Less than two weeks ago, actor and singer Selena Gomez canceled her tour of Australia — meant to promote her studio album Stars Dance — sparking rumors that she was going to be admitting herself into rehab after suffering a mental breakdown. However, it turns out that the Spring Breakers star could be dealing with the inflammatory disease lupus.
The singer had been diagnosed with lupus several years ago, but only recently she began suffering multiple “flares,” which caused her face to swell, as well as fatigue, headaches, and joint pain, a source close to the singer told Popdust. “Selena has been going full-throttle the past few years, and her lupus is really catching up with her right now, the source said. “She knows that she needs to take some time to address the disease and look after herself better if she wants to live a full and healthy life.”
Although a rep for Gomez made no comment to The Huffington Post when asked about her condition, another source dispelled the rumors of a mental breakdown to E! News, while also mentioning her health. “She is not having a breakdown. She wants to be the healthiest that she can be, and this means taking a little break. But she is fine. She is OK,” the source told E! News.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation. It affects many different parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. While it is difficult to diagnose, the most common indication — and what is possibly the case with Gomez — is a facial rash resembling the wings of a butterfly spread across both cheeks, according to Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms include skin lesions that could worsen with exposure to the sun, shortness of breath, chest pain, dry eyes, and memory loss.
“My fans are so important to me, and I would never want to disappoint them,” Gomez said in a statement when she canceled her tour, according to Fox News. “But it has become clear to me and those close to me that after many years of putting my work first, I need to spend some time on myself in order to be the best person I can be.”
Although there is no cure for lupus, the disease is treatable depending on individual patient’s symptoms. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antimalarial drugs, and immune suppressants.