Symptoms of lupus as singer Halsey says she's 'lucky to be alive'

Halsey
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


American singer Halsey shared a personal update on her health, revealing her private battle with chronic illnesses. Without sharing too much detail about her diagnosis, the singer tagged the Lupus Research Alliance and the Leukemia & Lymphona Society in a new social media post.

In a post uploaded to her Instagram account, Halsey shared an update on her health and her latest music drop. She simply wrote: “Long story short, I'm Lucky to be alive. short story long, I wrote an album. It begins with The End. out now. @Lupusresearchalliance @Ilsusa.”

The singer, whose real name is Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, shared a collection of videos and photos alongside the update. In one video, she described herself as “an old lady”.

She continued: “I told myself I'm giving myself two more years to be sick. And 30... 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."

What is lupus?

Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus) is a long-term condition that causes joint pain, skin rashes and tiredness. It can affect many parts of the body, with the symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening

According to NHS Inform, there are some types of lupus which just affect the skin, such as .discoid lupus erythematosus and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus. The term is most commonly used to describe a more severe form of the condition called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which can affect many parts of the body, including the skin, joints and internal organs.

Symptoms of lupus

Systemic lupus erythematosus can present with a wide range of symptoms, depending on which part of the body it affects. According to the NHS, the main symptoms include:

  • joint and muscle pain

  • extreme tiredness that will not go away no matter how much you rest

  • rashes that usually come on after being in the sun – the rash is often over the nose and cheeks

It’s also possible to experience other symptoms, these could include:

  • headaches

  • mouth ulcers

  • a high temperature

  • hair loss

  • weight loss

  • swollen glands, usually in the neck, armpits or groin

  • depression and anxiety

  • chest or tummy pain

  • changes in the colour of your fingers and toes when you're cold, anxious or stressed (Raynaud's)

While there is no cure for lupus, it is possible to receive treatment to ease symptoms. Lupus can also cause someone to experience a flare up, also known as a relapse, where a person’s symptoms become worse.

These can last for up to weeks at a time, or in some cases, longer. When symptoms settle, it’s known as remission.

Things to do and avoid if you have lupus

Medication is an important part of controlling lupus, as well as managing symptoms and reducing the risk of getting worse. The NHS has provided a list of do’s and don’ts for anyone with lupus to follow.

The do’s include:

  • use high-factor (at least factor 50) sunscreen and wear a hat in the sun – you can get sunscreen on prescription if you have lupus

  • learn to pace yourself to avoid getting too tired

  • try to stay active, even on a bad day

  • try relaxation techniques to manage stress – stress can make symptoms worse

  • tell your employer about your condition – you might be able to adjust your working pattern

  • ask for help from family, friends and health professionals

  • eat a healthy, balanced diet, including vitamin D and calcium

It also explained that people with lupus should avoid smoking, as it can worsen the condition. People with lupus should also avoid sitting in direct sunlight or spend extended periods of time in rooms with fluorescent lights.