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7 Celebrities Who Suffered Major Health Scares

Selena Gomez

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At the end of 2015, Selena Gomez revealed that she was battling the autoimmune disease lupus, which is an inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues. (Read up on lupus here.) The diagnosis forced her to take a break from the spotlight the year before. She explained to Billboard, "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. I wanted so badly to say, 'You guys have no idea. I'm in chemotherapy. You're assholes.' I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again."

Though Selena spent much of 2016 back in the public eye on tour she announced in August that she should would be taking another break. The reason came from lesser known side effects of lupus—depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Selena explained in a statement to Us Weekly, "I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off.... I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best."

 

 

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Kendall Jenner

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Last year, the supermodel was mysteriously absent from the runways for the all important Milan, Paris, and London Fashion Weeks and in December of 2015 was hospitalized for exhaustion. Details are now coming out (thanks to new episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians) on the real health crisis. "I wake up in the middle of the night and I can't move," Kendall explains on the show. These are symptoms of sleep paralysis, a condition that affects a person's ability to move their arms and legs, body, and head when falling asleep or waking up, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

While the occurrences only last a few seconds to a few minutes, it's extremely scary in the moment, sleep disorder specialist Meeta Singh, M.D., explained to us. One of the causes is lack of sleep and a changing sleep schedule—and as a model with a packed schedule of travel and changing time zones, Kendall is a prime candidate. 

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Lena Dunham

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Lena Dunham has been extremely open about the challenges and setbacks she's faced because of endometriosis, a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. The condition affects as many as one in 10 women. In February, Lena even took to her Facebook page to let her fans know that she needed to take a break, explaining, "I am currently going through a rough patch with the illness and my body (along with my amazing doctors) let me know, in no uncertain terms, that it's time to rest."

About a month later, Lena was hospitalized and underwent surgery due to a ruptured cyst on her ovary. Being open about her disease is something Lena has always championed, writing in her Lenny newsletter, "I am strong because of what I've dealt with. I am oddly fearless for a wimp with no upper-body strength. And I am no longer scared of my body. In fact, I listen to it when it speaks. I have no choice but to respect what it tells me, to respect the strength of its voice and the truth of my own." (See more of Lena Dunham's inspiring health, fitness, and body pos moments on social media.)

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Sarah Silverman

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What started as a trip to the doc for your average sore throat turned out to be a life-or-death situation for Sarah Silverman. She explained on Facebook that what she actually had was epiglottitis, and she spent five days fighting for her life in the ICU this summer because of it. Epiglottitis is a condition that occurs when the tissue protecting the windpipe (called the epiglottis) becomes inflamed, according to WebMD. (Here, more on the rare illness that almost suffocated the star.)

Thankfully it was caught in time and Sarah survived, saying afterward, "I thanked everyone at the ICU for my life, went home, and then slowly as the opiates faded away, remembered the trauma of the surgery & spent the first two days home kind of free-falling from the meds / lack of meds and the paralyzing realization that nothing matters. Luckily that was followed by the motivating revelation that nothing matters."

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Gabby Douglas

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Just days after returning to the United States after earning gold with The Final Five at the Summer Olympics in Rio, gymnast Gabby Douglas worried fans when she was the only member of the Final Five to miss out on the MTV Video Music Awards. Turned out she was suffering from a dental emergency. Her rep said at the time that Gabby was in the hospital "being treated for a seriously infected past mouth injury. She continues to have deep swelling and adverse reactions to medications."

Gabby reached out to her fans on Instagram to say, "Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know that I'm doing OK! I had a complication from a prior injury that caused a cyst to grow on a bone in my mouth. Got it removed and feeling much better now!"

Photo: Getty Images

Zoe Saldana

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Earlier this year, Zoe Saldana discovered that she suffers from the same disorder as her mother and sisters—Hashimoto's thyroiditis, a disorder in which the immune system turns against the body's own tissues. Zoe explains that while she looks great on the outside, the disease can strike and change how she feels out of nowhere. "All of a sudden it hits you. I s— you not, it's from night to day," she told Net-a-Porter.

To combat the effects and stay healthy, Zoe shared that she decided to switch to a gluten- and dairy-free diet because her body "doesn't have the energy it needs to filter toxins, causing it to believe that it has an infection, so it's always inflamed. You create antibodies that attack your glands, so you have to eat clean." (Find out what else Zoe does to stay healthy and in shape.)

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Alexa Ray Joel

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In September, Alexa Ray Joel (daughter of Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel) was playing a sold out show in New York City when the unthinkable happened—she collapsed on stage during her set. Alexa was rushed to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with vasovagal syncope, a condition that blocks blood from flowing to the brain and causes fainting, according to Mayo Clinic.

She recovered nicely, telling Extra, "I'm doing fine. I'm great, and I'm standing. I do tend to get a little bit of a low blood sugar drop. I was working shows in a row. You know it happens, singing is a physical act."

Photo: Getty Images

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