Ever since pop star Lady Gaga stepped into the music scene with her debut single Just Dance, she has not only used her voice to entertain the masses, she has also used it to speak out about important causes and social issues.
A few years ago, the singer created the Born This Way Foundation, which is "committed to making a kinder, more compassionate world" by "empowering young people and addressing issues important to their well being."
In addition to her charity work, Lady Gaga has been very vocal about stigmatized topics like mental illness and diseases that don't get talked about nearly as much as they should.
In her new documentary titled Gaga: Five Foot Two, the 31-year-old artists opens up about her own personal battle with a chronic illness that she's been dealing with for a long time.
Gaga suffered a broken hip in 2013 and had to cancel several tour dates to accommodate for surgery. Then in August, she posted a photo in which she can be seen receiving treatment on her shoulder.
“Having a frustrating day with chronic pain, but I find myself feeling so blessed to have such strong intelligent female doctors,” she captioned the photo.
These complications sparked speculation that the Poker Face singer was suffering from something serious. It wasn't until this week that the entertainer sent out a tweet confirming suspicions that she was battling a chronic illness.
In the tweet, Lady Gaga revealed that she suffers from fibromyalgia, which explains why she previously stated that she lives with constant pain.
“In our documentary the #chronicillness #chronicpain I deal w/ is #Fibromyalgia,” she wrote. “I wish to help raise awareness & connect people who have it.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, Fibromyalgia is a "disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain." Women are at a higher risk of developing the disease and many people who have it also tend to suffer from "tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression."
Lady Gaga has publicly spoken about experiencing some of the other ailments mentioned above like anxiety and depression, but this is the first time that she's mentioned fibromyalgia.
In the documentary, she's shown getting treatments to ease her muscle spasms and reduce the debilitating pain. She's even had to stop working to massage and ice her muscles.
Fibromyalgia affects approximately 4 million adults in the U.S according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although there is no cure for the disorder, you can watch out for symptoms and learn how to manage them.
Symptoms tend to appear after a physical trauma or period of psychological stress, however for many people they just "gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event." These symptoms include pain and stiffness, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, fatigue, sleep problems, mood changes, headaches and memory problems.
A combination of exercise, medications, and stress-management can help limit the symptoms. For Gaga, she says heat is better than ice when it comes to managing pain.
"Electric Heated Blanket, Infrared Sauna, Epsom Baths," the singer tweeted.
She also hopes more people will follow in her footsteps and talk about fibromyalgia to raise more awareness.
I am praying that more and more people come forward and we can all share what helps/hurts so we can help each other— xoxo, Gaga (@ladygaga) September 12, 2017
Do you or anyone you know suffer from fibromyalgia? Let us know in the comments!