Actress and singer Selena Gomez revealed in an Instagram post that she received a kidney transplant for her lupus in June.
In the post, she revealed that the kidney was donated by her good friend, actress Francia Raisa, writing:
“She gave me the last gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney. I am incredibly blessed. I love you very much sis.
Previously, in August 2016, Gomez had canceled the remaining dates of his tour when complications from his lupus caused him more anxiety and depression. “It was what I had to do for my overall health,” he wrote in the new post. “I honestly hope to share with you, soon my journey through these last months, as I have always wanted to do with you.”
On Twitter, friends and fans alike applaud Gomez for being open about his condition. Lupus is considered an “invisible disease” by many because of its often hidden symptoms and how difficult it can be to diagnose.
Gomez is one of many celebrities who have emerged in recent years living with invisible illnesses, including lupus singers and survivors Toni Braxton and Kelle Bryan. And just days before Gomez’s transplant announcement, Lady Gaga made an astonished gesture when she announced on Twitter that she was living with fibromyalgia, another invisible disease.
What is lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation. It is a difficult condition for doctors to diagnose and has a variety of symptoms that affect people with different levels of severity. There are several types of lupus, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the most common type.
SLE can cause the immune system to target the kidneys, particularly the parts that filter blood and waste products.
Lupus nephritis generally begins during the first five years of life with lupus. It is one of the most serious complications of the disease. When your kidneys are affected, it can also cause other pain. These are the symptoms that Selena Gómez probably experienced during her trip with lupus:
- Swelling in the lower legs and feet.
- high blood pressure
- blood in the urine
- darker urine
- Having to urinate more often at night
- pain in your side
Lupus nephritis has no cure. Treatment is to control the condition to prevent irreversible kidney damage. If there is extensive damage, the person will require dialysis or a kidney transplant. About 10,000 to 15,000 Americans receive a transplant each year.
In his post, Gomez urged his followers to do their part to raise awareness about lupus and to visit and support the Lupus Research Alliance, adding: “Lupus is still very poorly understood, but progress is being made.” .