Ashton Kutcher said he was “lucky to be alive” after suffering a rare illness that left him unable to see, hear or walk.
Kutcher first revealed his struggle with vasculitis, an autoimmune disorder in an episode of Run Wild with Bear Grylls: Challenge, aired on National Geographic.
In the episode, Grylls asks Kutcher where his powers come from, to which the actor replies, “Two years ago, I had this strange, super-rare form of vasculitis that kind of knocked out my vision. I. It blew my hearing. It knocked all my equilibrium.”
Kutcher, 44, said it took him about a year to regain his senses and balance.
“You don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone, until you go, ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever see it again, I don’t know if I’ll ever hear it again, I don’t know. whether I can walk again,” he said.
Actor and director Harold Ramis died of vasculitis complications in 2014. Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s holiday and Groundhog’s Day The director suffered from the disease for 4 years before his death at the age of 69.
Kutcher added at the end of the interview: “When you start to see your obstacles as things made for you, to give you what you need, then life starts to be fun, doesn’t it? You start surfing on top of your problems instead of living underneath them. “
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What is vasculitis?
According to the Mayo Clinic, vasculitis is a group of rare diseases that cause inflammation of the blood vessels. When this happens, inflammation restricts blood flow, which can lead to organ and tissue damage or even an aneurysm. If the aneurysm ruptures, it can cause internal bleeding and death.
General symptoms of vasculitis include fever, headache, fatigue, weight loss, and aches. If the disease progresses, more severe symptoms may include blindness, hearing loss, ulcers, dizziness, bleeding under the skin, and difficulty breathing.
“The exact cause of vasculitis is still not fully understood,” the Mayo Clinic writes. “Some are related to a person’s genetic makeup. Others are the result of the immune system attacking blood vessel cells by mistake. “
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Vasculitis can affect anyone, but age, family history, drug use, and past medical problems can increase your chances of developing it.
A study published in the journal Nature found that giant cell arteritis (GCA) is the most common form of vasculitis in the elderly, and it most commonly affects people of Nordic ancestry.
In Ontario, GCA affected about 235 people per 100,000 in 2018, up from 125 people per 100,000 in 2000.
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Kawasaki disease is the most common form of vasculitis in children around the age of 5, and research shows it most commonly affects children of Southeast Asian ancestry.
In Canada, about 20 children per 100,000 have Kawasaki disease.
It is not clear what form of vasculitis Kutcher has.
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