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Lady Gaga's Not Afraid to Show the World Her Chronic Pain in New Netflix Documentary

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Update: Lady Gaga has confirmed that her chronic pain is caused by fibromyalgia.

In Lady Gaga’s upcoming Netflix documentary “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” viewers will get a glimpse of Gaga’s life away from the spotlight — including her struggles with chronic pain. While promoting the documentary, Gaga opened up about why she included these difficult scenes in the film and the support she hopes her fellow pain warriors feel while watching it.

At a press conference with the film’s director, Chris Moukarbel, in Toronto ahead of the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival today, Gaga reportedly became teary-eyed as the conversation turned to why she chose to document her struggles with chronic pain. She said it’s “hard, but liberating,” and explained that she believes pain is a “microphone.”

“My pain does me no good unless I transform it into something that is. So I hope people watching it who do struggle with chronic pain know that they’re not alone. It’s freeing for me… and I want people that struggle with it to hear me,” Gaga said.

She also acknowledged the shame that is often associated with chronic pain, but that struggling with something doesn’t make her “weak.”

There is a degree of self-deprecation and shame with feeling in pain a lot. And I want people that watch it — that think there’s no way I live [with chronic pain] because they see me dance and sing and don’t think that could possibly be — to know I struggle with things like them. I work through it and it can be done. We have to stick together. I don’t have to hide it because I’m afraid it’s weak. It’s a part of me, and I’m grateful to Chris for caring. The compassion is overwhelming. That’s why it makes me emotional. It’s very touching.

Moukarbel said it was “incredibly hard” filming Gaga while she was in pain, but said she still wanted him to keep shooting. “I think she was very aware of other people who struggle with similar chronic pain. She is not even sure how to deal with it, and that’s a reality,” he said.

Last month, Gaga released a series of short clips from the documentary, including one that showed her at a doctor’s appointment discussing treatment options for an unnamed health condition.


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Gaga has spoken about her health issues before — in 2010, she revealed she had tested “borderline positive” for lupus, the autoimmune condition that led to her Aunt Joanne’s death before Gaga was born.

Last year, Gaga posted on Instagram about her chronic pain and shared the methods she uses to treat it. “Having a frustrating day with chronic pain, but I find myself feeling so blessed to have such strong intelligent female doctors,” she wrote.


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I was so overwhelmed by the empathy, confessions & personal stories of chronic pain in response to my previous post I thought what the hell. Maybe I should just share some of my personal remedies I’ve acquired over the past five years. Everyone’s body and condition is different U should consult w ure Dr. but what the heck here we go! When my body goes into a spasm one thing I find really helps is infrared sauna. I’ve invested in one. They come in a large box form as well as a low coffin-like form and even some like electric blankets! You can also look around your community for a infrared sauna parlor or homeopathic center that has one. I combine this treatment with marley silver emergency blankets (seen in the photo) that trap in the heat and are very cheap, reusable and effective for detox as well as weight loss! In order to not overheat my system and cause more inflammation i follow this with either a VERY cold bath, ice bath (if u can stand it, it’s worth it) or the most environmentally savvy way is to keep many reusable cold packs in the freezer ( or frozen peas’ n carrots’!) and pack them around the body in all areas of pain. Hope this helps some of you, it helps me to keep doing my passion, job and the things I love even on days when I feel like I can’t get out of bed. Love you and thank you for all your positive messages.

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Earlier this year, Gaga appeared on the cover of Arthritis Magazine. She told the magazine that she had been dealing with chronic pain due to a broken hip and synovitis, an inflammatory joint condition.

“Gaga: Five Foot Two” will begin streaming on Netflix on September 22.

Image via Creative Commons/TJ Sengel

Originally published: September 8, 2017
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