What We Learned about Lupus from Selena Gomez
The singer shares her fight against the autoimmune disease and how it has impacted her life
In 2015, Selena Gomez, a Disney pop sensation and singer was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease which your immune system attacks the body's tissues, organs, and different body symptoms such as kidneys, lungs, heart, joints, skin, and brain (Mayo Clinic Health). Selena Gomez embraced her Lupus and used her platform to educate her fans about Lupus and share her experiences with Lupus. In 2015, during the Billboard interview, Selena Gomez had started Chemotherapy to fight against her Lupus. Recently, in 2017, Selena Gomez had a kidney transplant over the summer and shared:
"There aren't words to describe how I can thank my beautiful; friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed… Lupus continues to be very misunderstood…" - Selena Gomez.
According to WebMD, approximately 1.5 million Americans have Lupus, and 90% of women are diagnosed with Lupus and ages between 14-25 are more likely affected.
Let's focus on what we learned about the pop star and her story with Lupus.
1.) Selena Gomez Kidney Transplant a Common Complication
Kidney transplants are often common for individuals who have Lupus. Selena Gomez and her friend Francia Raisa were interviewed for the NBC News to help educate individuals about Lupus and share her experience could help someone else who has Lupus. Raisa states, “One day Selena was so weak she couldn’t open a water bottle, she through it and started crying... the waitlist for a kidney transplant was 5-10 years long and Selena could not find a match until I got tested and was a match.” Selena Gomez expresses her gratitude for her friend and shares how difficult it was to recover after the transplant. Gomez States, “ After the process; I have a protrusion on the side where the kidney is, which will be there forever and that means I have to dress differently and be aware of it more…”. Gomez was open with her experience to educate people about this process, which changed her life forever!
2.) Bring Awareness about the Lupus Research Alliance at the Lupus Gala
In November 2017, Selena Gomez gave an emotional speech at the Lupus Gala to help bring awareness to the autoimmune disease so that individuals can understand what it means to live with Lupus. Gomez states, “my doctor told me I had Lupus Nephritis, they said; I needed a kidney transplant, and then it got to the point where it was life or death…Lupus Research Alliance works with the top researchers who are finding new ways to treat or find a cure… I am committed to Lupus Research Alliance so that no one is alone…” Gomez expresses her strength in why she wants to advocate for Lupus and bring awareness.
According to the Lupus Research Alliance, “ kidney transplantation can reduce deaths due to lupus nephritis, kidney inflammation by reducing the overall death risk of 70% after the transplant”. It is important to see your doctor and if you have any symptoms of Lupus. It is important to stay strong and support each other in this fight against Lupus.
3.) Lupus can Impact Your Mental Health
According to People’s Magazine, in 2016, Gomez was struggling with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression after she was diagnosed with Lupus. Lupus is a challenging disease, which affects individuals in different ways, and it is essential that an individual takes time for themselves to focus on healthy habits. “People with a chronic illness such as Lupus are at higher risk of depression. Studies show that as many as 60% of people with a chronic illness will have depression at some point in their lives” (Lupus Research Alliance). Gomez states,
"I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off. Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone by sharing this; I hope others will be encouraged to address their issues.”- Selena Gomez
Selena is such a strong individual. Recently in September 2019, Selena Gomez shared her Lupus story at the McLean Hospital Annual Dinner to bring awareness about Lupus and her mental health, challenges she faces. Gomez states, “These are the moments where I am so grateful for my platform…” Gomez can remain strong and brave throughout her Lupus experience, which has been challenging at times, but she manages to look at the positive side and live life to the fullest.
4.) Living a Healthy and Balanced Lifestyle
Selena Gomez is a Lupus Warrior, who’s mission is to share her story to help other people understand Lupus better. It is crucial to have a balanced diet with the right foods and exercise. The Lupus Diet could help decrease inflammation and alleviate Lupus symptoms. Gomez told Billboard, “the key to staying healthy is “diet, routine and medication,” plus keeping the right kind of friends around.” Besides diet and exercise, it is essential to listen to your body and get as much rest as possible. Fatigue and inflammation are two significant effects of Lupus, and taking the right precautions could help alleviate your Lupus Symptoms. One major ingredient that can help reduce inflammation is turmeric, which has helped many individuals with their chronic pain. According to People’s Magazine, Gomez continues to focus on her health as she creates new music for her new albums.
“Behind every chronic illness is just a person trying to find their way.”
Mayo Clinic Health (Retrieved: 2019).
People’s Magazine (2016,2019).
WebMD (Retrieved: 2019).
YouTube: NBC News: Selena Gomez Speaks Out About Kidney Transplant From Her Best Friend Francia Raisa TODAY (2017).