- Bella Hadid is a model who was diagnosed with Lyme disease in her teen years.
- She has been battling the condition for over a decade.
- Bella is not the only one in her family to have Lyme disease, as her mother, Yolanda Hadid, & brother, Anwar, also have the same condition.
- Bella revealed she’s ‘finally healthy’, in a post she shared on Aug. 6, 2023.
Frequent Vogue cover model and runway star Bella Hadid has become a household name for fashion lovers within the last few years. Not only is she a favorite of many high-end fashion designers, but she has also become a style inspiration for many on social media. Although the 26-year-old lives a lavish life jet-setting around the world for work, Bella was often in pain due to her ongoing Lyme disease diagnosis. In July 2023, she reportedly took a medical leave from her modeling gigs to deal with the disease, and her sister Gigi, 28, shared a short update on her sister’s health on her Instagram Story, revealing she completed an intense treatment at the end of the same month. In Aug. 2023, Bella gave a positive update about her condition.
Although she was diagnosed years prior, the brunette beauty did not come forward to the public about her condition until 2016. That year, her mom, Yolanda Hadid‘s own struggle with Lyme disease became a main topic of conversation during Season 7 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Many of the Yolanda’s co-stars “questioned” her health struggles, including Lisa Vanderpump (watch here), however, she also revealed that two of her children also had the disease that same year. In recent years, Bella has since become very open about her battle with Lyme disease, in addition to some of her mental health struggles. Keep reading to learn all about her disease, how Bella is doing today, and more.
Bella Hadid Diagnosed With Lyme Disease
Although the style icon did not go public with her health condition until 2016, she was first diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2013, per Yolanda’s official Bravo blog. In the post, the proud mother-of-three discussed how her health became an ongoing conversation on The Real Housewives franchise, but she also wrote about Bella and her son, Anwar Hadid‘s condition.
“Bella and Anwar were diagnosed at the end of 2013 and have been in extensive holistic treatment ever since,” the TV personality wrote at the time. “It’s very common for multiple family members to be affected by Lyme disease. The children and I lived on a horse ranch in Santa Barbara for 10 years and spent the majority of our time outside in nature.” Later in the post, Yolanda revealed that her daughter, then 16, had to forego her dream of becoming a professional equestrian.
“Bella had to give up her lifelong dream of having a professional riding career and a shot at the Olympics due to her severe symptoms and inability to ride,” Bella’s mom continued. “This was the biggest heartbreak of her life and an extremely sensitive subject for her. She is resilient and focused on a new direction–she’s made a name for herself in the modeling industry while she struggles with symptoms of chronic Lyme every day.”
What Is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a vector-borne disease, meaning it is contracted by humans when bitten or stung by “blood-feeding arthropods,” according to the official CDC website. These arthropods can include mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas, and affects about 30,000 people per year in the United States, per the health organization’s website. A common way to treat Lyme disease includes rounds of antibiotics or holistic therapies.
Those who suffer from Lyme disease often report being in chronic pain, having fatigue, as well as having a fever, chills, headaches, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. The CDC also reports that about “70 to 80 percent” of those infected can develop a rash known as Erythema migrans (EM) rash. More so, many cases of the condition can be cured with a few weeks of oral antibiotics, however, many experience Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS) following treatment. PTLDS can include symptoms of pain, fatigue, and brain fog.
How Long Has Bella Hadid Been Sick?
Bella was diagnosed with Lyme disease when she was around 16 years old, meaning she has had it for about a decade of her life. Following her mother’s blog post about her and her children’s health condition, Bella was honored at the Oct. 2016 Global Lyme Alliance’s second annual “Uniting for a Lyme-Free World” gala in New York City (watch here). At the event, she gave a powerful speech about what is was like to be diagnosed with Lyme disease and have her teenage years “taken” from her.
“I know where you’re coming from, you’re not alone,” Bella told the audience and those who suffer with the illness. “My teenage years were taken from me. I was forced to start homeschooling my second year of high school, which of course I didn’t want to do because I’d rather go hang out with my friends, go to parties.” During the speech she also revealed that she had to “give up” her horseback riding career due to her treatments.
“It was my dream of my life and what I did every single day until I just stopped and realized I didn’t have the brain power to ride horses anymore, so that was the end of that,” she added. “I know what it feels like to not want to get out of bed from bone pains and exhaustion and days on end of not wanting to socialize or be around people because the anxiety and brain fog just isn’t worth it. After years of this, you begin to get used to living with the sickness, instead of getting cured and moving on with your life.”
