: Stem cells from brothers, sisters, parents and even unrelated donors can be used.There are not enough stem cell transplant centers in Russia. Therefore, unfortunately, it is impossible to talk about full accessibility.

And, probably, there are not always relatives who are ready to become donors?

Anna Shcherbina: In my practice, there were no cases of refusal. The donor is almost always found. Another thing is that this procedure is not safe. And there are times when patients die from various complications.

Gene therapy for the treatment of immunodeficiency is preferred? Although her experience is small, it has already been proven: is it the safest, most reliable and promising?

Anna Shcherbina: I agree with the most promising and safest.About reliability – time will tell.

Such a tempting method of healing for some reason has not yet found widespread use. As far as I know, only a few countries use it. Will such a day come with us?

Anna Shcherbina: I hope.

How long to wait for the fulfillment of hope?

Anna Shcherbina: There is no specific answer. Although in our center everything is being done to bring gene therapy to Russia. But the technology and its applications cost a lot of money.Unfortunately, such an important, such painful area of ​​health protection in our country does not seem to exist. There are no opportunities to acquire developed technologies.

Can the situation change?

Anna Shcherbina: Not overnight. It would be easier to buy from the pharmaceutical firms “Vector”. With its help, the corrected genetic material could be introduced into the patient’s cells.

Do you need government goods for such a purchase?

Anna Shcherbina: It doesn’t matter whose: public, private, voluntary.So far, we are getting out of the situation by the fact that the Doctors. Innovations. Science for Children foundation, created five years ago at our Rogachev Center, is funding our clinical research. But, unfortunately, he cannot fully finance it.

Let’s return from the future to the present day. Is it even possible to diagnose primary immunodeficiency now?

Anna Shcherbina: Yes. We own modern genetic methods for diagnosing immunodeficiency. They are more or less accessible.

The earlier the diagnosis is made, the more likely the success is. However, not all pregnant women are tested for primary immunodeficiency. And who needs it, who doesn’t need to see it off?

Anna Shcherbina: If the family already has a patient with this diagnosis, we recommend prenatal diagnosis. Better early.

Can it only be done in some centers? And in an ordinary maternity hospital beyond the Urals or in Kamchatka?

Anna Shcherbina: Sampling of material for diagnostics is possible throughout Russia.The received material is transferred to several metropolitan centers, including ours. And an accurate diagnosis is made.

Delivered. Let’s say the breakage is confirmed. What’s next?

Anna Shcherbina: Parents can decide to terminate their pregnancy. But even if they choose to preserve it, then we know the diagnosis from the first seconds of the birth of the child. And, as a rule, we can help him.

Do you have such cases at your center? Do you help with medication or stem cell transplantation?

Anna Shcherbina: Both.

But the disease in the womb is not always diagnosed. Probably, there are no fewer cases when this happens in a child and even an adult. Is the prognosis worse in such cases?

Anna Shcherbina: Worse. But modern genetics makes it possible to make a diagnosis without additional loss of time.

Are people with primary immunodeficiency disabled? It is known that often such patients manage to remove the disability group – thereby complicating their already difficult life

Anna Shcherbina: A very painful question.Because often, receiving appropriate treatment, these patients outwardly practically do not differ from healthy ones. And this or that commission easily removes the disabled status from them. Thus, dooming them to the impossibility of obtaining the necessary drugs, the necessary therapy. And this is the path to real disability, and sometimes death.

Not today it started. This is an old situation. It has been said and said about it more than once. But, apparently, so far no one has calculated how much more profitable it is to keep such a patient on a disability group, which makes it possible to obtain the necessary drugs, than, having taken them away, doom a person to more expensive treatment of complications, and sometimes already useless treatment.

Like other specialists in this field, I have no explanation for this attitude. As there is no answer to the fact that drugs for the treatment of primary immunodeficiency still do not have orphan status.

Hope dies last. Do you, Anna Yuryevna, your colleagues dealing with immunodeficiency and gene therapy, have an optimistic prognosis?

Anna Shcherbina: Otherwise we could not work. Hundreds of us saved dictate to us the rules for further actions.Will immunodeficiency be overcome? Hard to say. But the fact that he will be subject to therapy, I think, is indisputable.

Business card

Anna Yurievna Shcherbina, pediatrician, immunologist-allergologist. Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor.

Work experience: 27 years.

Born in Moscow.

Graduated from the Pediatric Faculty of the Pirogov Second Medical Institute. Then clinical residency, specialty “Allergology and Immunology”. All professional activities are devoted to immunology.Author of over a hundred scientific papers on this topic.

Candidate and doctoral dissertations are devoted to immunodeficiency.

Completed an internship at Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA).

1992 – 1998 – Researcher, Research Institute of Pediatric Hematology, Ministry of Health of Russia (Moscow)

At present, he is the head of the leading department in Russia for the treatment of immunodeficiencies.

