Justin Bieber confirmed reports on Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. The "Yummy" singer also revealed he has been diagnosed with a "serious case" of chronic infectious mononucleosis (mono), which has affected his skin and "overall health."
"While a lot of people kept saying justin Bieber looks like s***, on meth etc. they failed to realize I've been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my, skin, brain function, energy, and overall health," Bieber, 25, wrote on Instagram. "These things will be explained further in a docu series I'm putting on YouTube shortly.. you can learn all that I've been battling and OVERCOMING!! It's been a rough couple years but getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease and I will be back and better than ever NO CAP."
TMZ reported earlier Wednesday that Bieber addresses his Lyme journey in his upcoming documentary, including the "scary symptoms he endured in 2019." Apparently much of the year Bieber's condition went undiagnosed and he battled extreme depression. The singer opened up about mental health struggles various times last year on social media.
Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Yahoo Entertainment spoke with RN and Functional Nutrition Coach, Christina Tidwell, about the relatively unknown disease.
"Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks," Tidwell, the owner of Live Well With Christina, explains. "It’s typically said that you’ll notice a 'bulls eye rash.' However, few people with Lyme disease actually recall a prior tick bite and, in up to 30 percent of cases, this bulls eye rash doesn’t appear. It’s important to note that Lyme disease affects people differently and the symptoms that come up will look different from person to person as well. Once someone is infected the immune system may respond immediately causing more acute symptoms like headaches, fatigue, rash, chills and muscle pain."
Tidwell, who has been diagnosed with Lyme, notes that the disease is a hot topic in the medical community.
"Although still a controversial and widely debated topic in the medical community, Lyme disease can become chronic, causing significant physical and mental impairment. Chronic Lyme disease is estimated to afflict 1.5 million people in the United States — far more than the 300,000-person figure cited by the CDC," she continues. "The prevalence of chronic Lyme disease is only expected to rise further in coming years, with nearly two million people expected to be affected by 2020."
Tidwell — who is also a board certified holistic nurse coach — adds, "Symptoms of chronic Lyme disease overlap with acute symptoms, including fatigue and joint or muscle pain. However, chronic Lyme disease can also cause more serious dysfunctions in diverse body systems like headaches or cognitive dysfunction, inflammation or neuropathy."
Diagnosis of Lyme "can be very tricky due to the often vague symptoms," the registered nurse explains.
"Testing is also imperfect as well. As a first step, what’s currently recommended is a serologic test like the ELISA, western blot and immunoblot," she continues. "It’s really important to find a doctor who is 'Lyme literate' and can help you navigate this complex diagnosis.
"As a functional nutrition coach and person diagnosed with chronic Lyme, it’s important to note that supporting your body with the foundations of proper nutrition, hydration, sleep and reduced stress are key in the management of any chronic condition," Tidwell concludes.
Bieber is not the first celebrity to come forward with his Lyme diagnosis. In 2015, Avril Lavigne said she was bedridden for five months. The tick-born disease was part of Yolanda Hadid’s storyline on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but she left the Bravo show after a difficult season when some co-stars doubted her diagnosis. Yolanda’s kids, models Bella and Anwar Hadid, plus Ben Stiller, Shania Twain, Kelly Osbourne and Alec Baldwin have also opened up about struggling with Lyme.
Bieber’s 10-part docu-series, Justin Bieber: Seasons, premieres Jan. 27 at 12:00 p.m. on YouTube. The episodes will air on Mondays and Wednesdays.
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