Ashton Kutcher says he's "lucky to be alive" after suffering rare illness

·2 min read

Ashton Kutcher has opened up about a terrifying health scare, revealing that he's "lucky to be alive" after suffering a "weird, super-rare form of vasculitis".

Appearing on an upcoming episode of National Geographic’s Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge, Kutcher opened up about his ordeal with the incredibly rare condition.

"Two years ago, I had this weird, super rare form of vasculitis that, like, knocked out my vision," Kutcher told host Grylls (via Access Hollywood). "It knocked out my hearing. It knocked out, like, all my equilibrium."

The 44-year-old actor continued: "You don't really appreciate it until it's gone, until you go, 'I don't know if I'm ever going to be able to see again; I don't know if I'm ever going to be able to hear again; I don't know if I’m ever going to be able to walk again'."

"[I'm] lucky to be alive," he added.

Photo credit: Steve Granitz - Getty Images
Photo credit: Steve Granitz - Getty Images

For those who don't know (read: us), vasculitis is a condition that causes the blood vessels in the body to become inflamed. According to the NHS, "in vasculitis, for some reason the immune system attacks healthy blood vessels, causing them to become swollen and narrow."

As for what causes the condition, the NHS explains that vasculitis "may be triggered by an infection or a medicine, although often the cause is unknown". The condition can have a varied impact on the body and "can range from a minor problem that just affects the skin, to a more serious illness that causes problems with organs like the heart or kidneys."

Depending on the type of vasculitis (which range from microscopic polyangiitis to polyarteritis nodosa) symptoms can include but are not limited to:

  • Asthma

  • Muscle or joint pain

  • Headaches

  • Loss of appetite

  • Double vision or vision loss

  • High temperature

  • Night sweats

  • Diarrhoea

  • Shortness of breath

  • Pins and needles

  • Ulcers in the gut

Although he did not go into detail about the specifics of his symptoms – or how long they lasted – Kutcher highlighted how the ordeal had transformed his outlook on life. "The minute you start seeing your obstacles as things that are made for you to give you what you need, then life starts to get fun," he added. "You start surfing on top of your problems instead of living underneath them."

For more information on vasculitis, head to the NHS website.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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