Famous Faces Who Secretly Overcome Chronic Health Conditions
While money can certainly provide you access to greater health care, it doesn’t mean that you’re any less susceptible to illness than the “average Joe”- just ask some of the most famous celebrities in the world. In case you somehow believed that famous people don’t get sick, here’s a list of some of the world’s most famous people who courageously battle chronic health ailments of various kinds.
Pamela Anderson shared in 2002 that she had contracted Hepatitis C, an infectious disease that affects the liver, from ex-husband and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee.
The 35-year-old model and reality TV personality suffers from the autoimmune disease psoriasis, which causes red, itchy and scaly skin patches.
Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks went public with his Type 2 diabetes diagnosis in 2013. His doctors believe the severe weight fluctuations from his acting career may have played a role in causing him to develop the disease.
Trump underwent an appendectomy, which is performed when the appendix becomes inflamed due to bacteria and/or pus. Modern science hypothesizes that living without an appendix makes it notably harder to rid one’s body of certain types of infection.
Jon Hamm, the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning star of Mad Men, suffers from a chronic skin condition called vitiligo. The condition is characterized by the death of skin pigment cells, and the consequent loss of skin pigment.
Halle Berry was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1989, after being hospitalized from collapsing on the set of the television show, Living Dolls.
The 67th U.S. Secretary of State has suffered from fainting spells, concussions, and blood clots, as well as an underactive thyroid gland, for which she takes blood thinners and synthetic thyroid hormone replacement therapy, respectively.
Miley Cyrus was born with tachycardia, a condition that causes a higher-than-normal resting heart-rate.
Former President Bill Clinton has dealt with a number of heart hearth issues. He underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2004, and had two coronary stents placed in his heart in 2010.
In 2001, actress Sharon Stone was hospitalized due to a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a form of stroke.
In 2011 and 2013, Catherine Zeta-Jones checked herself into Silver Hill Hospital to receive treatment for Bipolar II Disorder. She has been openly public about her battle with the psychiatric disorder in an effort to rid the disease of its social stigma.
The winner of a record 28 Olympic medals, Michael Phelps is the most revered Olympic athlete of all time. It hasn’t been easy however, as suicidal thoughts and alcoholism led to a diagnosis of clinical depression, followed up by time spent in a rehab facility.
The Australian actor had two spots of skin cancer removed in 2013 and 2014, both from his nose. He expects these will not be the last spots to be removed.
This Colombian superstar of Modern Family-fame was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer at 28, prompting her to commit to a life of healthy habits and foods. Now cancer-free for many years, she still works out multiple times a week and maintains a pristine diet.
The eccentric singer-songwriter and actress deals with synovitis, a term used to describe the inflammation of the synovial membrane, a tissue in our joints. The condition causes extreme joint-pain.
In 2006, the award-winning singer-songwriter battled breast cancer with a lumpectomy, the removal of a piece of the breast, and radiation treatment. Crow has also been diagnosed with meningioma, a benign brain tumor that has thus far required no treatment.
The U2 singer has had glaucoma since the 80’s, and wears his sunglasses so often because his eyes are extremely sensitive to light.
Venus Williams is taking time away the tennis court due to her battle with Sjogren’s Syndrome, a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease in which the body’s moisture-producing glands are attacked by white blood cells.
This famous NBC News anchor of the 80’s and 90’s was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2013, a cancer that affects plasma cells, a type of white blood cell.
The Dancing with the Stars winner was diagnosed with and underwent treatment for thyroid cancer in 2012. Thankfully the treatment was a success and she is now cancer-free!
Bret Michaels has lived with Type 1 diabetes since he was six years old. More recently, he’s dealt with a number of extreme medical issues, including a stroke in 2010.
The young pop-singer was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus in 2014. She checked into rehab for chemotherapy treatment the same year.
Actor Anthony Anderson, star of Blackish, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in his thirties. He has since become an active spokesperson for Diabetes Awareness, working on dispelling the notion that Type 2 diabetes is an “old-person’s disease.”
Singer and actress Rita Wilson announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. Her treatment included a double mastectomy, only a month after which she was back on stage, singing on Broadway!
The actor and TV host suffered a mild kidney failure in early 2012, which eventually lead to his being diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis, an autoimmune disease also known as SLE Nephritis, which results from inflammation of the kidneys.
The famous film director struggled with severe asthma as a kid. Unable to engage in outdoor activities, he spent his time at the movie theater instead, developing a love for film!
The Tony-award winning singer-actress has struggled with asthma for a decade. Clearly she hasn’t let the inflammatory lung-disease affect her singing!
The “Goddess of Pop” contracted the Epstein-Barr virus in the early 90s. It is one of the most common viruses found in humans, but has been linked to increased risk of cancer, MS and other autoimmune diseases. Cher also developed chronic fatigue syndrome in the early 90s, and has struggled with it ever since.
Tommy Chong, of Cheech and Chong fame, announced in 2012 that he’d been battling prostate cancer for years and claimed hemp oil treatments effectively cured him of the disease. He was also diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2015.
Best-known for his role as Harry Potter, British actor Daniel Radcliffe suffers from dyspraxia. Also known as developmental coordination disorder, dyspraxia is a neurological disorder that affects hand-eye coordination, making it difficult to perform small tasks like tying shoes and writing by hand.
