Toni Braxton Reveals Who Told Her To Remain Quiet About Her Lupus

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Toni Braxton has been open and candid about her battle with lupus since being diagnosed. 

On her reality show, “Braxton Family Values,” the singer discussed the effects of the autoimmune disease. Although she was never ashamed of her illness, her management team didn’t want her to be so public about it. 

During a recent appearance on the SHE MD podcast, Braxton said that she was told not to talk about her diagnosis publicly. “People get scared around sick celebrities,” she said. “And I couldn’t get insured. You would not get work, because the second I was told I had it, I didn’t get work at first. No one wanted to put me on a stage. ‘Well, supposed she collapsed on stage, and the insurance, how are we going to do that?’ And so I couldn’t, at first I did not work.” 

Lupus is defined as an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks healthy tissue and organs. However, symptoms are different for those who are diagnosed with it. Some symptoms include fever, joint pain, fatigue, rashes, chest pain, and swelling. 

Braxton’s rheumatologist, Dr. Daniel Wallace, also joined her on the podcast and explained, “It takes an average of three and a half years for someone with non-organ threatening lupus to be diagnosed and an average of four different doctors.” 

He also explained that there are about 200,000 lupus patients and about a third of them are Black women. Braxton added, “It took me 10 years to get a diagnosis. I felt like a hypochondriac. Like I’m just telling people, ‘I don’t feel well,’ and no one’s listening. And lupus doesn’t have a look to it- not to say that other things do, but we always try to fake that we’re feeling great or we don’t want to worry anyone. As mothers and women, we tend to do that anyway.”

Toni Braxton has helped other Black women recognize their medical issues and get proper treatment.