Aside from her resounding hits being played across different airwaves, topping the billboard, causing last song syndrome (LSS), Selena Gomez may have been one of the most- talked about stars nowadays being in a social media word war with his ‘controversial’ ex- boyfriend, Justin Bieber.
The feud that had triggered so much attention might be that depressing for the 24- year- old singer- actress but the Hollywood break she announced just recently has a justifiable reason deeper than the coercing social media buzz.
It was in her late teenage when the award- winning pop singer was diagnosed with Lupus. And because of the reported anxiety, depression, and panic attacks brought by the said disease, she is forced to have a pause, even amidst her ‘Revival’ world tour.
What’s with Lupus that depresses Selena?
Lupus is a problem of the immune system where it becomes hyperactive and attacks healthy tissues of the body. This occurs when it fails to differentiate healthy tissues from antigens (foreign invaders). This will lead antibodies produced by the immune system to attack not just antigens but healthy tissues. This will result to different complications.
This may include swelling, pain, and tissue damage to skin, joints, brain, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels and other internal organs.
Alongside, Lupus is associated with symptoms such as: inflammation in joints, skin rashes, fever, headache, chest pain, hair loss, pale/ purple fingers, enlargement of a leg or puffy eyes, and swollen gland.
It may also cause serious complications such as: oral ulcers, arthritis, pleuritis, pericarditis, kidney problems, seizure, psychosis, blood cell abnormalities, vasculitis, anemia, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia, myocarditis, and endocarditis.
For the case of Selena, she told reporters that she may have had stroke but she already undergone chemotherapy.
It is a chronic disease so it tends to last from six weeks up to many years. The degree of damage could range from mild to life- threatening.
It is noted that this is also a disease of ‘flares’ and ‘remissions’ where activity and dormancy respectively lies on the condition of the symptoms. It is in this cause that Lupus has no cure but still controllable with right medication. Lifestyle change is advisable.
Selena’s depression may also be linked with fatigue that is due to constant immune activity of her body because of Lupus.
Women are at risk
It is estimated by the Lupus Foundation of America that about five million people worldwide will suffer the disease.
One primary reason is hormonal risk. It is said that 90% of Lupus patients were women. This encouraged doctors to study the correlation of estrogen with Lupus.
We all know that estrogen, an immuno- enhancing hormone, is present in both sexes but in greater amount among women. This explains why women have stronger immune systems than men, but unfortunately, this also signifies higher risk of autoimmune diseases.
They have also noticed that Lupus flares up in situations when estrogen production is at its peak like before menstrual periods and pregnancy.
Aside from such, the environment, some biomarkers, and even genes contribute to the development of Lupus.
Like any other diseases, Lupus is also surrounded by misconceptions needed to be disproved.
Firstly, Lupus is not like HIV or AIDS, it is not contagious. Lupus could not be passed to someone else on whatever means.
Also, while HIV or AIDS makes the immune system underactive, Lupus does the opposite thing.
Women with Lupus could also have a normal pregnancy. Though cases are existing where the child develop Lupus later in their life, there is still 50% chance that the child will not have birth defects.
Despite of high cases in women, Lupus is still not a women’s disease because men still have chances to develop the said disease.
Lupus: Causes, Symptoms, and Research. Hannah Nichols. Medical News Today. 14 January 2016. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/Lupus
Selena Gomez’s disease: What is Lupus? Nadia Kounang, CNN. August 31, 2016. http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/08/health/selena-gomez-reveals-she-has-Lupus/
Common Myths About Lupus. Smarty. April 05 2008. https://www.smartlivingnetwork.com/immunity-system/b/common-myths-about-Lupus/