Celebrities With Lupus: What Causes And Symptoms?

Celebrities With Lupus What Causes And Symptoms

Struggling with lupus? You are not alone as it’s a prevalent problem and you can find a number of celebrities with lupus, coping each day with the issue. 

Let’s find out what lupus is and which celebrities have this health concern. 

What is Lupus?

Lupus is an auto-immune disease that damages the body’s immune system, organs, and tissue and can cause inflammation (1). It can affect the skin, joints, blood, and organs like kidneys, lungs, and heart. 

The symptoms of lupus are varied and where they’ll appear depends where their auto-immune system damages the tissue. They may appear on skin, joints, kidney, brain, heart, lungs, etc.

What Are The Symptoms Of Lupus?

Even though people may experience different symptoms of lupus, depending which organ of their body is affected, here are some common signs-

  • Joint, muscle, or chest pain (especially while taking a deep breath)
  • Headache, fatigue and fever
  • Rashes on the body
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores and swollen glands
  • Swelling in your arms, legs, or on your face
  • Dryness around eyes
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)

Beside these common symptoms, people suffering from lupus can also experience photosensitivity, mental health issues and in rare cases Raynaud’s syndrome (2) and osteoporosis (3).

What Causes Lupus?

Lupus can occur due to varied reasons such as-

  1. Genetic factors: Having specific genetic mutations.
  2. Hormones: Reactions to certain hormones in the body.
  3. Environmental factors: Pollution and sunlight. 
  4. Health history: Smoking, stress level, and having certain other health conditions like other auto-immune diseases might trigger Lupus.

13 Celebrities Who Struggle with Lupus

1. Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez

Selena is an American pop singer and actress. In 2015, she got to know about her disease, and in 2016, she took a break from her work to get treatment for her lupus. She underwent a kidney transplant in 2017. Young women of childbearing age often get lupus. Symptoms like exhaustion and joint pain affect the heart and kidneys.

2. Seal


Seal is an award-winning English singer and songwriter. He first showed a specific type of Lupus known as discoid Lupus (4) erythematous at age 23, which caused scars on his face. While performing at various fundraising events, he says that he has been in remission for years, and he still works to support lupus research and awareness. Discoid Lupus, named after the shape of the lesions, causes severe inflammation, particularly in areas exposed to the sun. It can also cause hair loss.

3. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

She is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Although she never experienced any symptoms, in 2010, Lady Gaga had heart palpitations and trouble breathing and tested borderline positive for Lupus. Gaga has a family history of Lupus; her aunt died at an early age of Lupus. Gaga says she currently does not have symptoms but takes excellent care of herself, which is strongly recommended by medical experts for managing Lupus.

4. Tony Braxton

Tony Braxton

Since 2011, this Grammy award-winning singer has openly struggled with Lupus. Braxton said she’s still never let her symptoms force her to cancel a show despite her multiple hospital stays and dedicated days to rest. By facing all the challenges, she has become an activist, helping coordinate the “Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon,” which auctions handbags to raise money for lupus research and awareness.

5. Nick Cannon

Nick Cannon

Nick Cannon is an American rapper, actor, comedian, director, screenwriter, producer, and entrepreneur who first experienced symptoms in 2012. He created the YouTube series “NCredible Health Hustle,” documenting his experience with the disease. He maintains a busy schedule with a healthy lifestyle.

6. Kristen Johnston

Kristen Johnston

She was diagnosed with lupus myelitis, a rare form of Lupus affecting the spinal cord, at age 46. Johnson’s final diagnosis allows her to receive treatment with chemotherapy and steroids After 17 different doctors’ visits and months of painful tests.

In an interview, she said, “Every single day is a gift, and I don’t take one second of it for granted,”

7. Trick Daddy

Trick Daddy

 Trick Daddy is an American rapper, actor, and producer who was diagnosed years ago with discoid Lupus. Now, he no longer takes Western medicine to treat it.

In an interview in 2009 with Vlad TV, he said, “I stopped taking any medicine that they were

8. Shannon Boxx

Shannon Boxx

In 2007, at age 30, This Gold-medal-winning American Olympic soccer player was diagnosed with Lupus while playing for the U.S. National Team. She is experiencing symptoms of fatigue, joint pain, and muscle soreness during this time. In 2012, she announced her diagnosis publically. She began working with the Lupus Foundation of America to spread disease awareness.

9. Maurissa Tancharoen

Maurissa Tancharoen

Maurissa Tancharoen is an American television producer/writer, actress, singer, dancer, and lyricist who experiences chronic severe flare-ups that attack her kidneys and lungs and also inflame her central nervous system. She was diagnosed with Lupus at a very early age.

10. Ray Walston

Ray Walston

Actor Ray Walston died from Lupus on New Year’s Day 2001, six years after being diagnosed with the disease. He was 86. Because Lupus is a complex disease to diagnose, he may have had it for years without knowing it. Although Walston was best known for the ’60s sitcom “My Favorite Martian,” he was also a Tony-winning Broadway star and won two Emmys for his work on the CBS show “Picket Fences.”

11. Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul

She is a dancer, choreographer, singer, and reality competition show judge. She uses the power of social media to spread knowledge and awareness to the world.

12. Charles Kuralt

Charles Kuralt

Charles Kuralt was a famous TV newscaster, beloved by many for his “On the Road” stories about his travels along the byways of America. He was the recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award and won 10 Emmys. He took retirement from CBS News in 1995. Two years later, at the age of 62, he died from complications of systemic Lupus. Though there has been a slight uptick in lupus-related fatalities in the past two decades, it is not generally a fatal disease, and most people with Lupus live an average lifespan.

13. Dale Dedrick

Dale Dedrick

Paralympic Equestrian Dale Dedrick was diagnosed with Lupus during her time at the University of Michigan, causing her multiple joint deformities, muscle weakness of an inflammatory nature, and significant heart disease. She retired in 1992 as an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Internal Medicine. Dale took part in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.


Lupus can be curable if it is diagnosed at an early stage. A healthy lifestyle and medicines can cure it. In some cases, symptoms are noticeable. However, treatment is complex at the last stage.

  1. MedlinePlus – Systemic lupus erythematosus
  2. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases – Raynaud’s Phenomenon
  3. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases – Osteoporosis
  4. National Library Of Medicine – Discoid Lupus Erythematosus

You Might Also Like:

Was this article helpful?