It does not matter who you are or where you are from: your health is more important than anything in life because without it, sooner or later, everything else can fail dramatically. Celebrities may seem untouchable and surrounded by an aura of mystery and even heroism, but the truth is that diseases don’t forgive them just for being stars.
Lupus is one of the most terrifying and mysterious diseases known to man. Although it is not always deadly, it can definitely cause severe complications in the human body – and the worst thing about it is that doctors will just have no idea what else to do than try to alleviate the symptoms because other than that, there is no cure for lupus.
What is lupus? How does it behave? How many types of lupus are there and how many people develop this disease? Are there any “celebs” suffering from it as well? Read on and find out more.
Lupus: When Your Body Battles Itself
The human immune system is built in a way that is meant to create special cells to attack “invaders” or foreign organisms. When you catch a banal flu, for example, your immune cells will start fight the flu from within (and, with the help of medication, you will eliminate the symptoms making you sick).
With lupus though, something odd happens: your body starts creating immune cells that attack parts of your body that are completely healthy. There is almost no system in the human body to be forgotten by lupus: the heart, the lungs, the blood cells, the kidneys and many other parts can be harshly affected by the autoimmune cells which attack them.
There is a wide variety of symptoms that come along with lupus. Skin rashes, swelling of the legs and eyes, severe sensitivity to light, malaise, unusual fever, fatigue, hair loss, chest pain, joint pain (and even arthritis), swollen lymph nodes, lupus headaches, mouth sores, butterfly rashes, purple or white fingers – these are just some of the most commonly encountered lupus symptoms.
Even more than that, in the worst case scenario, serious complications can appear. They can include the following: kidney damage, behavioral changes, dizziness, loss of memory, anemia, blood clotting, pneumonia, artery inflammation, certain forms of cancer, bone tissue death, miscarriage and so on. These complications appear according to the area affected by lupus the most and some of them are fatal.
The Types of Lupus
There are many types of lupus, but they can all be classified under 4 main categories: systematic, discoid, neo-natal and drug-induced. The systematic lupus is the most dangerous one of all and it is the one which can affect every single system of the body. It can show varying symptoms, it can affect everyone regardless of age, and under certain circumstances it can be deadly.
Further on, discoid lupus is a type of lupus that affects primarily the skin on the face, neck and scalp, creating rashes and scars that appear to be crusty and with a lighter interior (the exterior being darker). Sometimes, discoid lupus can affect other areas of the body as well.
Neo-natal lupus appears in the case of babies who are born out of lupus mothers and it shows a limited range of symptoms. Rash on the hand of the baby is one of the main symptoms, but under certain circumstances serious complications for the newborn can appear too.
Last, but not least the drug-induced lupus is caused by certain types of drugs and it behaves similarly to systematic lupus (and it can be as deadly as that one as well). Some drugs that can lead to the development of lupus include hydralazine and procainamide.
Celebrities with Lupus
Sometimes, celebrities’ lives appear to us as perfect and untouchable, but the harsh truth is that there are diseases that make no difference between the supermarket cashier and the most famous singer in the world. It is estimated that 1.5 million people in the US alone have Lupus (and that the worldwide number of victims is of around 5 million. Lupus is unforgivable when it comes to whom it chooses to affect and the large number of celebs suffering with it is quite revealing of this fact. Here are some of the most famous people who suffer (or suffered) from this terrible autoimmune disease:
Undoubtedly, he is probably the most famous person who suffered from lupus. In his case, the fact that he also suffered with vitiligo made his life in the public eye worse than in the case of other celebs suffering with lupus. According to court depositions, MJ was diagnosed with lupus in 1986. Also, there are many people who believe that the changes his appearance and his behavior suffered over the course of the years are largely due to this particular condition he was suffering from. Even more, it is believed that the real cause of his death was lupus.
Another famous musician who suffered from discoid lupus in childhood is Seal. Fortunately for him, he was not among the 10% of the discoid lupus patients who develop systemic lupus further on and the only marks the disease has left upon him are the scars on his face.
Snoop Dogg’s daughter is one of the stories that can show you that living with lupus is doable. She first started to show symptoms of this disease (including skin lightning and severe hair loss) when she was only 6, but nowadays she is living a normal life, she is attending school and she is even playing softball.
One of America’s most beloved Southern novelists also suffered with lupus. She was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 25 and 14 years later on she had to undergo surgery to have a fibroid tumor removed. Her lupus had been in remission until then, but under the stress of the surgery, it relapsed and the writer died few months afterwards.