Skip to main contentSkip to footer

16 celebrities you'd be surprised to know have health struggles

From Holly Willoughby to Venus Williams…

celeb health battles
Aisha Nozari
Aisha NozariOnline Writer
Share this:

holly at press event © Photo: Getty Images

Some celebrity health battles are well documented, but other stars have kept their struggles quiet for many years. Either way, these brave famous faces have since opened up about their conditions in a bid to raise awareness and help those in the same situation. Read on for more...

Holly Willoughby

In June, the This Morning star opened up to Red magazine about her struggle with dyslexia, revealing that she has had the condition since she was a child, adding that she was terrified of reading out loud at school. The mother-of-three even told the outlet that most of the mistakes she makes while presenting This Morning are because of her dyslexia.

MORE: Alexandra Burke reveals the secrets behind her gym honed physique

The 39-year-old explained: "I’ve struggled with dyslexia since I was young and it used to hold me back. At school, reading out loud absolutely terrified me because I’d get all the words wrong and I was convinced everybody thought I was stupid. It still happens now – most of the mistakes I make on This Morning are because of it, but it doesn’t do what it did to me back then because I don’t let it have power. I now know that it’s all about how you package it in your head."

MORE: Coronavirus face masks: the benefits, the different types and when you should really wear one

beatrice at event © Photo: Getty Images

Princess Beatrice 

The royal has also opened up about her struggle with dyslexia. In May, in a video for Made By Dyslexia, Beatrice explained the ways in which the learning difficulty affected her growing up, adding that she found learning "very challenging" and that her best friends were "always ahead".

MORE: 44 things you can do to keep yourself busy at home in self isolation mode

The 31-year-old explained: "I was very lucky, I got to go to a school that was very nurturing and very supportive, but I would describe the actual day-to-day learning side of things very challenging. You know, I remember we had different colored books to describe how far your reading levels had got to and I was always on the white books.” Beatrice added: “My best friends were always on the yellow books or the green books. They were so far ahead. And I think at that stage, those moments of doubt just pop into your head. I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough. Why am I not like the others?"

Keep scrolling for more photos...

venus williams © Photo: Getty Images

Venus Williams

The record-smashing tennis player revealed in 2011 during an interview with The New York Times that she struggles with an autoimmune disease called Sjögren’s syndrome, that can cause a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, dry mouth and joint pain.

MORE: Bradley Walsh opens up about his weight gain struggle in lockdown

Venus told the outlet: "I always have some level of tiredness. And the more I tried to push through it, the tougher it got."

eamonn at races © Photo: Getty Images

Eamonn Holmes

Eamonn Holmes revealed that he had secretly been dealing with a health issue throughout lockdown, explaining on Instagram that he's "not a well man". The This Morning star went on to confess that he has been plagued by chronic toothache, which has flared up since he has been in isolation, and due to lockdown rules he had been unable to visit a dentist.

MORE: 26 productive things you can do during lockdown

Explaining that he first encountered the issue in January, Eamonn said: "I'm not a well man. I had a bit of a toothache in January and I went to the dentist. He said, 'well that’s very strange because that tooth hasn’t got a nerve in it'. So he took an X-ray and said, 'there must be some remnant, take some antibiotics but there's a danger it could need a lot of work done, maybe an extraction.' So I thought, 'forget that, I've too much to do can't take time off work.'"

However, after consulting his dentist on the phone, Eamonn revealed his fears about having his tooth removed may be inevitable, and could even lead to him needing dentures. He added: "I spoke to the dentist on the phone and he said it may involve an extraction. Now at my age I don’t want to be in that situation where your cheeks go hollow and sallow, and you end up with that old man look. Maybe it's leading to dentures. I don’t want my tooth coming out but anyway, that's what's around the bend for me."

missy on stage © Photo: Getty Images

Missy Elliot

Hit-maker Missy Elliot suffered a private battle with Graves’ disease following a 2008 diagnosis, People magazine reported at the time. The outlet also said that the singer underwent a treatment of radiation and medication, and that her exercise and diet continue to be key components when it comes to managing her condition.

