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Ashton Kutcher discusses his battle with rare vasculitis

Ashton Kutcher has opened up about his battle with a rare autoimmune disease that affects his hearing, vision and ability to walk – speaking about the condition for the first time in an emotional interview.

Dubbed vasculitis, Kutcher first revealed he had the condition a few months ago, on an episode of National Geographic’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge.”

At the time, the former Punk’d presenter – who is married to Mila Kunis – told Grylls that the condition came up suddenly the past few years, and he had been fighting it in secret for the better part of a year, and that it even robbed him of his ability to walk.

On Monday, Kutcher offered new insight into his mysterious illness, describing debilitating symptoms that disrupted his life, at one point sharing an emotional moment with his twin brother, Michael, who was born with cerebral palsy.

Vasculitis is an inflammation of blood vessels that can cause organ and tissue damage. Kutcher’s flare-ups, which cleared up about two years ago, also caused the star to temporarily lose his sight.

The interview, filmed for Paramount+’s The Checkup with Dr. David Agus’, will be streamed on Tuesday.

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Ashton Kutcher Has Opened Up About His Battle With A Rare Autoimmune Disease That Affects His Hearing, Vision And Ability To Walk — Speaking About The Condition For The First Time In An Emotional Interview For An Interview Airing Tuesday On Paramount+

Ashton Kutcher has opened up about his battle with a rare autoimmune disease that affects his hearing, vision and ability to walk — speaking about the condition for the first time in an emotional interview for an interview airing Tuesday on Paramount+

In A Clip Released Prior To The Sit-Down, Kutcher, Now 44, Told Agus That One Day He Was Stricken With The Disease, Which Is Believed To Be A Disruption Of The Body'S Immune System.

In A Clip Released Prior To The Sit-Down, Kutcher, Now 44, Told Agus That One Day He Was Stricken With The Disease, Which Is Believed To Be A Disruption Of The Body'S Immune System.

In a clip released prior to the sit-down, Kutcher, now 44, told Agus that one day he was stricken with the disease, which is believed to be a disruption of the body’s immune system.

In a clip released ahead of the expected sit-down, Kutcher, now 44, recounted how one day he was suddenly struck down with the disease, which is believed to be a disruption of the body’s immune system.

“I woke up one day and I had problems with my eyesight [and] could barely see,” the actor, famous for his spots on That ’70s Show and Dude, Where’s My Car?, told Agus, who bills himself as one of the world’s foremost physicians and biomedical researchers.

“It knocked out my hearing, it took my balance, my balance, and I couldn’t walk,” Kutcher further revealed.

“I had vasculitis—you know that very well.”

The actor, who has a boy and girl aged 6 and 8 with Kunis, progressed to terrifying symptoms that are even considered rare, such as temporary vision loss – all in addition to the aforementioned hearing loss.

“There’s a norm you get used to in life, like being able to see clearly,” Kutcher recalled, describing how his life was temporarily uprooted by the disease. “And then suddenly you can’t see.”

The disease, which affects fewer than 200,000 Americans each year, would eventually go away, but not after the former model had been largely bedridden for “about a year.”

Kutcher added that he had a “super rare form” of the disease, which in most cases clears up after a few weeks or months once the first symptoms are felt.

Later In The Episode - Which Has Yet To Be Released - Kutcher Sat Down With His Rarely Seen Twin Brother Michael, Who Has Cerebral Palsy.  The Emotional Sitdown Saw Both Brothers Cry And Serves As The Couple'S First Ever Joint Interview

Later In The Episode - Which Has Yet To Be Released - Kutcher Sat Down With His Rarely Seen Twin Brother Michael, Who Has Cerebral Palsy.  The Emotional Sitdown Saw Both Brothers Cry And Serves As The Couple'S First Ever Joint Interview

Later in the episode – which has yet to be released – Kutcher sat down with his rarely seen twin brother Michael, who has cerebral palsy. The emotional sitdown saw both brothers cry and serves as the couple’s first ever joint interview

What’s worse is that the disease often goes unnoticed due to the inconspicuous nature of the initial symptoms — including fatigue, fever, and weight loss — which often apply to so many conditions that doctors don’t immediately suspect the disease.

He told Gryllis, 48, of his previously unknown struggles last month: “You want to get back the health you once had.”

Later in the episode — which has yet to be released — Kutcher sat down with his rarely seen brother for the couple’s first-ever joint interview.