Scientists: Schizophrenia May Be Associated With Autoimmune Thyroid Disease – Science

SAINT PETERSBURG, August 16./ TASS /. A group of scientists from St. Petersburg State University came to the conclusion that diseases such as schizophrenia, as well as a number of other mental illnesses and syndromes, may be associated with autoimmune thyroid damage. Professor Yehuda Schoenfeld told TASS about this.

“Because of the world’s most common autoimmune disease, chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, a painful condition of the brain can occur. We have found autoantibodies that may be responsible for this process.We injected these antibodies into the brains of mice and tested whether the antibodies attached to specific areas of the brain, causing changes in behavior. As a result, a scientific article was prepared that poses the question: “Is schizophrenia an autoimmune disease?” – said Schoenfeld, who has been working at St. Petersburg State University for more than two years on the problem of autoimmune diseases within the framework of the megagrant program approved by the Russian government.

As noted by Schoenfeld, research is ongoing, but it is possible that many mental illnesses may be associated with thyroid disorders in autoimmune thyroiditis.

“If this hypothesis is confirmed, this could radically change the approach to the treatment of psychiatric diseases and lead to a change in diagnostic algorithms, with the need to check psychiatric patients for autoimmune diseases,” Schönfeld told TASS.

Other possible consequences of autoimmune thyroiditis

Also, Schönfeld noted, scientists plan to check how autoimmune thyroiditis affects the ability of young women to become pregnant.These studies were initiated jointly with scientists from the D.O. Ott Research Institute of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductology.

“Also next year, we plan to investigate a group of related diseases, which until now were not considered autoimmune, but cause suffering in tens of millions of people. Patients go from doctor to doctor, but they are not able to help, or they say that everything this is psychosomatics. We mean chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, a disease in which a patient has unexplained diffuse pain throughout the body, “Schönfeld said.

Shostakovich, Hawking and Mao Zedong Famous people – victims of an incurable disease: Photo: Society: Russia: Lenta.ru

June 21 – Day of support for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In 2014, the whole world was doused with ice water as part of the Ice Bucket Challenge flash mob in order to raise money to find methods of treatment for this serious disease. Then, more than 17 million videos were published on the Internet in which students, clerks, millionaires, and celebrities – Mark Zuckerberg, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benedict Cumberbatch and others – were poured with water.According to the BAS International Alliance, the action raised $ 220 million worldwide. Funding, among other things, was received by the Project MinE research project, whose team is engaged in deciphering the genome of ALS patients and identifying genes, the violation of which leads to the development of the disease.

In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, motor neurons, which are responsible for muscle function, are affected. The person has problems with movement, swallowing, speech, breathing, and eventually complete paralysis occurs.The average life expectancy with ALS is two to five years from the date of diagnosis. According to statistics, an average of two out of 100 thousand people suffer from this disease. There are approximately 8-12 thousand ALS patients in Russia today. These people in our country are assisted by the Live Now Foundation and BAS services in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Famous people who have become victims of this ailment are in the Lenta.ru gallery.

Stephen Hawking

Photo: REX / Shutterstock

In January, the famous British physicist Stephen Hawking turned 75 years old, and more than 50 of them he lived with ALS.This is an absolute record for life expectancy with this ailment. Since 1985, Hawking has been communicating with the outside world using a special computer system, which he controls the cheek muscle.

Lou Gehrig (1903-1941)

Photo: AP

Gehrig was an outstanding American baseball player of the 1930s. In terms of the importance of sporting achievements and the degree of popular love, he, perhaps, can be compared with Lev Yashin. When Gehrig was diagnosed with ALS in 1939, it was a tragedy for the whole of America. Since then, in the United States, Canada, and several other English-speaking countries, ALS is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Mao Zedong (1893-1976)

Photo: AP

Chinese politician of the 20th century, Chairman of the CPC Mao Zedong is known as the author of the “Great Leap Forward” and the “Cultural Revolution” in the PRC. In 1974, at the age of 80, Mao was diagnosed with ALS. Two years later, the Great Helmsman died as a result of a massive heart attack.

Stephen Hillenburg

Photo: Mark Mainz / Getty Images

The 55-year-old American animator is best known for the creator of the SpongeBob SquarePants animated series.Hillenburg is a former professor of marine biology, and his love for marine life is embodied in animation. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis quite recently, in March 2017.

Nancy Ryder (center)

Photo: Jesse Grant / Getty Images

One of the most successful agents in Hollywood. Her first client was Michael J. Fox, who starred in Back to the Future, and later collaborated with actors such as Renée Zellweger and Leonardo DiCaprio.Since August 2014, Nancy has been living with a diagnosis of ALS, now she can no longer speak.

Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975)

Photo: Lev Ivanov / RIA Novosti

The great composer also suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His name is mentioned on the website of the American ALS Association among other famous people with the disease. But, like Mao Zedong, Shostakovich died of a heart attack.

Stefano Borgonovo (1964-2013)

Photo: Lorenzo Galassi / AP

According to various studies, football players are more likely to suffer from ALS than others.Former AC Milan and Fiorentina striker Stefano Borgonovo lived with the disease for seven years.

American composer and guitar virtuoso of neoclassical metal. He was diagnosed at the age of 20. Today, the 48-year-old musician communicates using a special board with letters that he points to with his gaze.

Gleb Yakunin (1934-2014), pictured on the right

Photo: Pavel Smertin / Kommersant

Former priest of the Russian Orthodox Church, later founder and leader of the Apostolic Orthodox Church, dissident, member of the Moscow Helsinki group, one of the co-founders of the public “Christian Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Believers in the USSR”, People’s Deputy of the RSFSR, Deputy of the State Duma of the 1st convocation.His illness developed rapidly. In November 2014, he felt unwell and periodically fainted. Soon he was hospitalized due to complaints of shortness of breath. In early December, he was transferred to the intensive care unit and connected to a ventilator. He died on December 25.

Vladimir Migulya (1945-1996)

Photo: Sergei Ivanov / RIA Novosti

14-time laureate of the Song of the Year festival, author of music for the songs “Grass at the House”, “Talk to Me, Mom”, “Stuntmen ”And many others, Vladimir Migulya also had ALS.

Igor Tamm (1895-1971)

Photo: Valentin Kunov / TASS

Soviet theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize laureate. For the last few years of his life, when ALS made it difficult for him to breathe on his own, he used one of the first Soviet ventilators.

Fernando Rixen

Photo: Paul Thomas / AP

Former Zenit midfielder 40-year-old Fernando Rixen continues to fight against ALS. During his career, the Dutchman, besides Zenit, played for Fortuna, AZ and Rangers.He also has 12 appearances for the Netherlands national team.

Dmitry Barekhov (1960-2015) at the center

Photo: courtesy of the Live Now charitable foundation

Bass guitarist and vocalist, arranger, composer. Since 1995 he has been a member of the VIA “Good fellows”, and since 2012 he has performed in the VIA “We are from the USSR” together with Valery Yarushin, Andrey Kostyuchenko and Alexander Dobrynin. He wrote music for the songs “Autumn”, “Domes”, “Sunny Blues” and others. For the last few years of his life, he struggled with ALS.

90,000 6 stars who suffer from incurable diseases, but do not give up

Lady Gaga: Lupus erythematosus

Few people know, but the beautiful Gaga suffers from an autoimmune disease that affects the connective tissues. The singer does not show her face and with the help of a make-up deftly hides traces of chronic fatigue and a rash on her cheeks. Gaga periodically experiences temperature surges and muscle pain. Lady hold on!

Kim Kardashian: psoriasis

The Instagram star suffers from a serious skin condition that hasn’t been cured for years.Kim admits that she did “beauty injections” and enlarged the buttocks on the advice of doctors – this method was supposed to ease the pain and smooth the skin (I wonder if they are serious?). The desired effect was not there.

From time to time, Kardashian publishes in Stories pictures of his skin without Photoshop (a spectacle not for the faint of heart). In this way, she supports people who also suffer from the disease. Well done, Kim, you are beautiful anyway!

Charlie Sheen: HIV

These three terrible letters “touched” the Hollywood actor as well.In 2015, Shin publicly admitted that he is HIV-positive, but that doesn’t mean he needs to be shunned like the plague. Charlie was treated by Mexican doctors, but the methods of the shamans did not bring results.

The cheerful actor returned to American medicine and began to advertise condoms. That’s right, Charlie, HIV is not a sentence!

Halle Berry Diabetes

The actress has been living with this diagnosis for thirty years. She first learned about him at the age of 22: then, on the set, the girl lost consciousness and fell into a diabetic coma.

Over time, Halle Berry got used to the disease, she just complicated her daily routine: she measures her blood sugar and takes medications. Holly, you are a role model!

Pink: asthma

Can you sing with asthma? Moreover, collecting large stadiums and performing at the largest concert venues in the world? Pink was able to: she has been suffering from this disease since the age of two, but asthma did not prevent her from learning to sing using belly breathing. Pink, standing ovation!

Michael J. Fox: Parkinson’s disease

This ailment is considered “the disease of the elderly,” but the actor developed the disease at the age of 29.Parkinson’s disease is really scary: the patient suffers from chronic depression, insomnia and pain when walking, and loses coordination. Unfortunately, Michael J. Fox will never recover, but with the help of drugs he can stabilize his condition. Fox does not give up: he stubbornly takes pills to slow down the destructive effect of the disease.