The superstar just got real about the disease she's been living with for years.

By Julia Malacoff
March 31, 2017

Lady Gaga, Super Bowl queen and conqueror of body-shaming Twitter trolls, has been open about her health struggles in the past. Back in November, she Instagramed about infrared saunas, a pain relief method she swears by, but she didn't get too specific about exactly what was behind the chronic pain she was dealing with. A few years ago, she even shared that she had to take a hiatus from performing due to a hip injury, according to an interview she did with Women's Wear Daily.

Now, the star is revealing for the first time in an interview with Arthritis magazine that the source of her health woes is actually rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Though the full article does not appear online, the cover quotes her as saying: "Hip pain can't stop me!" and "I fought RA pain with my passion." Inspiring, right?

If you're not familiar, RA disease causes your immune system to attack your own body's tissue, according to the Mayo Clinic. As of now, it looks like genetics may play a role in some cases, but beyond that, the specific causes of RA are not known. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also notes that new cases of the disease are two to three times more prevalent in women than in men, making it especially important for women to be aware of the disease and its signs. (FYI, here's why autoimmune diseases are on the rise.)

The symptoms of RA and other autoimmune diseases can be tough to spot, so it's important to be informed. When they start to feel sick, "people think they ate something wrong or they have a virus or they're exercising too hard," rheumatologist Scott Baumgartner, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Washington in Spokane, told us in The Symptoms You Should Never Ignore. For RA, the main thing to watch out for is stiffness and soreness in more than one joint, especially both hands and feet when you first wake up and at night.

Since aren't that many celebs who have spoken out about autoimmune illnesses, aside from Selena Gomez, who has talked about her experience with lupus, Gaga's fans who are also dealing with this group of diseases are understandably psyched that she's shedding light on it. One tweeted, "Thank you so much for telling your story. I have osteo and psoriasiatic arthritis. You are a true angel!"

It seems like we can always count on Gaga to speak up about the things that matter to her the most-including her health-which is one of the many reasons we love her. (P.S. Remember that time she shut down Piers Morgan mansplaining about rape? Yeah, that was pretty awesome, too.)

Comments (4)

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July 26, 2017
I suffer from osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis and it is a battle every day. No one understands the systemic effects of PSA and they think it's like osteo, which is simply wear and tear on a joint. My disease is an auto immune disease and makes me exhausted, sore and weak. I wrote about it here
July 25, 2017
I've had RA for 38 years and I feel I'm sort of qualified to correct the misconception that it only attacks joints. It also attacks organs in your body such as Heart, skin (which is the largest organ we have) lungs, I'm an good example of that. I am suffering now from Interstatial Lung Disease which is scarring my lungs and in return cuts my air capacity. I will end up someday with oxygen and will in the future need a transplant. It also affects your way of life. About 18 months ago I had a bilateral knee replacement, no more pain but it has it's limitations. The only advice I can give is don't let it define you or beat you . Enjoy your life as best as you can at your own pace and let people know so they understand why you can't do certain things. To Ms. Lady Gaga I wish you the best and keep on doing your thing. Thank you
April 1, 2017
Your information is wrong. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints, NOT tissue, as stated in your article. Please correct. :)