Michael, also 44, was born with cerebral palsy and underwent a life-saving heart transplant at age 13.

In a short clip, the actor describes the moment when his brother’s heart beat flat in the hospital with tears in his eyes, as he put his hand on Michael’s knee,

His twin responds with his own gesture of comfort, taking Kutcher’s hand as he wipes away his tears.

“So then my dad comes, picks me up, and it’s like we’re going to see your brother and I’m like… everything’s not okay,” Kutcher recalled, visibly moved. And he flatlines in the room.

The Former Punk'D Host - Who Is Married To Mila Kunis - Said The Condition Came On Suddenly Three Years Ago And He Had Been Fighting It In Secret For Nearly A Year.  The Pair Are Pictured At This Year'S Academy Awards In March

The Former Punk'D Host - Who Is Married To Mila Kunis - Said The Condition Came On Suddenly Three Years Ago And He Had Been Fighting It In Secret For Nearly A Year.  The Pair Are Pictured At This Year'S Academy Awards In March

The former Punk’d host – who is married to Mila Kunis – said the condition came on suddenly three years ago and he had been fighting it in secret for nearly a year. The pair are pictured at this year’s Academy Awards in March

“And I know that sound, because now I’ve visited occasionally and watched the thing go and then it flattens out.

“And they grab me and they take me out and I’m like, what’s the matter [on]?’

The sit-down comes nearly 20 years after Kutcher first announced his brother’s cerebral palsy diagnosis in 2003, which reportedly angered Michael at the time.

The brothers have since been seen together on the red carpet and other occasional events attended by Kutcher, who lives in Beverly Hills with his wife and children.

Kutcher said he first started feeling the symptoms three years ago and eventually became aware of the condition, which usually clears up on its own but can be treated with steroid therapy in severe cases.

The Brothers Have Since Been Seen Together On The Red Carpet And Other Occasional Events Attended By Kutcher, Who Lives In Beverly Hills With His Wife And Children.

The Brothers Have Since Been Seen Together On The Red Carpet And Other Occasional Events Attended By Kutcher, Who Lives In Beverly Hills With His Wife And Children.

The brothers have since been seen together on the red carpet and other occasional events attended by Kutcher, who lives in Beverly Hills with his wife and children.

It took him about a year to recover, he has since said, claiming he “felt lucky to be alive.” It is not immediately clear whether the actor sought treatment or just waited out the disease.

While almost never the case, vasculitis — which occurs when the body’s immune system attacks veins, arteries, and small capillaries — can be fatal in some cases, as in the case of the late Caddyshack director and Ghostbusters actor Harold Ramis, who died in 2016 after a four-year battle with the disease at age 69.

Fatalities occur when inflammation narrows patient’s blood vessels and restricts — or even cuts off — blood flow, causing organ damage or aneurysms, according to the National Institutes of Health.

If that aneurysm bursts, it can cause internal bleeding — a serious event that can lead to death.

Depending on the specific type and severity of the condition — and which organs are targeted by the body’s wayward white blood vessels and antibodies — the symptoms of vasculitis vary in severity. Some cases last weeks and others years.

The types and severity of the disease are classified according to the size of the blood vessels that are attacked. Based on Kutcher’s symptoms, he likely suffered from either Behçet’s disease or Kawasaki’s disease, both of which affect medium sized blood vessels.

The Condition That Could Have Cost Ashton Kutcher His Eyesight: What Is Vasculitis And How Is It Treated?

  • Vasculitis, also known as angiitis or arteritis, are conditions in which a person’s blood vessels become inflamed
  • Nearly 230,000 Americans suffer from some form of vasculitis
  • There are a few possible causes, including an autoimmune disease, allergic reactions, or some kind of infection
  • Types of vasculitis are divided into three categories, major, medium, and minor. The distinction is based on the size of vessels that have become inflamed
  • Typical symptoms are fever, fatigue, muscle pain and severe weight loss
  • In the most severe cases, it can cause an aneurysm or even a blood vessel to burst. Any case could prove fatal
  • It can also lead to tissue death if a vessel becomes so inflamed that it blocks blood flow to a part of the body
  • In some cases, vasculitis resolves on its own
  • Common treatments include steroid therapy that fights inflammation

Source: WebMD and The Vasculitis Foundation

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Jacky

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