Selena Gomez is opening up about the challenges that she's faced from lupus. The diagnosis of her autoimmune disease caused Selena to take a break. And as Gomez faced down rehab rumors and body-shaming about her weight gain while she battled lupus, the singer also gained strength from overcoming her challenges, reported Billboard.
At 23, Selena revealed that she could have had a stroke. And as Gomez struggled with accepting and treating her lupus, which included chemotherapy, she noted just how dangerous her health crisis had been.
"I was diagnosed with lupus, and I've been through chemotherapy. That's what my break was really about. I could've had a stroke," shared Selena.
Gomez admitted that when she discovered some rumors claimed she was taking a break because of addiction problems even as she suffered from lupus, she was outraged.
"I wanted so badly to say, 'You guys have no idea. I'm in chemotherapy. You're a**holes,' " said Selena.
To recover, Gomez stayed out of the public spotlight until she recovered her self-assurance and felt in control. But the lupus battle, the fat-shaming, and the tabloid headlines containing fiction have disheartened the pop star.
"I'm so f***ing nice to everybody, and everyone is so vile to me," declared Selena. "I've been a UNICEF ambassador since I was 17. It's so disappointing that I've become a tabloid story."
Gomez took her anger and used it to fuel her work, motivating her. Selena is aware that Justin Bieber, her ex-boyfriend, also is acquiring a new stature in the music industry. Has Bieber inspired Gomez?
"No. This is my time. I've deserved this. I earned it. This is all me," insisted Selena.
But Gomez does hold a grudge against those Internet trolls who attacked her when she appeared in a two-piece swimsuit. The fat-shaming on social media was Selena's first experience with that type of cruelty, and she confesses that her self-esteem was shattered.
With all that has happened, from Gomez's lupus diagnosis to the fat-shaming to addiction rumors, Selena has established a protective barrier. But she does credit Taylor Swift for caring.
"Taylor makes me feel empowered, like I can trust new people... The way she cares about women is so adamant. It's pulling me out of my shell," added Gomez.
But can Justin help Selena, too? Bieber revealed that after dating Gomez for four years, she ranks as the high point of his teen history, reported the Daily Mail.
The 21-year-old pop phenom declined to go into details.
"My relationship with my ex-girlfriend [was the best part of my teen years]. I'm not gonna talk about it, but I'm just gonna say that and we'll leave it there," said Justin.
Selena and Bieber became an item in 2011, and then they broke up in 2012. Gomez and Bieber then got together again in 2013, and broke it off in 2014.
But for Selena, it's not just the end of her romance with Justin and health battles that have hurt her emotionally and physically. Those people who fat-shamed Gomez as she was fighting lupus caused her to seek therapy, reported Fox News.
The body-shaming was so severe that Selena would arrive at the airport and be greeted with cruel comments.
"I'd land at the airport and people would yell out, 'You're fat!' It was awful."Therapy helped Gomez regain her pride in her appearance, and that self-assurance is reflected on social media.
"I love being happy with me yall,"wrote Selena on a recent bathing suit caption.
What is lupus, and how does it impact the body? Gomez suffers from an autoimmune disease, Howard R. Smith, MD, director of the Lupus Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic, explained to Yahoo.
The immune system of someone with lupus can't distinguish between healthy tissue and dangers such as germs of bacteria. Consequently, healthy tissue gets destroyed. Symptoms can vary widely, including a facial rash, pain in the joints, hair loss, and kidney disease.
The cause is not known, and treatment ranges from medication to chemotherapy. As for a cure?
"We don't talk about 'cure' in general," clarified Smith. "We try to get people to have a relatively well-controlled disease."
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