Sia reveals she has a chronic neurological disease and genetic disorder

By Zach Harper

The last few years have seen a wave of stars discuss chronic pain or autoimmune disease issues they’ve been dealing with. In 2017, Lady Gaga revealed the pain she was dealing with during the filming of the Gaga: Five Foot Two documentary was fibromyalgia, which ultimately led her to cancel some dates on her Joanne World Tour. Last year, she spoke about how tired she is hearing people think the chronic pain she suffers from the condition is not real.

In October 2018, actress Selma Blair revealed she’d been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and has been walking with a cane at recent appearances. She has also been vocal about how MS has changed her life, including a recent video about what dealing with an MS attack is like.

Sia has just joined the ranks of stars speaking out about their health issues by announcing she suffers from chronic pain, a neurological disease and the group of genetic syndromes known as Ehlers-Danlos.

“Hey, I’m suffering with chronic pain, a neurological disease [and] Ehlers Danlos and I just wanted to say to those of you suffering from pain, whether physical or emotional, I love you, keep going,” she tweeted on Oct. 4. “Pain is demoralizing, and you’re not alone.”

Ehlers-Danlos weakens the body’s genetic tissues, resulting in symptoms that can include loose joints and joint pain, skin that is more stretchy than normal, and abnormal scarring. It can result in complications such as problems with a major artery in the hest, joint dislocation, scoliosis, chronic pain and early osteoarthritis.

Sia is famously private, and in the past she was known for concealing her face behind giant wigs. Photo: © Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Those who have Ehlers-Danlos call themselves “zebras.” According to Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, this is because of the medical expression, “when you hear the sound of hooves, think horses, not zebras.” The idea here is that the simplest explanation in medicine is often the right one. But that isn’t the case with Ehlers-Danlos. Those who have the syndromes often go quite a long time without getting a diagnosis, since the conditions associated with it are so rare.

“Thank you so much for speaking out about this,” one fan responded to Sia. “Awareness around EDS is pretty poor and the more we get the information out there the better the supports and services will be! From a fellow #Zebra thank you for the positive message!”

Other fans chimed in and revealed their own struggles with chronic pain and health issues.

“I’ve had CRPS2 (complex regional pain syndrome) for 21 years in my right leg because of [an] unprofessional surgeon,” one fan tweeted in response. “For 5 years I have had [a] neurostimulator, but it only works now and then… Music is one of my post effective painkiller [sic].”

“Lost my cousin to complications tied to this condition two years ago,” another fan replied, revealing the seriousness of what Sia had said.

Thanks to Sia for sharing her story. She showed great courage by doing so, and we hope she is able to take care of herself and get the care and support she needs to deal with her EDS.

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