Singer and actor Selena Gomez has hit headlines recently after explaining to her followers on TikTok that she has experienced a bit of weight gain due to a side effect of her lupus medication.
“I tend to hold a lot of water weight and that happens very normally. When I'm off [the medication] I tend to lose weight," Gomez said to her followers. “So yeah, not a model; never will be," she added. "And I think they’re awesome, mind you, but I’m definitely not that.”
Gomez told the public she had been diagnosed with Lupus in 2015, canceling a tour in order to undergo chemotherapy for the disease.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes patients' own immune system to attack their healthy tissue. Symptoms can be mild, including rashes, tiredness, and joint problems. However, moderate forms of the disease can inflame the skin, lungs, heart, and kidneys, while severe lupus can cause severe damage to the brain, heart, lungs, and kidneys, and can be life-threatening.
In 2017, Gomez received a kidney transplant from her friend and fellow actor Francia Raisa.
Little is known of what causes the condition, though a genetic variation of the TLR7 gene has been identified as a "driver" of the disease. It may develop in response to hormonal triggers, or environmental factors such as medication or viral infections.
Treatments include anti-inflammatory medication, as well as creams and steroids for inflammation. Severe lupus can be treated with medicines designed to reduce the number of antibodies in patients. Some patients are treated with Cyclophosphamide, a drug used in chemotherapy that has a strong suppressant effect.
Gomez did not go into details about what treatment is causing water retention, focusing on telling others with similar conditions not to feel shamed by others.
“I just wanted to say and encourage anyone out there who feels any sort of shame for exactly what they're going through," she added, "and no one knows the real story, that you're beautiful and you're wonderful."