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How Kim Kardashian Is Erasing The Stigma Surrounding 'Invisible Illnesses'

Monday 16 September 2019


From US news outlet The Daily Beast:


Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian
(Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast)

How Kim Kardashian Is Erasing the Stigma Surrounding ‘Invisible Illnesses’

The businesswoman and reality TV superstar’s public battle with lupus is shining an important light on the so-called “invisible illnesses” that disproportionately affect women.

By Jordan Julian
September 15, 2019
© 2019 The Daily Beast.

The season 17 premiere of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which aired on Sunday, was largely preoccupied with familiar drama—Kourtney’s emotional distance from her sisters, the seemingly endless Tristan Thompson saga, and Jonathan “Food God” Cheban’s latest attempts to ride on the Kardashian coattails. One of the supplemental plotlines, however, centered on Kim Kardashian West’s recent health issues, culminating in an emotional phone call with her doctor.


Lupus is an autoimmune disease with varying symptoms ranging from fatigue and joint pain to headaches and memory loss. In extreme cases, the disorder can lead to kidney failure. It is one of many “invisible illnesses,” including Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome, that disproportionally affects women. These diseases are nicknamed “invisible illnesses” because they often cannot be perceived by others, due to symptoms that are not externally visible and differences in the way the diseases manifest from case to case. In addition to the disruptive pain and discomfort caused by chronic symptoms, sufferers of such conditions often struggle emotionally as they constantly have to prove to others that they are ill.


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