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5 Celebrities Living with Autoimmune Disease

We sometimes forget that celebrities are just everyday people as well. They fight some of the same issues we do, including autoimmune disease. With over 100 types of autoimmune disease out there, it’s not too much of a surprise that there are several celebrities living with these type of chronic conditions.

Here are just a few of the celebrities living with autoimmune disease:

Venus Williams: The famous tennis player is living with the autoimmune disease Sjögren’s syndrome. She was diagnosed in 2011, and actually had to stop playing tennis for a while… including dropping out of the second round of the U.S. Open. But, after the right treatment and adopting a raw vegan diet, she was able to return and continue doing what she loves best.

Selena Gomez: This well-known singer was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Lupus in 2013, and she even had to cancel her tour due to it. She is now doing much better, but there was a time when her condition became very scary. Because of complications from Lupus, she found herself in need of a kidney transplant. Thankfully, her best friend volunteered and was a match.

Kim Kardashian West: The reality TV star found out in 2011 that she had Psoriasis. Kris Jenner, her mother, has the condition as well. It started with patches on her legs, however she stated in 2016 that she also gets occasional flares on her face. Kardashian West adopted certain dietary changes like avoiding foods that are acidic and she uses a cream to help manage the flares.

Elisabeth Hassellback: Most known for being a co-host on the View, Hasselback has been living with Celiac Disease for years. Before she knew she had it, she would find herself in a lot of pain after eating: she would suffer from ingestion, cramps, and diarrhea. However, in 2001 she was put on a strict diet for “Survivor: The Australian Outback.” She realized, after following this diet, that she had Celiac Disease. She now lives gluten-free.

Missy Elliot: This music star was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease back in 2008. She lost a lot of weight right before her diagnosis. Elliot took a break from the limelight for a while. She was on medication for a time, but now she uses diet and exercise to manage the autoimmune disease and its symptoms. Elliot is now doing well and has said she’s overcome the condition.

What can we learn from these celebrities who are living with autoimmune disease?

These are just a few of the celebrities living with chronic conditions. There are a number of others. But, what can we learn from them? Many of these women have been quoted as saying the right diet made a huge difference. Of course, with Celiac Disease, adopting a gluten-free diet was the treatment needed. But, the other women also noted a big difference in adopting the right diet for their condition. Each body is different, and certain foods may be a trigger for certain flares. For example, Kim Kardashian West noted avoiding acidic foods, and Venus Williams adopted a raw vegan diet. Then, there’s Missy Elliot who said she managed her autoimmune disease with diet and exercise.

While diet and exercise aren’t meant to replace your prescriptions, they can provide alleviation for some. Finding the right nutrition for your body and avoiding trigger foods can be very beneficial for many people. To find out if this would work for you, you can start with an elimination diet. It can help you discover which foods may reduce flares. You may also find help in talking with others that have the same condition and seeing if they’ve noticed any foods to be potential triggers. However, be aware that everyone’s body is different, so you have to find what works best for you.


About the Author
Katie Cleary is founder of  She lives with her autoimmune conditions and her family in Austin, Texas.

This blog post was originally published by, written by Katie Cleary, and first published on Jun 1, 2018.

This post contains the opinions of the author. Autoimmune Association is not a medical practice and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is your responsibility to seek diagnosis, treatment, and advice from qualified providers based on your condition and particular circumstances. Autoimmune Association does not endorse nor recommend any products, practices, treatment methods, tests, physicians, service providers, procedures, clinical trials, opinions or information available on this website. Your use of the website is subject to our Privacy Policy.

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