There is no question about the fact that Venus Williams is a very decorated tennis player, judging by the fact that the athlete has 49 victories in the singles category as well as 7 titles of the coveted Grand Slam to her name.
However, not all is well in the life of the superstar, as she has revealed that she is suffering from a condition of the autoimmune system called Sjogren’s syndrome.
According to Williams, her struggles originally began back in the year 2004 when she started experiencing odd symptoms uncommon for and unwanted by an athlete of her stature, including feeling fatigued and also short of breath.
Apparently, these symptoms were very rigid and completely unresponsive to all the effort she was making to improve her stamina as well as her lung capacity, and that was obviously concerning for her since she had to compete professionally in a sport.
Receiving Her Diagnosis
Williams finally received her diagnosis after having spent seven years with her developing condition, one that severely hampered her ability to play professional tennis.
The doctors told her that she had a condition called Sjogren’s syndrome, and although it is diagnosable by observing the eyes and the mouth for abnormal dryness, in Williams’ case it took a long time before the medical professionals could give her a proper diagnosis, most probably because these symptoms are indicative of many conditions.
Of course, the condition had an adverse impact on the performance that Williams could deliver on the tennis court, a fact that the tennis star herself admitted while talking about her condition.
According to her, even though she had been concerned about the symptoms that her body was exhibiting, even after numerous visits to the doctor she always returned with no diagnosis, feeling somewhat not in control of her own body.
What Is Sjogren’s Syndrome?
If you don’t know about Sjogren’s syndrome, that is probably because it is quite uncommon (although around 4 million people are reportedly suffering from it in the US alone). The condition is also not life-threatening, and that is why it is particularly difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can easily be ignored.
However, there are still some symptoms that you can probably look out for if you want to ensure that you don’t have this syndrome. According to Paula Marchetta, who works at the American College of Rheumatology in the capacity of President, those with Sjogren’s syndrome may also report pain in their joints and muscles, and also inflammation in some of the major organs of the body, in addition to the dryness of the mouth/eyes.
According to Dr. Marchetta, the reason why it may become troublesome to live with the condition is that fatigue takes over the body, disallowing the sufferer from performing even some of the most menial daily tasks.
That is why it’s important to seek treatment for it, and although it is not possible to ever cure the disease itself, with proper maintenance one can start to live life normally again.