Selena Gomez Recovering From Kidney Transplant

For those of you wondering why Selena Gomez hasn’t been out promoting her new music, the answer has become clear:

“I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health.”

Selena was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus in 2011. Flare-ups of that disease have caused her to cancel concert dates a number of times over the past few years. Last year, she ended her Revival World Tour early in order to deal with anxiety, panic attacks and depression, which were considered side effects of lupus.

Today Selena posted the above image on her Instagram account, with the caption:

“I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith”

The donor is her best friend, The Secret Life of the American Teenager actress Francia Raisa. The two met in 2007 while visiting a children’s’ hospital. They’ve been close friends ever since. “I love her to death,” Raisa told Wetpaint in 2012. “She’s my sister and she is one of the sweetest girls I know. She is so caring and so loving and so nurturing. She’s awesome. I don’t know where she came from.”

What is lupus nephritis?

Lupus nephritis is a type of kidney disease caused by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus). Lupus is an autoimmune disease —a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own cells and organs. Kidney disease caused by lupus may get worse over time and lead to kidney failure. If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain your health.

What do your kidneys do?

The kidneys’ main job is to filter extra water and wastes out of your blood to make urine. To keep your body working properly, the kidneys balance the salts and minerals—such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium—that circulate in the blood. Your kidneys also make hormones that help control blood pressure, make red blood cells, and keep your bones strong.

Who gets lupus?

Lupus is much more common in women than in men and most often strikes during the child-bearing years. Nine out of 10 people who have lupus are women. Lupus is also more common in people of African or Asian background. African Americans and Asian Americans are about 2 to 3 times more likely to develop lupus than Caucasians.  In the United States, 1 out of every 250 African American women will develop lupus.

How common is lupus nephritis?

Kidney damage is one of the more common health problems caused by lupus. In adults who have lupus, as many as 5 out of 10 will have kidney disease. In children who have lupus, 8 of 10 will have kidney disease.

Who is more likely to develop lupus nephritis?

African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Asian Americans are more likely to develop lupus nephritis than Caucasians. Lupus nephritis is more common in men than in women.

What are the symptoms of lupus nephritis?

The symptoms of lupus nephritis may include foamy urine and edema—swelling that occurs when your body has too much fluid, usually in the legs, feet, or ankles, and less often in the hands or face. You may also develop high blood pressure.

Kidney problems often start at the same time or shortly after lupus symptoms appear and can include

  • joint pain or swelling
  • muscle pain
  • fever with no known cause
  • a red rash, often on the face, across the nose and cheeks, sometimes called a butterfly rash because of its shape

How do doctors treat lupus nephritis?

Health care professionals treat lupus nephritis with medicines that suppress your immune system so it stops attacking and damaging your kidneys. Goals of treatment are to

  • reduce inflammation in your kidneys
  • decrease immune system activity
  • block your body’s immune cells from attacking the kidneys directly or making antibodies that attack the kidneys

Medicines

Your health care professional may prescribe a corticosteroid , usually prednisone, and a medicine to suppress your immune system, such as cyclophosphamide or mycophenolate mofetil, and hydroxychloroquine , a medicine for people who have SLE.

Lupus nephritis can cause high blood pressure in some people. You may need more than one kind of medicine to control your blood pressure. Blood pressure medicines include:

  • ACE inhibitors and ARBs, with drug names that end in –pril or –sartan.
  • diuretics
  • beta blockers
  • calcium channel blockers

ACE inhibitors and ARBs may help protect your kidneys, and diuretics help your kidneys remove fluid from your body.

What are the complications of lupus nephritis?

Treatment works well to control lupus nephritis, so you may not have complications.

Between 10 to 30 percent of people who have lupus nephritis develop kidney failure.

The most severe form of lupus nephritis, called diffuse proliferative nephritis, can cause scars to form in the kidneys. Scars are permanent, and kidney function often declines as more scars form. Early diagnosis and treatment may help prevent long-lasting damage.

How Transplantation Works

If you have advanced and permanent kidney failure, kidney transplantation may be the treatment option that allows you to live much like you lived before your kidneys failed. Since the 1950s, when the first kidney transplants were performed, much has been learned about how to prevent rejection and minimize the side effects of medicines.kidney transplant

Kidney transplantation is a procedure that places a healthy kidney from another person into your body. This one new kidney takes over the work of your two failed kidneys.

A surgeon places the new kidney inside your lower abdomen and connects the artery and vein of the new kidney to your artery and vein. Your blood flows through the new kidney, which makes urine, just like your own kidneys did when they were healthy. Unless they are causing infection or high blood pressure, your own kidneys are left in place.

Source: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive Disorders and Kidneys

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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