After confirming being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, actress-host Kris Aquino on Thursday posted revealing photos of the physical effects of the condition, in an effort to shed light on its treatment and prevention.
Specifically, Aquino is suffering from chronic spontaneous urticaria, she said in an earlier post. This was the diagnosis after she sought medical attention in Singapore.
The trip was prompted by her drastic weight loss in late September.
At the time, Aquino said the 15-pound drop in her weight — in a span of a month — had been the physical toll of a business “betrayal” she is now taking to court.
Getting confirmation of her medical condition, Aquino belatedly realized that what she had shrugged off as allergic reactions as early as 2013, were actually effects of her autoimmune disease.
On Instagram, Aquino shared photos of those flare-ups, or the sudden outburst of symptoms of an ailment. In Aquino’s case, they were similar in appearance to rashes, reddish bumps, and bruises, and were on her face, neck, arms, and legs.
According to Aquino, the “hives,” another term for urticaria, “steadily worsened to about two bad episodes a month lasting at least four to seven days.” She noted that her only food allergens are crab and lobster.
She then explained, citing her medical consultations and personal research, that when one is afflicted with an autoimmune disease, “the immune system mistakes part of your body — like your joints or skin — as foreign.”
“It releases proteins called autoantibodies that attack healthy cells,” she said, before enumerating facts about the rate of disease among males and females.
Aquino added that chronic spontaneous urticaria, her disease, “affects less than 1% of the world’s population,” and it can last between one to five years, or decades.
Aquino’s case falls under the latter category, she said.
With millions of followers on social media and with a digital content production company of her own, Aquino surmised that she can use her influence to help those who are similarly suffering from the disease.
“I believe everything happens as part of God’s plan for our lives. I have the platforms to raise awareness about this medical challenge... Stress we cannot avoid, but it is a big factor,” she said.
Echoing advice from her doctors, she went on: “A healthier food plan with vegetables (except alfalfa sprouts), fruits, fiber rich food, oatmeal, lean cuts of beef (for iron & vitamin D which are depleted), beans (thank God I like garbanzos), and fatty fish are all helpful.”
Sufficient sleep is also important, Aquino told her fans, as she ended her message in order to follow her prescribed bedtime of 11 p.m.
In a subsequent post on Friday, Aquino shared an infographic and further facts about her ailment, saying, “Unless there’s something I can share to raise awareness on how to deal with and treat autoimmune disorders for the many others who suffer from them, this is the last I’d like to post about my condition.”
Concluding on an optimistic note, she said: “This ailment shouldn’t confine or define me, but [it’s] a valid, medically confirmed diagnosis about my physical limitations. There’s a quote I find inspiring: ‘I will show you that surviving can be beautiful.’”