7 Famous Celebrities you Didn't Know Were Battling Chronic Illnesses

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Jan 05, 2016 05:30 AM EST

A celebrity status may entitle you to the glitz and glamor of the high life but unfortunately, it doesn't render you immune from chronic diseases.

Here are some famous celebrities you didn't know were battling chronic illnesses:

1.) Cher

Cher is an iconic American singer and actress but not many people know that she is suffering from Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. According to Press Room VIP, the disease occurred after the singer caught the Epstein-Barr virus. She was diagnosed in the late '80s and she herself stated that the condition gets in the way of her work and her life.

According to Mayo Clinic, ME is a complicated disorder that causes fatigue which can progressively turn worse with physical or mental activity. The fatigue cannot be explained or can be improved with rest. The cause is still unknown but experts believe that it is caused by many factors.

2.) Toni Braxton

R&B singer Toni Braxton was diagnosed with lupus in 2008. According to Black Doctor, she collapsed during one of her performances in Las Vegas and it was then that she knew she had the disease.

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease brought about by the immune system going haywire and attacking the body's healthy cells and tissues, according to NIH. The condition mainly affects women, especially of African American and Hispanic race.

3.) Alec Baldwin

Famous actor Alec Baldwin suffers from the same debilitating disease as Avril Lavigne, Lyme disease. The New York Times report that Baldwin's Lyme disease is chronic and that at the same time of the year, the condition affects him and makes him really tired.

Lyme disease is an inflammatory disease caused by bacteria that is transmitted through the bite of deer ticks. If not managed, the disease can spread to the nervous system, the heart, and the joints, according to CDC.

4.) Venus Williams

American professional tennis player, Venus Williams, who ranked number 1 in the world was diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome in 2011. According to Style Blazer, Williams pulled out of the 2011 US Open because of the disease.

Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease and it attacks moisture-producing glands such as the saliva and tear glands. According to NHS, the condition also causes some glands to become inflamed which can lead to decreased production of tears and saliva which can lead to dry eyes and dry mouth.

5.) Missy Elliot

At the height of her fame, Missy Elliott dropped out of the music scene a few years ago because she was struggling with Graves Disease. According to CBS, the rapper has been diagnosed since 2008.

Graves disease is an autoimmune thyroid disease. According to Mayo Clinic, it can result to overproduction of thyroids hormones which can result in hyperthyroidism. The excess hormones caused tremors in the rapper's body which almost led her to crash her car.

6.) Shannen Doherty

According to Health, actress Shannen Doherty has been diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Crohn's disease is a chronic condition that inflames the gastrointestinal tract. According to CCFA, it can cause rectal bleeding, persistent diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and pain.

7.) Marcia Cross

Best known for her role in "Desperate Housewives," Cross first suffered from migraines when she was only 14, according to an article posted in the American Academy of Neurology. A migraine is a severe headache that is associated with light sensitivity, sound, and smells. The pain caused by the condition is described as throbbing or pounding, according to MedicineNet.

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