Avril Lavigne is battling Lyme disease, and the singer has revealed that the diagnosis came only after she spent five months suffering to even breathe as she lay in bed, feeling helpless.
“I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk and I couldn’t move. I thought I was dying.”
Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills co-star Yolanda Foster has stepped up to offer her support, reported the Daily Dish. Initially, Avril had revealed only that she was struggling with an unnamed health problem, resulting in speculation. But now that the 31-year-old singer has opened up about her Lyme disease diagnosis, Yolanda emphasized her own battle with the condition and offered empathy.
While Lavigne received her diagnosis only a few months ago, Foster has been battling the symptoms for years. So she immediately reached out to the young singer, with whom she became friends after Avril performed at her wedding to David Foster.
“I took Avril under my wing when she first got sick and shared all I know. I am so proud of her for going public, and helping us bring awareness to this debilitating disease,” added the 51-year-old.
In Yolanda’s case, she recently suffered a relapse from Lyme disease that caused her to lose her ability to even read, as the Inquisitr reported.
Foster has become outspoken about the need for a cure.
Yolanda and Avril both say that getting a correct diagnosis of Lyme disease is challenging, reported People. The disease results from a bite by a tick infected with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi.
However, most victims aren’t even aware that they’ve been bitten, according to Dr. Erica Lehman, a tick-borne disease specialist.
“When a tick bites you, it has an anesthetic in its saliva that actually numbs the surface of your skin so you don’t feel the bite, and that’s why people don’t know that a tick is latched onto them and is biting them. If bitten, early symptoms include headaches, nausea, numbness, muscle aches, extreme fatigue and Bell’s palsy.”
But symptoms can cover a wide range of physical, emotional, and mental problems, added the expert. Among the most severe results of Lyme disease are arthritis and dementia.
“It can affect people physically, cognitively and psychologically,” warned Dr. Lehman. “[Lyme disease is] the fastest growing epidemic in the world.”
Moreover, the specialist disagrees with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on its estimate that more than 25,000 Americans had Lyme disease in 2013. That’s because she feels the numbers are higher because so many people are incorrectly diagnosed initially with conditions ranging from lupus to multiple sclerosis.
The CDC describes typical Lyme disease symptoms as including headaches, fatigue, fever, and a skin rash. Diagnosis is challenging, with tests typically based on the rash, symptoms, and potential tick exposure.
Treatments include antibiotics, and preventive measures include immediate removal of ticks and the use of repellents.
[Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Clear Channel]