23 Celebrities Encountered Serious Health Issues But Did Not Give Up

Our stars can be beautiful, rich and famous, but they are human too, and that means they are just as prone to getting sick as the rest of us.

If only fame and fortune can be the measure for health, celebrities would be the healthiest bunch out of all in our world. However, when our celebs open up about their health struggles, it can help break down stigma and inspire people to never give up despite their health condition.

From Hollywood’s heartthrob, Jim Carry to smokin’ hot Selena Gomez, we have compiled a list of 23 most famous stars who encountered some serious health issues but they fought their battle like true warriors.

#1 Jim Carrey – Depression

Jim Carrey easily makes the short list of history’s most influential comedians, but in an interview with 60 Minutes, the funnyman shocked a lot of people when he acknowledged he has spent much of his life dealing with depression. After the second of his two failed marriages, Carrey sought the help of a psychiatrist who prescribed him Prozac. Though Carrey admits the antidepressant helped him out of an initial jam, he also realized that he couldn’t be one of those who stay on the drug forever. “I had to get off [Prozac] at a certain point,” said Carrey. “You need to get out of bed every day and say that life is good. That’s what I did, although at times it was very difficult for me.” Carrey credits a healthy diet and natural supplements for his improved mental health

#2 Tom Cruise – Dyslexia

Cruise spent his childhood trying to hide his dyslexia from his peers. Diagnosed at the age of seven, Cruise describes his younger self as a "functionally illiterate". He could barely read in high school or through his earliest roles.

He eventually adopted L. Ron Hubbard’s learning method of "Study Technology," which helped him develop his reading and study habits.

"I had to train myself to focus my attention. I became very visual and learned how to create mental images in order to comprehend what I read," said Cruise.

#3 Lil Wayne – Epilepsy

The rapper suffers from epilepsy, a condition which affects the brain and is mostly known for causing fits or seizures. 

In 2013, Weezy told Power 106 radio he was epileptic and prone to seizures: "This isn't my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh seizure. I've had a bunch of seizures; y'all just never hear about it."

He has since been in and out of hospital due to fits.

#4 Halle Berry – Type 1 diabetes

Actress Berry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 22, after she became ill and slipped into a weeklong coma. In 2007, however, Berry announced that she'd weaned herself off insulin. Doctors say that Berry likely had type 2 diabetes all along, because there is no way to avoid insulin if you have type 1.

#5 Lena Dunham – Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a poorly understood medical condition where the lining of the womb is found in other parts of the body, most often the ovaries. 

Lena Dunham has been particularly honest about her experience with the condition, which like so many other sufferers, was misdiagnosed for years. 

Earlier this year the Girls actress revealed she had undergone a total hysterectomy as a result of complications from endometriosis. "Soon I’ll start exploring whether my ovaries, which remain someplace inside me in that vast cavern of organs and scar tissue, have eggs. Adoption is a thrilling truth I’ll pursue with all my might," she wrote, discussing her options for motherhood in future. 

#6 Lady Gaga – Fibromyalgia​

This condition causes pain all over the body and someone suffering with it may also experience extreme tiredness, muscle stiffness, trouble concentrating and problems sleeping. According to the NHS, it tends to affect women seven times more than men. There is no cure but symptoms can be relieved through medication, therapy and lifestyle changes. 

The singer has opened up about her experience with the illness for the first time in her upcoming documentary. She was also forced to cancel a concert in Brazil because she was taken to hospital with "severe pain".

#7 Nick Jonas – Diabetes

This Jonas brother was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 13 years old which he described as "one of the most frightening moments of my life”.

Type 1 only accounts for around 10 percent of all people who have diabetes. It is an autoimmune disorder, which is not caused by lifestyle factors, where blood glucose levels are too high because the body cannot produce the hormone, insulin.

Jonas wears an insulin pump to treat his condition and last year set up a diabetes charity.

#8 Kim Kardashian-West – Psoriasis

Awareness was definitely raised about psoriasis when it was revealed one of the most photographed women in the world has it.

After initially freaking out over the skin condition - which causes crusty, red patches with silver-type flakes to appear - in an old episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, she has since adopted a more serene approach, recently saying she doesn't even try to cover it up anymore.

