Halsey shares lupus diagnosis with fans and says she's 'lucky to be alive.' The warning signs and symptoms you shouldn't ignore

The 29-year-old singer shared emotional footage of her private health struggle with fans on social media.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle.

Halsey shares behind-the-scenes images from her treatment lupus. (Images via Instagram/@iamhalsey)
Halsey has announced she was diagnosed with lupus. (Images via Instagram/@iamhalsey)

Halsey is celebrating the release of her latest single by sharing her private battle with lupus. On Tuesday, the 29-year-old singer took to Instagram to share details of her new song "The End" along with personal footage of her the autoimmune disorder.

“I feel like an old lady," Halsey said in a video while massaging her legs. "I told myself I’m giving myself two more years to be sick. ... I’m having a rebirth, and I’m not going to be sick, and I’m going to look super hot and have lots of energy and I’m just going to get to redo my twenties in my thirties.”

The "Without Me" singer is seen chronicling her journey with an undisclosed treatment and recording her new album.

"Long story short, I'm lucky to be alive. Short story long, I wrote an album," she captioned the post which included tags to the Lupus Research Alliance and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. "It begins with 'The End.' Out now."

Halsey, who's real name is Ashley Frangipane, has been candid about her health in the past. The singer lives with endometriosis and in 2022 shared that her body has been "rebelling" against her since the birth of her son in 2021.

Lupus is a serious and debilitating disease that's not only hard to diagnose and difficult to live with, but a challenge to treat. Many of the debilitating and troublesome symptoms can't be seen — such as fatigue and joint pain — leaving those living with lupus feeling isolated and misunderstood.

Halsey announced she was diagnosed with lupus.  (Photo by Unique Nicole/Getty Images for Universal Pictures)
Halsey announced she was diagnosed with lupus. (Photo by Unique Nicole/Getty Images for Universal Pictures)

The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that at least five million people worldwide are living with a form of lupus. Many celebrities, such as Paula Abdul, Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez, have been diagnosed with the condition and use their platform to educate fans about the disease.

Like many other life-threatening conditions, it's important to know the early warning signs so that patients may begin battling it early on.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs when your body's immune system attacks your own tissues and organs.

"Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems, including your joints, blood cells, lungs, heart, skin and kidneys," Sandra Evans, a retired rheumatologist specializing in lupus, told Yahoo Canada in a previous interview. "It can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms often mimic other conditions."

Although the cause of lupus remains unknown, Evans explains that genetics, epigenetics, infections, viruses, certain medications and environmental factors play a role.

"Further study will strengthen our understanding of the causes of lupus, which should lead to improved diagnosis, treatment and prevention," said Evans.

While anyone can get lupus, the condition mostly affects women between the ages of 15 and 44.

"Approximately nine out of 10 adults with the disease are women," Evans explained. "It’s also more common in women of Hispanic, Native American, Asian and African American descent than in Caucasian women."

In 2022, research suggested that people who have a family member with lupus or another autoimmune disease may be more at risk, but it's likely that a combination of factors trigger the condition.

Lupus patient sitting in a recovery room with Iv fluids after surgery
While anyone can get lupus, the condition mostly affects women. (Photo via Getty Images)

No two cases of lupus are exactly alike, which makes the disease difficult to diagnose. Symptoms may develop slowly or come on suddenly, and may be or mild or severe.

"Most people living with lupus also have 'flares,' where symptoms get worse for a period of time, then improve or even disappear entirely," said Evans.

The most distinctive sign of lupus — a facial rash that resembles butterfly wings across both cheeks — occurs in many, but not all cases. Other symptoms include join pain and stiffness, fever, fatigue, anxiety, shortness of breath, dry eyes, headaches, chest pain and skin lesions.

"No single test can diagnose lupus, and it could take months or even years to really be sure. But usually, blood and urine tests, a physical exam and skin biopsies are used to make a diagnosis," addedEvans.

If you or a loved one has symptoms of lupus, it's important to make an appointment to see a doctor.

Lupus sad Asian woman having problem with sunburn on the face, checking her redness skin on a mirror because of ultraviolet from sunlight
A common sign of lupus is a facial rash that resembles butterfly wings across both cheeks. (Photo via Getty Images)

Treatment can depend on the severity of your symptoms. Once you're diagnosed, your physician will refer you to a rheumatologist who treats symptoms like joint pain and fatigue.

"Your rheumatologist will develop a personalized treatment plan that will help you prevent or treat flares, balance hormones, strengthen the immune system and reduce pain," said Evans. "You may also get referred to a dermatologist to treat skin issues or a nephrologist if your kidneys are affected."

If you have lupus, you'll likely have a range of feelings about your condition, from worry and fear to extreme frustration. The challenges of living with the disease can increase your risk of mental health problems such as stress, anxiety and low self-esteem.

To help cope, Evans said it may be beneficial to connect with others who have lupus, gather support from friends and family, and make time for self-care.

There is no single way to prevent lupus, but knowing what causes the disease can help you prevent certain symptoms.

"I would recommend limiting your time in direct sunlight, avoid overusing medications if possible, get enough sleep and develop stress management techniques," suggested Evans. "As with everyone, it's important to exercise regularly, drink lots of water, and eat a healthy diet to prevent viruses or infections that can lead to the development of lupus."

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