Somewhere between the break-up of his ten-year relationship with actress Kristen Stewart and the world premiere of his new film, Cosmo, Pattinson revealed intimate details about his health to the press. Most notably, he opened up about his battle with chronic sarcoidosis and how he’s had to adjust his lifestyle to ensure he can keep fighting the disease.
Pattinson, who is best known for starring in Twilight, The Twilight Saga films, and Jupiter Ascending, has been open about his health issues since his teens. He revealed his condition to the world in his 2017 book, Warmth, and has been sharing his story on social media and at various events since then.
Sarcoidosis is a chronic condition that can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain. It’s an illness that a lot of people are misdiagnosed with, resulting in unnecessary suffering. In sarcoidosis, the body’s immune system attacks the lungs, leading to the development of large quantities of scars on the surface of the lungs. As a result, patients may experience a change in their lung function that can be serious – even life-threatening. This is why it’s crucial to be examined by a physician if you experience any of these symptoms.
Pattinson was diagnosed with the disease when he was 22 years old and, at first, it went undiagnosed. He struggled with the condition for about ten years before finally receiving a proper diagnosis. In 2018, he revealed that he’s had to adjust his lifestyle and avoid exposure to chemicals and heavy metals because of his illness. Additionally, he’s taken a break from performing, which has curtailed his public appearances. He’s been extremely open about his health issues and, consequently, the effects they’ve had on his life – especially on the romantic front.
Pattinson revealed to Vogue that he’s used to people mishearing his name and assuming he’s ‘just another pretty boy’. “It’s a common misnomer,” he said. “People assume, because I look so young, that I’m not really aware of my own mortality or the mortality of others. It’s not like that. It’s very real to me. I think about death all the time.”
Keep Your Hands Off
Pattinson’s health issues are well known but he’s kept them private until now. It’s not that he wants to avoid attention, but he doesn’t want to burden his friends and family with his problems. However, he feels that his fans deserve to know more about his health journey and he’s been talking openly about it since his book came out. Perhaps it’s a case of people knowing more about him than he wants to share, but he’s certainly opened up about a lot in his book and he continues to do so here.
Pattinson’s openness has, at times, put him in the firing line. After publicly revealing that he’s had to limit his drinking due to his health issues, he received backlash from some followers who accused him of being a hypochondriac or a drunk. While he maintains that he isn’t either of those things, he did take to Instagram to share a photo in solidarity with those who’ve been affected by alcoholism – something he identified with during the promotion of his debut film, Cosmo.
“The stigma against alcohol and drug addiction is something I’ve been trying to fight since I was a kid,” he told Vogue. “I grew up surrounded by it. I have four older brothers and we always hung out in the backyard drinking and playing music. It was never seen as a negative thing. It was something we did together.”
Pattinson revealed that he’s discovered the benefits of dancing, which has helped him stay in shape while his health issues have been ongoing. “When I first found out I had sarcoidosis, I was really devastated,” he said. “I felt like I’d let so many people down. I wasn’t eating properly, I was taking lots of medications, and I was still losing a lot of weight.”
“I couldn’t even bring myself to go to the gym because I was so scared something would happen,” he continued. “That’s when I started doing yoga, riding my bike, and going to the barre every day. I found that if I kept my body active, the medications would have less impact on my energy levels. It’s still something I have to manage, but it’s a lot better than it was. When I found out about the connection between exercise and the medication, that’s when I knew I had to keep moving.”
Sarcoidosis is a disease that, if left untreated, can lead to serious complications. While it’s not yet fully understood how or why the disease develops, research is being done to find a cure. Additionally, health professionals are continually discovering more about the condition and how to manage it successfully. For now, patients need to be diligent about getting examined by a physician if they experience any of the disease’s warning signs.