Halsey’s Pregnancy Has Caused Her Body to Rebel Against Her
Despite maintaining a gruelling touring schedule, winning three Grammys and somehow finding time to be a sexual assault awareness advocate, Halsey has been struggling with poor health for the majority of her adult life. Since giving birth to her first child in July last year her complex health conditions have been greatly exacerbated. Here’s how pregnancy could have worsened her health.
What are Halsey’s health conditions?
After a series of hospitalisations for anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions), Halsey has recently been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Sjogren's syndrome, mast cell activation syndrome, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and also suffers from endometriosis.
Ehlers-Danlos is an extremely rare group of genetic disorders that cause problems for connective tissue in the body, having an impact on everything from eyesight to joints. Those with EDS are more likely to have other auto-immune conditions, particularly Sjogren’s Syndrome and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.
Sjogren’s syndrome is a hormonal and genetic immune condition that primarily causes a lack of bodily fluids and dryness from the eyes to the vagina. It is much more common in women than men.
Mast cell activation syndrome is likely the cause of Halsey’s repeated anaphalyxis. Halsey’s mast cells wrongly sending out chemical mediators could cause everything from skin rashes to full on anaphylaxis.
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a blood circulation caused by the nervous system that causes your blood to pool below the heart when you are standing upright. This reduces blood circulation making you dizzy and your brain foggy, making it difficult to stand for even short periods of time.
The cherry on top of Halsey’s autoimmune issues is endometriosis. Endometriosis causes tissue that would normally grow inside of your uterus to grow in other places, commonly the fallopian tubes and tissue around the pelvis. It causes chronic pain and impacts one in ten women in the UK. It is more common for people with Ehler-Danlos syndrome.
Why would pregnancy worsen these health conditions?
With these health conditions it would be challenging to become pregnant in the first place. One in three endometriosis sufferers to struggle to conceive. Sjogren’s syndrome also increases chances of miscarriage.
During pregnancy, it is common to experience worsened symptoms of EDS which can extend after pregnancy. There are a few different forms of Ehler Danlos. The most severe, vascular, can cause serious complications.
Sjogren’s syndrome can make breastfeeding extremely challenging. However, data on pregnancy outcomes for people with Sjogren’s are sparse, so it will be difficult for Halsey to definitively know how her Sjogren’s could have been worsened by her pregnancy.
Mast cell activation syndrome, likely the cause of Halsey’s repeated anaphylaxis, is thought by researchers to have a significant impact on pregnancy and to be heavily impacted by pregnancy. However, no research has been done to understand the exact implications for sufferers despite evidence of improved outcomes for those who are treated.
Anecdotal stories of people with complex medical histories becoming sicker after pregnancy are building, but the gender health research gap means solutions are too slow particularly with complex combinations like Halsey’s.
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