During a recent trip to the couch of Huffington Post Live, Nick Cannon was asked, as someone with lupus, what people can do to help encourage and support those with life-altering autoimmune diseases. He spoke openly and honestly about how his own diagnosis impacted him, and how he was able to overcome fear and live healthier than ever before.
So how can you support someone with an autoimmune disease?
“Research. Especially if you’re dealing with someone who has it,” Cannon said. “Especially when you hear the words ‘autoimmune disease,’ or ‘Lupus,’ it’s like ‘Whoa, what is that?!’ And that’s how I felt, and how my family and friends felt. But you realize this is something you can live with and actually overcome with the proper research and proper support system.”
Cannon was diagnosed in 2012 and complications from his disease have landed him in the hospital a few times, including for kidney failure. But once Cannon did his research and changed the way he was eating, he was able to get a handle on the chronic inflammatory disease. So now that he’s made such strides, Cannon is making it a mission to help people understand lupus and how they can live a happy and healthy life with it.
“Sometimes people don’t understand it until it hits close to home,” Cannon said. “I knew nothing about it until I was diagnosed. Totally scary. It was super scary just because you don’t know. You’ve never heard of this, and then you hear ‘autoimmune,’ you hear of people who have lost a battle with autoimmune diseases. But to me, I’m healthier now than I’ve ever been before because of the research, because of the education that I’ve received on it. The proper things to eat and the proper things to put into my body — what can cause flare ups and what can’t, and preventative measures and all of these things. And when you can share that information and share knowledge and research, I think that helps more than anything.”