Ashley Olsen: Lyme Disease Devastates Mary-Kate Olsen’s Twin As Symptoms Cause Physical, Emotional Agony

Ashley Olsen has Lyme disease, and those who know the actress and designer say that it’s getting progressively worse. And now Ashley, with her sister Mary-Kate Olsen by her side, is fighting to regain her health, according to Radar Online.

The first hint that something was wrong came in 2012.

“I don’t like to be the center of attention anymore,” said Ashley, abruptly retreating from the spotlight.

But it now appears that she may have exited the entertainment world prematurely because she was trying to hide her diagnosis of Lyme disease and the enervating symptoms of that condition.

“She’s really sick,” revealed a source.

But what is Lyme disease, and how does it affect the body?

As the Inquisitr reported, Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by a tick infected with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. That tiny creature attaches itself to the body. After it has clung there for 36 to 48 hours, the tick has given the disease to its human recipient.

After someone does get infected, 80 percent notice a rash. It looks like a target for shooting: The center may be a solid red, with a white ring around it. In addition, those infected might feel feverish or chilly and experience an aching sensation or pain. But progressive symptoms can be heart-breaking, as Yolanda Foster, below, discusses.

In addition to Ashley and Yolanda, Alec Baldwin, George Bush, and Avril Lavigne have battled Lyme disease.

Whether young or old, celebrity or Jane Doe, recovery from Lyme disease can be challenging for some, according to Healthline.

Sometimes called persistent or chronic Lyme disease, this variation of the condition impacts 10 to 20 percent of patients. They may experience brain fog, chronic exhaustion, and ache all over for months or even longer. In addition to the physical symptoms, they may become emotionally distressed, as Ashley reportedly has and as Avril, below, revealed that she struggled with.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 300,000 Americans receive a diagnosis each year, but projected that the actual rates of infection are 10 times higher. Of those diagnosed, 14 states contain 95 percent of the cases.

The Northeast, states along the Mississippi River border, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts frequently report cases of Lyme disease. But because the disease was only diagnosed in the 1970s, understanding of the symptoms, how to diagnose it, and how to treat it are still in progress, said Amesh A. Adalja, an infectious disease physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Now, as Ashley battles Lyme disease, she adds her name to the list of celebrities adding to public awareness of the disease. And while some have expressed the pain of suffering alone, Ashley always has had her twin Mary-Kate by her side for support, reported Yahoo.

From working together for eight years on Full House to Mary-Kate’s battle with anorexia and drug use rumors, the twins have shown their concern for each other. They’ve enjoyed working together as fashion designers for The Row and Elizabeth and James.

And now, as Ashley tries to recover fully from Lyme disease, Mary-Kate will remain by her side.

[Photo by Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images]