"I'm always hoping for a cure, of course, but in the meantime, I'm learning to just accept it as part of who I am," she wrote on her website.

#9 Selena Gomez – Lupus

In 2015 Selena Gomez revealed she had been diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that required the singer to go through chemotherapy. The star opened up about the disease again, sharing that she had a kidney transplant. 

She addressed this in an Instagram post where she wrote that she, "needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering". 

#10 Sarah Hyland – Kidney Dysplasia

Kidney dysplasia is a condition from birth where the kidneys have not developed properly when the baby was in the womb. The Modern Family star told Seventeen in 2015: "I was born with so many health issues that doctors told my mother I would never have a normal life. And she said, 'You're right, she won't – but it won't be because of her health."

Hyland had a kidney transplant in 2012 at the age of 21 which was donated from her father.

#11 Jack Osbourne – Multiple Sclerosis

Jack Osbourne was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, he told PEOPLE exclusively.  

Just two weeks after he and fiancée Lisa Stelly welcomed daughter Pearl Clementine, Osbourne, 26, was dealt the shocking news. In an exclusive, sit-down interview and photo shoot with PEOPLE magazine, Jack and his mother Sharon open up about their emotional ordeal.  

“I was just angry and frustrated and kept thinking, ‘Why now?’ ” Jack tells PEOPLE. “I’ve got a family and that’s what’s supposed to be the most important thing.”   

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system – the brain and spinal cord – and can cause problems with muscle control and strength, vision, balance, feeling, and thinking.  

#12 Charlie Sheen – HIV

The Two and a Half Men publicly revealed his HIV positive status in an interview on the Today show in 2015 after gossip websites and tabloids suggested an A-list actor was going to make an announcement about having the disease.

“It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life,” he said.

The actor said he was going public with his disease to end the blackmailing and extortion he had been subject to over his HIV status.

HIV damages the cells in the immune system meaning it is difficult for someone infected to fight off infections and diseases. There is currently no cure but medication allows someone with the condition to live a normal and healthy life.

#13 Sam Faiers – Crohn’s

Crohn's is a condition which causes the digestive system to become inflamed. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and unintended weight loss. 

Although the condition can go into remission, in some cases the symptoms become so severe it can lead to surgery and the person using an ileostomy bag.  

TOWIE star Sam was diagnosed with the disease shortly after becoming ill on Celebrity Big Brother in 2014. 

"Effectively my body went into shut down and I only just managed to make it to the end [of Big Brother]," Sam told BT. "I'd be crying with the pain, violently ill after eating anything, with boils on my face, no energy and such terrible joint pain in my ankles I could barely walk."

#14 Michael Phelps – ADHD

Phelps has first diagnosed with ADHD as a child, and teachers even told his parents he'd never succeed in anything due to his inability to focus and constant fidgeting. Of course, he defied the odds and became the most decorated Olympian athlete ever.

#15 Alec Baldwin – Lyme Disease

Baldwin said he has struggled with chronic Lyme disease for 17 years after he was bitten by a deer tick, treated, and then bitten again a few years later. 

“The first time was the worst of all,” Baldwin said. “And I really thought this is it, I’m not going to live. I was alone, I wasn’t married at the time, I was divorced from my first wife. I was lying in bed saying, ‘I’m going to die of Lyme disease,’ in my bed and ‘I hope someone finds me and I’m not here for too long.’ ”

The bacterial infection is transmitted through a tick bite and can be treated successfully with antibiotics if caught early. If left untreated, it can cause heart and nervous system problems and have devastating long-term effects including memory loss, stiffness in joints and speech impairment.  While the Centers for Disease and Control estimates approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease each year, the number is likely much higher.

#16 Bella Hadid – Lyme Disease

"Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Yolanda Hadid opened up about her battle with Lyme disease -- which she calls an "invisible disability" -- revealing how at one point the pain it caused was so severe she contemplated taking her own life. Yolanda Hadid said she currently feels about "90 percent" well.

