From Real Housewives star Yolanda Hadid and her supermodel daughter Bella Hadid to songstress Avril Lavigne, an increasing number of celebrities are talking about their battles with Lyme disease in an effort to raise awareness of this debilitating illness. Now, amid rumors that Ashley Olsen also is fighting Lyme disease, country music star Shania Twain has joined the stars discussing how Lyme disease impacted their lives. Could you be at risk?
Shania recently revealed that Lyme disease temporarily derailed her singing career, reported ET.
Although Twain struggled with vocal dysphonia prior to her 2012 Las Vegas residency, only now is the 51-year-old attributing her vocal issues to Lyme disease. As a result, Shania had to go through therapy to prepare to perform at Caesar’s Palace.
“I learned a lot about myself, and my voice, both because I’d been having a lot of problems with my voice prior and because this was a real plunge into the unknown,” admitted Twain.
And she’s not alone. In addition to sharing her own Lyme disease battle, Real Housewives star Yolanda Hadid became emotional talking about her daughter Bella Hadid’s struggles with the illness, reported People.
Yolanda’s son Anwar also is struggling with Lyme disease, and the former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star addressed her belief that those who suffer from the tickborne disease should tell their story.
“Lyme disease is so undervalued and so misunderstood by the world that it is an obligation to each and everyone of us to share our story.”
Bella has been just as passionate about the impact of Lyme disease on her life, sharing that because of her illness, she had to sacrifice her dream of becoming an Olympic equestrian, noted the Daily Mail.
“My teenage years were taken from me,” said Bella of the impact of Lyme disease.
The young model also talked about the pain, fatigue, and brain fog that are among the symptoms of Lyme disease.
“I know what it feels like to not want to get out of bed from bone pains and exhaustion…the anxiety and brain fog just isn’t worth it.”
Avril Lavigne is among the celebrities who have discussed how Lyme disease changed their lives. The disease ranks as the most common tick-borne illness in the United States, according to Fox News.
The Canadian pop star revealed that she had been feeling fatigued for months before she was correctly diagnosed.
“I had no idea a bug bite could do this. I was bedridden for five months,” said Avril.
“I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk and I couldn’t move. I thought I was dying.”
In addition to the Hadid family and Lavigne, Ashley Olsen has been reported to have Lyme disease. A source quoted by the publication said that Mary-Kate Olsen’s twin sister had abandoned the spotlight in order to focus on her health.
“She was diagnosed in the very late stages so early detection measures weren’t options for her,” explained the insider. “She’s really going through it.”
With regard to diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, Dr. Richard Besser noted that finding the tick can be problematic, reported ABC News.
“You think it bites you and you get the infection but actually you have about 36 hours from the time of the bite to remove it before you get sick,” revealed Besser.
But these ticks are tiny and can be challenging to find. That’s why Besser recommends reducing your risk when spending time outside with measures such as long sleeves and pants. After time outdoors, shower and check for ticks.
While health providers typically diagnose Lyme disease with blood tests, the CDC recommends undergoing those tests only if the symptoms are clear.
“We definitely need better tests for Lyme disease,” admitted Besser.
About 80 percent of those who get Lyme note a bull’s-eye rash. There is a one-month period after that rash appears to be diagnosed and receive a prescription for antibiotics. However, even after taking antibiotics, some individuals continue to suffer from symptoms such as fatigue and pain, according to the CDC.
[Featured Image by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images]