Paula Deen, a celebrity chef and cooking show host perhaps known best for her high-sugar recipes, was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2009, a metabolic disorder that affects blood sugar levels and is characterized by the body’s inability to use insulin properly. Paula also suffered from agoraphobia in her 20s, a disorder where you perceive your surrounding environment as dangerous – especially wide-open and unknown spaces.
Missy Elliot was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, also known as toxic diffuse goiter, in 2011. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid, often leading to hyperthyroidism, enlarged thyroid, chronic weakness, sleep troubles and eye issues.
The Oscar-winning actress was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003 and breast cancer in 2012. She defeated both cancers, though the double mastectomy she underwent in 2012 lead to the development of lymphedema, an incurable condition often caused by cancer treatments.
The TV personality and E! News anchor was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. She underwent aggressive treatment, including a radiation, a lumpectomy, and a double mastectomy.
Michael C. Hall
Star of the Showtime drama Dexter, Michael C. was diagnosed and underwent treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2010.
Angelina Jolie was born with a BRCA1 gene mutation, which gives her approximately an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. As a preventive measure, she underwent a double mastectomy in 2013.
The author of The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide has celiac disease, a gut disorder characterized by an inability to digest the protein gluten, which is found primarily in grains such as wheat, barley and rye.
The singer-songwriter superstar was diagnosed with the potentially fatal autoimmune disease Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in 2010. SLE is characterized by the body’s immune system attacking normal, healthy tissue. She has since contributed much or her time and money to research into the disease.
The actress who plays Haley on Modern Family was forced to undergo a kidney transplant in 2012 due to her battle with kidney dysplasia, also known as multicystic dysplastic kidney. The condition causes cysts to form on the kidney.
The comedian and actress was diagnosed with Lupus Myelitis in 2013. Also known as transverse myelitis, this disease is a neurological disorder characterized by inflammation in the spinal cord.
Michael J. Fox
In 1998, Michael J. Fox shared publicly that he had Parkinson’s Disease, a disorder that leads to the breakdown of the central nervous system. Symptoms include physical shaking, difficulty moving and walking, and depression.
Victoria Justice, the star of Nickelodeon shows Zoey 101 and Victorious, has Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid and causes hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can lead to chronic fatigue, depression, and weight gain.
The late-night talk-show host suffers from narcolepsy, a neurological disorder that affects one’s control over sleep cycles.
The iconic “Godmother of Soul” was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 1995. A combination of healthy eating, regular exercise and medication has helped her adjust to the disease over the years.
Avril Lavigne battled Lyme disease in 2015, a debilitating bacterial infection spread by tick bites. The infection can result in joint pains, memory problems, headaches and intense fatigue for months after the initial infection.
The young TV star and singer-songwriter has struggled with depression, bulimia, drug addiction and bipolar disorder. In 2011, she wrote an article about her struggles for Seventeen magazine.
Way before becoming a Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter, Seal was diagnosed with a rare form of lupus called discoid lupus erythematosus, in early childhood. This chronic skin condition causes inflamed patches of skin that leads to scarring, mostly on the neck, face and ears.
The journalist and former co-host of Good Morning America shared her breast cancer diagnosis live on Good Morning America in 2014.
Jillian Michaels, the personal trainer of Biggest Loser fame, suffers from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance.
Mary Tyler Moore
The 60s and 70s TV star was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in the early 70s, and has nearly gone blind due to complications with the disease.
The basketball legend shared publicly that he had contracted HIV in 1991. His doing so served to dispel much of the stigma around the disease, that it was a “gay disease.” Since then Johnson has dedicated much of his time and energy toward advocating for HIV/AIDS awareness.
The comedian and actress had a heart attack in 2012, and has since shifted to a whole-foods diet to improve her heart health.
The son of metal legend Ozzy Osbourne was diagnosed in 2012 with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.
Dr. Drew Pinksy
The media-personality and long-time host of the radio talk show Loveline underwent surgery for prostate cancer in mid-2013. The surgery was a success and he’s been cancer-free ever since.
The late hall of fame singer-songwriter and musician was born an epileptic, and suffered through numerous seizures as a child.
The TV star discovered during a regular cardiologist check-up that she has a leaky valve, which places extra strain on the heart and can cause congestive heart failure.
Charlie Sheen recently announced that he’s HIV-positive.
The Grammy Award-winning singer has suffered from the autoimmune skin disorder psoriasis for most of her life. She became a spokesperson for Sheer Cover makeup as a result.
The Good Morning America anchor successfully battled breast cancer in 2007. Then in 2012, she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease that affects one’s bone-marrow and is characterized by inadequate blood-cell production.
Dwayne Carter, most commonly known by his stage-name, Lil Wayne, struggles with epilepsy, a neurological disease characterized by spontaneous seizures, i.e. episodes of intense bodily shaking.
The TV actor and radio host was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1991, and has since founded the MS Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing scientific research of MS.
The star of 90210 and Charmed shared in 1999 her struggle with Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. In 2015 she was also diagnosed with breast cancer.
The actress of the hit sitcom Roseanne announced in 2015 that she was slowly going blind due to glaucoma and macular degeneration. Glaucoma leads to damaged optic nerves and loss of vision, while macular degeneration results in impaired or complete loss of sight in the center field of vision.
Michael Douglas was reported to have throat cancer in 2010, though a few years later Douglas clarified that it was actually tongue cancer.
Country singer Julie Roberts was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2011. To stay healthy, she keeps a close watch on her diet and exercises regularly.