How Is Bella Hadid Doing Today?
In recent years, the runway queen has taken to social media to share glimpses of what it looks like to battle this disease in her day-to-day life. Bella shared a few images of her being hooked to an IV in Feb. 2021, which allowed her millions of followers to see what she goes through when she is not working. “Living with a few chronic auto immune disorders =always finding time for my IVs,” she captioned the carousel of photos.
Bella graced the cover of Vogue in Apr. 2022 and used the interview with the fashion outlet to shed light on Lyme disease and her personal health struggles. “For three years while I was working, I would wake up every morning hysterical, in tears, alone,” told the outlet at the time. “I wouldn’t show anybody that. I would go to work, cry at lunch in my little greenroom, finish my day, go to whatever random little hotel I was in for the night, cry again, wake up in the morning, and do the same thing.”
In early 2023, Bella went makeup-free and took to TikTok to share a video of her struggles with anxiety, particularly in the mornings. “Good morning you guys. I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but I have the worst morning anxiety,” she said at the start of the clip in Feb. 2023. “What I wanted to show you was how stupid I feel sometimes, when I’m laying here, and I don’t believe it,” she added of saying her morning affirmations out loud.
Later, on Apr. 1, 2023, Bella shared another update on her health via TikTok. “The tooth in question. Arrest her,” she captioned the video. “There was a low-grade infection underneath the tooth, NEXT to the tooth I thought was suffering (she’s good) which is the one I got a root canal on a year ago. It continued to spread down, causing a low grade infection in my jaw. I have felt in my heart for months that I needed this tooth out, to heal the rest, and if not, it was going to take me out!”
She also urged her followers to be mindful of their own health. “Please listen to your bodies my friends please!!!”, Bella continued. “This made my Lyme flare up, which means the Lyme is attacking the places that are suffering ie tooth, jaw, guy, brain, spine, bones etc oh, and the entire nervous system.” She noted that she is doing “okay” and took a round of antibiotics to help her.
After announcing her break from modeling, Bella’s sister Gigi shared a photo of the two of them on her Instagram Story on June 26, 2023. “Can’t wait 4 the comebaccckkkkkk,” she wrote. Although the post got fans excited, Gigi explained that she was commenting on her sister’s health, in an August 1, 2023 Instagram Story. “Bella just finished a long and intense treatment for Lyme disease,” she wrote, and also noted that she didn’t want followers to take it as a promise that she’d be in shows next season. “I’m so proud of her and excited for her comeback whenever she feels ready.”
On Aug. 6, 2023, Bella took to Instagram to reveal the happy news that she’s “finally healthy,” and share photos of her medical forms and snapshots of her throughout her long health journey. “the little me that suffered would be so proud of grown me for not giving up on myself🏼Thankful to my mommy for keeping all of my medical records, sticking by me , never leaving my side, protecting, supporting , but most of all, believing me through all of this,” she wrote in the caption.
“Living in this state, worsening with time and work while trying to make myself, my family and the people who support me, proud, had taken a toll on me in ways I can’t really explain,” she continued. “To be that sad and sick with the most blessings/privilege/opportunity/love around me was quite possibly the most confusing thing ever. one thing I want to express to you all is that 1: I am okay and you do not have to worry, ♥️and 2:I wouldn’t change anything for the world. If I had to go through all of this again, to get here, to this exact moment I’m in right now, with all of you, finally healthy, I would do it all again. It made me who I am today.”
“The universe works in the most painful and beautiful ways but I need to say that if you are struggling- it will get better,” she added. “I promise. take a step away, stay strong, have faith in your path, walk in your truth and the clouds will start to clear up. I have so much gratitude for and perspective on life , this 100+ days of Lyme, chronic disease , co infection treatment, almost 15 years of invisible suffering, was all worth it if I’m able to, God willing, have a lifetime of spreading love from a full cup, and being able to truly be myself, For the first time ever. I tried to pick the most positive pictures I could because as painful as this experience was, the outcome was the most enlightening experience of my life filled with new friends, new visions and a new brain.”
The courageous influencer went on to thank the “patience” of the companies she’s worked for, her doctor and nurses, agents, and the rest of her supporters who checked in on her. “I’ll be back when I’m ready. I miss you all so much. I love you all so much,” she ended the post.