Kim Kardashian is opening up about her battle with autoimmune diseases, old and new, and hopes her story can help people like her.
The 38-year-old Keeping Up With the Kardashians star has for years talked about dealing with psoriasis, which causes red, scaly and often itching or burning patches to appear on the skin. On a recent episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim learned she likely also has psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory form of arthritis that causes joint pain and stiffness and affects about 30 percent of people with psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
In an essay posted on sister Kourtney Kardashian‘s website Poosh on Thursday, Kim wrote that she had her first psoriasis flare-up at age 25, and said she has had many more over the years. She provided photos.
“For the past eight years, although the spots are unpredictable, I can always count on my main spot on my right lower leg, which consistently stays flared up,” she continued. “I have learned to live with this spot without using any creams or medication—I just deal. Sometimes I cover it up and sometimes I don’t. It doesn’t really bother me.”
She said her psoriasis “got extremely bad” earlier this year, with lesions covering her face and majority of her body. And she started feeling different symptoms as well.
“One night, I woke up to use the restroom and I physically couldn’t pick up my phone. I thought it was strange but maybe I just slept on my hands weird and I was so tired, I didn’t need to be checking my phone at that hour anyway. I fell right back asleep. I woke up that morning and I still couldn’t pick up my phone. I was freaking out—I couldn’t even pick up a toothbrush, my hands hurt so badly,” she wrote. “As the day went on, I got a bit more movement in my hands, but they really hurt from the inside—I felt it in my bones.”
Many people who have one autoimmune diseases are genetically susceptible to developing at least one other one. On Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim reports to a rheumatologist that she is suffering from swollen joints, headaches and general fatigue. She the tests positive for antibodies linked to lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. After undergoing an ultrasound exam, it is revealed that she has neither disease, but her doctor does tell her that she “probably” has psoriatic arthritis.
“It’s still painful and scary, but I was happy to have a diagnosis,” Kim wrote on Poosh. “No matter what autoimmune condition I had, I was going to get through it, and they are all manageable with proper care.”
“I hope my story can help anyone else with an autoimmune disease feel confident that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” she added.