Selena Gomez was hospitalized earlier this month for a low white blood cell count. While in the hospital, she suffered an "emotional breakdown" which resulted in her deciding to check into rehab. But the condition that landed her in the hospital in the first place could have been a sign that Selena was suffering from a lupus flare up.
"A low white blood count can be a little tricky to sort out in lupus," Dr. Maureen McMahon, an associate clinical professor at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. "It can be low because of a lupus disease flare, or it can be low as a side effect of medications used to treat lupus and/or kidney transplants."
The "Hands To Myself" singer has been open about her battle with lupus over the past few years, and revealed in 2017 that she had to undergo a kidney transplant, which was donated to her by friend Francia Raisa.
When lupus patients are hospitalized for a low white blood count, "usually doctors will look for other symptoms or blood tests that would go along with a lupus flare to help sort it out," the doctor tells HL. "How it is treated depends upon the cause. If it is mildly low, it may not need any change of therapy. If it is quite low and it is thought to be related to lupus, we would usually increase immune suppressing medications." McMahon also noted that if doctors find that the low white blood counts are due to medications, they typically opt to lower the dosage or "change to a different therapy."
While it's unclear just how low Selena's white blood cell count was, we do know that she's currently seeking treatment for her mental health using dialectical behavior therapy at a wellness facility on the east coast.