selena on red carpet © Photo: Getty Images

Selena Gomez

Back in 2015, the superstar revealed to her fans that she was battling lupus, an inflammatory disease that causes the immune system to attack its own tissues. In 2017, her condition got so bad that she was forced to undergo a kidney transplant. Since then, Selena has been using her enormous platform to raise awareness about the disease.

halle on red carpet © Photo: Getty Images

Halle Berry

The Gothika actress found out when she was just 19 that she suffers from diabetes, explaining to the LA Times: "I became much healthier as I learned how to manage it. It took a couple of years, and some scary situations, to accept that it was a lifestyle change and not a diet I could stop in six months."

daisy at event © Photo: Getty Images

Daisy Ridley

The Star Wars actress suffers from both endometriosis and PCOS, and addressed both her illnesses and the effects they have had on her confidence in an uplifting and important Instagram post, writing: "Eight years [after being diagnosed], pain was back (more mild this time!) and my skin was THE WORST. I've tried everything: products, antibiotics, more products, more antibiotics) and all that did was left my body in a bit of a mess.

"Finally found out I have polycystic ovaries and that's why it's bad. I can safely say feeling so self conscious has left my confidence in tatters. I hate wearing make up but I currently don't want to leave the house without it on. HOWEVER PROGRESS IS BEING MADE!

"My point is, to any of you who are suffering with anything, go to a doctor; pay for a specialist; get your hormones tested, get allergy testing; keep on top of how your body is feeling and don't worry about sounding like a hypochondriac. From your head to the tips of your toes we only have one body, let us all make sure ours our working in tip top condition, and take help if it's needed." [sic]

lena on red carpet © Photo: Getty Images

Lena Dunham

Girls star Lena Dunham also suffers badly from endometriosis, a painful condition where the womb's lining is found in other parts of the body, most frequently the ovaries. Lena has been outspoken about the fact that she was misdiagnosed for years, and as a result of endometriosis complications the actress has had a full hysterectomy. 

lil wayne © Photo: Getty Images

Lil Wayne

Many fans of the rapper may be surprised to learn that he suffers from epilepsy. Speaking on Power 106 Radio in 2013, he opened up about being prone to seizures, saying: "This isn't my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh seizure. I've had a bunch of seizures; y'all just never hear about it."

kim at press event © Photo: Getty Images

Kim Kardashian

In 2011, the Keeping up with the Kardashians star was diagnosed with psoriasis while filming for the show. Since then, the mother-of-four has been open about her condition, and often shares photos on her Instagram page of the red, blotchy patches the condition causes.

khloe at event © Photo: Getty Images

Khloe Kardashian

Khloe Kardashian was forced to have a cancerous mole removed, revealing in 2016 that: "There was one mole I had on my back that was skin cancer. I had eight inches of skin removed."

zoe at press event © Photo: Getty Images

Zoe Saldana

The Guardians of the Galaxy actress told Porter magazine in 2016 that she suffers with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, adding that her mum and sisters also battle the condition. Explaining Hashimoto's, she told the outlet: "You create antibodies that attack your glands, so you have to eat clean."

nick on red carpet © Photo: Getty Images

Nick Jonas

The Jonas Brothers star was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2005 at the age of 13. Speaking about the disease in 2018, the singer revealed that he "felt pretty isolated initially". He has since founded Beyond Type 1 in a bid to help raise funds for research, and speaking about the organisation, Nick said: "One of the reasons I was so drawn to being a part of Beyond Type 1 was really to find ways we could build up the community and be a support to those who maybe felt the way I felt when I was diagnosed, which was very alone."

oprah on stage © Photo: Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey

In 2019, Oprah Winfrey revealed on Ellen that she had secretly ended up in the emergency room with pneumonia after returning from a trip abroad. The entrepreneur explained: "I ended up in the emergency room, and they said, 'You have pneumonia.' And I go home with pneumonia, and pneumonia’s nothing to play with y'all."

gaga on red carpet © Photo: Getty Images

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga suffers so badly from fibromyalgia that she has been forced to cancel concert dates in the past. The condition causes pain all over the body, and can also cause tiredness, muscle stiffness and problems sleeping. The singer has even tweeted about the ways that she deals with fibromyalgia, saying: "Thought ice helped. I was wrong and making it worse. Warm/heat is better. Electric heated blanket, infrared, sauna, Epsom baths."

More Health & Fitness

See more