#17 Angelina Jolie – Double Mastectomy

A crucial part of the procedure Jolie had undergone is the fact that she did not have breast cancer. As mentioned, she did it in order to reduce the likelihood of getting it. This makes her surgery preventive in nature. Therefore, the full designation of her procedure would be “prophylactic bilateral mastectomy”.

As Jolie explained herself, the reason she decided to undergo such a drastic measure was because she belonged to the “high-risk” category when it came to the odds of developing breast cancer at some point in the future. This began with a family history of cancer.

#18 Venus Williams – Sjogren’s syndrome

She first revealed she has Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011. Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease with symptoms such as fatigue, pain, dry eyes and dry mouth. In an interview with People published Tuesday, Williams said she manages her symptoms, which include swollen joints and fatigue, by getting rest, focusing on what she eats and getting the best medical care she can.

She said she also plans out her year with a schedule that’s “realistic” for her to stick to, taking into account her symptoms.

“I go to the tournaments that I enjoy, and I try to keep a realistic schedule,” she said. “I rarely withdraw because I make a schedule I can maintain both mentally and physically. I don’t want to let anyone down, including myself.”

Williams acknowledged that dealing with a diagnosis of Sjogren’s syndrome can be overwhelming, especially in the beginning, so she enjoys giving new patients advice. She said she views her illness as a “challenge.”

“I think it’s about living life on your own terms and looking at it as a challenge, not as the end all,” Williams said.

#19 Daisy Ridley – Endometriosis

Star Wars actress Daisy has also publicly shared her struggle with endometriosis and PCOS. Writing about the repercussions it's had on her life in an Instagram post, Daisy said: "8 years [after being diagnosed], pain was back (more mild this time!) and my skin was THE WORST. I've tried everything: products, antibiotics, more products, more antibiotics) and all that did was left my body in a bit of a mess. 

"Finally found out I have polycystic ovaries and that's why it's bad. I can safely say feeling so self conscious has left my confidence in tatters. I hate wearing make up but I currently don't want to leave the house without it on. HOWEVER, PROGRESS IS BEING MADE! 

"My point is, to any of you who are suffering with anything, go to a doctor; pay for a specialist; get your hormones tested, get allergy testing; keep on top of how your body is feeling and don't worry about sounding like a hypochondriac. From your head to the tips of your toes we only have one body, let us all make sure ours our working in tip top condition, and take help if it's needed."

#20 Magic Johnson – HIV

The former NBA star announced he was HIV positive back in 1991. Since then, he's worked as a sports analyst, businessman, and activist. Antiretroviral therapy has helped him lead a healthy, active life.

#21 Randy Jackson – Type 2 diabetes

This musician, producer, and judge on “American Idol” was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in his mid-40s, which came to him as a total surprise.

“When I found out that I had type 2 diabetes, I was like, ‘Wow,’ I have a serious disease. It not only had a physical, but also an emotional impact on me,” Jackson told NIH Medicine Plus in 2008. “It was hard to change my eating habits because food for me is emotional — I often found comfort in eating food that happened to be unhealthy.”

Jackson and his doctor developed a plan involving a special diet and exercise regimen that would control his blood sugar levels, in addition to gastric bypass surgery in 2004, which helped him lose over 100 pounds.

Today, he believes that he is living proof that type 2 diabetes can be managed, and that taking charge of his health has made him a stronger, happier person.

#22 Tom Hanks – Type 2 diabetes

Academy Award–winning actor Tom Hanks first revealed his diagnosis on “The Late Show” with David Letterman in 2013:

“I went to the doctor, and he said, ‘You know those high blood sugar numbers you’ve been dealing with since you were 36? Well, you’ve graduated! You’ve got type 2 diabetes, young man.”

Hanks went on to joke about how he first thought removing the buns off of his cheeseburgers would be a solution, but quickly realized it would take more work than that.

#23 Mila Kunis: Partial blindness

For many years, one of the most popular actresses of today had one blind eye. The reason for the blindness was iritis. Because of the inflammation, the actress had blurry vision and she couldn’t focus on anything. 

Mila Kunis didn’t see a specialist for a long time but in 2010, she had a surgery where she had her lens replaced. By the way, Mila’s condition was kept a secret up until she had her vision back after the surgery.

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