“In just a few quick months, my body has changed so much (health wise),” Briana, 27, wrote via Instagram on Thursday, September 30. “I’ve been in such denial but I am not the same anymore. This sucks [sad face emoticon].”
Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs, which leads to inflammation, according to MayoClinic. It can affect many systems in the body — including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.
The Florida resident revealed she was diagnosed with lupus in September, after suffering from a mystery illness for months. “Got diagnosed with lupus a few days ago and I’m not gonna lie — I was definitely sad about it but I’m starting to finally feel better,” Briana tweeted at the time.
A fan responded to her tweet, apologizing for her recent health news. The MTV star responded, “Aw, thank you . No need to be sorry! S–t happens. I’ll be starting my meds [tomorrow] so hopefully everything will get better.”
She also discussed her medications, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and prednisone, with several fans who warned her of the side effects, one of which being weight gain. “Prednisone is no joke,” Briana wrote to a follower. “I was on it at the beginning when doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me and I ate all day long. I am iffy about taking it again.”
While responding to another Twitter user, Briana added that she would be seeking a “second opinion” from another doctor, hoping to learn more about a “holistic” approach to treating lupus.
Briana feared she had lupus in July, when she revealed via Twitter that antinuclear antibody (ANA) test “came back positive.” A fan assured her that just because she had a positive ANA test result, it didn’t necessarily mean she had lupus but Briana responded at the time, “it probably is [because] everyone in my family has it.”
The New York native’s mother, Roxanne DeJesus, also struggles with lupus. In September 2017, Briana teamed up with Posh Kids and the Lupus Foundation of America to host the #WALKFORACAUSE Fashion Show, where she opened up about her mother’s health battle.
Speaking exclusively to In Touch at the time, Briana and sister Brittany DeJesus revealed, “It’s hard. It’s tough to see [our] mom struggle.” When asked what kind of advice they would give to others with loved ones battling lupus, they explained, “Stay strong and be supportive of your family.”
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