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10 Celebrities with Chronic Illnesses
They may be beautiful, rich and famous, but celebrities are human too, and that means they're just as prone to getting sick as the rest of us.
And just like us, some celebs even live with chronic conditions that can take a toll on their day-to-day lives.
So, in addition to spa treatments and relaxing getaways, celebrities also take time out of their busy schedules to be poked and prodded by doctors. And while their assistants may pick up their prescriptions, they still need to make sure to take their meds.
Though being diagnosed with a condition is always unfortunate, a celebrity's illness can sometimes offer a silver lining to others with the condition by helping to raise awareness of the disease.
Take, for example, Angelina Jolie's 2013 announcement in The New York Times that she had undergone a double mastectomy after learning that she carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, which increases a woman's risk for breast cancer. Researchers dubbed the increase in awareness of the role of genetics in breast cancer "The Angelina Effect."
Here are 10 celebrities with chronic illnesses and how they live with them.
Selena Gomez: LupusSlide 2 of 21
Selena Gomez: Lupus
Pop star Selena Gomez canceled her 2013 tour when she was diagnosed with lupus.
After her diagnosis, Gomez underwent a round of treatment and took a break from the public eye, she told Billboard magazine in 2015.
The chronic autoimmune disease is much more common in women than in men, and is typically diagnosed when women are of childbearing age.
When a person has lupus, the body attacks its own cells as if they were harmful invaders, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. This can cause symptoms throughout the body, ranging from skin rashes and mouth ulcers to kidney problems and inflammation of various organs.
There is no cure for lupus, but there are treatments, such as corticosteroids and monoclonal antibodies, to help people with the condition manage their symptoms. For people with more serious forms of the disease, drugs that were developed to treat cancer may be used.
Other celebs, such as Nick Cannon, Lady Gaga, Toni Braxton and Seal, also have lupus.Slide 3 of 21
Lena Dunham: EndometriosisSlide 4 of 21
Lena Dunham: Endometriosis
Writer and actress Lena Dunham described her decade-long struggle with endometriosis in her November 2015 newsletter, Lenny Letter.
Dunham said that, since puberty, she has suffered from irregular periods, abdominal pain and chronic exhaustion. Her life changed the moment she finally received the diagnosis of endometriosis, Dunham wrote.
Endometriosis occurs when cells from the lining of the uterus become displaced and grow in other areas of the abdomen or body, leading to pain and irregular bleeding. The condition can also cause problems when women try to get pregnant.
Medications can help women manage the pain associated with endometriosis and slow the progression of the disease. In some scenarios, surgery is used to remove growths of endometrial cells from the body, according to the Endometriosis Foundation of America.
Other celebrities with endometriosis include Susan Sarandon, Padma Lakshmi and Jillian Michaels.Slide 5 of 21
Charlie Sheen: HIVSlide 6 of 21
Charlie Sheen: HIV
Sheen had learned of his diagnosis about four years prior to his announcement, he said.
But HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is no longer considered a death sentence as it was decades ago. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 1.2 million Americans are currently living with HIV.
HIV destroys one type of immune system cell, called T cells, which makes it difficult for people with the virus to fight off infections. When HIV has wiped out a larger percentage of a person's T cells, he or she is considered to have acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS.
Today, medications known as antiretroviral therapy can help slow the progression of HIV and also protect the body's immune system, according to the CDC.
And new preventive medications called pre-exposure prophylaxis, which can be taken as a daily pill, have been shown to be highly effective in preventing infection with HIV in people who have a high risk of contracting it.Slide 7 of 21
Tom Hanks: DiabetesSlide 8 of 21