Healthy Living

7 Celebrities Who Have Lupus

7 Celebrities Who Have Lupus

Picture attribution from left to right: Selena Gomez by wmm4u. Seal. Alchetron. Nick Cannon by Mrna Litt.

Key Takeaways

  • If lupus runs in your family, you have a greater chance of getting it.
  • Some people only suffer from minor symptoms, while others can have it more severe.
  • Women are more likely to be diagnosed with lupus than men.

Lupus affects many people around the world with 1.5 million people suffering from it in the US alone. Because of this alarming rate, you shouldn't be surprised to find out that even celebrities have this long-term illness. But while these celebrities have lupus and aren't afraid to say it and help raise awareness, they do not let it keep them down from their work. Are you wondering who these celebrities are? Read on to find out the list of celebrities who have been diagnosed with lupus and are currently fighting it. We will also show you a quick overview of the disease to raise awareness and prevent it from happening to you or your loved ones.

What is lupus?

Lupus is known as systemic lupus erythematosus, which is an autoimmune condition. This disease attacks the tissues throughout the body, which leads to damage and susceptibility to illnesses. This adverse condition would have your body mistake your tissue as foreign invaders, resulting in your body attacking itself. There are different types of lupus, and while some people only suffer from minor symptoms, others can be more severe and will need a drastic change to treat the disease and relieve you from the symptoms.

  • Discoid Lupus Erythematosus: This affects the skin when exposed to sunlight, and it does not affect your internal organs. This type of lupus would leave scars after the lesions heal.
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: This is a more serious type of lupus, as it affects both the skin and vital organs, leaving scars and the typical butterfly-shaped rash on your face that most lupus sufferers have.

Causes and Symptoms

There is no exact reason why anyone gets this disease. However, studies show that the disorder would occur mostly in African, Native American, or Asian descents when compared to Caucasians. Also, while the disease can happen to both men and women, 90 percent of the illness occurs in women, usually of childbearing age. As for the symptoms, you may experience the following:

  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Unexplained fever
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Skin rashes
  • Ankles that begin to swell and accumulate fluid
  • Chest pain while breathing deeply
  • Butterfly-shaped rash
  • Loss of hair
  • Sensitive to sun or light
  • Seizures
  • Sores located in the nose or mouth
  • Pale or purple fingertips and toes
  • Kidney problems or low blood pressure (fatal)

The range of symptoms and what affects you will vary from person-to-person. Some people may only have a few symptoms, while others experience more.


Unfortunately, there is no cure for lupus, and there are only studies being done on finding the medication that will help identify the reason as to why your body attacks its own tissues and how to correct it. It is treatable through medication and making new lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Diet: Eating nutritious foods with less sugar and sodium has helped decrease inflammation.
  • Pain Management: You can follow home remedies such as warm baths, hot compresses, or bed rest if you feel fatigued.
  • Exercise: Exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, or aerobics are known to prevent muscle atrophy and help with your joints.
  • Therapy: Physical therapy can help relieve the pain you feel around the joints while strengthening the muscles and decreasing stress.
  • Stress: You will need to make sure that you control your fatigue and stress through relaxing exercises and maintaining healthy relationships with the people you love.

Living a healthier life and quitting vices will help as well. You may also need to decrease your workload to focus more on your health.

7 Celebrities Who Have Lupus

Now that you know what lupus is, here are seven famous celebrities who also suffer from this disease:

1. Selena Gomez: Selena Gomez went out of the spotlight back in 2014 and then got back to work in October 2015. It caused her to cancel her tours around the world. People have speculated that she was taking rehabilitation from drugs. But during the gap, she admitted that she was going through chemotherapy to treat her lupus.

2. Seal: The "Kissed from a Rose" singer has trademark facial scars and it isn't from a physical fight. He suffers from discoid lupus erythematosus, which is the type of lupus that affects your skin and causes it to blister. He talks about his condition openly and participates in many fundraisers that help with lupus research.

3. Paula Abdul: The former American Idol judge has had lupus for over a decade, and experiences intense physical pain and fatigue because of the disease. It's said that because of her disorder, she experienced erratic behavior that broke her marriage off. Fortunately, she has now found the effective treatment plan to treat her issues, and she is currently a public advocate to make people more aware of lupus and help with research.

4. Lady Gaga: Lady Gaga hasn't been officially diagnosed with lupus nor does she show any signs or symptoms, but she has been tested borderline positive for the disease. She addressed the rumors during an interview in 2010. The reason is that the disease runs in her family, so she is more susceptible to get lupus.

5. Toni Braxton: Singer Toni Braxton was diagnosed with the disease in 2008. She is still fighting with the help of medication, and she is currently a health educator in the Lupus Foundation of America. Studies have shown that women of color have more chances of getting the disease as compared to white women.

6. Kristen Johnston: After being treated by 17 doctors, Johnston was diagnosed with lupus of the spinal cord. She is currently battling it and has a whole new outlook on life, making sure that she lives to the fullest.

7. Nick Cannon: The America's Got Talent host found out he had the disease back in 2012 when he was being treated for a supposed kidney disease. He was then diagnosed with lupus nephritis, which is known to be the cause of severe kidney inflammation. He was also then treated for fatal blood clots but is well and fighting.


There is no vaccination for lupus, and it may strike at anytime. But as long as you live a healthy life with a balanced diet and exercise, you will be able to help prevent the disease from coming to you. Supplements and getting the right amount of vitamins will help as well. As for preventing flare-ups from lupus (if you have it), you can stop them by making sure that you work closely with your doctor and refrain from places or foods that may trigger you, such as too much exposure to sunlight or processed foods. Avoid smoking and alcohol as well, as this may increase your chances of a lupus attack. Keep positive and stay happy, and you can fight it like these seven celebrities do.

In Conclusion

If you have lupus, then know that you aren't alone. There are millions of people around the world who also suffer from the disease, and even celebrities have it and do their best to help raise awareness to help people understand what it is and what they can do to help treat or prevent it.