‘The little me that suffered would be so proud of grown me for not giving up on myself,’ she affirmed, shedding light on her battle with Lyme disease.
Bella Hadid has openly discussed her ongoing battle with Lyme disease over the years.
The model and influencer shared that she’s “finally healthy” after a ten-year struggle with Lyme disease.
A condition that has seen the number of cases double in the United States since 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Recently, Hadid has been noticeably absent from the modeling scene.
In a TikTok video, she talked about dealing with a “flare-up” of Lyme disease after getting her wisdom teeth removed.
However, in her latest post, Hadid reassured her followers that she’s “doing fine” and has regained her health after undergoing several months of treatment.
In 2012, Hadid’s journey with the disease commenced with her initial diagnosis.
Understanding Lyme Disease
Lyme disease, which spreads to humans through bites from infected ticks, affects around 476,000 Americans each year, as per the CDC.
The number of areas considered high-risk for the disease has tripled since 2000.
Early symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headaches, fatigue, and a distinctive target-like skin rash, which usually prompts people to seek treatment.
If left untreated, it can affect the heart, joints, and nervous system.
The surge in Lyme disease cases can be attributed to globalization, with more people traveling to tick-infested regions.
As well as climate change causing traditionally cold areas to become more tick-friendly.
Urban development also plays a role as suburban expansion into rural zones brings people, deer, rodents, and ticks into closer contact.
Currently, there’s no vaccine available for Lyme disease.
When detected early, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, either through IV or pill form, over a period of 2-4 weeks.
However, those with non-specific long-term symptoms might find themselves with limited treatment options.
While most patients recover within several weeks to six months, some may endure lingering symptoms for years.
Brighter Days Ahead
In her post, Hadid shared medical documents dating back to 2014 and pictures of her undergoing treatment.
She has been candid about living with a chronic illness and highlighted the toll it took on her while working in the fashion industry.
Living in a state of illness, gradually worsening over time while striving to make herself, her family, and her supporters proud, took a toll she struggled to articulate.
She expressed, “To be that sad and sick with the most blessings/privilege/opportunity/love around me was quite possibly the most confusing thing ever.”
Hadid emphasized, “One thing I want to express to you all is that 1: I am okay and you do not have to worry, and 2: I wouldn’t change anything for the world,” she wrote.
“If I had to go through all of this again, to get here, to this exact moment I’m in right now, with all of you, finally healthy, I would do it all again. It made me who I am today.”
While she’s on the path to recovery, Hadid is taking her time before returning to the runway.
She conveyed her longing for her supporters and her eagerness to be back in their midst.
Behind the Numbers
Lyme disease’s annual economic impact in the United States ranges from $345 million to $968 million, per CDC estimates.
The average cost of treatment for patients is around $1,200 per infection.
Those with advanced Lyme stages tend to face higher healthcare expenses compared to those who catch it early.
Hadid joins a group of celebrities who’ve shared their struggles with Lyme disease.
Avril Lavigne mentioned being bedridden for two years due to the disease and hosted a live-streamed concert to raise awareness.
Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin, Ben Stiller, and Shania Twain have also talked about their experiences with Lyme disease.
Banner photo via Instagram @bellahadid.